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PQMONTHLY.COM Vol. 2 No. 2 Feb./Mar. 2013

THE STATE

FOSTERING

A FAMILY

JADIN’S OF RACE LEGACY LOCAL PERSPECTIVES

Photo by Jeffrey Horvitz, PQ Monthly

MONTHLY


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PQ TEAM MONTHLY

Melanie Davis

Owner/Publisher melanie@pqmonthly.com

Gabriela Kandziora

Principal & Business Development

gabriela@pqmonthly.com

julie cortez

Editor-in-Chief julie@pqmonthly.com

chris alvarez

Art Director chris@pqmonthly.com

editorial TEAM daniel borgen

Staff Writer/Calendar Editor daniel@pqmonthly.com

nick mattos

Staff Writer nick@pqmonthly.com

erin rook

Web Editor/Writer erin@pqmonthly.com

SALES TEAM larry lewis

Sales Representative larry@pqmonthly.com

lynda Wilkinson Sales Representative lynda@pqmonthly.com

Jonathan Reitan

Sales Representative jonathan@pqmonthly.com

zeb walter

Sales Representative zeb@pqmonthly.com

photographers jules garza

Staff Photographer jules@pqmonthly.com

izzy ventura

Staff Photographer izzy@pqmonthly.com

BREATHING THE SAME AIR I grew up in a fish bowl. Exposed to the eyes of the public before I even our sights on launching a second publication, aimed at the LGBTQ comhad two digits in my age, I headed out on the campaign trail with my grand- munity, and on Feb. 16, 2012, we launched Proud Queer (PQ) Monthly. mother as she headed toward becoming the first Latina to hold executive Since day one, PQ’s mission was to have “every letter and every color office in our nation as secretary of state for New Mexico. Early on, I knew represented.” I am proud of our Brilliant Media team as they have kept life was different at home, growing up a tomboy on the wrong side of El this mission at the forefront of every story pitched, every interview done, Burque (Albuquerque, New Mexico). My neighborhood and school jux- every event we’ve thrown, and every image that has graced our pages and taposed strikingly with the life I saw web presence. Now 32 team memmy grandmother living out in Santa bers strong, Brilliant Media, LLC, Fe when I served as a senatorial page, prints both publications monthly (El but in both places I saw people like me Hispanic News every first Thursday creating real, lasting change in the lives and PQ Monthly every third Thursof others. However, I saw no place for day) with daily updates online. We’ve a tomboy like me, one full of confusadded an online eDirectory and APP ing feelings and questions, be it in El (PQ Directory available on Android; Burque or Santa Fe. Apple devises coming soon). We’ve I eventually did what I thought I seen people step up and advance to was supposed to do: burned my way leadership positions within the team, through school, worked hard, and got and watched as they formed what is married to a man who used to be fond of a truly cohesive and effective media saying that if he and I were to ever get a force to be reckoned with. divorce — which we did when I was only Now, one year later we are having 25 — I would end up with a woman. I a co-celebration with both publicacame to realize that in my own frenzy of tions at our Portland City Hall — and doing what I felt was expected of me as a we are ready for our next big step fordaughter, a woman, and a Latina, that I ward. Over the last year the team (parhad never really seen myself. It was perticularly Gabriela Kandziora, our busifectly clear: my ex was right. ness development coordinator, and I came out to my family in 1999, but our recently-promoted web editor, Melanie Davis (left) and her life and business partner, Gabriela Kandziora. we were a political family — appearErin Rook) has signed writers from ances had to be kept up, and anything relating to sex was simply some- around the nation as well as internationally to add their diverse voices to thing that others couldn’t know about. It took me until 2004 to finally fess the PQ team. Today, we are proud to launch PQ Republic, expanding our up to the truth of myself in public. Until and during that time, I tried to mission to: “Every Letter, Every Color, Everywhere.” drown myself in booze and partying; after so long hiding, it was simply Here’s one thing I’ve learned over the years: we always need to be learntoo scary to actually see myself for who I was, let alone let other people ing. Brilliant Media lives by this credo — and considering that we sometimes see me. One day, my sister (God bless her) looked me in the eyes sternly serve as the only outlet for our communities’ voices, this is a huge responand cut through my bullshit. sibility. I encourage our team to always be true to themselves first and fore“Look, Melanie,” she said. “If you can’t come out in Portland, Oregon — most, because that is the only way we can truthfully serve our communithe lesbian capital — we have bigger problems on our hands.” ties. I learned this the hard way by numbing myself with alcohol for years to It was this moment that ultimately led me to put down the bottle in 2007 avoid the truth about myself. It was only when I dared to speak, and actuand get in touch with something much bigger than myself. ally heard my own voice, that I was able to live comfortably in my own skin. Through all of this drama, my lifeline and saving grace has always We all have the right and responsibility to look at every issue from all been the newspaper industry. In 1992, I started as a sales rep for El His- sides and be fair in our presentation of the facts, and the first step of this panic News. Eighteen years later, my entrepreneurial spirit got the best is seeing all sides of ourselves and being fair and honest in our self-asof me and, with deep faith in the community I knew and loved deeply, sessments. It starts with us as individuals, and extends out to transform I took over as owner-publisher of El Hispanic News in 2010 through our lives, our communities, and the world. We are all in this together — so my LLC, Brilliant Media. With the help of my core El Hispanic News please, let us all speak our truth with kindness and love, and make room family — Julie Cortez, Christopher Alvarez, and my life partner, Gabri- for each other to do so. After all, we’re all breathing the same air! ela Kandziora — and a team that tripled in size almost overnight, we set -Melanie Davis, owner/publisher of PQ Monthly and El Hispanic News

ON THE COVER

media

Multnomah County sees big increase in syphilis infections ................... page 10

web

The state of race: LGBTQ community leaders weigh in .......................... page 12

Jenny Stoffel WebMeister

proudqueer.com

The National Advertising Representative of PQ Monthly IS Rivendell Media, Inc. Brilliant Media LLC, DBA El Hispanic NEws & PQ Monthly.

pqmonthly.com

Gay La Grande teen’s suicide sparks anti-bullying efforts ..................... page 9 Oregon’s state employees win trans-inclusive healthcare .................... page 10

Sammi Rivera

Director of Video Productions

503.228.3139

A SMATTERING OF WHAT YOU’LL FIND INSIDE:

PFLAG Portland Black Chapter marks fourth anniversary ...................... page 13 PQ is 1 year old this month and to help mark our anniversary Jesse Enz, owner/ artist at Ritual Arts Tattoo & Body Piercing (learn more on page 28), created the Proud Queer design so graciously modeled by the sexy back of Tim Bias. If you want a Proud Queer tattoo or any tat or piercing, ask Jesse for the PQ Special happening now through Portland Pride 2013. Photo by Jeffrey Horvitz, PQ Monthly

Oregon United For Marriage kicks off initiative campaign .................... page 19 Wedding special: Planning your dream day ........................................... page 20 Fostering a family: Another new normal .................................................. page 24 Ritual Arts revels in the magic in body modification .............................. page 28 God Des and She deliver a queer state of the union ............................. page 31 Columns: ID Check; LGBTQ Legal Outlook; Ponderlust; Everything is Connected; The Lady Chronicles; Whiskey & Sympathy; Cultivating Life; and Eat, Drink, and Be Mary. Plus Astroscopes, Queer Aperture, a look back at PQ’s first year … and more! February-March 2013 • 3


PQ PRESS PARTY! Get PQ Monthly hot off the presses the third Thursday of every month at our PQ Press Parties!

PQ’S FIRST ANNIVERSARY!

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• February 21, 2013 PORTLAND CITY HALL (1221 SW 4th Ave #110 Portland, OR 97204)

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FEB, 21, 2013 5 P.M.-7 P.M. AFTER-PARTY AT EMBERS! • Next up, March 21, 2013 Starky’s (2913 SE Stark St., Portland) PQ Monthly is published the 3rd Thursday of every month. Please contact us for advertising opportunities.

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PERSPECTIVES

A LOOK BACK AT YEAR ONE Here, a few of PQ Monthly’s staff share more thoughts on why they work for an LGBTQ newspaper, their favorite memories of PQ’s first year, and some gratitude for their colleagues. Most of all, though, we all have to thank you — the person reading this right now. You, the reader, are exactly why this paper exists; you are the reason we stay up late writing, make so many calls to sign up advertisers, partner with so many community organizations. We do all of this for you because we love you, and because you deserve it. So, from the bottom of our collective heart: thank you. “This last year has probably been the most stressful and the most professionally satisfying of my life, not to mention the most jam-packed with fascinating new people and experiences. Yet what stands out to me are the quiet moments at my computer, editing articles or putting the finishing touches on an issue before we send it to press. I have shed tears (some brought on by a particularly moving piece of writing, others by a particularly daunting pile of work that only seems manageable after a good cry); I have felt overwhelming, delicious, deadly-sin-level pride in the quality of what we produce; and I have been deeply humbled by the amazing talents of the people with whom I work. This not something I say lightly, as these days people usually seem to confuse being knocked down a peg with having their ego stroked. (You know, the ‘I am so humbled by this huge honor you bestowed on me for being awesome’ kind of humility.). No, I truly mean these folks are so talented they make me feel like a drooling dunce at times. They push me to be better, and their dedication, passion, and honesty are shining examples of what I love so much about this community.” — Julie Cortez, Editor-in-Chief “When our old digs closed, I remember feeling like the world came crashing down around me. Then, weeks later, this Brilliant Media team came swooping in, and I wondered how the hell this weird, wonderful family would work. I left our first meeting, which took place in the back of a North Portland coffee shop, still wondering if such a daunting task — launching an entirely new print publication — could actually happen. With this cast of characters? The more we met, the more I realized, bit by bit, we were on to something good. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of our city and state’s most beloved leaders — from Kendall Clawson to Michael Kaplan to Byron Beck — and it’s been incredible to see a newspaper inspire such com-

pqmonthly.com

munity involvement. From people rallying around us, to people from all walks wanting to make their voices heard — it finally feels like we’re a paper of the people, for the people. It may sound cheesy, but it’s true. I know we have a long way to go — but it’s satisfying to be able to say we’ve only just begun.” — Daniel Borgen, Staff Writer “The bare honest truth is that being a member of the PQ group has meant that I am a now a member of an extended family that means the world to me. We have laughed, we have cried, we have supported each other and we have had our little tiffs like any other normal family. I am involved with people who share a belief that we can all make a difference, that what we do is worthwhile, and that by their bravery in both their personal and professional lives have broadened my boundaries every day. In short, this last year has given me color, sparkle, wit, and sincerity. The only downside has been that due to all this fabulousness in my daily life, it has become nigh impossible to get a date with a heterosexual male that can impress me in the least.” — Lynda Wilkinson, Sales Representative “My hallmark moment was around Pride of this last year — I realized that we really have a strong team. I had been working on my own for a long time, and realizing just how solid our team was made me choke up all teary-eyed with joy. I work with such an honest, good group of people, and I understood that we can really take PQ a long way. I got ultra-motivated, even more so than I was in the beginning, working alongside such wonderful people. I was, and am, truly proud.” — Gabriela Kandizora, Principal & Business Development “The teamwork and camaraderie of our group is amazing; we’re all on the same page to a large extent. Everyone is so fully behind the mission, and working towards the common cause; it feels sort of like a family, this integral team that wants to put out this publication for the community and do it well. I love it. It’s really more than a job to me.” — Larry Lewis, Sales Representative “At the very first PQ Press Party, I wore a pair of cufflinks which had belonged to my Great-Uncle Rhett. They have quite a backstory: Rhett lived secretly as a gay man from the 1950s onwards in cities like Atlanta and San Francisco. He didn’t come out to the family until shortly before he passed away, which was when I was very young, and even then it was never something that was talked about in the family.

Right after the press party, I misplaced the cufflinks (I blame the champagne). Just a few weeks ago, right in the middle of the harried time that we on the editorial team calls ‘Deadline Fever,’ I found the cufflinks again. I was struck by the fact that the work that we do would absolutely blow Rhett’s mind — I doubt that he would have ever imagined that his grand-nephew could be out in the world as a gay man the way that I get to be, or that a paper like PQ could cover the LGBTQ community and its concerns in this way. I understood that there is something really historically significant to this project, that it could only occur in a space like this, in a time like this, through the hard work of a team like this — that we’re fulfilling the wildest dreams of so many generations of queer people who could maybe never imagine something like this existing. It became personal at that point — that when it comes down to it, I’m doing this for Rhett, for his friends and his lovers and everyone who dreamed that someday life for people in our community could be like this, because without them, we couldn’t be here today.” — Nick Mattos, Staff Writer “I used to believe that a job could offer either compelling work or pleasant colleagues (never both). Experience bore this out — I’d had “career” jobs with intolerable work environments and lackluster retail jobs with stellar coworkers. But in this past year working with the fine folks at PQ I���ve learned that it is possible to have the best of both worlds. The work we do — providing insightful and engaging coverage of issues affecting LGBTQ communities — is compelling and important. And the people I have the honor of working with — let me just say that I look forward to meetings (and we’re talking about some long meetings). I am constantly inspired by the passion and dedication of the PQ team. Whether that looks like Melanie making appearances at three or more community events in a night, Daniel crafting witty columns and moving stories after a 50-hour work week, Julie spending her birthday editing our words (every year!), Nick digging deep for an angle no one else would have considered, Chris working weekends to wrap it all up in a beautiful bow, or the ad sales team doing that dirty work so that we can take home a paycheck and keep on putting out the paper. We’re not just a team, we’re a family. When I came out as trans last month, their first response was, ‘Congrats! How can we help?’ It’s the same attitude we approach the community with, and it makes me proud to do what we do.” — Erin Rook, Web Editor and Writer

February-March 2013 • 5


NEWS BRIEFS

NEWS

BREVITY ROCKS! NEWS FROM NEAR AND FAR

(Left photo) Binational couple Jennifer “Jensi” Albright and Carmen Gutiérrez were married as part of CAUSA’s 15th annual Immigrant Action Day on Feb. 9 (photo by Erik Sorensen, CAUSA). (Center photo) Jason Lim (right) is the first out gay man to serve as president of Oregon’s Philippine Chamber of Commerce (photo by Erin Rook, PQ Monthly). (Right photo) Pro-equality protestors demonstrate outside Gresham bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa (photo by Christopher Alvarez, PQ Monthly).

Booking of blackface drag performer sparks concerns about racism By Erin Rook PQ Monthly

The Portland Eagle cancelled a performance by controversial blackface drag queen Shirley Q. Liquor scheduled for March following a public outcry calling the performance racist. Within a day of the first protests (which largely took place online), booking manager Michael Talley apologized and said that the 100 people who purchased pre-sale tickets would receive a refund. “I am deeply sorry if anyone took any offense to this,” Talley told PQ just before announcing the cancellation. “That was absolutely not the intent of the Eagle.” Many community members complained that regardless of intent, blackface is always racist and that to bring such a performer, particularly to a venue in a traditionally African-American neighborhood, was a serious insult. “This is a hurt unique to my roots and experience as a severely marginalized person in American culture,” Leila Hofstein wrote in a comment on the now-deleted Facebook event page. “It’s a violent slap in the face, a Tour de Force of every micro aggression I experience every single day, rolled up in a nice shiny package for the world to see.” Others argued that the performer’s act is comedy and should not be taken so seriously. Chuck Knipp, the white man who performs as Shirley Q Liquor (a “welfare queen” with 19 children) says his act celebrates African American women. “My comedy isn’t racist, nor am I,” Knipp said in promotional materials for New Orleans’ annual Southern Decadence event. “More than anything, my comedy makes fun of whites’ views of blacks. My comedy pokes fun at everything, including myself. That’s what comedy is about, making us escape form everyday life and seeing the funny side.” Following the event’s cancellation, Q Center announced it would be hosting a community dialogue organized by facilitators from Process Sense: Human Development called “Face-2-Face Community Dialogues: Race, Racism, and the LGBTQ Community.” But the planned dialogue met with strong criticism shortly after the details were announced, including calls to boycott both the event and Q Center. Among the primary complaints: that the Q Center and facilitators from Process Sense failed to do appropriate outreach to people of color (specifically African American women), that the event’s description minimized the inherent racism of blackface, and that organizers failed to respond directly or appropriately to these and other concerns expressed by both people of color and white allies. Q Center Board Chair Ryan Wayman called for the post6 • February-March 2013

ponement of the event, which had — as of press time — yet to be rescheduled. “It is not our intention to cause hurt. Sometimes, however, the very nature of a subject brings us to unexpected places and invokes feelings long pushed away, or creates an awareness of the harshness that surrounds us daily, or challenges our notions of power and privilege,” Q Center Executive Director Barbara McCullough Jones said in a release. “We will take this opportunity to learn, to listen, and to understand how we can effectively engage in meaningful dialogue around important issues like race.” Q Center invites anyone interested in participating in this process to send a note to info@pdxqcenter.org. More on this story is available online at pqmonthly.com. LOCAL A 24-year-old Clackamas man was robbed and assaulted in Vance Park (1400 SE 182 Ave.) just after midnight on Feb. 14 in what Gresham police are calling an anti-gay hate crime. Police say the victim, who did not suffer serious injuries, was lured to the park via a Craigslist post seeking a consenting adult male for a sexual encounter and then beaten and robbed. Justin Simms, 19, and four juveniles have been arrested and charged with robbery in the second degree, intimidation in the first degree, and assault in the third degree (all felony charges). Police say there may be other victims and urge anyone with information to call the Police Tip Line at 888-989-3505. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian has filed formal discrimination charges against the owner of North Portland’s Twilight Room Annex (previously known as the P Club and the Portsmouth Pizza Pub). The charges stem from an incident in which owner Chris Penner told members of local trans group the Rose City T-Girls not to return to establishment for fear other guests would think it was a “gay bar” or a “tranny bar.” The case will be heard on March 19 by an administrative law judge who will determine how many members of the RCTG are eligible to receive damages of up to $50,000 per person. The outcome of the BOLI has no bearing on any civil action the group could take against Penner. A lesbian couple denied service by Gresham bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa has filed a complaint with Department of Justice alleging they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. But they will still have cake — two, in fact. LGBTQ-owned Montavilla bakery Pastry Girl will be making the main wedding cake for the couple, while celebrity baker Duff Goldman, star of Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” will be creating a second “bride’s cake.” A Eugene veteran has received government approval to have her wife buried in the Willamette National Ceme-

tery, a first for a same-sex couple but standard procedure for heterosexual spouses, the Associated Press reports. The VA has previously ruled that allowing veterans’ same-sex partners to be buried beside them in a national cemetery violates the Defense of Marriage Act.Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki granted the policy waiver based on the long-term relationship between Lt. Col. Linda Campbell and her spouse, Nancy Lynchild Campbell, who passed away Jan. 2. He said it was a case-by-case decision and has no implications for other couples. Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian advocated on behalf of the couple, noting that Oregon law prohibits discrimination in goods and services. Carmen Gutiérrez and Jennifer “Jensi” Albright, a binational same-sex couple, held a wedding ceremony during CAUSA Oregon’s 15th Annual Immigrant Day of Action on Feb. 9 at Chemeketa Community College in Salem to raise awareness about the lack of protections for such couples and celebrate CAUSA’s commitment to the gay and lesbian community. The Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon (PACCO) has named Jason R. Lim its new president. Lim, director of public relations and marketing of the Asian Reporter, is the first openly gay man to hold the position. NATIONAL The Pentagon will offer new benefits to same-sex partners of military personnel beginning as soon as Aug. 31. The benefits include access to military commissaries, gyms, movie theaters, limited support services, and limited access to flights on Department of Defense aircraft. The Pentagon expects about 19,000 personnel and veterans to apply for the benefits. A first of its kind poll from Gallup asked “Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?” About 9 in 10 said no. Gallup also found that the 3.4 percent who said yes (the rest didn’t know or didn’t say), where more likely to be people of color, women, and lower income. The study authors acknowledged the limitations of the poll, and that they could be low-balling the number of LGBTQ individuals, saying that stigma likely prevents some from answering affirmatively and others may not identify as LGBTQ regardless of who they sleep with or their gender. WORLD Pope Benedict shocked the world when he announced Feb. 11 that he would resign effective Feb. 28, saying he didn’t have the physical and mental strength to do the job. He is the first pope to resign in 700 years. A new pope could be elected as soon a March 24 and in place by Easter, officials say. pqmonthly.com


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February-March 2013 • 7


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NEWS NEWS

GAY LA GRANDE TEEN’S SUICIDE SPARKS ANTI-BULLYING EFFORTS

Jadin Bell was being bullied at school before he took his own life. By Erin Rook PQ Monthly

In the midst of building momentum for LGBTQ rights, the death of a 15-year-old boy in La Grande brings into sharp focus the still urgent need for change. Jadin Bell was openly gay and a member of the La Grande High School cheerleading team. And although his high school received a “gold star” rating from the Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition, he still suffered anti-gay harassment at school. The sophomore, who has been described as well-liked and a good friend, seemed to be trying to hang in there. The week before he attempted to end his life, he and his father visited with the school counselor to talk about the bullying. But as his hauntingly vulnerable Twitter feed

reveals, it wasn’t enough to keep dark thoughts at bay. 10-year history, it is still struggling to make inroads into And so, on Jan. 19, Bell hung himself from a Central Ele- communities like La Grande. Alston says UMA has worked mentary School play structure. A passerby intervened and with the GSA at Eastern Oregon University in the past to the boy was life-flighted to Doernbecher Children’s Hospi- provide resources for La Grande youth, but that there are tal in Portland, where he was placed on life support. About not any programs currently being offered. a week later, when it was clear he would not recover, he It is a difficult place to be an LGBTQ youth, he says, was taken off support. On Feb. 3, he finally passed away. because there are few adult role models. Even if youth know If Bell left a suicide note, it hasn’t been released, but his of an LGBTQ adult, chances are good that adult isn’t out. Twitter posts the week before he attempted suicide show “They have nothing to look to. They may know older he was suffering. people who are gay, but they are hiding,” Alston says. And “It was a place of torture. Always looking behind me. so, “the LGBTQ youth are all in hiding.” Surrounded by people who hate me, who want me dead.” Those who loved Bell are hoping to change that. That’s “My soul is sinking.” why family friends Bud Hill, Heather Martin, and Jayne “I need help.” Baremore are spearheading an anti-bullying organizaThe night before he hung himself, Bell seemed to be tion called Faces for Change. The nonprofit is also motiwrestling with whether or not to go through with it. vated by the recent suicide of a 16-year-old La Grande “I just want it to be over. It will be. Soon enough.” girl. “I don’t know what I’m going to do if I don’t.” “I can’t keep talking myself out of it.” While no one seems to know exactly what kind of darkness Bell was facing, there aren’t many places for a struggling gay teen in La Grande to turn. “I have to wonder if this young man has ever gotten the chance to experience Pride and have clergy hug [him], or community leaders smile and shake his hand, or see shop owners and community organizations EXCITED to see him? Or to simply be in a space where everyone around him is proud of him and of themselves?” says Pride NW President Debra Porta. “I have zero doubt that such an experience would have made a difference.” But there are no Pride celebrations in La Grande. The nearest social justice organization — Umatillla Morrow Alternatives — is based in Vancouver artists Sam MacKenzie and Kelly Keigwin “he(art) bombed” La Grande as part of an interactive Hermiston (easily a 90-minute drive) and focuses installation called “Love is a Radical Act.” largely on providing HIV-related health services to minority communities. There nearest PFLAG chapter is an “I know there is always something good that comes of hour away in Pendleton. something bad and I believe we are about to embark onto “We’re doing everything we can,” says UMA organizer the good,” Hill tells PQ. “I feel Jadin was telling me thanks Darren Alston. “We’re the only organization of our kind in when at his gravesite we let some balloons go in unison Eastern Oregon, certainly the only LGBTQ people of color and they formed a heart as they floated away.” organization.” School district Superintendent Larry Glaze told the And while the organization has made headway in its la grande page 34

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February-March 2013 • 9


NEWS NEWS

LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT LEADS TO TRANS-INCLUSIVE HEALTHCARE FOR OREGON’S STATE EMPLOYEES By Erin Rook PQ Monthly

The State of Oregon must offer its employees transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage following a landmark settlement in Esquivel v. Oregon, in which Lambda Legal argued on behalf of Alec Esquivel that t h e 2 0 0 7 O re g o n Equality Act prohibits gender identity-based discrimination in healthcare. “The settlement in Esquivel v. Oregon is a powerful example of a state recognizing that it must follow its antidiscrimination laws when it comes to the state’s own employees,” says Lambda Alec Esquivel sued the state to challenge discriminatory Legal staff attorney health insurance policies. Tara Borellli, who worked on the case. “The legal theory that Lambda Legal raised in ‘Esquivel’ made the case a first-of-its-kind, and I think the state saw the writing on the wall when it settled. There simply is no legitimate reason to deny transgender employees the same kind of medical care that other employees routinely receive.” The Jan. 14 settlement requires the state to scrap policies excluding diagnoses pertaining to gender identity, medication required for “sexual transformation,” and services related to a “sex change operation.” In addition to making the policy change, the state will also pay Esquivel $36,000.

Esquivel, 44, began the process of filing the lawsuit in late 2008 because he felt discrimination was built into the system. And despite the good intentions and support of the people he worked with as a state law clerk, that discrimination prevented him from accessing medically necessary care. “I wanted to make people aware and bring current law up to date,” Esquivel says. “It’s kind of just common sense. Most people did not even realize healthcare related to transition was excluded.” Still, the process of bringing the state’s policies in line with the law — and common sense — took longer than he anticipated. “I’m surprised it took as long as it did,” Esquivel says. “I really thought it could all fall into place within a year.” Being at the center of such a high profile lawsuit was challenging for Esquivel, who considers himself an introvert. He says he’s looking forward to having a less public role. Instead, Esquivel will be promoting equality in his new job as a civil rights investigator for the Oregon Department of Human Services. “I investigate employee complaints of discrimination,” he says. Esquivel started in January, after a stint as a family law attorney with Beth Allen Law. “My job is more of an internal investigative process.” Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Jeana Frazinni applauds Esquivel’s willingness to take the lead and calls the state’s policy change — as well as other recent trans justice victories — a “huge step forward.” The LGBTQ rights organization has made healthcare access for transgender Oregonians a central focus of its work. “We are grateful that Alec was willing to step forward in such a public way to share his story and inspire change,” Frazzini says. “We need to build a system of healthcare where every Oregonian can access the care they need to live

healthy and productive lives. The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and even the Internal Revenue Service have affirmed that transgender-inclusive health care is medically necessary. Ending discriminatory exclusions that deny people access to medically necessary care is the right thing to do and reflects Oregon values of fairness.” The Oregon Insurance Division clarified in December that it is a violation of the 2007 law to engage in anti-trans discriminate in healthcare. TransActive recently announced that the Oregon Health Plan will begin covering gender-related healthcare for children and gender-related mental health services for all ages. Esquivel encourages trans Oregonians to be bold in asserting their newly-established rights. “Now, the insurance companies, they have to say: 1) We never ever cover this procedure, or 2) It’s not medically necessary,” he says. “It’s going to take all of us filing for coverage under our insurance products to get it really established and routine.” Oregon joins a growing number of municipal entities in offering medically necessary healthcare to transgender employees, including Portland, Eugene, Multnomah County, Seattle, and the City and County of San Francisco. The California Insurance Commissioner has also issued guidelines prohibiting private insurers from discriminating against transgender people. “We’re proud to see Oregon step into the lead on an issue of acute importance for transgender people: equal access to medically necessary care,” Borelli says. “By treating its transgender employees equally, Oregon is lighting the path for other states to follow. Equal insurance coverage for transgender employees has been gaining momentum, and it’s about time. There should be no room for discrimination in the workplace.”

MULTNOMAH COUNTY SEES DRAMATIC INCREASE IN SYPHILIS INFECTIONS By Nick Mattos PQ Monthly

New infections of syphilis have risen dramatically amongst the gay men of Multnomah County, and in response the health department is making it easier than ever for men who have sex with men to get tested and treated. “There has been an increase in syphilis among gay and bisexual men in many urban areas in the U.S.,” said Kim Toevs, adolescent health promotion and STD/HIV/ HCV program manager for the MultPhoto courtesy of Pivot nomah County Health Department. “Locally, in Multnomah County, our increase has been on the order of 1,000 percent over the past two years in particular.” According to Toevs, between 2003 and 2008 the county saw about 20 to 40 cases each year. “In 2010 we had 66 cases; in 2011, 116 cases; and in 2012, 221 new cases,” she said. “It’s increasing quite rapidly — this is the highest it’s been in any population locally since the late 1980s … and 10 • February-March 2013

this is causing us great concern.” Toevs also noted that this dramatic increase is primarily seen amongst Multnomah County men who have sex with men, with 215 of the 221 cases in 2012 being reported in men, and 197 of those saying they’d had recently sexual contact with other men. And while there has been a small increase amongst Latino and African-American men, she added, the majority of cases were reported in white non-Hispanic men. It’s also important to note that, unlike the outbreaks of the 1980s, which were connected with the prevalence of crack cocaine use, syphilis infection is being seen amongst men on all points of the sexual activity spectrum. “While we have seen a connection amongst guys who are using meth, and with guys who have a lot of partners whom they’ve met anonymously online,” Toevs said, “there are still a substantial number of cases who have only had one to two partners in the last year and don’t use drugs.” Syphilis is, in a sense, easier to transmit than some other sexually transmitted infections, while simultaneously harder to detect. A bacterial infection, syphilis is spread via contact with a syphilis sore — a painless lesion which can be visible externally on the genitals or hidden within the mouth or rectum. As a result of the transmission method, syphilis can be easily spread through oral sex if there is a sore somewhere hidden in the mouth. “People can be doing a great job using condoms and still end up with syphilis,” said Shireen Khormorji, super-

visor and disease intervention specialist at the Multnomah County Health Department. Toevs also noted that when HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals have sex with each other, either person having syphilis increases the chance of HIV infection to the HIV-negative individual by two to five times. Stage two, after the sore has healed, results in a rash that can form on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or trunk of the body; this is also painless and can go away on its own. The third stage, however, is where things get very bad: after a “latent period,” the infection then moves into what is termed neurosyphilis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of this stage include difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness, and dementia. In the late stages of syphilis, the disease damages the internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints. This damage can result in death. HIV positive individuals in particular can be quickly and fatally impacted by this stage. “If someone has an HIV infection, especially if their immune system is compromised, they can move quickly into neurosyphilis within the first year of infection,” Toevs said. “Since about 60 percent of our syphilis cases locally are co-infected with HIV, this is of particular concern for us.” In response to the public health crisis, the health department has mobilized to make it easy for all men who have GET TESTED page 34

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THE STATE OF RACE LGBTQ community leaders weigh in PERSPECTIVES

Christian Baeff, Cory L. Murphy, Galadriel Mozee, George T. Nicola, and Khalil Edwards share their thoughts on race and racism in the LGBTQ community. By Erin Rook PQ Monthly

In the past month, the unity of Portland’s LGBTQ community has been tested by a series of difficult conversations around race. First, North Portland leather bar The Eagle booked (and then cancelled) a performance by blackface drag queen Shirley Q Liquor. Later, when Q Center scheduled a dialogue about race in conjunction with Face-2-Face (a series organized by facilitators from Process Sense), concerns about the lack of outreach to people of color led to a call to boycott the event and, ultimately, its postponement. (You can read more about these stories in News Briefs and PQ’s blog.) To provide context for the debate about what racism looks like and how we can promote racial justice, we asked a few community leaders to share their thoughts about race and the LGBTQ community. Each one had a unique perspective, but all agreed that there is still work to be done. Here’s who we chatted with: Galadriel Mozee, 36, is a queer woman of color who identifies as “a fat, stemme, activist, and educator.” Christian Baeff, 32, is a gay activist who works as the LGBT alliance building coordinator at immigrant rights group CAUSA Oregon. Cory L. Murphy, 40, is an African-American gay male and director of operations for Pride NW. George T Nicola, 67, is a retired gay rights activist who identifies as half Lebanese and half Balkan Slavic. Khalil Edwards, 34, identifies as a black gay male and works as coordinator for the PFLAG Portland Black Chapter as well as a racial justice and alliance building organizer for Basic Rights Oregon. PQ: What are the biggest challenges facing LGBTQ people of color locally? Mozee: What I see as some of our largest challenges is the high unemployment rate for POC [people of color], the higher rates of being the victims of crimes, less access to basic needs, and the constant weight of blatant racism and microaggression. These are the same challenges regardless of whether a POC is in the LGBTQI2SA [lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, two-spirit, asexual] community or not. Where the two communities intersect you can add invisibility, further increased chance for violence, poverty, and being ostracized from birth family and communities of origin. 12 • February-March 2013

Baeff: LGBTQ people of color face discrimination on the daily basis due to their sexual orientation, gender expression, and/or color of their skin. The transgender and immigrant community have a harder time accessing to healthcare benefits. Also, binational couples have no access to immigration benefits because in Oregon we do not recognize same-sex marriages and the … Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is still in place. Murphy: Portland’s LGBT community poses many challenges for people of color. Specifically, because Portland’s black community is only 2 percent of Oregon’s population, we face heightened issues of “otherness” and stereotyping. The black LGBT community has historically faced a lack of resources because of this, as well as a lack of people and financial resources to sustain support and leadership structures. The lack of self-sufficient resources, leadership structures, and volunteers contributed heavily to the demise of organizations such as Brother to Brother and Unity Project of Oregon — leaving a void of leadership development in the Black LGBT community. Nicola: There is still a lot of racism and anti-LGBTQ prejudice, but those who are both POC and LGBTQ have to deal each bias at the same time. That has got to be very difficult. This is why we in the LGBTQ community must send a clear message that we oppose ethnic prejudice of any type and that we welcome all people of good will. Think about it this way: the vast majority of Oregonians are straight and have had to deal with the homophobia or transphobia which has been passed down for countless generations. If they can do that, we in the LGBTQ community can certainly eliminate our biases and try to set an example that all ethnicities are treated equally. That is what our rainbow symbol is supposed to represent. Edwards: I think the challenges facing our community were really outlined in the “Lift Every Voice” report released last October. Not only from surveying folks, but from having heart-to-heart conversations about multiple layers of discrimination folks are facing every day, you understand the unique challenges in very real ways. As a community that is very marginalized, made invisible, and often silenced, the disparities facing straight POC are often multiplied and felt on a much deeper level. Not to imply that one group is worse off than other, because when you begin to think in those ways you do everyone a disservice and we all lose. We need to understand that we are all connected and that our liberation is bound up in each other. But still we must

understand the unique trials and experiences of LGBTQ people of color because that is the only way we can all work together to eliminate the disparities that are holding us all back. That is the only way we will become the beloved community Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about and until then the fight for social justice continues. PQ: Have you experienced or witnessed racism in the LGBTQ community? In what ways has it manifested? Mozee: I experience racism every day in every community. Within the LGBTQI2SA community I see blatant racism in the form of bars like The Eagle booking a blackface show and their patrons defending this action. At a local dance night last year a white queer person showed up in blackface and POC’s concerns and outrage was dismissed. I see the institution of racism being used by queer event and party planners in the use of sexualized or caricatured images of POC on flyers for dance parties that are not created by or for POC and I experience countless microaggressions on the daily wherein white people in the community talk down to me, do not listen to what I have to say, make disparaging comments about my heritage, and expect me to acquiesce my position and beliefs in all situations. Baeff: Racism exists everywhere, sadly. I recently attended the [National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change] by the [National Gay and Lesbian] Task Force and immigration was one of the main topics for the keynotes. Not everyone applauded when the issue was raised. The good thing is that by the end of the weekend most people understood that we need to support everyone in our community, not leaving anyone behind, and that means including our LGBTQ POC immigrant members. Murphy: One of the most pervasive ways I have experienced racism in the PDX LGBTQ community is through employment opportunities for POC’s. While many businesses and non-profits in Portland claim to be diverse, very few have consistently adhered to programs of hiring or promoting QTPOC [queer/trans people of color] into their organizations. The lack of QTPOC leadership on the boards or high-level management staff is apparent. I’ve also been told by many young QTPOC leaders how their efforts to apply for jobs or board positions have been unsuccessful, if they have even been entertained at all. There is also a lot of classism and sexism that intersects with racial issues inherent in breaking into Portland’s business and professional hierarchies. The very idea that to STATE OF RACE page 13

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PFLAG PORTLAND BLACK CHAPTER CELEBRATES FOUR YEARS OF COMMUNITY AND ACTIVISM

PFLAG Portland Black Chapter was the first chapter in the nation to specifically serve the African American/Black community. By Erin Rook PQ Monthly

When members of Portland’s LGBTQ community realized the local PFLAG chapter wasn’t attracting people of color, organizers didn’t just chalk it up to the city’s demographics. Instead, Antoinette Edwards and Kerry Johnson worked with PFLAG Portland’s Dawn Holt and Terry Noble to create a new chapter designed to meet the culturally-specific needs of African American LGBTQ folks and their allies. By 2009, they had formed the first African American/ Black chapter of PFLAG in the nation. This month, the group celebrates its fourth anniversary. “We appreciated the work of PFLAG Portland chapter and the space it created for families to talk and get support, but we felt that it was not culturally specific enough

STATE OF RACE Continued from page 12

be “accepted” into the circles that can get you hired in this town means you have to be at every “gala” — spending exorbitant amounts of money to “buy” access. Also, when gay men simply ignore the option of providing opportunities for lesbians and transgender folks into their business circles, these practices serve to perpetuate and further discrimination in our community. Nicola: I definitely think that a blackface stereotype portrayal of a black mom is racist, and I am relieved that the show was cancelled. But I think increasingly LGBTQ people realize that we are all in this together, so we have to stick together. It also helps that our country’s first black president has done so much for LGBTQ rights. Who would have ever thought that our equality would be endorsed in an inaugural address? Edwards: Racism permeates every facet of our society so it is not surprising that it has its hands in all parts of the LGBT community: in the bar where certain groups are pqmonthly.com

to address all of the concerns of our community,” says PFLAG Portland Black Chapter’s coordinator, 34-year-old Khalil Edwards. Through dialogue with the community, organizers learned what was lacking and how to fix it. Before long, new members emerged to take advantage of the unique and needed space. “We have a member who lives in Forest Grove, which is about 45 minutes from Portland,” Edwards says. “Forest Grove has its own PFLAG chapter, but our member comes all the way in, not only for our monthly support meetings, but for any event we hold, because she feels more comfortable here. To us, that is immeasurably important.” While Edwards’ mother helped form the group, he was not involved until later. He says he was surprised to learn that Portland was the first city to have a Black PFLAG chapter, especially considering the size of Portland’s African

consistently treated differently, in media outlets that often follow the same practices of mainstream media with biased stories when they are told at all. PQ: Is there a right or wrong way to talk about race? Mozee: In order to talk about race in a productive way you need to have either lived experience as a POC who experiences the construct of racism or [have] a basic understanding of the history of oppression and racism in this country at the very least. If you have neither, seek education from those that do. From there I would say let those with personal lived experience be the experts; if you’re white do not place the full burden of your education on POC and if you’re a POC allow yourself to decline the job of being the constant educator. White people, be kind, look for connection, listen, and be willing to be uncomfortable. Baeff: Everything needs to be done respectfully. If we don’t know which terms to use it is important to be honest and express our best intentions and know that we might make mistakes but work to improve our vocabulary daily.

American community. But other cities with larger communities of color are watching closely. “We have been reached out to by folks in Chicago, who have started an African American chapter, [and] Los Angeles and Birmingham — all who have been excited about what we have accomplished and hope to replicate it in their own areas,” Edwards says. But the specificity of PFLAG Portland Black Chapter isn’t the only thing that makes it distinct. While the parent organization has traditionally focused on support, Edwards says, the PBC also takes on advocacy, organizing, and leadership development. “Our entire organization is made up of those most affected, either as LGBTQ people of color or as their loved ones. And since we have a member-based decision-making process, those are the people who decide the direction of the organization,” Edwards says. “I think it is very significant when working for social and racial justice to have the folks directly being impacted by the issues driving, leading, and at the forefront of that fight.” It’s only fitting then that this year’s anniversary celebration — hosted by Alexis Campbell Star — will feature remarks from Kendall Clawson, director of executive appointments for Gov. John Kitzhaber and former Q Center executive director. The party goes down Sunday, Feb. 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the Curious Comedy Club. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and include the program, a buffet, and a cash bar for those 21 and over. All ages are welcome; the space is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit pflagpdx.org.

Nicola: There are people that do and say things that might be construed as being racist, even though they don’t intend them to be that way. They need education, not a lecture. But still, people should think before they say or do things that reflects on other groups. For me, the best method is to emphasize the positive things that have occurred in the past, and use those as examples of what we can do in the future. PQ: What suggestions do you have for community members (white or POC) looking for ways to fight racism? Mozee: Do your connecting online but show up in person for your activism. White people, take every opportunity to subvert institutionalized racism by relinquishing privilege whenever possible. POC, take good care of yourselves, practice self-care, and nurture your relationships and community; these acts are revolutionary and will help you keep going when tides turn… Baeff: The best way to fight racism is to get involved with any organization which does this wonderful work and learn ways to stand up for ourselves and others. Nicola: There are some people who may

feel shy about participating in events, sometimes because they feel different because of ethnicity, gender, or age. So it is helpful to go out of our way sometimes to make sure everyone feels welcome, without appearing to advocate tokenism. Murphy: My best suggestion is that white and POC community members who are looking for ways to fight racism begin with a serious reflection on their perspectives towards race and racism to discover what will motivate them to act in the name of justice. Progress only happens when people want it to. PQ: Is there anything else you’d like to add? Mozee: Our culture puts the thin, white heterosexual at the center of dialogue and normality, and the farther a person’s lived experience is from that center the greater the cost a person is expected to pay for the right to exist. We need to remember to consciously center the voices of people furthest from that colonized idea in order to make any progress towards changing it. For more community perspectives on racism and racial justice, visit the blog at pqmonthly.com. February-March 2013 • 13


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14 • February-March 2013

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OPINION

ID CHECK ANGER, LOSS, AND THE CLOSET

I saved my client Robert, $175,127 in taxes & penalties!

By Leela Ginelle PQ Monthly

If I want to get angry, I think of the word “closeted.” I don’t like to get angry, though, so it’s a word I’ve avoided for the two years I’ve transitioned. The idea of having hidden a fundamental part of myself for so long makes me livid, and I can’t bear to think of the waste and regret. There’s a lot of blame to go around: the world, for being transphobic; my parents, for having been complicit with the world, in a particularly brutal way; and myself, for, in my mind, having waited so long. I don’t like to picture myself pre-transition. It feels like looking at a prisoner. When I see a picture of myself from any time prior to the past two years, I want to harm the world, my parents, or myself. However difficult transitioning has been, the thought of going back never entered my mind. In the closet, none of my life made sense. My relationships were disastrous. I was afraid to be sexual, because my sexuality did not match my assigned gender. I saw myself as a freak, and it upsets me. At gender groups I go to, it’s common to hear things like, “We’re where the gay movement was 20 years ago,” and “We just need to give society time to get educated.” What does that mean, though? I spent a lot of time not being educated. I was very aware of where my desires lay, but I didn’t have words for them, or see reflections of them. I was confused by and, eventually, ashamed of them. They didn’t seem like me, and I was angry they were there. Now, I’m angry at everything that kept me from them. When I was closeted, I avoided anything trans related. When I came out, trans-related books and films were all I wanted to consume. Part of me couldn’t believe they were there. I was on a pink cloud, and I didn’t want to think about anger and loss. Now, apparently, I do. The closet was a bad deal. I wanted to be normal, so I tried to appear normal. I feel fairly normal now, in a way I didn’t when I was closeted. I’d like reparations of some kind — a confirmation that what happened to me was unjust. Instead, I have my life, and its disjointed story, a box of keepsakes I never open, and a new birth certificate that says I was born female, an assign-

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ment that came 40 years too late. I avoid thinking about my past because it’s too easy to see how things could have been different. I feel like a sucker for having fond memories, as though I’m betraying my true self in doing so. I was made to look a certain way. That’s a fact. When it became my choice, it was inconceivable for a long while to transition: first because I didn’t know the process existed, and, later ... I don’t know why. It’s an awful story, and it’s painful to face. When I came out, my desire to be myself was stronger than my fear that terrible things would happen. I look back on my time in the closet with scorn, as though I’d been cowardly then. When I was in the closet, I wanted to be the way I thought I was supposed to be. I looked at my desires then as though they were deviant. Looking back, I feel duped and humiliated. I want to know who I can turn to for justice. I want to change things, so that no one ever goes through what I did. In time, I imagine I’ll forgive myself. I probably won’t notice the world’s injustice as much, and, though it’s difficult to imagine, I might enjoy looking at old pictures and thinking about the years before I transitioned. The closet will still seem cruel, though. It’s a place parents force children into, and that institutions reinforce. It mangles people in ways they don’t realize until they leave it. Asking why it’s there feels pointless, though. Even if you know, what can you do — other than exist outside it, as an example that it needn’t be occupied, and write about it, and lobby against it, and hope that one day it seems as barbaric and shameful as segregated bathrooms and anti-sodomy laws do today? I desire never to have been closeted, and it doesn’t help. I wish my life was like the ones I never watch on YouTube, where the children with long hair are interviewed by talk show hosts about being trans. I never click on them, because I fear my envy will be bottomless. I don’t like watching others enjoy what I never had.

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FEATURES

LGBTQ LEGAL OUTLOOK LEGAL PLANNING FOR MULTI-PARENT AND POLY FAMILIES By Mark Johnson Roberts PQ Monthly

Oregon has no laws on multi-party family relationships. Such legal protections that exist are the product of careful planning and creative lawyering rather than any provisions actually written into the law. Most such relationships fall into two general categories. One is the relatively common situation in which a gay or lesbian couple wishes to have a child and must involve a third person with appropriate genetic material. The other is the true poly family arrangement, in which more than two partners pledge to share their lives together, and which finds little or no support in established law. DONOR INSEMINATION AND SURROGACY ARRANGEMENTS Many people do not realize that performing a donor insemination without a doctor’s assistance is a misdemeanor. The lack of a doctor’s assistance, though, does not change the parentage of the child. The donor of semen used in a donor (“artificial”) insemination has no right, obligation, or interest in the child, and the child has no right, obligation, or interest in the donor. When performed on a married woman with her husband’s consent, donor insemination produces a parent-child relationship between the husband and the child. Oregon’s law has been subject to legal challenges. In the 1990s, a pair of cases held that donors and recipients could agree that the donors would retain parental rights. In 2009, the case of “Shineovich v. Kemp” held that the protections the statute extended to married couples must be extended as well to lesbian couples. The crafting of written agreements in these situations is crucial. Lesbian couples often do not intend to create parental rights in their semen donors; for those couples, the use of an anonymous sperm bank is ideal. Using the semen of a friend can also work, but in those cases the parties sometimes intend to create an extended family unit. This is a frequent source of conflict and litigation among LGBT community members. All parties must think carefully about their needs and desires in creating children. It is important that everyone has the same understanding of what relationship is intended between the donor and the child. Many families opt for no relationship or only a very informal relationship with the donor, and for those families a well-written agreement can achieve that objective. Cre-

ating a parental relationship between the donor and the child is usually as simple as filing a document with the state. Most challenging are relationships where the donor enjoys some contact rights but not the full prerogatives of parenthood. Even here, the parties’ objectives can usually be achieved, but it requires careful attention to determining those objectives and to choosing an appropriate vehicle for carrying them into effect. An open adoption agreement between the donor and recipients can be very useful here. A word should be said about gay male couples and surrogate mothers. Again, the parties’ goals, once recognized, can generally be achieved. Here, though, there is little or no law available to guide the parties or their attorneys. Hundreds of surrogate arrangements have been carried out successfully in Oregon, but the assistance of a lawyer is crucial in these cases. POLY FAMILIES

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There is, for practical purposes, no law in Oregon on poly relationships — except, of course, the criminal prohibition against actually taking more than one legal spouse (bigamy). The Oregon Court of Appeals encountered one such relationship years ago, in an alleged family unit that consisted of a married couple plus another man. The court found that the relationship did not really exist for property division purposes, but also stated that it would not extend the law relating to unmarried couples to multi-partner family units. Poly families who wish to craft legal protections must consider two general areas of concern. One is the accumulation and sharing of property. The other is estate planning. The former — property sharing agreements — are truly on the cutting edge of the law. Notwithstanding the Court of Appeals’ opinion, the key in these cases will be to understand the parties’ objectives and draft an appropriate agreement. Although there are no guarantees in this area, one hopes that a court faced with such a written agreement would carry it into effect. Existing laws are more adaptable to estate planning issues than to property division. Wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care are all flexible enough to take care of most problems posed by multi-party family relationships. Again, the assistance of sympathetic legal counsel is key.

Portland attorney Mark Johnson Roberts is a former president of the National LGBT Bar Association and of the Oregon State Bar. He practices family law at the Gevurtz Menashe law firm with a particular focus on LGBT family law issues. He can be reached at markj@gevurtzmenashe.com.

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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Edna Vazquez and Luz Elena Mendoza: Perhaps you caught the delightful vocal stylings of Edna Vazquez during Latino Gay Pride a couple of years ago. She’s heavenly, and she’s teaming up with the lead singer of Y La Bamba, Luz Elena Mendoza. It doesn’t get more magical than this. They’ll both be featuring solo material, and plan on duets, too. Think: transcending genres, guitars, folk, incredible voices. Special guest Leo, from Magic Mouth or Ancient Heat. 8pm, Alberta Rose Theater, 3000 NE Alberta. $12 advance, $15 at the door. (Don’t wait for the door!) Madison Young and Hustle, making the queer hip hop dance night. Madison Young brings all her trademark, ahem, “adult” advice as she changes the world, one orgasm at a time. This night offers super special queer sex tips from Madison, along with a night of hip hop dancing immediately following. I can’t think of a better pairing? Listen, it promises to be amusing and informative. This night, think: adult, adult, adult. And consent. Give it yours. 7pm, Crush, 1412 SE Morrison. Admission is a sliding scale, depending on your pleasure. $5-15. VIP, which includes a meet and greet, $20. Honey Bea Hart and Valerie DeVille Celebrate their Un-Birthdays. Honey Bea promises a drag show filled with Disney, craziness, and mayhem. It’s perfect because you can eat delicious fried things, consume thirst-quenching beverages, and catch some talented queens. (Honey Bea is a personal favorite; I vouch for her.) 9pm, Hamburger Mary’s, 19 NW Fifth. No cover, but tip your queens, please. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23 An Evening with Bobby Jo Valentine, benefitting Pride NW: those familiar with Mr. Valentine (from past Prides, or from San Francisco) recognize the name and voice, and he’ll join the Rose City for a special show at MCC. LA Weekly calls him “the nicest guy to ever pick up a guitar.” I bet no one’s ever written that about John Mayer. Music, refreshments, a meet and greet, and you help Pride NW. Remember when his version of “Oh Danny Boy” brought Pride to its feet? 6pm, MCC Portland, 2400 NE Broadway. $20.Ticket info here: http://pridenw.org/. Blow Pony’s Sixth Anniversary Bash. Tip your hats to a six-year mainstay. You may talk shit about the bridge and tunnel element, but you’re all still going. This month, more San Francisco goodness: Double Duchess. (Hint: YouTube that shit immediately if you’re in the dark.) In addition to local favorites, BP will be importing music from Vancouver, BC, and Seattle. Find Airick roaming the floors and give him a wet one for me. Hint: get your drinks downstairs. 9pm, Rotture/Branx, 315 SE Third. $5. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24 Oscars! While notably more dull than the Golden Globes, they can be fun with the right amount of libation. Many local watering holes are hosting viewing parties, including Scandals. 4pm, Scandals, 1125 SW Stark. Free, clearly. PFLAG Portland Black Chapter’s Fourth Anniversary: hosted by drag phenom (a term we don’t use lightly) Alexis Campbell Starr — this night features performances, special guests, a buffet, and a bar. That sounds like all your dreams coming true in one spot, doesn’t it? 5:30pm, Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE MLK. $10 advance, $15 at the door.

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Want more? We’ll give you everything. Head over to www.pqmonthly.com and check out our online calendar of events, submit your own events, and check out photos from your reporters-about-town. Also, remember to carefully examine our weekly weekend forecast — with the latest and greatest events — each Wednesday, online only.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28 Gay and Grey Fourth Thursday Social. Come on, come all, come socialize. And eat delicious foods. 4pm, Starky’s, 2913 SE Stark. Laid Out. Portland gets its newest hit dance party. Held every last Thursday at Holocene, residents Pocket Rock-It, Gossip Cat, and Misti Miller welcome special guest Hold My Hand for a night that aims to get everyone sweaty on the dance floor. Make Thursdays a destination again. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $3 after 10. FRIDAY, MARCH 1 Lezberados: Comics Sandra Valls, Mimi González, and Belinda Carroll bring all the funnies to Portland. Billed as “comedy with no bull,” Valls and Gonzalez both routinely play sold-out shows from Provincetown to Los Angeles. Joining the funny and fierce is our sweet local girl, the foul-mouthed but funny-as-hell Belinda Carroll. 8pm, Bob White Theater, 6423 SE Foster. $15 advance, $20 at the door. Brownpapertickets.com. The Pink Party, Allie McQueen celebrates her birthday and aims to paint the town pink. Morgan McMichaels — from “Drag Race,” season two — joins the fun. Plus: Ms. McQueen, Kim Chi, and Coutura Couture. Plus, proceeds go to charity. Pink attire required. 9:30pm, Jack London Bar, 529 SW Fourth. $8 advance, $12 at the door. SUNDAY, MARCH 3 Bridge Club Returns: now you know what to do with your Sunday afternoons. March marks the official return of everyone’s favorite T-Dance. Think: social, seasons changing, summer’s coming, all the music. Pocket Rock-It, Hold My Hand, Orographic, Gossip Cat, Little Bear, and Huf N’ Stuff all spin. It’s free — and the drinks are strong and the food is delicious. 3pm, Produce Row, 204 SE Oak. Free. FRIDAY, MARCH 8 The Betty Ford Party: Carla Rossi and Samuel Thomas schedule their birthday massacre. Ignore the birthday parts for a moment and pay attention to this: Shiny Music Hall sneakpeek, DJ Nark joins us from up north, Artemis Chase comes out of retirement (again) to host, and Lisa Dank is on tap. Dress code: dress up, no exceptions. 9pm, Shiny Music Hall, 714 SW Twentieth. Free. THURSDAY, MARCH 14 Dark Night of the Soul: an evening of stand-up tragedy. Say goodbye to the winter months with a magic storytelling event. Writers, performers, and artists share cathartic true stories from the darkest parts of their lives. Watch them flaunt their adult shame, regret, heartache, and failure. Hosted by Kaj-Anne Pepper. Bonus: PQ writers Nick Mattos and Erin Rook will be among the brave. Wayne Bund, too! (Don’t skip this one, Wayne.) 8pm, Floyd’s Coffee, 118 NW Couch. $3 suggested donation. MONDAY, MARCH 18 Gay Skate, sponsored by yours truly (PQ Monthly). Join Sock Dreams, the Rose City Rollers, and all the amateur skaters in the city at the one and only queer skate night. Work muscles you never knew you had — but don’t fall. 7-9pm, Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. $6. All ages goodness.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22: Edna Vázquez and Luz Elena Mendoza. Musically, it really does not get any better than this. Think: captivated audiences, enigmatic singers, genre-bending, and the inspiration that is Y La Bamba. Word on the street is the duo plan on some duets. Talk about the sonic world imploding, in the best ways imaginable. 8pm, Alberta Rose Theater, 3000 NE Alberta. $12 advance, $15 at the door.

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DANCE IT OUT (AND STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT COVERS, YOUR DJS GOTTA EAT)

FIRST SUNDAYS And every Sunday. Superstar Divas. Bolivia Carmichaels, Honey Bea Hart, Ginger Lee, and guest stars perform your favorite Broadway, Cher, Reba, and Celine hits. Dance floor opens after the show. 8pm, CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis. Free! FIRST THURSDAYS Dirt Bag. Keyword: Bruce LaBruiser. She’ll make all your musical dreams come true. Indie, pop, electro, all of it. Dance to the gayest jams. 10pm, The Know, 2026 NE Alberta. Free. Hip Hop Heaven. Bolivia Carmichaels hosts this hip-hop-heavy jam night every Thursday night at CCs. 9pm, CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis. Free. FIRST SATURDAYS Sugar Town. DJ Action Slacks. Keywords: Soul, polyester. 9pm, The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42. $5. Maricón! DJs Moisti and Ill Camino are redefining the Eagle with their beloved once-a-month dance party. For homos and their homeys. 10pm, Eagle Portland, 835 N Lombard. $3. SECOND SUNDAYS Bear Paw Bust. Keyword: beer bust. Bears, beverages, and boys (men). 4pm, Eagle Portland, 835 N. Lombard. Free. Silverado’s Beer Bust. (Every Sunday.) Sweet jams, lots of skin (the dancers, not you), and our city’s beloved Stan, making all the jokes via microphone. 4pm, 318 SW 3, Free. SECOND THURSDAYS I’ve Got a Hole in My Soul. Two keywords, the most important being: DJ Beyondadoubt. Others: soul, shimmy. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $5. SECOND FRIDAYS BMP/GRND. Portland’s only queer dance night devoted entirely to that tragic(ally wonderful) decade. DJs Kasio Smashio and Rhienna. Wear 90s gear, get in on the cheap. 9pm, The Foggy Notion, 3416 N. Lombard. Free before 10pm, $5 after, $3 w/ themed attire. SECOND SATURDAYS Realness, Category Is…: Eagle Portland takes on the ubiquitous theme night, with a new one each month. Bridge Club boys Hold My Hand and Little Bear make the blessed noise. 9pm, Eagle Portland, 835 N Lombard. $3. Mrs.: The queen of theme. Most recent: Clueless. How’s that for perfection? And DJ perfection: Beyondadoubt and Ill Camino. Costumes, photo booths, all the hits. 10pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi. $5. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28: Laid Out. The newest gay dance party, held every last Thursday at Holocene. Come witness their inaugural body of work and leave it all on the dance floor. Get your picture taken in one of Eric Sellers’ epic photobooths. Gossip Cat, Pocket Rock-It, Misti Miller — with special guest Hold My Hand. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $3 after 10pm.

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THIRD THURSDAYS Polari. Back-in-the-day language, music, and elegance. An ease-you-into-the-weekend mixer. Bridge Club boys make the music. Vault patrons have no idea what to do with us when we pour in. 10pm, Vault, 226 NW 12. Free. THIRD FRIDAYS Ruthless! Eastside deluxe. DJs Bruce LaBruiser, Ill Camino. The fiercest jams all night, they do what they want. 10pm, Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK. $3. THIRD SATURDAYS Gaycation all you ever wanted. DJs Charming and Snow Tiger. Get there early so you can actually get a drink. Sweaty deliciousness, hottest babes. THE party. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $3. Nuttz 2 Buttz. Maricón’s kid brother. DJs Moisti, Ill Camino. Ass-shaking contest. Hug Moisti! 10pm, Eagle Portland, 835 N Lombard. $3. FOURTH THURSDAYS Cockabilly. Rock and roll disco with homosexual tendencies. The night’s charismatic hostess, Chanticleer, celebrates his February birthday. 9pm, White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE Eighth. $5. FOURTH SUNDAYS Gender Abundant Square Dance. All-ages goodness. 7pm, The Village Ballroom, 700 NE Deckum. $7. FOURTH FRIDAYS Homodeluxe. Beloved icons Mr. Charming and Roy G Biv invade downtown. Make their party something the bridge and tunnel folk will remember forever. 10pm, Saucebox, 214 SW Broadway. Free. Twerk. DJs Slutshine and II Trill. Keywords: old school. Established fun, all night long. So much dancing. 9pm, Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK. Free! Double X Dance. Bears, scruff, musk. 9pm, Embers Avenue, 110 NW Broadway. FOURTH SATURDAYS Inferno! DJs Wildfire and D-Zel. Ladies, ladies, ladies. Rotating venue — check online for the latest! Blow Pony. Two giant floors. Wide variety of music, plenty of room for dancing. Rowdy, crowdy, sweaty betty. 9pm, Rotture/Branx, 315 SE 3. $5. Hey Queen! For all the party girls. The more intimate, shoulder-to-shoulder choice. Bruce LaBruiser and special guests. Always fabulous. 9pm, Beulahland, 118 NE 28. Free. Last Fridays Temple! A West Side Social. Read: keeping the west side afloat. Downtown dancing goodness at everyone’s favorite dive bar. Resident deejay Kasio Smashio. 10pm, The Matador, 1967 W Burnside. Free is a very good price. SUNDAY, MARCH 3. Bridge Club (Forever). Your favorite T-Dance returns! Yes, what you just heard was the whole of the city breathing a sigh of relief. We’ve missed you, beautiful. This is the place for Sunday recovery, Sunday socializing, and Sunday dancing. It’s like church, but with a better buffet in the vestibule. Come reclaim your spirit. Featuring every deejay you’ve ever loved. 3pm, Produce Row, 204 SE Oak. Free. pqmonthly.com


PERS{ECTOVES NEWS

OREGON UNITED FOR MARRIAGE KICKS OFF INITIATIVE CAMPAIGN By Erin Rook

person you love will become part of the Oregon story,” former Governor Barbara Roberts said at the launch. “When the freedom to marry measure reaches the ballot in November of 2014, it will hopefully have passed the point of simply being a political issue and On Feb. 14, the newly-formed coalition Oregon United for Marriage launched a historic have become an Oregon decision based on respect — respect for love, for commitment, campaign aimed at putting marriage equality on the ballot in November 2014. for fairness, and for families. I stand for love, and I stand for marriage.” The “Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Act” would overturn the voter-apRoberts put that pledge in writing as she became one of the first Oregonians to sign proved 2008 constitutional amendment limiting marriage in Oregon to heterosexual cou- the initiative petition. She was followed by Kitzhaber and joined by a long list of elected ples. It would replace that ban with language affirming the right of same-sex couples to officials, community leaders, and registered voters. marry while allowing religious institutions to opt out of marriage-related services that conAmong those speaking — and signing — in support of marriage equality at the Portflict with their beliefs. land event were Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen and the Multnomah County Com“I think it’s a huge deal to every couple and every family who has been counting on the missioners, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Portland City Council members, Bureau ability to legally marry,” Jeana Frazzini, executive director for Basic Rights Oregon and of Labor and Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian, and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler. the initiative’s chief petitioner, said shortly after signing the petition committee paper- Also represented were the Urban League of Portland, CAUSA Oregon, Pride at Work, and work on Feb. 11. “On a political level, we’ll be the first a number of labor unions. state to proactively write the freedom to marry into OU4M surpassed the 1,000 signatures required our constitution.” to sponsor the petition by the end of the day. Once The fight for equality in Oregon will build on the measure language is approved, another 116,284 2012’s historic victories, including the approval signatures will be required to qualify it for the ballot. of marriage equality ballot measures in WashingOf course, the marriage equality campaign is about ton, Maine, and Maryland, the defeat of a constitumore than signatures on paper — it’s about stories of tional ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota, and love and commitment. Basic Rights Oregon Board the increasingly vocal support of President Barack Chair Vanessa Usui, accompanied by her partner, KimObama. Still, Oregon is unique in that a ballot meaberlee Stafford, spoke to those gathered at the Portland sure is the only remaining avenue to achieve marevent about why marriage matters to her. riage equality — and success would require voters “Kim and I want to get married for similar reato reverse their previous position. sons as many Oregonians. It’s about making a comBut efforts by Basic Rights Oregon and its partmitment in front of family and friends. Having them ners to change hearts and minds on marriage equalsupport us in our relationship and hold us accountity seem to be paying off. According to a December able to the promises we make to one another,” Usui Photo by Erin Rook, PQ Monthly 2012 Public Policy Polling poll, the tide is turning in said, fighting back tears. “With your help, someday, Oregon — 54 percent of those surveyed said they Former Gov. Barbara Roberts (left) and Gov. John Kitzahber (right) were among the first Oregonians to sign the our relationship will no longer be a political issue. It would vote to legalize same-sex marriage (versus sponsorship petition for a marriage equality initiative. will just be two people who found the person they 40 percent opposed). Among voters under 45, the gap widens with 68 percent in favor want to spend the rest of their life with, who found their soul mate and got married.” (versus 30 percent). Tyrone Waters, 48, says he hopes this day will come soon. He’s in a long-distance rela“I think its very clear that in the eight or nine years since the initial ballot measure, Orego- tionship with a man in Denver, where civil unions are currently working their way through nians have evolved in their view of marriage equity,” Gov. John Kitzhaber said at the Portland the state legislature. launch event. “No longer are Oregonians content to have a constitution that discriminates “I’m going to be 50 in two years and I would like to least have the opportunity available against people because they’re gay, because they’re lesbian, because they’re transgender.” to get married if I so desire,” Waters says. “We should all be treated equally.” With the wind at their backs, LGBTQ rights activists launched the campaign with a Frazzini says the time is right to win marriage equality, but it will take a committed kickoff steeped in symbolism — organizers held 14 events across the state on a day cel- effort, including many millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours. ebrating both love and Oregon’s statehood. The four-hour Portland event at the Monaco “We’ve been working to build support for so many years, now we’re ready,” Frazzini Hotel included three waves of speakers, cupcakes, and champagne. said. “No matter what the price tag is, I know we’ll come together as a community as we “On this day we take a historic step toward making Oregon more welcoming to loving have in every campaign we’ve faced.” couples and families. Like the Oregon Trail, this journey will have some challenges, but if fair-minded Oregonians stand united, the basic fairness of the freedom to marry the To get involved in the campaign to win marriage equality, visit oregonunitedformarriage.org. PQ Monthly

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February-March 2013 • 19


NIGHTLIFE WEDDINGS

NINE MONTHS TO YOUR DREAM WEDDING A planning checklist

NINE MONTHS OUT OR MORE • Start a wedding folder, binder, or bookmarks tab with inspiration, aspirations, and ideas. • Work out your budget. What can you realistically spend on your wedding? Will your family or anyone else contribute? How much, if at all, are you willing to go into debt? • Pick your wedding party — everyone will want to know as soon as you’re engaged, anyhow! • Start considering your guest list. How many people do you want to invite? Bear in mind that each person adds a significant cost; as difficult as it may be, the very best way to keep cost low is to keep the guest list tight. • Hire a planner. They’ll help on every step of the process from here on out. • Book your officiant. • Think about and book dates and venues. • Start looking into options for photos, music, food, and flowers. SEVEN MONTHS BEFORE • Research and hire people to handle your photos, music, food, and flowers. • Get your wardrobe worked out. Depending on how you choose to handle this, you may need more than three fittings to get everything pitch-perfect; starting early saves you lots of rushing later. • Consider accommodations for out-of-town guests.

20 • February-March 2013

Aim to have a number of price points available for guests of varying means. • Get your gift registry going. Consider making regis-

tries with three to five different retailers to give guests a variety of gift options. SIX MONTHS BEFORE • Select and purchase invitations. A calligrapher or other professional, while costly, saves you a huge amount of time

in addressing all of your cards. • Honeymoon planning. Are your passports up-to-date? Do you have all your necessary shots? Are you having a romantic staycation? • Work out your wedding party’s wardrobe. Bridesmaid dresses can take six months or more to be ordered and sized, so start early! • Plan regular meetings with your officiant. Confirm that they’re the one you want to commemorate your special day, and that all of your official documents are in order. • Send out save-the-date cards, links, or other means to make sure your guests can arrive on your special day. • Consider the structural and electrical necessities. Will you need amplifiers? Port-opotties? Tents (a must for any outdoor Pacific Northwest wedding)? • Arrange transportation for you and guests, if necessary. • Work with a wedding planner — or an experienced friend — to compose a day-of Heidi Hoffman Photography timeline. It’ll help you feel more secure about things from here on out. FIVE MONTHS BEFORE • See how your invitations are coming along. • Select and order your cake. Require several tastings before committing to any baker; you won’t regret it, and DREAM WEDDING page 21

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CALENDAR WEDDINGS one month before the wedding itself). An email blast can be helpful to encourage more timely RSVPs, as well! • Submit your wedding announcement to PQ Monthly and other publications.

DREAM WEDDING Continued from page 20

plus you’ll get to eat lots of cake! • Book your venues for rehearsals, reh++earsal dinners, and brunches, if necessary. • Consider showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and any other commemorative fun you’d want before your wedding. • Schedule your hair and makeup artists, if necessary. • Plan your music. What should be playing at every point of the day? Make a detailed list of what you do — and don’t — want in your day’s tuneage. FOUR MONTHS BEFORE • Order favors for your guests, if you’d like. • Make a list of who you want to give toasts — and give them ample time to plan (and fret!) about their new speaking engagement. • Finalize your ceremony’s readings. Work with your officiant to plan what you’d like to have read at the wedding, and who you’d like to have read it. THREE MONTHS BEFORE • Finalize your ceremony and reception order, and send it to your vendors for tweaks and feedback. • Purchase the rings. Three months will give you time for resizing and engraving, if necessary. TWO MONTHS BEFORE • Double check with every single one of your vendors to make sure everything is in order. A wedding planner can help immensely with this step. • Ensure that invitations have gone out. A good guideline: mail invites six to eight weeks before the ceremony, and set the cutoff point for three weeks after the postmark date (or

ONE MONTH BEFORE • Make a list of your RSVPs — and follow up on any delinquencies. • File for your marriage license. • Send out invites for rehearsal dinners, brunches, or other celebrations around the date of your wedding. • Schedule final fittings for your clothing. • Now that you have a final headcount, work with the caterer and bar to finalize plans. • Send out final payments for vendors. • Confirm all appointments for hair and makeup. • Assign seating. One option is to create a board with a layout of the room, and then to have color-coded sticky notes represent each guest — for example, pink to indicate people in couples and blue to indicate singletons. This way, you can rearrange folks without resketching everything, and maybe even get some of your single friends hooked up! • Write your vows. • Get your hair done. If you’re planning a color change, make sure everything is ship-shape as close to the beginning of the month as possible. • Send a timeline and a final guest list to the wedding party, the vendors, and anyone who’s helping you. • Pick up your wardrobe from the tailor or cleaners, if necessary. • Break in your shoes. Seriously. You’ll be thankful later. • Pack for your honeymoon. THE DAY OF • Breathe. • Enjoy yourself. • Kiss your partner and mean it; you’ll never forget this kiss.

YOU AND ME and AN OFFICIANT MAKES THREE Is the only hitch in your plan to get hitched that you haven’t found anyone to do the actual hitching? When we put out a call for local LGBTQ-friendly wedding officiants, these folks enthusiastically proposed that you do them the honor of allowing them to marry you. Kim Dunn Vancouver-based nondenominational officiant welcoming all couples 503-309-3866 itskimd@gmail.com Joseph Finnigan, MA Non-denominational Christian minister who also welcomes non-religious and atheist couples in the Portland/ Vancouver metro area 360-970-8626 F.Joseph.Finnigan@gmail.com Daryn Nelsen Vancouver-based ordained Christian minister 360-882-9102 revdaryn@yahoo.com Anita McIrvin & Emma McIrvin, Dragonfly Vows Vancouver-based officiants welcombing all faith backgrounds Anita: 360-977-2532, AniMci@yahoo.com Emma: 360-518-9333, Emmaleigh622@yahoo.com

Rev. Steve Sharp and Rev. Leslie Sharp Performing ceremonies (in English and/or Spanish) in Clark, Multnomah, Hood River, Clackamas, Marion, Clatsop, and Washington County www.aBeautifulCeremonyNW.com 503-890-0193 revsteve@abc-nw.com Rev. Marcia Stanard Unitarian Universalist minister serving congregations in Portland and Blaine, Washington 503-939-8965 minister@wyeastuu.org Rob Figley and Diane Figley Non-denominational officiants who travel throughout the state of Washington, focusing on SW Washington, and offer spiritual and non-spiritual ceremonies www.redraccoon1.com Rob: 360-721-7698, revfigley@yahoo.com Diane: 360-270-3673, mail@redraccoon1.com

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February-March 2013 • 21


NIGHTLIFE

22 • February-March 2013

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ARTS & CULTURE

03/01/2013

8:00 PM

BOB WHITE THEATRE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE ARE FLOATING IN SPACE By Nick Mattos PQ Monthly

Graham Talley is so jolly that I almost don’t want to trust him. He and I sit on the low couch of his Hawthorne Boulevard enterprise, Float On, the West Coast’s largest sensory deprivation tank center; I sip decaf Earl Grey tea as he tells me his personal gospel — the good news of flotation. “The way to think about a float tank is like a perfect bathtub,” Talley explains to me, happily twirling his majestic 1890s-style moustache. “It has a foot of water, and about 850 pounds of Epsom salts — which makes it about twice as buoyant as the Dead Sea. The water is kept at skin temperature, so you don’t have a sense of where your skin ends and the water begins.” As a result, he says, the body can relax to a profound level, or as Talley puts it, “you’re throwing your body into homeostasis,” reducing cortisol production and increasing dopamine and endorphin levels. As a result, Talley notes that the brain moves from an alpha or beta state — what we experience as wakefulness — to a theta state of creativity and receptivity. “The journey you take and the revelations you have in the tank, the relaxation you find in there, aren’t some amazing miracle that the tanks do — it’s just how our bodies are meant to function, which the day-to-day world doesn’t allow us to do,” he says. “It’s perfectly natural.” Granted, I walked in the door pretty well sold — as a meditator, a hippie graduate of the Evergreen State College, and a big fan of both the film “Altered States” and of altered states themselves, I’m thrilled when Talley tells me it’s time for my float. I’m handed off to the calmest, happiest hippie dude this side of 1971, who ushers me into a small room and goes over the practical basics (“don’t get salt in your eyes!”) before leaving me to my f loat. I quickly undress, shower, and climb into the blue-lit tank — the water is precisely body temperature, so I barely feel it even upon first climbing in. I click the light button, and the blue light goes out. “Oh, shit,” I say aloud. I’m surrounded with pitch-black silence, with absolutely no discernible light or sound. The salty water is so buoyant that I’m almost floating on top of it, my ears not even submerged. I can’t feel my skin, or discern whether my eyes are open or closed. Basi-

cally, I’m floating in outer space. Three or so minutes into the float, kercrack! My back and neck snap, so loudly it startles me. This makes perfect sense — “Your spine stretches out and decompresses and your muscles get to rela x because they’re not fighting gravity all the time,” Talley explained on the couch. As a result, he noted with twinkling eyes, some floaters become up to an inch taller while in the tank from the decompression of their spines. I move my head from side to side in the water, amazed that the chronic range-of-motion imbalances that plague me as a desk-worker are no longer tethering me. Some time later, perhaps 20 minutes or an hour or some sort of crazy infinity, I realize that the babbling noise that I was hearing was not just a strangely intrusive thought — it’s coming from my own mouth, an oddly-effortless speaking-in-tongues. An orb of pulsing green light flashes above me, each flash shooting waves of pleasure from my skull down to the bones of my toes. “It’s common to get auditory and visual hallucinations in the tank,” Talley explained. “Some even have reported as extreme as religious experiences when they’re floating…. By most definitions of it, you enter an altered state.” Yes sir, Mr. Talley! Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in space! Finally, after a long, strange trip of bliss, I hear soft music playing in the tank — my 90 minutes are up. I get out, happy and slightly unsteady, rinse the salt from my body in the shower. After dressing and heading out to the lobby, I run into the same hippie guy who checked me in. “How was it?” he asks. “Holy crap,” I reply, grinning. “Nice,” he drawls, beaming. “Well, the effects are going to keep kicking in, so keep having a good float.” Strutting down Hawthorne, I feel like R. Crumb’s Mr. Natural, my legs jellied, shoulders relaxed, head full of … nothing. I expected mystical aphorisms, or at minimum the sort of fuzzy contemplative din that often follows psychedelic experience, but instead the world is plain, unadorned, almost overwhelmingly lovely. “Hey!” I hear behind me. “Yo! Ryan!” I say, conscious that my mouth is turning the syllables of his name into mush. “You look quite … jolly,” he says, looking at me suspiciously. “Day-drunk?” “Nope,” I say, conscious of the relaxed grin on my face. “Just … floating, man. Floating.”

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6423 SE Foster, Portland, Oregon 97206 Tickets are 15 ADV and 20 at the door. BPT www.brownpapertickets.com/event/329220

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February-March 2013 • 23


ARTS & CULTURE FEATURES

FOSTERING A FAMILY: ANOTHER NEW NORMAL

Paul Rummell (left) and Ben West have found their calling as foster parents — and fathers. This past Veteran’s Day, the couple took their kids on a trip to teach them why they had the day off from school. By Daniel Borgen

PQ: Was the process of becoming foster parents particularly challenging for you as a same-sex couple? Tell me a little bit about that experience. No one can question these are momentous times. While Paul: Without revealing the agency we’re working for out the long slog toward equality can be occasionally challeng- of a non-disclosure obligation, I can say that we became ing — especially when we hear some of the arguments aware of a network of agencies that collaborate to provide hurled from the opposition — there are stories that give different levels of care for children who’ve been placed us heart and hope. Obviously we’ve been loving each other in Oregon’s foster care system. Our process began in the and making commitments for centuries, but having those Oregon Department of Human Services Foster Care trainstories out in the open acts as an important harbinger of ing. In the DHS process, we felt unprepared to take on the things to come. Soon marriage and adoption and anything complexities of foster care without a support network. We else that goes with it won’t be a matter of debate. saw the value in a network of support an agency provides. Of late, we’ve been talking to same-sex couples who’ve We have felt stigma as gay foster parents, as it seems that been moved, one way or the other, to there’s a large majority of participants in become foster parents. One of those the agencies who are religious and have couples, Paul Rummell and Ben West, preconceived notions about homosextalked to us about their experiences, their uality. DHS was less dogmatic, but with hearts, and where they’re headed. They’re less support. The agencies are secular, committed “therapeutic foster parents,” but their participants are religious. We’ve which means providing the highest level had to overcome participants’ beliefs and of care to some of Oregon’s most traumaexpectations. tized and abused children. PQ: What parenting philosophies PQ: What was the impetus behind guide you in your new roles? What has becoming foster parents? been particularly difficult? Rewarding? Paul: I knew becoming a parent as Ben: Growing up in a devout fundaa gay man would not be easy. Ben and mentalist home, I was taught that gays I had been considering many options. and lesbians cannot be parents. If you’re We’ve been looking at surrogacy, which gay, you’re not qualified. I was taught God we’re still pursuing. We also have a social only intended heterosexuals to create and awareness that there is a large population build a family. But something within me The lovebirds pose for their engagement photos. of underserved children who have little knew I was supposed to be a parent, and I hope for adoption. We became aware of several agencies was lucky enough to find a partner who shared that desire. whose focus is working in a therapeutic environment with In the last year, I have learned that gays and lesbians are not children who have been through life situations that needed only phenomenal parents, but it is not unusual for them particular and special care. We have the resources and time to be better parents than their heterosexual counterparts. to provide some of the care these children need, but found We have had to make a conscious decision to be parthat working with agencies also gives resources and train- ents. We decided to make a life-changing sacrifice. We ing that enable children better chances at recovering fully. didn’t ‘accidentally’ become parents. We have completely Ben: When Paul and I started dating, we both expressed changed our lives to parent children heterosexuals could or the desire to be fathers. A couple of years ago, we decided to would not. No child is unlovable, and every child, no matter become therapeutic foster parents, who service the needs their challenges, deserves a loving, safe home. of children whose needs are too great to be placed in stanPaul: Our philosophies are founded in our own spirdard DHS care. We work with a private agency, and the ben- ituality. I have had a difficult time resolving my devout efit of working with the agency is the level of support we Catholic upbringing with my fundamental urge to be a receive. We have support 24/7 if our child goes into crisis. father. I remember a moment in my 30s while attending PQ Monthly

24 • February-March 2013

a family gathering — I was surrounded by babies and played the doting uncle well, but all throughout I felt a profound sense of loss, as one baby after another was placed in my arms. I remember stepping away from the commotion to choke back tears, because I thought then there would never be a time in my life when I could be a doting father. PQ: Awhile back, I talked to Michael Kaplan and his partner about their experience being foster parents. They spoke of how their world was, in a word, upended. How has your world changed? Paul: Our lives have changed in so many ways, ways we couldn’t have predicted. As we began nesting with our foster home, we started to see fewer and fewer opportunities to interact with our friends. Our good friends have found time to see us and stay involved in our lives. Our acquaintances have been very supportive and encouraging. We continue to get invites, but have to politely decline. We anticipate a day will come when the invitations no longer arrive, but that hasn’t happened yet. I think that says a lot about our community. We all know the value in good parenting, and admire good parents when we see them. Our community shows the support they can and encourages good parents who are brave enough to make such a life-changing decision. As for life changes, there are too many to list. I can simply say this: when you become a parent, nothing else matters anymore. Ben: Sometimes being a foster parent is lonely — many of our friendships have drifted away, but we’re thankful for the ones who give their love and support. Children in therapeutic foster care have difficulty with social interaction, and often have aggression challenges. The simplest, most mundane thing can trigger an explosive, traumatic response. Even though this work is sometimes difficult and under-appreciated, it has made me a better man. There is no greater honor than seeing a child learn an essential life skill, and walking away with a little dignity and self-respect. Plans are in the works for the couple to officially adopt one of their foster children, and their labor of love will continue for the foreseeable future. While Paul and Ben are bound by non-disclosure agreements for print and news stories, they are still willing and able to personally inform anyone with an interest in foster care. Email Daniel@PQMonthly.com and we’ll put you in touch. pqmonthly.com


ARTS & CULTURE

pqmonthly.com

February-March 2013 • 25


WHISKEY & SYMPATHY Gula and Sophia, I’ve been in a polyamorous relationship with three wonderful women for two years, and at the start everything was gorgeous. We were all very much in love, and had wonderful communication about it. However, just recently I’ve realized that when it comes down to it, I only really love and want to be with one of the women in particular, and would rather that she and I had a monogamous relationship. In the late-night hours she and I have talked a bit about it and she seems open, but we’re both horrified about what the effect may be for the others in our group. Our communication is good, but there’s no way this won’t hurt other peoples’ feelings. How can I best navigate this everso-tricky sitch?

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Polyamory is a tricky thing. It takes full communication and open and honest expressions. I have found in polygamous relationships that there tends to be a stronger connection between two specific individuals in the relationship. Because of this, there tends to be one or more persons who become the “third wheel.” It is really important to be able to express what and Sophia how you feel within the group. However, ending a relationship with a member of the polyamorous relationship is very similar to the way you would end a monogamous relationship. First step is figuring out what you need and want out of the relationship. Know why you need to end these romantic connections. What compels you to want a monogamous relationship? Another part to this is determining why you would like to end the romantic connection with this person. You gotta figure they are going to ask questions. Be direct. Be polite and considerate of their feelings, but don’t prance around the topic. Once the decision has been made, follow through with it. Try to develop an outline of what you want to say, how you want to say it, and how you are going to deliver that message. Do not break up over the phone, email, or text. Honor what you shared by being present with them. Be honest. Talk to them about your desire to be in a monogamous relationship. Explain to them what you need right now. Don’t be defensive. The others are going to be hurt. Remember, this was your idea and it may come as a complete surprise to your other partners. Allow them time to process and work through the news. If it appears that they are too upset to continue the discussion, suggest revisiting the topic after they have had a moment to internalize everything. Give them space. Don’t try to be their friend right after delivering the news. Not only do they need the time to work through this and time to heal, you will need healing time too. I can tell you care about them because you are already acknowledging their feelings and wanting to do it “right.” Let them know that you want to be their friend in the future but having some time and space to mend is the important thing right now.

Good luck! Sophia

Closin’ it, It seems like I get a lot of relationship troubles like this. If you’re in a traditional or poly relationship, the troubles can be all the same. The honeymoon is over and real life creeps in. You just have more people’s feelings to deal with. When a relationship is over there is always one side that will feel rejected more than the other. I was in a relationGula ship for about a year when my best friend had moved to town and I was going to Italy for a month. I introduced them right before I left. In Italy I would call home and tell them I missed them so much! Bought them presents and couldn’t wait to see them when I got home. I heard they were getting along so well it made me sooooo happy! Then they said they started a business together … I kinda thought that was weird — but cool! They really got along! Now I’m back from Italy, the three of us do everything together, it’s Christmas time, and I get a phone call from my best friend stating they are in love and couldn’t keep it from me anymore. They made romantic holiday plans and it would seem suspicious if they left and came back the same day. I was so hurt it happened, but I felt like a fool cuz they let it go on — in front of me —for so long! That day I lost a boyfriend but worse I lost a best friend. You need to be very careful how you treat this situation cuz your other partners are losing friends and lovers. At the end of the day you will still have your other partner to hold and make each other feel better. Rip the Band-Aid! The longer you have late night meetings the longer you seem like you have been plotting the break and more feelings will be hurt. My recommendation is to let your other lovers know how you still love and appreciate them but need to speak from your heart and you don’t mean to break theirs. Respect feelings: all of you will NOT sleep together until things are in a settled space. If the others have yet to move out, you will need to find places to sleep; there is no need to couple up in front of them. You should also ask if there is anything you can do to help the transition. Breaking up is hard to do — just be kind.

Love, Gula

Need some advice from Sophia and Gula? Send your query — with “Whiskey & Sympathy” in the subject line — to info@pqmonthly.com. Sophia St. James has been an erotic entertainer since 1996. She has traveled performing and educating the public on self confidence, self worth, and the art of sensuality no matter their outer appearance. Working as a sex and sensuality educator, sex toy/product reviewer, adult film director/producer, model, and erotic visual performer, Sophia is a well rounded woman with drive and determination. Sophia is also a mother and healthcare professional who takes pride in being a body positive and sex positive fierce femme.

Gula Delgatto’s life began in a small rural farming town in Romaina. She was scouted singing in a rocky field picking potatoes by a producer of a “Mickey Mouse Club” type ensemble. While touring the Americas the group fell apart due to jealousies and drugs. She later transitioned from Vaudeville to starring on the big screen to woman’s prison, and eventually advised the Dali Lama on fashion n-stuff. Currently she’s taking her life knowledge and giving back in an advice column for PQ.

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ARTS & CULTURE

PONDERLUST YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIKE IT, BUT WE’RE GONNA PUT A RING ON IT

Do you need a new tattoo or piercing? Visit Ritual Arts & ask for the

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By Erin Rook PQ Monthly

“Are you mafia?” I ask, searching the hazel eyes across the table for a sign. “You’ve been awfully quiet. What are you hiding?” “Nope.” Short and sweet, with a smile. We’ve only just met, at a mutual friend’s dinner party that preceded everyone heading to the bar for a friendly game of Mafia. It’s been awhile since I’ve been out, and there are plenty of cute queers in the group to keep my attention. But I keep going back to those eyes. On this cold November night, he is not the “mafia,” but he does eventually slay me. When the same mutual friend organizes a citywide game of Queer Assassin, we both sign up. Each participant is given a folder containing the name of their “target” and a few basic details. The objective is to “assassinate” the target through creative, non-violent means. Once you’ve taken down your person, their target becomes your next target and the game continues until only one player remains. I don’t survive long. After foolishly revealing details about my work schedule on Facebook, I walk my bike out of the service exit at Pioneer Place Mall to be met with an unexpected silly string assault (followed by a toilet paper roll “stabbing” for good measure). Behind the surprise attack are those eyes, kind and full of laughter. As it happens, we are both headed to a barn dance, so he tosses my bike in the back of his truck and gives me a ride. We dance to “Wagon Wheel.” Less than a month later we are dating. It doesn’t take long for me to realize he’s a keeper, but we’re taking things slow, continuing to see other people. Still, there’s nothing I treasure more than our Sundays together. Sometimes they start on Saturday night, but they typically include a game of “hug and fall” football with friends at Unthank Park followed by waffles at Flavor Spot and an afternoon of lazing around. It’s on one of these Sundays I realize I’m in love. We’ve reached the point where we no longer have to entertain one another; we can enjoy the sweetness of shared silence. Lying on his futon bed, we stare into each other’s eyes for what feels like hours. I could do this forever, I think. Completely vulnerable, yet safe.

Three years later, I still feel that way when I look into his eyes. I wonder if this is how my grandparents felt about each other. After my grandmother passed away last year, we came across old love letters she exchanged with my grandfather. Their pining was so sweet and sincere, it’s no surprise their marriage surpassed the 50-year mark. I want to celebrate 50 years of marriage. But I need to be able to get married first. On a November birthday trip to the Washington coast, Corbin does his part — gets down on one knee, presents a ring, and asks me to love him forever against the backdrop of seemingly infinite Pacific Ocean. I say yes. Of course. I cry tears of joy. As we share the happy news, people ask if we have plans. It’s complicated. I won’t come out as trans for another two months, so people don’t realize we can’t yet legally wed. See, we still pass as a straight couple. It’s not uncommon for people to assume we’re husband and wife. Because the state of Oregon only requires a driver’s license as proof of identity when obtaining a marriage license, we could technically get married now. But what happens when I get a new driver’s license, with a more accurate photo and gender marker? When I change my passport and, eventually, my birth certificate? By being true to myself, I lose the freedom to be true to my heart. I love my fiancé and I want to build a life with him. Shouldn’t that be enough? But before I can think about food, location, or guest list, I have to consider birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and ballot measures. It’s not that I’ve never considered this before. I’ve been queer for as long as I’ve been seriously dating, so legal marriage has always seemed like a long shot. But these few years spent passing as hetero makes the absurdity of it all the more clear. While I understand those who would rather see something besides marriage get top billing in the LGBTQ movement, I can’t help but be personally and politically invested in the fight. Because for me, as for so many other queer people in love, marriage equality is the only answer to a question that ought not be so complicated. So, here’s to the freedom to marry in 2014 — ‘cause I plan on holding this gaze for the next 50 years, and then some. And I don’t take kindly to being told what I can or cannot do.

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Erin used to write a column called “Query a Queer.” Never one to leave a question unanswered, Erin welcomes all queries big and small and may continue to answer them on the blog while he uses this space to ponder life’s twists and turns. Send questions, high fives, and Polaroids of your heart to erin@pqmonthly.com. pqmonthly.com

February-March 2013 • 27


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Everything at Ritual Arts Tattoo & Body Piercing is not only animal and spirit friendly, but also planet friendly. Learn more at ritualartspdx.com. By Erin Rook PQ Monthly

Ritual Arts Tattoo & Body Piercing helps keep Portland queer, green, and covered in ink with its vegan-friendly body modification shop. The queer-owned Hollywood neighborhood shop opened July 2011 and attracts loyal customers who rely on Ritual Arts to provide a uniquely enlightened experience. “The energy and intention of the space … is palpable from the moment you set foot in the door,” says co-creator and body piercer Seven Wolfe. “We strive to keep the space clean, clear, comfortable, magical, and sparkly.” The tattoo and piercing shop creates that ambiance by collaborating with energy healers, astrologists, artists, and others to create a space that supports the body modification rituals being performed there. That said, Ritual Arts respects the beliefs, or lack thereof, of all its clients. “We diligently maintain a respectful atmosphere in which to receive your body modification,” Wolfe, 35, says. “Folks wanting to foster a more ceremonial experience with memorial tattoos/piercings, rites of passage, and body reclamation projects can receive Reiki and guided meditation as part of their experience. Although we offer vegan and woo services, we recognize that not everyone is interested in this kind of approach. We respect and appreciate the diversity of our clientele.” What does it mean to be a “vegan and woo” tattoo and piercing shop? “Many other shops carry body jewelry made of bone, horn, quills, and feathers. Without a discerning eye it may be hard to tell the difference between wood and horn or bone,” Wolfe says. “We take the guesswork out and only carry vegan materials. It also means that we can create and care for a tattoo using exclusively vegan products if that is your preference.”

The black pigment in tattoo ink is often made from the ash of burnt animal bones and all colors of ink as well as commonly used tattoo aftercare products may contain animal-derived glycerin. Ritual Arts brings the woo (a slang term that encompasses mysticism, new-age or neo-pagan spirituality, and the esoteric arts) by hosting astrological readings and lunar cycle workshops by Priestess Yolanda Valenzuela and carrying sacred objects, crystals, mala beads, and altar boxes. Everything in the tattoo and piercing shop is not only animal and spirit friendly, but also planet friendly. Ritual Arts is green certified by the Green Business Bureau, which Wolfe says is more than a catch phrase. To promote transparency, he encourages visitors to the shop’s website to click on the GBB icon to find the long list of specific steps Ritual Arts is taking to minimize its impact on the environment. “To us being green certified means that we are committed to minimizing our negative impact on the environment by using as many sustainable practices as we can,” Wolfe says. This includes practicing the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) and supporting local vendors. Fortunately, Wolfe has a solid team supporting him in his holistic vision, including co-founder and tattoo artist Jesse Enz, tattoo artists Tina Greer and Chaz Vitale, and Aubin Carlson providing staff support. “[We] manifested Ritual Arts …with help from our loved ones and a diverse community of energy healers, artists, and folks with some knowledge of construction,” Wolfe says. “The biggest rewards are community building with our neighbors and area businesses, our lovely clients, and being a part of their ritual of celebrating and reclaiming their body. I am honored to be a part of their intentional transformation…. Being where I am today is destiny and magic.” pqmonthly.com


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TRAVEL & OUTDOORS ARTS & CULTURE

SONGS FOR THE SILENT MAJORITY God Des and She deliver a queer state of the union By Nick Mattos

our fanbase from handshake to handshake over the years through personal interactions with our fans, but having the social media like Facebook and Twitter have opened up the whole world to us — for example, we’re touring Europe in April and have a ton of European fans, but have only played [twice in Germany before]. It’s a whole fanbase that connected with us via Facebook and Youtube. It’s absolutely wonderful to have the resources. PQ: I think of someone like, say, Ani Difranco, whose

tual themes — I think of “God I Know You Love Me” in particular. What are your spiritual lives like nowadays? God Des: My family’s Jewish, and while I didn’t grow up Queer hip-hop icons God Des and She see no line between practicing, I’m spiritual. I think the universe is an amazing the personal and the political. Over the last 10 years, they and great place, and we can’t take that for granted, and need have thrilled audiences nationwide with their conscious, to be as kind as possible.… Neither of us are really into orgadanceable hip-hop, in the process making deep bonds with nized religion, though. We wrote that song because, even their enthusiastic fan base. Between their mid-February though I don’t believe in heaven or hell, I still had that fear stops in Salem and Portland, PQ chatted on the phone with [growing up] — “Is this wrong what I’m doing? Am I going the rap troubadors to get their take on the modern to hell?” While I don’t believe that anymore, if state of music, feminism, spirituality, queer rights I went through that, I can’t imagine how many — and the horror that is Ann Coulter. people are and have gone through it, especially PQ: You just released a fantastic new album, those who are religious.… We wanted to make “United States of God Des and She.” Can you tell people aware of the fact that [reparative therme a little about the album’s inspiration? apy] is still going on. We want people to know God Des: We feel that our society and Amerithat you can be religious or not, whatever you can culture can be really depressing and backward. want, but it’s okay to be gay — you’re not the We felt that we needed to address some important devil, you’re not going to hell.… Queer people issues — so we did it though humor, satire, and are everywhere, millions and millions of people. brutal honesty. “The United States of God Des and We’re not a freak of nature. We need to look at it She” is a place where freedom and liberty are real as something natural and okay. — we want to create an environment that is very PQ: Do you consider yourselves feminists or equal for everyone. a feminist act? PQ: I hear you — simultaneous to all of these She: Absolutely! I wouldn’t say we’re firstdark, sad things going on, we’re in an interesting wave or anything like that, but we are all about and historic time for queer people. What do you see empowering young women in particular. So as the next steps for the queer community? much music out there is so sexualized and God Des: I think that for a lot of queer people, degrading … and people underestimate the situations like the recent controversy around Chick impact that can have. We try to be the antitheFil’A left them feeling very depressed and as though sis of that — of course, we have our sexy songs a lot of society hated us. We feel that is the minority and such, but we want to give young women as — for example, we do think that marriage equalmuch agency, strength, encouragement, and ity will pass federally. There are serious changes empowerment as we can. coming, but it needed to be dark in order for people PQ: Beyond the music scene, what are your to rise. There needed to be serious injustice to catthoughts on the modern state of the feminist alyze the marginalized to rise up strong in order movement? to overthrow the power. We’re really proud that so God Des: There’s some strong feminism many gay folks are stepping up to the plate, with in the world, and I’m proud to be part of that lots of gay celebrities coming out for visibility. It movement. I think people, men in particular, gives us hope for the gay community and the next are becoming more comfortable calling themsteps we take. selves feminists. People are scared of things that She: In one of our songs, we talk about the they don’t know — when the movement started, “silent majority” — regular, hardworking folks who it was quite radical, but now it’s such an importdon’t really care if someone is gay or straight, but ant part [of the political landscape].… However, not really vocal about it. They just go about their what does scare me is that now there’s so much business, without a thought in their head. We hope entertainment and music that … is setting us this majority would start to speak up, and that the back, making young women feel like they can’t bigots would shut up. It’s absurd that in 2013 we’re say no. I wish that we had mainstream artists who still talking about people not having basic human were good role models — I think Taylor Swift is rights. It’s time for this to become a non-issue, the closest one. We want young women to feel and to do that we’d need these folks to speak up.... comfortable setting limits and saying no to abuse. I think of the example of my father, who’s been a She: I’m worried! I’m scared when I hear the factory worker for 35 years. It took him a minute to “‘The United States of God Des and She’ is a place where freedom and liberty are real,” says God Des (left) of the inspiration Michelle Bachmanns and Sarah Palins of the come to terms with [queerness], but he’s learned behind the duo’s new album. “We want to create an environment that is... equal for everyone.” world who are fine with other people making — he came to Vegas Pride with us and was hugging the decisions, not being strong role models for drag queens! I could have never imagined, when I was 15 sensibility was to tour incessantly and build her base in young women. It makes me uncomfortable and sad. Howyears old, that my dad would be comfortable hugging and person. I question whether that strategy would work as well ever, we do still have Tammy Baldwin! We have Elizabeth being kind and loving to drag queens! There’s hope… [but] in an era of high gas prices and social media; I wonder if Warren! We’re lucky to have some strong women leading, it’s going to be a matter of people being free to come out it’s necessary, you know? but some of the vocal ones are so regressive and scary — and be who they are. That’ll be the big shift. She: We feel it is. As much as we always personally it’s like, what the hell are you talking about, sister!? Hell, PQ: During your years in the music industry, the nature answer our fans on [social media] — we don’t have anyone Ann Coulter! I mean, she’s the worst human.... I have to of the industry itself has changed dramatically. How have else do it for us — we know that actually looking someone believe it must be an act to sell stuff! How can you really be you observed these changes manifest, and have they helped in the eye, hearing their story, and giving them a hug is that ignorant and that abusive to women? That extremely or hindered your creative process? essential. We always stay after our shows and meet our fans, racist? It just disgusts me. She: It’s a blessing and a curse. There are so many dif- take pictures with them, show them love and appreciation, PQ: And yet still embraced by some queer conservatives! ferent things you can do to get your music out and create, because their support is the reason that we can do what we She: It’s absurd. It blows my mind. but it’s kind of hard to navigate sometimes what works and do.… However, it’s definitely nice to be able to have both! what doesn’t. We’re super grateful for it, though. We built PQ: In this album, you touch on some interesting spiriFor more information, check out god-desandshe.com. PQ Monthly

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February-March 2013 • 31


JOIN CUPCAKE JONES IN CELEBRATING PQ’S FIRST ANNIVERSARY DURING THE FEBRUARY PRESS PARTY AT PORTLAND CITY HALL! FEB, 21, 2013 • 5 P.M.-7 P.M.

After-party at Embers!

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32 • February-March 2013

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THE LADY CHRONICLES ‘GET A TACO, GET A TAXI’: AN L.A. RETROSPECTIVE By Daniel Borgen PQ Monthly

When I was a young gay — before I could (legally) enter bars and I still frequented The City — I worked in the mortgage industry. Specifically, as a receptionist at a firm in the heart of East Clark County. I got the job through friends of friends, and I was enamored by the idea of answering phones and scheduling appointments in the prestigious world of finance. It felt very “business lady” — a la Romy and Michelle — and I even earned a fancy job sub-title: “assistant loan processor.” (I basically copied and faxed things.) My boss, Jill, personified bitch extraordinaire, and I longed to wield her power and attitude. The bright side: she was pretty young then, too, and between power lunches and important meetings, office hijinks ensued, usually involving the four of us in the office who actually had personalities. It was the late ‘90s, during “Friends”-mania, and I was a closet case. While my club friends knew, clearly, I feigned straightness — via the non-mention — right through the end of my tenure with Jill & Co. Eventually, I left cubicle life for more fashionable horizons at Gap. Lunch dates continued for a time, then waned. (I hated seeing my replacement.) Later, Jill moved to Los Angeles. This month, some friends and I spent a long weekend in L.A., a visit prompted by the big California Exodus that went down about a year ago. (I think Portland’s still hemorrhaging a bit.) We went down to catch up with long-lost friends (Brad!) and to see what all the Angelian fuss was about. Since I’ve been back, I’ve had everyone — from coworker to friend to Facebook associate — ask me about L.A. Thank god for social media and demands to document and post every moment. (So many likes, so much self-worth.) The City of Angels was, in a word, dreamy. Going forward, I’ll never understand Portlanders who shit-talk it. I recognize vacationing in a place and living in a place are very different prospects, but there’s a sophisticated easiness down there that’s damn enchanting. Fancy AND laid back. If you’ve got half a personality, you outshine drab (and pretty) backdrops (people). And the nightlife? Please. Despite a 12-hour stretch that remains unaccounted for — existing only in friends’ text logs — it was more than I hoped for. At Mario Diaz’s soiree, Big Fat Dick, we rubbed elbows with L.A.’s queer royalty. (Yes, he’s as foxy in person.) Close by, we accidentally stumbled upon Detox (this season’s “Drag Race”), the now-legendary Raja, and Vicky Vox (Google “Boy is a Bottom”). The next night, we ambled through Cub Scout at L.A.’s spacious, sprawling Eagle — a dim, sexy

leather complex, where I took time away from my group of couples to survey the crowd. “Listen, boys, I need these men to know I’m single, so, uh, I need some ‘me’ time.” Yes, those words were spoken. Not even marijuana cigarettes and vodka sodas could make me forget the glory I beheld that night. We saw bears and Latinos, gorgeous shops and Lambos. We dined at Villa Blanca (that gussied-up Red Robin owned by Lisa Vanderpump) and shopped for wigs and dresses on Hollywood Boulevard and Santee Alley, where a friend procured his almost-winning Love Ball (PDX) look. (Watch out, Portland, Margarine Powers-Houston is unleashed.) Brad took us to Hollywood Forever, The Getty; we woke up with sun on our faces and ambled around in shorts on beaches. We savored every moment outside, especially in the seemingly-endless gardens and greenery surrounding the bungalow we rented in the Hollywood Hills, steps from our long-lost friend and his beautiful fella (sidebar: a one-bedroom is a real value split five ways). It was so blissful, like Neko Case was whispering songs in my ears. (Blame the Californian herbs for my hallucinations.) Our last night there, at Faultline, L.A. taught us how a real beer bust goes down, and I learned that bar’s preferred greeting: a finger down the back of your pants, up your rear. Very sensual, kind stranger. I wasn’t even bothered my four Grindr dates stood me up that night. Much to my surprise, my electronic best friend was an afterthought all vacation long. Jill held her own with my gaggle of gays, and enjoyed regaling them with tales of closeted, baby gay Daniel. Her infallible memory recalled me trying on hand-me down dresses from girls in the office (she produced pictures), and the dramatic coming-out lunch I convened with my coworkers after I left. The collective response, which I had completely forgotten: “Duh, Daniel.” “You’re exactly the same as I remember,” Jill said. “Except with less hair.” While I’d hope I’m not exactly the same as my 20-year-old self, it’s nice when someone from your past can still pick out your good parts, even after all the struggles, breakups, fits and starts that have gone down in the interim. It helps to surround yourself with people who love you despite your laundry list of shortcomings. Perhaps that’s why it was easy for me to spend the better part of a week ignoring headless torsos and pretty faces in favor of dear friends. As for L.A., I left part of my heart inside her. (But nothing inside Detox, sadly.)

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In related news, I’ve given up both Grindr and Scruff for Lent. Daniel@PQMonthly.com. pqmonthly.com

February-March 2013 • 33


la grande: “Please know that for every hurtful word or action, there are a dozen kind and supportive ones out there.” Continued from page 9

Family law for all families Mark Johnson Roberts Past president, National LGBT Bar Association; founder/past president, Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association; past president, Oregon State Bar

O R E G O N ◆ S.W. WASHINGTON

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CRUSH EVENTS!

Oregonian he hopes the district can work with Faces for Change to strengthen existing anti-bullying efforts. According to OPB Radio, the GSA at Eastern Oregon University has also vowed to step up its outreach efforts, while encouraging students to form a group of their own at the high school. Across the state in Astoria, the story of Bell’s tragic death inspired at least one person to come out. Jim Scheller, a 61-year-old member of the Clatsop Community College Board, told the Daily Astorian in a recent profile that Bell inspired him to open up about being transgender, so that young people would have more out elders. “I will not accept bullying, I will not accept harassment. And I don’t want anyone coming after me coming out to have no role model,” Scheller told the Daily Astorian. “I want to do this with as much dignity and as much class as I can.” Project Believe in Me Founder Alex Horsey says Bell’s death is a powerful wake-up call. “It’s heartbreaking that Jadin’s story has become a reminder of the horrifying consequences of bullying, rather than a story of a young man overcoming adversity and a community changing its ways,” Horsey says. The high school-aged activist hopes his youth-run anti-bullying organization will help change that narrative by reminding his peers that they are not alone. “There are so many people who don’t

even know you, but believe in you,” Horsey says. “Please know that for every hurtful word or action, there are a dozen kind and supportive ones out there. There are people and resources here to support you, and we exist solely to provide you a secure, safe space to be yourself. Because who you are is more than enough.” Artists Sam MacKenzie and Kelly Keigwen are also spreading a message of love in the wake of the tragedy. The Vancouver couple were moved by Bell’s death to bring their ongoing art project, Love is a Radical Act, to La Grande on Feb. 16, leaving small hearts in public places, such as the high school and courthouse, and photographing them. “We are bringing Love is a Radical Act to La Grande, and are inviting the community of La Grande to join us in our (he) art bombing, to show that love and acceptance is what will create a better world,” the couple said in a release. “The hearts are left hanging so that others may be reminded of the importance and beauty of love.

GET TESTED 

ble with your doctor about your sexual life. “Sometimes people think that if they get a regular checkup, including a blood test, that anything that was wrong would show up,” Toevs said. “Healthcare providers don’t necessarily know that we’re in the middle of an outbreak, or to look for the symptoms or run the test. People need to specifically ask for a syphilis test from their regular doctor when getting a checkup to ensure that they’re getting tested.” Luckily, syphilis tests are very simple and non-invasive. “It’s a small needle and a very quick [blood] draw, so it really doesn’t hurt very much,” Toevs said. Even if one does test positive (or if the clinician feels that preemptive treatment is appropriate due to exposure) syphilis is very easily treated at its early stages with penicillin. So don’t delay — care for yourself, your partners, and your community by getting tested today.

Continued from page 10

LAUGHS

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sex with men to access testing, treatment and education on how to take care of themselves and their partners. The critical part of this mobilization is testing. “If men are sexually active and have more than one partner … we really do recommend getting checked for syphilis and other STDs once every three months, [or] at very minimum once a year,” Toevs said. To make this as simple, easy, low-cost, and accessible as possible, the health department has set up a partnership with Cascade AIDS Project to create mobile testing units that go to local bars and bathhouses to test for syphilis and other STIs; these sites include every first Thursday at CC Slaughters, second Fridays at Scandals, four times a month at Steam, and twice a month at Hawks. Testing is also available five days a week at the Multnomah County Health Department, three days a week at Pivot, and at various times in other locations throughout the area. If you choose to go through your own physician, be certain to ask them specifically for a syphilis test, and be as open as possi-

For anti-bullying resources and support, visit Umatilla Morrow Alternatives (umalt.com), PFLAG (pnwpflag.org), and Project Believe in Me (projectbelieveinme. org). If you need someone to talk to now, visit The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject. org) or call the hotline at 866-488-7386. To learn more about Faces for Change, read an interview with co-founder Bud Hill online at pqmonthly.com.

For more information about syphilis, testing, and treatment, contact the Multnomah County Health Department at 503988-3700 or visit multco.us/health/hiv-andstd-services; or reach Pivot at 503.445.7699 or PivotPDX.org. pqmonthly.com


ARTS BRIEFS THE GOOD LIFE

Catch “FOURPLAY” — a series of short films exploring sexuality and pathos — at the Clinton Street Theater Feb. 28-March 3. Tigerlily Restaurant and Bar, the new LGBTQ-friendly establishment owned by Northwest Gender Alliance president Jackie Stone, is hosting a grand opening celebration the weekend of Feb. 22-24 with live music by Wikid Sin each night. The only such venue in the Vancouver area, Tigerlily regularly hosts events for the LGBTQ community. For more information visit tigerlilyrestaurantandbar.com.

show featuring Sandra Valls (“Latina Divas of Comedy” and “Pride: Gay and Lesbian Poetry Slam”) and Mimi Gonzáles (Logo’s “One Night Stand”). These funny ladies will be joined at the Bobwhite Theater by PQ Monthly columnist and comedienne Belinda Carroll. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $15 in advance via brownpaperticlkets. com, $20 at the door.

Hold On Another Day hosts a benefit concert for the anti-bullying organization Project Believe in Me Feb. 23 at Mt. Tabor Theater featuring performances by Kimya Dawson, Storm Miguel Flores, The Cabin Project, Eli Conley, and Tyler Maz. Tickets are $10 at the door and can be purchased online at tinyurl.com/hoadconcert.

“FOURPLAY” — a series of short films exploring sexuality and pathos directed by Kyle Henry and executive produced by Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) and Jim McKay — plays at the Clinton Street Theater Feb. 28-March 3 at 8:30 p.m. The film, which world premiered at the 2012 Frameline Film Fest, focuses on the ways in which characters’ lives are changed by their atypical sexual experiences.

San Francisco based singer-songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine performs a benefit for Pride NW February 23 at Metropolitan Community Church from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Valentine has performed at a number of Pride events along the West Coast and regularly lends his talents to LGBTQ causes. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at http://pridenw.org/?p=133. Portland’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls hosts a women’s arm wrestling tournament (with two weight classes — Xena and Gabrielle) March 1 at Sloan’s Tavern to raise funds for the camp. It costs $5 to enter and the winners take home a handmade steel unicorn trophy as well as camp swag. In addition to the tournament, contests can challenge anyone on the floor to a challenge for $1. Don’t have the guns to compete? Everyone is eligible to enter the raffle, which includes prizes such as a basketball autographed by the Portland Trailblazers and gift certificates from Ritual Arts Tattoo and Body Piercing, Chapter Four, Fat Fancy, and SheBop. Signups begin at 6:30 p.m. and the tournament starts at 7:30 p.m.. You bring the brawn, DJs Slutshine and Kit Fisto will bring the beats. If you’d rather work your abs that night, get your laugh on with “Lezberados: Comedy with No Bull,” a comedy

The Portland Oregon Women’s Film Fest (POW Fest) kicks off March 7 at the Hollywood Theatre with a screening of “ROCK N ROLL MAMAS,” a documentary film following three indie rockers with children — Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses, Zia McCabe of The Dandy Warhols, and Portland hip hop artist Ms.Su’ad. Also featured among a full slate of feature length films and shorts is “UNFIT: Ward v. Ward,” the true story of a lesbian mother forced to fight her convicted murder ex-husband for custody of their 11-year-old daughter. The fest will also honor filmmaker Penelope Spheeris (“Dudes,” “Suburbia,” “Decline of Western Civilization III”). See the full schedule at powfest.com. Ever wonder why Portland — despite its plethora of strip joints and hot queers — has no explicitly queer strip night? Wonder no more. Hedonistic Decadence is coming to the Local Lounge March 8. Sponsored by Brassy Butterfly, with security provided by Boys in Leather Service, the party starts at 9:45 p.m. and features naked queers, pole dancing, and drink specials. Stay tuned for a complete list of performers. Confluence, the Willamette Valley LGBT Chorus, presents “At the Hop!” a series of concerts featuring love songs

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from the 1950s. Confluence performs the show — its second of the 2013 season — at Salem’s First Congregational Church (March 8), Portland’s Metropolitan Community Church (March 9), and the UU Fellowship of Corvallis (March 10). For more information and advance tickets, visit confluence.org. The second annual Hot Mess — a 13-week performance based competition created by Ecstacy Inferno — returns March 13 at 8 p.m. at Hamburger Mary’s. There are no rules or boundaries in this shock value competition hosted by Kertie St. James and Carla Rossi. Contact Ectacy Inferno for details on competing. Home Theatre System and Kaj-anne Pepper present Dark Night of the Soul: an evening of stand-up tragedy March 14 at the Old Town Floyd’s Coffee. This non-fiction storytelling experiment features writers, performers, and artists sharing stories of shame, regret, heartache, and failure. Among those reading/performing are Wayne Bund, Rob Smith, Caedmonster, Roran Littleseed, and more. The exorcism begins at 8 p.m., $3 suggested donation. The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus presents “jazzify!” on March 16 and 17 at Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium. The jazz, blues, and gospel concert will feature Vancouver, B.C. musician Louise Rose, who has performed with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Duke Ellington. PGMC Artistic Director Bob Mensel will be joined by co-conductor Dave Barduhn for the first PGMC show in 25 years dedicated to jazz. Save the date: On March 23, DJ Roy G Biv launches a new quarterly queer party “Control Top” at White Owl Social Club (formerly Plan B). Headlining the party is special guest JD Samson (MEN, Le Tigre). On the decks are DJs Roy G Biv (BENT), Bruce La Bruiser (Dirtbag, Hey Queen, Ruthless), and Mr. Charming (Gaycation). Behind the camera is Deya Card.

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February-March 2013 • 35


THE GOOD LIFE

Cultivating Life FOUR OF MY FAVORITE SHRUBS TO GET A PORTLAND GARDENER THROUGH WINTER By LeAnn Locher PQ Monthly

early spring, but it’s in February I watch the buds on mine form and grow, and with a few days of warmer weather, they are sure to begin their gracious opening. The scent of a daphne in bloom is sugary sweet, and even the tiniest clipping or bouquet brought indoors can fill a room. I’m growing ‘Aureo-marginata’ because its variegated leaves brighten up the darker time of the year. • Paperbush Plant Edgeworthia chrysantha is a wonder of nature, providing a graceful structure of a plant that blooms while it’s bare of leaves: in winter. The intensely fragrant flowers bloom for six

I sniffed the air as I exited my car in the driveway. I could smell it. A plant in bloom. Big fragrant bloom. I inhaled deeply, trying to determine from where this scent was coming. I was doing my best impersonation of the creepy child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I could smell this plant, but I couldn’t see it. I knew it was somewhere. My neighbor appeared and gladly announced it was coming from her backyard and followed up by asking if I wanted to see it. Of course. As we walked around her garage and into the backyard, the perpetrator of the most gorgeous of scents showed herself: Sarcococca confusa in full winter bloom. Not a showy shrub, but she does what she does at the time we need it most: February. There are plants like Sarcococca that get us gardeners through our long wet rainy season. Some call it winter, but for those of us who live in Oregon, we know it as the trying tough time of not doing much digging in the dirt. But there are always those plants that do their thing at the times we need Clockwise from top left: Daphne, Paperbush, Sarcococca, and Witch Hazel a joyful moment of nature and the garden, and I’ve compiled a list of my to eight weeks. It’s a triple threat: beauty, favorites. scent, and even its stems are gorgeous. • Sweet Box Sarcococca — I’ve got my Help me understand why I don’t have one eye on Purple Stem Sweet Box Sarco- in my garden? cocca hookeriana var. digyna because of the narrow glossy leaves and the deep red A GARDEN, AND GARDENER, AWAKEN stems. It’s nicely sized for a small garden, is evergreen, and produces dramatic black There’s so much to do in the garden berries. But it’s the scent when in full bloom right now but it feels so good to be doing it. that draws me in. Grow one not only for Uncovering the bare ground, removing the your own satisfaction, but for the delight die back from last season — which means of your neighbors. removing the brown—, cutting back growth • Arnold Promise Witch Hazel Hama- to create space for the new. Sharing space melis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ — The with the birds, the smell of soil, stretching wispy tendrils of a witch hazel in bloom my body into the familiar reach with a rake, during our dreary grey skies or against a the constant squatting for weed pulling, backdrop of dark conifers lifts a heart in and the familiar path walk from the front February. Easy to maintain, once it has to back gardens. It’s a pattern of activity I established a deep root system, witch forget for several months of the year. And hazel requires little to no care except for when I return to it, I’m reminded how much deep admiration. I love it, and how much I’ve missed it during • Daphne odora technically blooms in the quiet dark days of winter. LeAnn Locher is an OSU Extension Master Gardener and loves to connect with other home arts badasses at facebook.com/sassygardener. 36 • February-March 2013

EAT, DRINK, AND, BE MARY FAMILY STYLE By Brock Daniels PQ Monthly

Fortunate to live in an amazing culinar y niche, Por tlanders are handed an array of eatery types. From incredible street cart food wrapped in paper to candle-lit, romantic fine dining restaurants, there is something here for everyone and for any occasion. A relatively rare experience, but one of the most exciting ways to dine, is family style. Big open spaces house industrial kitchens with eloquent chefs. Large communal tables seat eaters anticipating handcrafted local bounties of each season, and although you may not know the diners next to you — you will be friends by the end of the night. The sun-lit comfort of Abby’s Place at 609 SE Ankeny is sure to amaze any diner. Chef Abby Fammartino sources local, natural, and organic ingredients that are Abby’s Table transformed into large platters of edible art. A true farm to table attitude is apparent, and is highly respected. “We believe in the power of yum,” Fammartino says. “Healthy food must taste delicious in order for your body to truly reap the health benefits over time.” When food is fresh, and it comes directly from a trusted local farmer, flavor is unparalleled. By writing menus weekly based on the ingredients Abby can get locally, an encounter at Abby’s Table will always be special. Delicately earthy and vibrant in rich magenta, the “Beautiful Borscht Soup” with zesty horseradish aioli coats the tongue in root vegetable happiness, and screams winter harvest with a perfectly pungent horseradish bite. Spiced pumpkin risotto cakes with roasted lemon chutney highlight the beauty of the flavors of winter with a zesty tease of what spring is going to be. Punxsutawney Phil had some good news for us all this year, and that little groundhog promises spring is right around the corner. With that, I am sure Abby has some great ideas up her sleeve. The menu is always 100 percent free of gluten, dairy, and soy. To accommodate both vegetarian and carnivorous eaters, two main entrees are served. Cuisine like roasted chicken legs with bay leaves, and quinoa-filled portobello mushrooms — both with a pinot noir sauce and pomegranate seed garnish — are options to choose from. There will always be garden-fresh sides to accompany an impressive menu.

Warm Brussels sprouts with Oregon hazelnuts, and radicchio, grilled fennel, and grapefruit salad share the stage. And don’t think you’re leaving without a sweet treat for dessert. Abby whips up luxuries like blood orange and Meyer lemon curd mini tartlets with zested orange. Get a group of family and friends together, and enjoy the poignant talents of an amazing young hip chef. Award-winning and intentional cuisine by Naomi Pomeroy at BEAST on 5425 NE 30th offers a six-course prix-fixe dinner five nights a week and a four-course prixfixe brunch every Sunday. In her version of

family style, Pomeroy welcomes her guests to watch and enjoy an orchestrated night of perfection. Weekly menus support local seasonal ingredients. Watching Pomeroy conduct her staff in a controlled sophistication that turns eating dinner in the open exhibition kitchen into a true show. It is incredible to watch a master beat a hot sugar concoction into handmade marshmallows that will be individually torched for a chocolatey and rich caramel dessert. Strengthening a healthy food culture in America one big communal table at a time, establishments like Abby’s Table and BEAST in Portland transform the definition of “family style” into a local seasonal experience guaranteed to impress a wide range of eaters. “Food tastes better when shared, savored or enjoyed sitting down with loved ones,” Fammartino concludes. And it does.

Abby’s Table 609 SE Ankeny Street Portland, OR 97214 503-828-7662 www.abbys-table.com Reservations required

Beast 5425 NE 30th Avenue Portland, OR 97211 503-841-6968 www.beastpdx.com Reservations required

Brock Daniels, a Pacific Northwest native, has studied wine, culinary arts, gastronomy, and loves researching new food. Brock has written a self-published cookbook titled “Our Year in the Kitchen.” Reach him at brock@pqmonthly.com. pqmonthly.com


THE FUN STUFF

QUEER APERTURE Through his Queer Aperture project, photographer Jeffrey Horvitz has spent years documenting the LGBTQ communities of Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C. He’s well aware that a picture paints a whole mess of words, but here he offers a few actual words to better acquaint us with his dynamic subjects. What is your name? Shaley Howard

Least favorite word? Hate

How long have you lived in Portland? All my life … born and raised

Favorite swear word? Effin

What was the first time you noticed that gayness existed? The minute puberty hit

What is your profession? Owner of the dog walking/pet care company, Scratch ‘n Sniff Pet Care (www.scratchnsniff.com)

What would you consider a guilty pleasure? Anything with lots of cheese

If you could with a snap of a finger what would be another profession you would like to do? A bigger, better version of what I already do

What would be a perfect day off? Playing with family and friends Favorite book? “Conversations with God” Trilogy

Photo by Jeffrey Horvitz

Favorite word? Love

What person, living or dead, would you like to meet? Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt For more Queer Aperture, visit queeraperture.com.

ASTROSCOPES WITH MISS RENEE Miss Renee aka Tarot Chick is an empath, tarot card reader, and spiritual astrologer of 20 years based out of N. Portland’s Kenton neighborhood. She loves love notes so feel free to holla or schedule a tarot/astrology chart session: that_tarot_chick@yahoo.com.

that_tarot_chick@yahoo.com

GEMINI “Everyday I’m hustlin’” indeed! Planets five-deep transiting your 10th house (Career/Public) hasn’t seen you this on fire here in forever. Before your ruler Mercury retrogrades in murky Pisces Feb. 23-March 17, push to make crystal clear your career aspirations to yourself/authority figures. March 7 is the perfect day for intense convo’s with bosses and spouses.

ARIES When was the last time you asked yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Aries live so “in the moment,” you rarely question the reasons underneath the impulse. Planetary aspects provide Aha! moments where you fully see yourself , realize you’re powerful and that you truly impact others, softens your edges, and gives you energy and discipline. Mantra: GENTLE giant.

CANCER I’m proud of Tribe Cancer. You’ve been breaking open, redefining, and rewiring yourself for weeks. For Crabbies, that’s particularly profound. The Universe is revealing hidden talents/strengths, asking you to take your newfound personal philosophy and integrate it: Where do you want to make your unique mark in this world? What’s your personal style of “woo?”

TAURUS Planetary aspects ask you what “community” means to you. Are you being fed by yours? As themes of friends/groups/aspirations continue through March you evaluate longer term options, expanding/cutting socially, and gravitating toward experienced/inspirational peeps. Soulfood-feed your dream. Jupiter aspects + Venus entering lovey-dovey Pisces Feb. 25 says careful with over-emoting /over promising. #IEFFINLOVEYOUMAN!

LEO Ever wish life came with a user manual? Well, in ways this next month will supply you with yours, at least. Planetary action in the fourth house (Home/ Family) and eighth house (Death/Rebirth/Psychology) says stabilize living sitch/family, figure out what makes you tick, and realize that life is short. Yeah, it’s gettin’ real Meta.

Miss Renee aka Tarot Chick. Email her to make an apointment

pqmonthly.com

VIRGO If like attracts like, who are you attracting? Who do

you want to partner up with? What kind of experiences do you want to have with them? These questions surface as multiple planets wind through your seventh house (Relationships/Partnerships). A blast from your past may surface Feb. 23 – March 17. Smoochies or choppity chop?

you’re the zodiac’s Maverick/Loner/Wanderer. Remember. Heal. Mid-March shifts the focus to your fifth house (Fun/Romance/Creativity). Recreate yourself.

CAPRICORN Four words: Network Your Ass Off! The power of LIBRA words is yours this month, Cappie. Socialize and There’s being good at what you do and there’s rub elbows with all the right people. You may be feeling confident about your abilities. Planetary asked to teach/train/mentor/rewrite protocol. Don’t aspects lend a boost in self-worth, showing you, be afraid to step up. You ruler, Saturn, retrogrades “Hey! You’re kind of a big deal!!” Some Librans may Feb. 18-July 7, requesting re-evaluation of friendrealize talents were focused in the wrong arena. ships and re-planning long term goals. Shift! Saturn retrograde Feb. 18-July 7 requires new financial strategies/rethinking values. AQUARIUS Multiple planets in your second house (Finance/ SCORPIO Talents/ Values) + retrograding Saturn in the The time to be unapologetically who you are is NOW. 10th (Career/Public) asks you to re-examine your Saturn transiting your first house (Selfhood/Style/ finances and getting paid for talents. Strengthening Persona) + planets transiting your fifth house (Cre- flagging self-worth preps the way for a career leap ative self-expression/Romance/Fun) say get clear of faith. Education (standard or self-taught) may be and stand strong in the image you’re projecting, a factor in this next chapter. Believe! how you want to be loved, and creating without self-edit. Changes in health regimen highlighted. PISCES #3repsof10 Now through March will provide you with Aha! moments re: how strong you really are + friends/ SAGITTARIUS groups that show up and have your back. This is Planets jammed in your fourth house (Home-Hous- the perfect time to aspire for higher and achieve ing/Family/Roots/Childhood/Mother) sit you down it. Mercury (communication) retrograding in Pisces and require you to ask yourself what “home/family/ Feb. 23- March 17 says don’t try to verbally explain, stability” means. This is a big deal for Sagg as use “vibe” and art instead. February-March 2013 • 37


THE FUN STUFF

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2720 NE 33rd Avenue Portland, OR 97212 Phone: 503-288-3133 Fax: 503-284-7315 reception@reddenfindling.com www.reddenfindling.com

• Production Trainee (Job Number 1300323) •Distribution Center Fork Lift Operator (Job Number 1300749)

Applications must be received online. Use the job number listed above to search. Mondelēz International is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As an equal opportunity employer, Mondelēz International is committed to a diverse workforce. In order to ensure reasonable accommodation for individuals protected by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974, and Title I of the American’s with Disabilities Act of 1990, applicants that require accommodation in the job application process may contact 847-646-6044 for assistance.

HEALTHCARE/NATUROPATHIC

LIFE COACHING Tommy Faricy

Co-Active Life Coach / Executive Coaching

Transform your Life! Free Sample Session

LAW OFFICE OF NICHOLAS YANCHAR, LLC DON’T LET YOUR VOICE BE SILENCED

(503) 477-7621 Tommy@SCACoaching.com • www.SCACoaching.com

Gay Rights Law, Employment, Family, and Civil Law

503-515-1543 NIKYANCHARLAW.COM

MASSAGE THERAPY

INSURANCE

Chris Gojkovich Licensed Massage Therapist OR Lic. 12790 LIC # 10209

503.789.3310

COMPUTER SERVICES Extend the reach of your business

WEBSITES BY JENNYSTOFFEL.COM •SEO • Site Management • Social networking • Anti-spam • Analytics • Site security • Multi-lingual • Self-maintenance tutorials jennystoffel.com • 503.610.2616 • js@jennystoffel.com

COUNSELING

GLBTCOUNSELING.COM Sexual Minority Provider Alliance Directory

Find your therapist through Portland’s most detailed GLBT online counseling directory 38 • February-March 2013

MASSAGE THERAPY

DAVID FLYNN

503.775.4755

LMT#11142

Integrating Swedish, deep tissue and stretching for a truly great massage experience.

• Centrally Located • In and Out Calls • Same Day Often Available • Package & Referral Specials!!

CAN’T WAIT UNTIL NEXT MONTH TO ADVERTISE? Visit:

pqmonthly.com/classified-ads/place-ad pqmonthly.com


THE FUN STUFF

Business Directory

PQ Monthly is published the 3rd Thursday of every month. Please contact us for advertising opportunities at 503.228.3139 www.pqmonthly.com

PSYCHIC MEDIUM

HAD A CAR ACCIDENT? WE CAN HELP.

MORTGAGE

Did you know that your car insurance’s. Personal Injury Protection coverage (PIP) will cover treatment for your injuries?

Ceremony Officiant

MORTGAGE

Are you experiencing any of the following?

REAL ESTATE

•Whip Lash or neck pain • Difficulty turning your head in any direction? • Headaches that won’t go away • Tender to the

In an ever changing world,

experience does matter.

22 YEARS IN LENDING Purchase | Refinance | First Time Buyers | FHA | VA

Shawn Baeschlin, Sr. Loan Officer t. 503-528-9800

www.nwmortgagegroup.com sbaeschlin@nwmortgagegroup.com WA Lic. WA 510-LO-34039 | Individual NMLS# 112876 | Corp. NMLS# 40562 | OR ML-797 | Branch NMLS# 50223

PQ Monthly’s

eDIRECTORY

Our directory of LGBTQfriendly businesses and organizations is constantly evolving. Visit it often!

TO ADVERTISE IN PQ CALL 503.228.3139 or visit:

PQMONTHLY.COM

MONTHLY

business.pqmonthly.com

PQ PRESS PARTY! PQ’S FIRST ANNIVERSARY!

PLEASE JOIN US IN CELEBRATING PQ’S FIRST ANNIVERSARY DURING OUR FEBRUARY PRESS PARTY AT PORTLAND CITY HALL! FEB, 21, 2013 5 P.M.-7 P.M.

touch in specific areas • Difficulty Walking • Feeling confused • Anxiety • Forgetfulness • Low back pain

YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE WITH PAIN!

We will work with your insurance company. Insurance rules limit the amount of time before you can file a claim. For best results — come in for treatment after your car accident as soon as possible. Call for an appointment today.

An auto accident can tear and stretch ligaments and muscles that support the spine; weakening structural integrity of the spinal column. Untreated, it may lead to Osteoarthritis of and/or Degenerative Disc Disease years afterward. My 15 years experience with these injuries will help you. Dr. Kimberly DeAlto Chiropractic Physician Chirocentric 503-430-7371 12620 SW 3rd St.., Beaverton, OR 97005 info@chirocentric.net www.chirocentric.net

Your LOCAL full-service marketing agency that will connect you with the diverse populations of Oregon and SW Washington

AFTER-PARTY AT EMBERS! • Next up, March 21, 2013 Starky’s (2913 SE Stark St., Portland) pqmonthly.com

WWW.SUPUBLICO.COM

February-March 2013 • 39


INTRODUCING OUR:

SPRING COLLECTION 2013

A COMFORTABLE MIX OF SOOTHING SILHOUETTES, RICH PATTERNS & POPS OF COLOR: WELL-PRICED, IN STOCK AND READY FOR DELIVERY.

1106 West Burnside Street / Corner of W. Burnside and SW 11 Ave. / 503.972.5000 / Mon thru Fri: 10am to 8pm, Sat: 10am to 6pm, Sun: 11am to 6pm Complimentary Parking Validation at PMC (12th and Couch) / www.mgbwhome.com Spencer Sofa 90”w x 36”d x 31”h in hipster-tuxedo ($3780) $2795, Draper Chair 29”w x 30”d x 33”h in rojo-chartreuse leather ($1880) $1325, Manning Cocktail Table 58”w x 25”d x 16”h $1680, Manning Side Table 26”w x 23”d x 22”h $930, Deano Lamp 32.5”h $580, Bette Midler framed photography 41.5”w x 59.5”h $1095, Horizon Rug 8’x10’ in vanilla $1595

40 • February-March 2013

pqmonthly.com


PQ Monthly: February/March 2013 Issue