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TURNBACK BOYZ INSIDE: • A Conversation With Pussy Riot & Storm Large • Judge Nakamoto • Chick-Fil-Hate? • Turn A Look: Pisces & More!

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IT’S TIME! Typically this time, of the year I dedicate page 3 to the many accomplishments of our Brilliant Media Team. However, before doing so, I feel it is paramount to discuss a few topics flooding the intersection of every letter, and every color. First and foremost we would like to extended condolences from our Brilliant Media Familia to the family and friends of the late Justice Scalia. For 30 years he was the court’s most forceful and influential voice. Love him, or hate him, his colorful writings indeed made for some great late night reading. With that being said and all humor aside and with my morals correctly aligned I will not dance on a Deadman’s Grave. Outside of the horrible decisions he made that were supported by his, even more, face melting justifications, as a mortal, I feel deeply sadden for people who carry so much hate and aspire to spread it like a wildfire. Life, our world, and the universe is here to teach us so much more if we choose. This may sound strange. However, my mind will often drift and start to explore why someone is. It’s like a soccer game, seeing their life playing out in the fields of the universe against one’s own nemesis, the world. In fact, Justice Scalia once said: “If it were impossible for individual human beings (or groups of human beings) to act autonomously in effective pursuit of a common goal, the game of soccer would not exist.” The hypocrisy here is that he was also quoted as saying: “Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.” Justice Scalia’s soccer game of life has come to an end on this plane, his sudden death will have an immediate impact on the current term, full of controversial cases we have become too familiar with. Like: regulation of abortion clinics, another challenge to Obamacare, affirmative action in college admissions, and Presidential power on immigration. See for yourself, the long list of the SCOTUS Docket and petitions that are currently being watching. You will note some particularly interesting ones outside of the typ-

ical divisive “issues” like immigration that have been devilishly amplified by dark minions like Ann Coulter, and her sidekick Donald (#NotJesusChrist) Trump, who masterfully to produce scared “voters.” The bigger challenge here is what this means for the lower courts and how their rulings impact us at the state and local levels. Here is how it will play out if undecided U.S. Supreme Court cases are heard or to be heard this term. As we know if a case isn’t 4-4 it will be decided as usual with only eight Justices. If a case is going to be decided 4-4, the Court has two choices: Wait for the ninth justice to join the court and rehear the case or issue a nonprecedential 4-4 decision that affirms the lower court decision. So, yes this could be a wrath of turmoil building. Understanding that I feel it’s going to be important that we take the time to meditate and/or pray for those who choose hypocrisy, arrogance, and ignorance to feed their ego as a way of life on earth. We have to hope for their enlightenment and the enlightenment of those that have survived them. We have to explore and analyze their game so we can find less wicked places to feed our souls and fields for our hearts to explore. Places not governed by ego places not educated by the ignorant, and places are not run by the arrogant. As we meditate and dine on the less wicked we are taking the enlightened path to cleansing our soul and world. In the Scalia game of life, he had many, many choices to answer the question: “What Would Jesus Do WWJD)?” Unfortunately, in his case, he often opted for the less Christlike decision as a Judge in what is considered to be the highest court in our land. This mortal judge of man had countless opportunities to embody the values and teachings of Christ and be a shining example of Christianity in America. But he fell and in his words: “The judge who always likes the results he reaches is a bad judge.” In fact, when speaking at the Knights of Columbus Council 969 centennial event Scalia said:

“God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools ... and he has not been disappointed”…and on that note, let’s let his God be the Final Judge. May you find rest, peace, and understanding in the after world, Justice Scalia? Understanding the balance of light is critical to our next steps forward in being recognized as equal, and being equally rewarded with the “benefits” of equality. The very equality that dark light leaders like Scalia have seized and enjoyed since the dawn of time. These leaders seduce us with their powerful ego and divide us with their hypocrites. They “pack” us together, all the while WE have become the greatest soldiers at waging war against one another on this global game of soccer. We have been taught by the ignorant, feed by ego, and live the life of the arrogant. Knowing we have a turmoil brewing in the core of our planet let’s pause for you – This year marks the 35th Anniversary for El Hispanic News, the 6th for Su Público, the 4th PQ (Portland). Additionally, we celebrate the 1st birthdays for PQ Bay Area, PQ Seattle, and Tankside our mainstream motorcycle magazine. We do this work because of our passion, love, and with the purpose of sharing and enlightening our world that we are one and it takes our differences freely united to radiate our universal brightness and beauty. We are blessed with the opportunity to work with some of the most brilliant minds, and serve faithful readers like you! In the words of my grandmother, the former and Honorable Secretary of State of New Mexico Clara Padilla Andrews and Publisher Emeritus of El Hispanic News said: “You are perfect as you are and need nothing else to be complete. You are a precious child of this universe and you are enough “. Thank you for your love and support – together we make Brilliant things happen! Lavender Flame On!

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A Conversation With Pussy Riot And Storm Large...............................Page 4

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FEATURE

A CONVERSATION WITH PUSSY RIOT AND STORM LARGE

By Shaley Howard, PQ Monthly

Russian punk band Pussy Riot is known for their outspoken resistance to President Vladimir Putin’s regime and infamous arrest for ‘hooliganism’ when they performed “Punk Prayer!” inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012, made a stop in Portland recently. But instead of playing their signature provocative rock music Pussy Riot members sat down with an audience of 300 people for a Q&A conversation about human rights violations. The evening began with a short trailer for a documentary called Act and Punishment, about feminists in Russia. Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhina and Ksenia Zhivago then took the stage along with musician/author Storm Large and OPB’s John Sepulvado as the moderator. Much of the evening focused the human rights violations of prisoners and performance artist Petr Pavlensky, who is currently imprisoned for his “Living Pain” art. Much of Pavlensky’s art is depicted through bodily harm he inflicts on himself as a political statement, which Russian authorities call “vandalism.” An example of his art was displayed on the screen of him with his mouth literally sewn shut in protest of Pussy Riot’s imprisonment in 2012. Both Zhivago and Alekhina spoke about the injustice of his incarceration and were selling t-shirts to help raise money for his legal fees.   There were awkward gaps in the conversation throughout the evening due to a few confusing questions and their translation from English to Russian. The audience was also borderline rude at times with people randomly yelling out and interrupting the speakers. One person actually yelled ‘blah, blah, blah’ when Storm Large was in the middle of asking a question. But despite these disruptions, the majority of the crowd was respectful and seemed excited to par4 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

ticipate in an engaging and intriguing dialogue with the members of Pussy Riot. When asked about her experience in the penal colony Alekhina said that most prisoners are forced to rise at 5:20 AM to sew police and army uniforms for 12-14 hours with no breaks, earning only $3.00 per month. Alekhina herself did not sew because she said that she “caused too many problems.” She was only allowed to see her child every three months, with the guards leveraging these visits against “misbehavior.” Misbehavior was also punished by solitary confinement in a stone cold cell. Alekhina said she spent half a year in isolation though she added that being alone in a cell was a little better than trying to coexist with 100 other prisoners with no privacy and constant fighting. “They call this penal colony ‘corrections’ but the system is corrupt and is making a profit off of imprisoned people,” declared Alekhina adding, “You are constantly surrounded and have to fight 24 hours a day for human dignity. We did not hope for amnesty.”  When asked about the atmosphere of being an activist in Russia, Alekhina shared a story about the band’s release from prison. The band members had started a human rights project and needed space to work. They found an appropriate space near the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Moscow with a café close where they would often eat. One day the owner of the café was approached by officers of the FSB, the Russian federal security services, and successors of the KGB. The FSB officers wanted to place bugs in the café to spy on Pussy Riot, but the owner refused to allow it, and they left. “This is typical of the inability to have a choice. If you

decide to not accept their orders, it can end your freedom. It can end your life. Being a hero or activist is not dedicating your life to a cause but in your daily choices. These daily choices represent the whole society in Russian life.” Pussy Riot’s new release, “I Can’t Breath” is dedicated to Eric Garner, an African-American man who died after being put into a chokehold by an NYPD officer. Alekhina said, “It’s a song for all who suffer at the hands of the state. But it’s also about us not taking action. There’s no universal way to solve things. But every action is a checkpoint. It won’t necessarily change the world but every action does count. The most important thing is to continue to remember those still behind bars. It’s imperative for you to know the names of those imprisoned and who parishes because of violence of the government.” A question was asked about feminism in Russia. Alekhina explained, “Feminism in Russia is same as in the Middle East. We don’t have stonings but we have serious issues with the patriarch. In Russia, you can be killed for saying you are gay. The lack of LGBT rights follow the same line as feminism and come from patriarchal society. The very principle of non-tolerance towards the hatred of the different one is a sign of a diseased society.” And the evening wouldn’t have been complete without a question of Alekhina’s opinion of Donald Trump to which she simply replied, “Trump and Putin don’t believe in anything they say. You should do your best to not allow this guy to be your president.” After the show had ended, I had a chance to sit down with both Storm Large and Maria Alekhina to talk about

“Trump and Putin don’t believe in anything they say. You should do your best to not allow this guy to be your president.”

PUSSY RIOT AND STORM LARGE | Story continues on page 6

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FEATURE

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 • 5


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PUSSY RIOT & STORM LARGE Continued from page 4

the current state of being LGBT in Russia. PQ: As you know currently social acceptance and Russian law towards LGBT is extremely intolerant. Since Pussy Riot began protesting Russia’s anti-gay legislation has there been much push back towards LGBT? Alekhina: It’s much worse. It’s become this very aggressive propaganda where they actually call on people to kill other people. Not only is it the propaganda of ‘do not accept’ LGBT but beat them, kill them and so on. We have an economic crisis happening in Russia. The government is afraid that people will unite. They use all their methods to separate people by nationality, by different ways of living, by everything. They are trying to show, especially in the LGBT community, when you start speaking out, they will shut you off forever. This propaganda is promoted by media, by TV, etc. and it’s working. But the thing is this propaganda is totally fake.  These government groups that are formed are particular quasi-movements, in different cities. For example, if you are organizing gay pride in a city, they send these groups there comprised of mostly guys who have questionable backgrounds that are hired by political police to be protestors. They send them there to beat people. This is possible because they know no one will open a criminal case out of fear. They even continue after gay pride harassing and beating people.  PQ: What suggestions would you have for people outside Russia who want to help stop Putin and human rights violations? Alekhina: The main thing you can do is to put pressure on your politicians who engage with Putin and his administration. To question his human rights policies and keep pressing the topic. It’s hard to explain but it is working. It’s better to ask and speak about particular cases such as people who were beaten or people who suddenly immi6 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

grate because they are afraid. Speak out about gay activists in Russia. PQ: Have you found other politicians working from within the Russian government speaking out and working with you? Alekhina: I know a lot of politicians. But in the whole of Russia, I know only two politicians who actually talk with everyday people and are trying to do what they can to change this offensive system. It’s very rare in Russia right now to find those politicians. I understand this. If you see this totally corrupt system every day, it’s very human to want to just run away. I think these men I know are heroes.  Storm Large: Are most of the people working for LGBT, women, and human rights – are they all mainly targets? I mean, is anything against human rights against Putin? Who else do you see in Russia working for human rights that aren’t necessarily going to go to jail?  Alekhina: Yes. If you are doing human rights work in Russia, it is political work. Generally, the most productive work comes from outside of Russia, United Nations, Amnesty International and people outside.  Outside human rights organizations and artists are doing the most important things. If someone is going to Russia and they’re going to give a statement or concert all of us, (Russians) see it. For example, if you have a human rights issue that is discussed with the United Nations it’s done behind closed doors and nobody else sees it live. So we hear and see the statements through the media controlled by Putin. But at a concert people see life, they see each other as they are. It is the strongest way to send a message. If you are an artist and you’re going to Russia, say something for political prisoners and those who are discriminated against. Storm Large: People want to discount artists – you’re not politicians, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re absolutely right. I think that’s such an incredibly powerful message to get out to other artists and to get to the public and fans.  pqmonthly.com


HEALTH

WHAT TO DO DURING A MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY By Giovanni Blair McKenzie, PQ Monthly

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis or struggling with thoughts of suicide, first know that you are beautiful, talented, and loved. Your existence makes the world a better place. TALK TO SOMEONE Never underestimate the power of talk therapy. If you need someone to talk to, consider calling a crisis hotline. Below are four you should know. They are confidential, toll-free, and available 24/7. Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386 GBTQ Youth Trans Lifeline 1-877-565-8860 Trans Community Multnomah County Crisis Line 1-800-716-9769 Multnomah County Residents National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 Anyone living in the US EMERGENCY ROOMS Personally, I think OHSU is the best hospital for a mental health emergency. When I last visited, I waited for 10 minutes before being seen, compared to two hours at other

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facilities. After I had settled in, I was greeted by the head of their security team who explained my rights and reasons for their policies. And instead of having one doctor, I had two working together as a team. IF YOU’RE HOMELESS DON’T SHOW IT The unfortunate fact is, medical facilities are often unprepared to support patients experiencing homelessness. In my experience, the moment you’re identified as homeless, their obligations to treat you with decency and respect goes out the window. When I first visited the Hollywood district Providence hospital, they took good care of me. Two weeks later, I was homeless. The small suitcase I carried was a red flag, causing the EMT and nurses to repeatedly asked if I was homeless. When I was finally honest, their focus shifted from my care to fixing my homelessness, which was not my most urgent need, causing them not to give me the care I needed. ALWAYS HAVE ADVOCATES Medical staff are like f light attendants, you never know what you’ll get. I’ve found that by having advocates, you make them more accountable and ensure that someone is advocating for your best interests even when you can’t. There are two kinds of patient advocates – the external one (someone you know and trust or someone from a victim services organization), and the internal one (someone employed by the hospital). If you can, get both. For an outside advocate, pick someone you trust and have the ER

social worker contact them immediately. BEING POC IN THE ER If you’re POC (person of color), ask if a POC social worker is available or on-call. When I first visited Providence Portland in the Hollywood district, I was lucky to get a woman of color without having to ask for one. She made sure I had the best care plan possible. If things unfolded differently, I would not be writing this piece today. GETTING TO THE ER If you are insured by Oregon Health Plan—which includes Healthshare of Oregon and CareOregon—ambulatory care is provided as part of your care package. Another option is Lyft. If you don’t have the funds, use my promo code “GIOVANNI” for a free first ride! DON’T DRINK During a mental health crisis, alcohol is not your friend. In fact, it’s your enemy. Remember, alcohol is a depressant. It slows your brain down. Speaking from experience, drinking during a crisis will only worsen the situation. BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS Medical staff are trained in translating what you’re saying to medical language, so be honest about what you’re feeling. When I first mentioned having “spiraling thoughts” to the EMT, I didn’t know it was a big deal. In mental health language, this is called ‘racing thoughts.’ And it’s a big deal. MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY | Story continues on page 9

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 • 7


NATIONAL

VOTER SUPPRESSION AND VICTORIES IN 2016 New America Media, Sarita Hiatt

New and increasingly strict state and county voting laws are threatening to cut off a growing number of Americans from their right to vote as the primary season opens. Ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by the lack of access to polling sites, voter ID requirements, and lack of language assistance, just as experts claim these groups are gaining political clout. Since the 2010 elections, 20 states have passed voting restriction laws, most often requiring citizens to provide photo ID before voting, minimizing early voting time, and in some cases blocking entire swaths of voters--such as those who have been convicted of a felony--from voting at all. Some of the laws will go into full implementation for the first time in 2016. The surge in restrictive laws intensified in 2013 when the Supreme Court deemed Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. The rules in the section were designed to address the problem of racism at the polls by, for example, forbidding literacy tests from being used as a prerequisite for voting, and by imposing federal oversight in districts with a history of racial discrimination. A look at how new restrictions are impacting ethnic voters, even before the 2016 elections have set in: · Florida’s harsh voting laws regarding former felons disproportionately affect the state’s African American population: 20% of the Florida’s black voting-age population are banned from the polls. Without the clemency of the Governor, a felony conviction negates a Florida citizen’s right to vote permanently, even if the felony is a nonviolent drug offense. The harsh policy--which was briefly reversed in 2007 after Democratic former Gov. Charlie Crist took office-was reinstated by Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2011 and affects an estimated 1 in 10 Florida residents. · In South Dakota, Native Americans living on reservations have long faced a barrier to voting due to the prohibitive distances voters must travel to cast early ballots. The 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) provides states with federal funding to meet minimum election standards, but Buffalo County in South Dakota has resisted using the federal funding to set up accessible satellite offices for early voting. Eligible Native voters living with disabilities or who don’t have vehicles and gas money are left without options. Native voting rights activists in South Dakota and Montana

have pressed lawsuits against counties with similar policies. · Latino voters have been challenged at the polls by multiple states demanding proof of U.S. citizenship as a requirement to vote. This regulation was first put into place in 2004 by the State of Arizona but was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. The court ruled that the law violated the constitutional ban on poll tax since voters without ID were required to pay fees for obtaining government-issued ID cards and documentation in addition to the sometimes considerable transportation costs needed to travel to the nearest DMV. Arizona has appealed the ruling, but, for now, has two lists of voters: those eligible to vote in federal elections but don’t meet the requirements for state elections, and those who are eligible to vote in both. · The language assistance provision of the Voting Rights Act has provided important protections to Asian American voters across ethnic communities. According to the law, voting districts with large populations of voters who speak a language other than English and have low English proficiency must receive language assistance. This assistance includes allowing voters to bring a translator of their choosing into the voting booth. The Texas Election Code has been sued for violating this requirement by forcing voters to use translators who are registered to vote in the same county, effectively limiting the pool of translator’s the voter may choose from. Restrictive voting laws continue to proliferate even as the pool of ethnic voters is expanding. The 2016 elections will be key to understanding whether these laws passed in the name of preventing fraud will discourage vulnerable voters—especially ethnic minority voters—from going to the polls. Notable Successes in Voting Rights As the 2016 elections approach, voting rights advocates are focused on expanding voting opportunities to make the process more inclusive. While a surge of restrictive voting laws will go into force this year in many states, in others voting access will be wider than ever. Voting rights advocates have scored some notable successes at the county and state levels: *Oregon passed a voter-registration reform bill in 2015 through which all eligible voters are automatically registered when they get driver’s licenses or state ID cards. California passed a similar automatic registration law, which

went into effect on January 1st. The DMV is waiting to implement it until a comprehensive database and set of regulations are in place. *The Maryland Legislature passed a bill in 2015 that will restore voting rights to residents with felony convictions to vote upon release, rather than after completing their probation as required by the current law. Although Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed the bill, the Legislature has already begun the process of overriding the veto this month. *As of 2016, a total of 29 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws permitting online registration. Most have already implemented online registration laws; it is expected that all will be implemented in time for the 2016 elections. *33 states and the District of Columbia allow early in-person voting. 27 states and D.C. also allow absentee voting by mail. These laws are particularly important for African American voters: in 2012, for example, the ACLU notes that 70 percent of African Americans voted early in North Carolina. During that same election, African Americans voted early at more than twice the rate of white voters in Ohio. The ACLU and other civil rights groups have also challenged restrictive voting laws in a number of state courts: *In 2015, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the State of Alabama after it closed 31 DMV offices. All of the closures occurred in counties with at least 75 percent African American residents. The lawsuit accuses the state of discouraging African Americans and Latinos from getting driver’s licenses and other forms of acceptable identification for the purpose of voting. *In 2015, Justice Department presented Congress with a proposal to address the lack of voting access for Native Americans by requiring all states and counties with tribal lands to locate at least one polling place according to the recommendation of the local tribal government. The move came after some lawsuits challenging states and counties on the issue. *A Kansas state court struck down the state’s two-tiered election system in 2016. The system allowed Kansas to impose photo ID requirements for state elections though not for federal elections; voters who could not present photo ID were allowed to vote at the federal level but forbidden from voting in state elections. *The ACLU is awaiting the outcome of a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s 2013 law limiting early voting and same-day registration. The organization claims that early voting and same-day registration are critical for North Carolinians living in poverty; since poverty is higher among African Americans in the state, the restrictions disproportionately affect them.

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GLAPN VOICES

NEWS GLAPN FEATURE

JUDGE NAKAMOTO APPOINTED JUSTICE OF THE OREGON SUPREME COURT

By George T. Nicola, GLAPN

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has appointed Oregon Court of Appeals Judge Lynn Nakamoto to the state’s Supreme Court. The appointment fills a vacancy left when Justice Virginia Linder retired before the expiration of her term. Justice Nakamoto’s investiture into her new position took place on January 25. She will run in this year’s election to retain the position. Justice Nakamoto, who openly identifies as lesbian, was a member of GLAPN’s first group of Queer Heroes NW in 2012. In the early 1990s previous to her judicial career, she and others cofounded an organization called the Asian Pacific Islander Lesbians and Gays (APLG). The organization and community leaders spearheaded a coalition of Asian Pacific American groups to speak out against the 1992 anti-gay Ballot Measure 9. Today APLG still exists as Asian Pacific Islander Pride. As a private practice attorney in 1991, Ms. Nakamoto was a founding member of the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association.

MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY Continued from page 7

ALWAYS ASK FOR CATC The Multnomah Crisis and Assessment Treatment Center, or CATC for short, is a 16-bed secure facility operated by Telecare, a 50-year old employee-owned organization. At CATC, you won’t find traditional counselors. Instead, you’ll find Peer Support Specialists—counselors who’ve overcome their own mental health and/or addiction struggles and now dedicate their lives to helping others. Dur ing my 24-hour hold at Prov idence Portland, psychiatrists had me on Zyprexa (an antipsychotic that turns you into a zombie). By the time I got to CATC, the doctor had replaced it with Lexapro pqmonthly.com

In 1998, she wrote an amicus brief supporting Tanner v. OHSU. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oregon notes about the consequent victorious ruling “The Oregon Court of Appeals became the first court in the nation to decide that government is constitutionally required to recognize domestic partnerships. . . The Court of Appeals has also made it clear that current Oregon law prohibits any employer-whether public or private--from discriminating in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation.” In 2001, Ms. Nakamoto was given the prestigious Judge Mercedes Deiz Award, which “recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to promoting minorities in the legal profession and in the community.” The award is named after the first African-American woman admitted to the Oregon State Bar. Judge Deiz also happened to be one of our earliest straight allies in this state’s judiciary. In 2004, Ms. Nakamoto was cooperating counsel for the ACLU Foundation of Oregon. She and ACLU’s national office staff attorney Ken Choe were co-counsel in Li and Kennedy v. Oregon, seeking to give Oregon same-gender couples the right to marry. However, the Oregon Supreme Court did not hear the case until after the passage of Measure 36 which made same-gender marriage illegal under the state’s constitution. (A 2014 federal court eventually brought marriage equality to our state.) Later in the decade, Ms. Nakamoto served on the board of Portland’s Q Center. In 2011, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski appointed Ms. Nakamoto to the Oregon Court of Appeals. She was the first Asian Pacific member of that court. In 2012, she won the statewide election to retain the seat, getting 98% of the popular vote. Justice Nakamoto is the first Asian Pacific American and the first woman of color to join the Oregon Supreme Court. She is also the only person of color to serve on that court currently.

(an SSRI) and Concerta (a newer version of the Ritalin, a stimulant known for treating ADHD, narcolepsy, and depression). At CATC, you never go hungry, and you’re allowed to bring and use your electronic devices. In fact, they suggest it—to enable you to connect with the outside world. Free Wi-Fi is provided, and it’s pretty fast. In their milieu, you’ll find a Wii, endless art supplies, two free payphones, a library of books, a ping-pong table, and gym bikes. One of their group therapy sessions is Buddhism-influenced. In other words, it’s the perfect place to heal. In closing, your life is valuable—no matter what the voices in your head will say. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. It means you are mature enough to seek help when you need it. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 • 9


NEWS FEATURE

VOICES

EMBODY

Love note to femmes, including myself you’re so good at [fill in domestic/organizing/emotional labor task], can’t you just take care of that?” I am a femme queer--part of a tradition Let me be clear on visibility: what’s that goes back to the origins of function between our legs is only your business if made fashion, side eye, and transgressive we offer to share it with you. What’s between sexuality. our legs is not our worth, not your due. Which is to say: not passing or passive. What’s between our ears is treasure, if you Like most magical creatures, we’re more figure out how to be quiet and listen. We all than you may think you see. We can run need to get better at listening, as my elders the business, or the fuck, or the meeting, told me before I learned how to pay attenor the protest. In fact, we probably already tion. Before I remembered respect, which do. We homeschool generations of mascu- they most definitely had earned. line creatures to feminism. We embody the I have learned to do my best to live as divine feminine, even unto death. long as I can, as well as I can, having the To be femme is to be constantly seeking best sex and food and effect in the world visibility and value though they are granted as I possibly can. I keep learning to balance to so many of our queer siblings as soon as the budget with health with desire, and to they step from the closet. To try short hair, work magic no matter the math. I will conrainbow imagery, jewelry with our identi- tinue to learn, like when I finally grew out ties spelled out in cursive screams, and even my beard, which is as natural and feminine knuckle tattoos. To still see those eyes pass as it needs to be. Which is also none of your right over all our outlaw beauty like just business, though you are free to admire it. another girl, or no girl at all. That beard has presented a challenge to To be femme is to be constantly choos- me almost every day since then, but growing our battles: queer sex 101 for the mans- ing it felt right. Felt magic. Femme magic. plainer on the bus or spoons left over from Crone magic. Fuck you it’s my face magic. the group sex party later? Explaining the Fuck your beauty standards magic. Being nuances of sexual harassment to gay men a femme means I can say fuck as much as who’ve never had to live it and don’t believe I want though it’s really mostly a love word they can perpetuate it, or living a life with- for me. Being a femme means I know curse out their glorious beauty and clowning? words are also endearments, and ways to Shaving or not shaving any of our hair, mourn, and sharp, glittery edges that say knowing we’ll be asked to justify it either don’t trifle with me. way? Being a femme that’s younger than you To be femme is to determine which parts means I want to watch and learn. Being a of femininity suit, and which need modi- femme that’s older than you means I want fications. Like that second-hand bra that to show and teach. Means none of these doesn’t quite fit until you pull out the side things, unless we all want it. Means paying wires; or that bike that needed an overhaul extra attention to power dynamics and before you could haul your tools around assumptions and expectations. Means so town; or those knee high boots passed down much more than cosmetics and beauty, from one fat-calved warrior to another, new whatever that is at any given moment. soles or laces to mark the occasion. Means shining a light on the myths of comFor myself, I choose family but define petition and scarcity. Means loving even it as a community, and close friends that in fear. show up, and born family that chooses me. We have to be our own role models, and I choose no children, except those raised by mirrors for each other. We have to find the others and befriended and perhaps taught joy in our bodies as they are, having no by me. I choose radical over traditional. promise of anything different. We have to I choose to stand as an individual, even love each other. We have to let our tenderin partnership, and to form relationships ness be a strength, not value, not weakbased on organic growth rather than by ness, not role. I continually learn this from a timetable or rule book. Even with these femmes, as I have learned most things. choices, I am not unusual in my commuFemmes: I want to give you joyful service nity, or yours. with no strings. I want to hold you tight when I don’t presume to know everything you want it and give you space and time about any femme/feminine person other when you don’t. I want to be the soft light of than myself, but many of us have many the moon on your upturned face; to count things in common. Wanting peer dynamics your silver hairs like shooting stars; to trace over social capital. Wanting our health and your scars and wrinkles like a sonnet. I want well-being prioritized. Wanting to be seen to kiss all the places gravity is in love with. and respected in the communities we sup- I want to love myself as well as I love you. port in a hundred ways that are taken for I see you femme, and I think you’re just granted. Wanting to never again hear “but right. End note: If you have questions or topics you’d like me to cover, products you’d like me to review, people you’d like to hear from, or resources to share, please get in touch! sossity@pqmonthly.com By Sossity Chiricuzio, PQ Monthly

10 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

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FEATURE

ALL WE NEED IS LOVE, LOVE KNOWS NO GENDER By Suzanne Deakins--GLAPN

Love the most written about topic, the most longed for emotion, and perhaps the most painful of all emotions when it goes “wrong.” The first pull we feel toward a potential lover is often eros. Eros is a chemical, sexual passion, and desire. Eros can burn out rather quickly if the attraction does not morph into a Philia (deep but non-sexual intimacy between friends and family). Greek and Romans had many ideas about love and the different kinds of love. Most cultures have specific language nouns and verbs describing the variants of the meaning of the word. In the western world, there are several terms, for instance, Ludus represents a kind of playful or flirting love, Pragma is the type of love that develops between long-term couples and involves actively practicing, goodwill commitment, compromise, and understanding between the couple. In this relationship, sexual activity takes on a different meaning than just passion and desire. Sexual activity is not necessary to remain in a Pragma relationship. Agape became a modern term describing love in the early 1970s. Used by new agers and metaphysical as well as Christian churches, it illustrates a more generalized concept of love that is not exclusivity, but rather a love

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for all of humanity. Sometimes Agape is replaced by the term unconditional love and/or absolute love. Both terms carry a broader idea of love reaching out into the universe. Philautia is self-love, which is not a selfish love, but the idea that you must care for yourself before you can care for another. In Western cultures love is highly connected with morals and ethics dictated by religious practices and beliefs. In the Sinic cultures such as China, Japan, Korea, and East Asia, love is more culturally imbued. There may be as many different types of love as there are words for mother, father, siblings, etc. Love takes on a cultural philosophy rather than religious overtones. For us, the answer to what is love remains somewhat elusive because love is not one thing or one idea. Love for parents, partners, children, country, neighbor, God and so on, all have different qualities and aspects. Each quality has its variants such a blind, one-sided, tragic, steadfast, fickle, reciprocated, misguided, and unconditional. Love in western cultures needs passion and commitment or it turns into an infatuation and a mere dedication. Love like all ideas needs nurturing and insight or the relationships we have will wither and die. In the case of love, we must transform it into either pragma or philia for it to remain viable. Love like language is living

entity that allows us to grow and mature. It is the vessel in which we grow and experience life. The paradox of love is that it is supremely free yet attaches us with bonds stronger than death. It cannot be bought or sold; there is nothing it cannot face; love is life’s greatest blessing. If you are secure in love, it can feel as mundane and necessary as air. You exist within it, almost unnoticing. Deprived of love it can feel like an obsession; all consuming, physical pain. Love has nothing to do with gender or sexual preference but rather our ability to see beyond the ordinary and experience the extraordinary life of us all. Suzanne Deakins, Ph.D., is an author, and publisher of One Spirit Press/Q Press. Her commentaries have appeared in Bloomberg Press, Working Women, Art Age, and Wall Street Journal. Some of her books include “Back to the Basic Management, Lost Craft Of Leadership”, “Authentic Forgiveness”, “Sacred Intimacy”, “Double Chocolate, Book of Exotic Poetry”. She may be reached at theqpress@gmail.com. “All We Need is Love, Love Knows No Gender” is from her new book, “Sexual Fluidity” To be released March/April 2016 GLAPN was founded in 1994 as the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest. Its purpose is to discover, preserve and share the history of all sexual minorities in the Pacific Northwest. GLAPN gladly supplies speakers to groups interested in regional queer history, and just as gladly consults with groups who want to document their own history. Materials donated to GLAPN become part of the reference library at Oregon Historical Society.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 • 11


FEATURE

QUEER MASCULINITY EMBRACING IT’S FEMINIST SIDE, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE TURNBACK BOYZ

Left to Right: Peter Pansy, Oliver Gold & Tommy Tugunns. Photo by jtylerhuberphotography.com

By Sossity Chiricuzio, PQ Monthly

Max Voltage has been known for producing and performing in radical queer art that entertains and educates for over a decade in Portland, like their musical theater piece, “Homomentum.” Now the boy band concept from that production is a spin-off project about to make their big Portland debut! The Turnback Boyz are experienced musicians and very serious about their skills, but they see humor and camp as an accessible way to talk about important topics. I sat down with them to explore what is different about what they are doing in a community where masculinity is king. PQ: When did you know you wanted to be in a boyband, and what does it mean to you? Max (aka Peter): My first boyband performance was playing Justin Timberlake to a room full of screaming, preppy, Catholic students--it flipped a switch in me, and sent me on my queer artist gender-bending path. My art has grown so much since then, and I love coming back to

my boyband roots, but with all these added layers; no longer lip synching, using my own words and voice. Che (aka Oliver): I have always wanted to be in a boyband. I love to sing. I also love to write music, it is so cathartic and creates something for someone else to have as their own. Boybands have always been a genre that had cheesy songs, but the songs are FOR the people listening. Ruth (aka Tommy): I don’t remember when I first wanted to, but something definitely clicked when I saw the audition call. It means another opportunity to do the things that are “for boys,” a frequent

limitation when I was growing up. PQ: I see that you have your own dreamboat “magazine,” Cougar Beat, which includes tips on being a feminist boyfriend. Tell me about how you handle the opportunity to be a role model in that arena? Max: Some of my favorites from that list: “I’ll cook dinner if you do the dishes. Chores have no gender.” and “Physical Contact without sexual expectation.” For me being a feminist is very tied into my genderqueer identity, embracing all parts of my complex, layered gender, and empowering others to do the same. Not buying into the devaluation of the feminine, in myself or in others. Part of the subtlety of this project is dislodging gender essentialism. Ruth: I work in a very male dominated and physical field lifting large heavy objects, often by myself. I won’t run over and take something away from someone (as has been done to me in the past) based on assumptions of ability. Feminism is about checking your assumptions and learned behaviors on a daily basis.

Che: I try to employ simple things like holding space for everyone to talk, and MAKING space in mixed groups for women/femmes to speak. When I have been called out by femme partners in the past, I take in the information and then step back to reflect on what else I may have done, or what else there is for me to learn from this feedback. It isn’t ENOUGH to want feedback, you have to dig deep and work on your shit on your own time. PQ: Obviously you all see that there are problematic things about the existing models for masculinity. How do you aim to shift that with this project? Max: In college my straight guy friends would be congratulating me on “getting the girl,” and at first it felt fun to go along with it, to get to be one of the guys. But then I realized it was a connection based on misogyny and seeing women as conquests, so I started challenging that dynamic. I guess we’re using boybands as a map to find our way back to a sincere, authentic masculinity. Ruth: We’re all just really performing gender, right? Che: I think our existing models of masculinity are deeply riddled with inherent, unearned privilege based on misogyny. So, if queer masculinity does nothing to deviate from/challenge it/transform it into something that encompasses feminist thought or creates right-relationship to privileges offered to those who ID/appear more masc: it is doing a deep disservice to everyone involved. We are using the art of song and dance to challenge/transform queer masculinity into something that is able to be feminist and in right-relationship. PQ: Speaking of the problems of queer masculinity: femmes are often invisible in queer performance as well as culture. What do you do to push back against this? Che: I have a lot of thoughts and feelings on this as I was a very femme presenting self-identified dyke from the moment I came out at 14 ‘til I started exploring more nuances of my gender at 23. I am still a femme, and femme can look/feel so many ways--as long as there have been queers there have been femmes of all genders. My goal is to raise femme visibility and generally bring awareness to this very real experience. Also, FEMMES TO THE FRONT! Max: My radical artist training ground was the drag king community, where femmes were such a huge creative and political force, and yet the whole thing was centered on masculinity. As the community and conversation progressed, that stage became less about facial hair TURNBACK BOYS | Story continues on page 13

FEATURES

12 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

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FEATURES FEATURE

TURNBACK BOYS

& packies, and more about radical queer art. This projContinued from page 12 ect is coming full circle and focusing on masculinity, but not at the expense of femmes. Like how white people need to unwind our inner racism and have hard conversations with each other, masculine folks need to question our inner misogyny, and teach each other how to do better. PQ: Pop culture has many overlaps with rape culture— how do you deal with that issue? Che: I love this question, it’s at the heart of why we chose to write “Consent is Sexy”. We tend to bring our opinions of consent into our onstage banter quite a bit. I want there to always have overtones and explicit lyrical content that not only address this issue, but put out positive reinforcement towards consent and respect. Max: What’s often missing from the conversation, in our blame-the-victim world, is holding masculine folks accountable, and helping them unlearn entitlement to feminine bodies. I believe art is one of the most powerful tools of social change, so to have the Turnback Boyz write a song combating rape culture really early on in the project feels like a great foundation that we can build upon. Ruth: Consent is sexy and empowering, and it sucks that we live in a place and time where people need to be reminded of that. Like this lyric: “You said no and that’s great / other things we can negotiate / we could just cuddle, that’s okay / more than okay, really gay.” Find out more on the PQ Blog, at their February 20th show at the High Water Mark, and on turnbackboyz.com! End note: If you have questions, or topics you’d like me to cover, products you’d like me to review, people you’d like to hear from, or resources to share, please get in touch! sossity@pqmonthly.com

Join us! PQ PRESS PARTY! March 17th PQ Monthly is published the 3rd Thursday of every month.

5PM - 7PM • March 17th, 2016, 5P.M.-7 P.M. : LOCAL LOUNGE ( 3536 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212)

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FEATURE GET OUT WEDDINGS

VOICES STYLE DECONSTRUCTED

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18

GET

PQ Monthly February Press Party. Meet and mingle with your favorite reporters and editors and celebrate the February/March issue of PQ at Bossanova Ballroom. As always, this event is totally free and open to all in the community. 5 p.m., 722 E Burnside St.

OUT!

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20

“We Are Resilient” Open Mic. Resilient Connections is CIOs queer/transgender/immigrant/refugee group and we are here to remind you that we are resilient in the face of xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia. Join local poets, artists, organizers, and cultural workers for a free night of creative healing. CIO is a sober space—please respect the space. ADA accessible, gender-neutral restrooms. Closed space—this event is for QTBIPOC/QTIR folks; if you are an accomplice, ally, family or friend, please reach out to our organizers for ways to support. Free. Center for Intercultural Organizing, 700 N. Killingsworth St. White Out 2016. Presented by Black Rock Boutiques, a fabulous dance party on two stages in bright white lights and blacklights. Tickets $30 online or $35 at the door. 21+, 9 p.m. Want more? We’ll give you everything. Head over to pqmonthly.com and check out our online calendar of events, submit your own events, and send photos for your event. Also, remember to carefully examine our weekly weekend forecast — with the latest and greatest events — each Wednesday (sometimes Thursday), online only. --MATT PIZZUTI, CALENDAR EDITOR PQ MONTHLY

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EVERY SUNDAY

Drag Brunch: Testify at Stag with Alexis Campbell Starr. From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. every Sunday, Ms. Starr brings you the city’s hottest drag performers, drink specials (5 for $5 mimosas, $5 American Harvest Bloody Marys), and tasty brunch—all in the city’s hottest new bar. Be there promptly at 11, children. Ms. Starr demands it; and she brings so many guests. Stag, 317 NW Broadway. Samuel’s Hangover Happy Hour. Bloody Marys, friends, food, beats by Art of Hot and guests. It is an excellent recovery scenario. Mingle with queers in a very chill setting. 2 p.m.-7 p.m., Euphoria, 315 SE Third. Free. Superstar Divas. Bolivia Carmichaels, Honey Bea Hart, Topaz Crawford, Isaiah Tillman, and guest stars perform your favorite pop, Broadway, R&B, rock, and country hits. Dance floor opens after the show. Check out the newest and freshest Diva hits, plus a variety of diverse talent. 8 p.m., CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis. Free!

DANCE

IT OUT

EVERY MONDAY

Family Home Evening. A weekly, post-work lounge party every Monday night at Vault, featuring DJ Orographic (Bridge Club, Queerlandia) and occasional special guests (Sappho fills in now and then). Jens Irish serves you happy hour all the live long night. 7 p.m.-11 p.m., Vault, 226 NW 12. 14 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

to 4 a.m. at Euphoria, 315 SE 3rd Ave. Stranger Disco. An always-packed North Portland favorite queer dance party on North Williams; DJs Stormy Roxx, Vera Rubin and Sappho. 21+, $5, starts at 9 p.m., Vendetta, 4306 N. Williams Ave.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23

The 2016 Oregon Beer Awards. Gold, silver and bronze medalists will be revealed in categories ranging from Best Strong Hoppy Beer to Best Beer Festival. More than 60 judges have narrowed 520 submitted beers down to 42 medalists. $15 ticket includes includes a $2 donation to Oregon Wild, commemorative glass sponsored by Columbia Distributing, one pint of award-winning beer and snacks. 21+, 5:30 p.m. at Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24

COLOSSAL electronic music fest. Celebrating this moment in electronic music in Portland. From hardware-based knob twirlers to laptop artistes, from ambient ethereal soundscapes to driving house beats, the inaugural electronic music event COLOSSAL will immerse audiences in the wealth of electronic music that Portland has to offer. Featuring Rafael, Strategy, Dylan Stark, Acid Farm, Ghost Feet, Apartment Fox, Visible Cloaks, Vektroid, EASTGHOST, Rap Class and more. Doors at 7 p.m., tickets $7 in advance or $10 day-of at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27 EVERY WEDNESDAY

Amateur night at Stag PDX, though they won’t look like amateurs, trust. Hosted by Godiva Devyne, come gawk at the pretty dancers. And talk some shit with the Devyne Ms. G. 9 p.m., Stag PDX, 317 NW Broadway.

EVERY THURSDAY

Hip Hop Heaven. Bolivia Carmichaels hosts this hip-hop-heavy soiree night every Thursday night at CCs. Midnight guest performers and shows. Remember those midnight shows at The City? Bolivia does! 9 p.m., CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis. Free.

FIRST SATURDAYS

Sugar Town. DJ Action Slacks. Keywords: Soul, polyester. Great place to find the ladies, to mingle, to get your groove on. 9 p.m., The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42. $5. Pop Rocks! 80s music aficionado DJ Matt Consola (Bearracuda) is hosting a very special 80s anthem night at Euphoria Nightclub. The space will be enhanced with an 80s theme featuring dancers, games and an official Dungeons & Dragons Gaming Table, visuals, rad 80s movies, drink specials, a photo booth, coat check and special guest DJs. 10 p.m., Euphoria, 315 SE 3. No cover.

SECOND TUESDAYS

Bi Bar—every second Tuesday at Crush, and it’s an open, bi-affirming space for music and mingling. Correction: Bi/Pan/Fluid/ Queer. 8 p.m., Crush, 1400 SE Morrison.

National Black HIV and AIDS Awareness Day. The first-an nual event, the National Black HIV and AIDS Awareness Day is a community mobilization initiative designed to encourage Blacks in our community to get educated, get tested, get involved, and get treated. Find fun events and food, plus free HIV testing. The free celebration is from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Charles Jorda Community Center at 9009 N Foss Ave.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28

The Oscar Party. Walk the red carpet dressed to impress to Portland’s most fun Oscar Party! $25 gets you in the door, your first cocktail, and A-list appetizers. The room will be equipped with TVs airing the Academy Awards and during commercials breaks you’ll have the chance to win hotel stays around the U.S. The is one not to miss! Sponsored by Cascade AIDS Project and Hotel Monaco. Starts at 4 p.m. at Hotel Monaco, 506 SW Washington St.

SATURDAY, MARCH 5

Sugar Town: Bit O’ Honey (Ladies of Classic Soul Celebration). The hive will come alive on 3/5 when Sugar Town and DJ Action Slacks present the FIFTH annual celebration of the LADIES of classic soul and R&B. Kick off Women’s History Month following the buzz to the Spare Room where you’ll dance to som of the mid-century’s finest records about hip shakes, heartaches, love fakes, mistakes, double takes, rat snakes, high stakes, hotcak and daybreaks. This time DJ Action Slacks will be joined by speci guest DJ Listen Lady! 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cover $5, 21+ at Spare Room Restaurant and Lounge, 4830 NE 42nd Ave.

SECOND FRIDAYS

Slo Jams is a Queer Modern R&B & Neo Soul Dance Night at Local Lounge. DJ II TRILL (TWERK) and DJ MEXXX-TAPE lay down everything from Mary J // Jagged Edge// Keyshia to Badu// Lauryn Etc. 10 p.m., Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK. $5.

SECOND SATURDAYS

Hot Flash: Inferno. (Second and Fourth Saturdays) In the heart of Portland is where the women are—dancing the night away and burning up dance floors the second and fourth Saturdays of every month at Trio. Welcoming all women, queers, and their allies. DJ Lauren joins Wildfire, and this night features dancers from up and down the I-5 corridor. 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Trio, 909 E. Burnside.

THIRD MONDAYS

Bump, grind and crash into your favorite queer friends at Gay Skate. Look for our publisher, who’s always handing out copies of PQ. And, you know, you’ll probably get a date. Every CALENDAR SP third Monday. Food drive for Take Action Inc. 7 p.m., Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. $6.

THIRD WEDNESDAYS

Comedy at Crush: Belinda Carroll and a slew of locals rustle up some funny. Special guests, and Crush’s signature cocktail and food menus. Donations, sliding scale. (Comics have to eat and drink, too, so give!) 9 pqmonthly.com


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SATURDAY, MARCH 5 TO SUNDAY, MARCH 6

Southeast Art Walk. A free, self-guided tour of the the studios, home workspaces, galleries, host homes and businesses within the walkable/bikeable/busable boundaries of SE 9th to SE 41st and SE Hawthorne to SE Powell Blvd.

SUNDAY, MARCH 6

The Sweethearts of Portland Ball. Join Mr. Sweetheart XXVII Solstice Seasons, and Miss Sweetheart XXVII Kimber K. Shade, for a night of fun, entertainment and charity as we say job well done and get ready to crown a new Mr. and Miss Sweetheart. This year’s charity beneficiary is New Avenues for Youth, taking a complete approach to addressing youth homelessness and its root causes. Cover $20. Doors open at 5 p.m. at Darcelle XV Showplace, 208 NW 3rd Ave.

MONDAY, MARCH 7

Marjuana and the brain: Nephi Stella, PhD lecture. Dr. Nephi Stella, professor of Pharmacology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of Washington will be in Portland for an OHSU event to explain the role marijuana plays in cutting edge neuroscience research. Part of an ongoing brain awareness lecture series. Tickets $27. 7p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway st. Jose Gonzalez and Music together. Indie folk singer-songwriter José González hits Portland performing with acclaimed NYC-based chamber sextet Music, which works in close quarters with contemporary composers and songwriters to developing ideas into vivid, communicative performances. 8 p.m. at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway. Tickets start at $29.

THURSDAY, MARCH 10

Heathers, the Musical. Don’t miss the Portland premiere of this hit musical by the award-winning creative team of Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness), Laurence O’Keefe (Legally Blonde, Bat Boy), and p.m., Crush, 1400 SE Morrison. Queens of the Night: Alexis Campbell Starr. That’s all you need to know. But there’s more: she always welcomes a special slew of talented queens for a night that takes Hip-Hop from beginning to end. 8 p.m., Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK. Free.

THIRD THURSDAYS

Polari. Troll in for buvare. Back-in-the-day language, music, and elegance. An ease-youinto-the-weekend mixer. Bridge Club boys make the music. Bridge and tunnel patrons have no idea what to do with us when we pour in. Hint: it’s always the Thursday we go to press. What serendipitous fortune! 10 p.m., Vault, 226 NW 12. Free.

THIRD SATURDAYS

Burlescape! Burlesque & boylesque wrapped in a taste of tease! Zora Phoenix, Isaiah Esquire, Tod Alan. (And there’s more than that, kids.) Zora is a treat and a treasure—and so are her shows. Try one out! 9 p.m., Crush, 1400 SE $10. We’re featuring all of Zora’s PONSORED BY Morrison. events online, so get on the net. Gaycation: DJ Charming always welcomes special guests—and here you’ll find everything lesbian, gay, and in between. Be early so you can actually get a drink. Sweaty deliciousness, hottest babes. THE party. Yes, boys, even you can hit on Mr. Charming. We know you want to. 9 p.m., Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $5. Undergear: Eagle Portland’s monthly pqmonthly.com

Andy Fickman (She’s the Man).Based on the classic 1989 film, Westerberg High is ruled by a shoulder-padded, scrunchie-wearing junta: Heather, Heather and Heather, the hottest and cruelest girls in all of Ohio. But misfit Veronica Sawyer rejects their evil regime for a new boyfriend, the dark and sexy stranger J.D., who plans to put the Heathers in their place—six feet under. Tickets start at $15. 7:30 p.m. Triangle Productions, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd.

SATURDAY, MARCH 12

Bearracuda Spring Fling! Dance with Portland’s beautiful bears and their admirers. Bearracuda is back in Portland for the must-attend March event with all the beefy boys and burly beaus. Featuring DJ Matt Stands and DJ John Cross. Doors open at 9 p.m. $5 before 10 p.m., $7 after at Euphoria, 315 SE 3rd Ave.

THURSDAY, MARCH 17

PQ Monthly March Press Party. Rub elbows with PQ supporters and staff and celebrate the March/April issue of PQ at Local Lounge. As always, this event is totally free and open to all in the community. 5 p.m., 3536 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

WEDDINGS VOICES GET OUT THE BRILLIANT LIST

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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 29

Portland Mayoral Debate. Hosted by the Oregonian. Where does Portland’s next mayor stand on issues important to you? Join The Oregonian/OregonLive for a Mayoral Debate with candidates State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey in the spotlight. Topics will cover affordable housing, economic growth, small business, infrastructure, taxes and more. The event is FREE, but register online to reserve a seat. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St.

PQ PICKS

FRIDAY, MARCH 18

Sister Spirit Queer + Feminist Roadshow. 6 emerging and established artists offer a critical, intersectional and often humorous lens to issues of feminism, race, size, class, identity, technology, gender and sexuality. See Jezebel Delilah X, Nikki Darling, Juliana Delgado Lopera, Cassie J. Sneider, Virgie Tovar, Denise Benavides and Cooper Lee Bombardier. $15-20 sliding scale at the door, 7 p.m. at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, 1001 SE Division St. underwear, jock, mankini, etc., fetish party every third Saturday. Free if you arrive before 9 p.m. or if you use free clothes check upon entry after. After 9 p.m. arrivals who do not check clothes must pay $5 entry. Clothes check and raffle prize provided by Cub Cleaners. Eagle Portland, 835 N. Lombard.

FOURTH FRIDAYS

Twerk. DJs ILL Camino and II Trill. Keywords: bring your twerk. The city’s longest-running queer hip hop/R&B party—where artists, deejays, performers come to mix, mingle, and move on the dance floor. We promise you you’ll move all night long. 10 p.m., Killingsworth Dynasty, 832 N Killingsworth. $5. Club Kai-Kai. A crazy, cozy, packed dance party for queers of all kinds at a horror-themed venue called Lovecraft. Club Kai-Kai (at it’s most basic) is an experimentation of nightlife, performance, and your gender preference. If you have questions, we don’t have answers; we just have a space for you to Kai-Kai. $5 cover, 21+ at Lovecraft, 421 SE Grand Ave.

FOURTH SATURDAYS

Blow Pony. Two giant floors. Wide variety of music, plenty of room for dancing. Rowdy, crowdy, sweaty betty, the one tried and true, even after all these years. 9 p.m., Euphoria, 315 SE 3. $5. Judy on Duty. Lesbian hardcore. Judys, Judes, and cool ass freaks. Dance it out. DJ Troubled Youth. Organized by Ana Margarita and Megan Holmes. 10 p.m., High Mark Water Lounge, 6800 NE MLK.

LAST SUNDAYS

Sabbathhause Discotheque, gay night is back at Aalto lounge and it is bigger and more queer than ever before. Featuring some of the best deejays and performers around and hosted by night hawk Chanticleer Tru. 8 p.m., Aalto Lounge, 3356 SE Belmont.

FRIDAY, MARCH 4

Hard Yes presents Yes Please! Yes Please is a monthly queer dance party for the dark, dirty and fabulous who just wanna dance. The party also features guest performers from Portland and beyond plus resident DJ Sappho alongside a rotating lineup of guest DJ’s providing you with a healthy dose of: House, techno, deep disco and hard f*ggotry. This month we bring from Los Angeles: Ambrosia Salad, plus DJ Jackal and DJ Sappho. Cover $7. 21+. 9 p.m. at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St.

SATURDAY, MARCH 5

I love it when you read to me: A benefit for Q Center. Join the Independent Publishing Resource Center, Q Center, emcee Sossity Chiricuzio, and Portland writers and readers in a celebration of LGBTQ literature from 1855 to present. ASL interpreted and accessible by mobility device. The theme of this intergenerational literary mix-tape is love. $5-$25 sliding scale. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Ave. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 • 15


FEATURE

CHICK-FIL-HATE? By Monty Herron, PQ Monthly

“You might feel shame (You should feel shame) (You’re an abomination) We might cross dress but that’s not what’s to blame. Someday somebody’s gonna make you want to gobble up a waffle fry. But no no, don’t you know, Chick-Fil-A says you make the baby Jesus cry. Dude’s with boobs, Gay-for-Pay, even Dykes say hey So chooooow down at Chick-fil-A Even if you’re gay Chow down at Chick-fil-A” Lyrics, “Chow Down at Chick-Fil-A” Willam Belli, Detox, Vicky Vox and Crossdresser Records

Oh, babies, Portland Peeps, where ma ladies?! What fresh new gay hell is this?! The greater Portland Area is being invaded by none other than Chick-Fil-A. Two stores are slated to open soon in Hillsboro and Clackamas at The Promenade. For those of you that don’t remember the controversy, In January of 2011, the fast food chain Chick-Fil-A sponsored a marriage conference, along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute. They were responsible for also filing an amicus brief to strike down Prop 8 in California, as well

16 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

as lobbied in Pennsylvania against a proposed statewide ban on discrimination for sexual orientation or gender identity. But this was just the beginning. The WinShape Foundation, a Cathy family enterprise, also stated that same-sex couples were not allowed to participate in their ‘Art of Marriage’ retreats. In 2010, Chick-Fil-A donated over $8 million to the WinShape Foundation. In total, between 2003 and 2011, WinShape Foundation gave a total of just under $10 million to various anti-gay groups according to the LGBTQ watchdog group, Equality Matters. These included Family Research Council, Georgia Family Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Marriage and Family Foundation, and Exodus International. (The ex-gay conversion therapy folks.) On June 16, 2012, Chick-fil-A president and chief operating officer (COO) Dan Cathy stated the following while on the ‘The Ken Coleman Show,’a syndicated radio talk show: “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say. ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant

attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.” The following month, on July 2, Biblical Recorder published an interview with Dan Cathy, who was asked about opposition to his company’s “support of the traditional family.” He replied: “Well, guilty as charged.” Cathy continued: “We are very much supportive of the family - the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. ... We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized. “We intend to stay the course,” he said. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.” Cathy tweeted: “Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our generation’s abandonment of the wisdom of the ages re the cornerstone of strong societies. The day after the Supreme Court struck down article 3 of the Defense of our Marriage Act, then later deleted it. CHICK-FIL-HATE? page 17

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FEATURES FEATURE

CHICK-FIL-HATE?

Of course this ignited an active Continued from page 16 boycott of all Chick-Fil-Hate restaurants by the Friends of Dorothy, Sisters of Sappho, Twinks, Otters and Bears, Oh My! There is nothing quite like a gay boycott to wither up an organization’s bags of money. Friends, we are one helluva an economic force when we join together, and vote with our pocketbooks. Oh, lest not we forget the fantastic photos that began to pour in of “Queer and Gay Kiss-In” events being staged in the dining rooms and outside of various ChickFil-A locations. The bottom line is this: We have always been a community with a fair amount of money to spend. And we tend to do it judiciously and wisely, with an eye on who our dollars support. Government leaders supported our community on this, with officials from Boston, Chicago and San Francisco expressing their displeasure with Chick-Fil-A. The CEO of pasta maker Barilla found this out the hard way when he chose to make harsh statements about the LGBTQ community; in some circles I have heard they lost as much money in one-quarter, as they had made a profit in the previous 3 years! Needless to say, he quickly backtracked and reversed his decision making an apology to any reporter that would listen. Fast Forward 2 years to March 2014. Dan Cathy stated in an interview with Leon Stafford of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he does not apologize for his stance on same-sex marriage, his position remains unchanged. However, Cathy did say the following: “I think that’s a political debate that’s going to rage on and the wiser thing for us to do is to stay focused on customer service. I think the time of truths and principles are captured and codified in God’s word and I’m just personally committed to that, I know others feel very different from that and we should respect their opinion and hope that they would be respectful of ours. Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth, and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make,” Cathy said. “And you learn from those mistakes. If not, you’re just a fool. I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it.” To their credit, and following through on Cathy’s stated regret for having drawn the company into a controversy, all funding had been cut to all but one of the

previous recipients, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Cathy has also said that he began work with the organization, Campus Pride, in 2012 and is pleased to be doing so. So where does that leave us? Is it too late to #rupaulogize? We have 2 locations opening here soon. Oregon business people have welcomed the company. The Hillsboro location is slated to open its doors on St. Patrick’s Day, March 15th. An Atlanta resident, Brian Davis, was hand selected to run the Oregon locations. From the Inside ChickFil-A website,“ Bethany and I felt a connection to Clackamas the first time we visited, and I could not feel more optimistic about starting a business in this community where my family and I already feel truly welcome,” Davis says. “I look forward to opening the doors to my restaurant in a few months and welcoming our guests from the community to experience the great food, service and hospitality that Chick-fil-A is known for. We’re so honored to be in Clackamas.” Chick-fil-A held a site dedication ceremony at the future restaurant site in Clackamas on Sept. 29 and was welcomed by more than 30 community leaders, vendors, and partners, including Junior Achievement of Oregon and other local philanthropies. The restaurant, formally named Chick-fil-A at Clackamas Promenade, will be located at 12520 SE 93rd Avenue and is one of two locally-owned Chick-fil-A restaurants opening in Oregon this spring. The restaurant will be built to LEED® specifications with water and energy efficiency features, air quality control and waste diversion efforts, among other initiatives. Lastly, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I want to spend my dollars in a business that mixes religion and customer service. (Chick-Fil-A stores are always closed on Sundays). Or that has a proven track record of leadership that is unapologetic about issues of LGBTQ equality. I leave up to you all to decide what you will do, but I think it would be just lovely if we could welcome them with an LGBTQ Kiss-In event here, or, at least, open up a dialogue with Mr. Davis. “Hi, can I please have a spicy chicken sandwich, drenched in homophobia, with a large side of waffle fries and bigotry…. and um, a large sweet tea #nohomo?”

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Monty Herron is a staff writer for PQ Monthly, Graduate student at Portland State University, author, and member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

SAVE THE DATE! PQ PRESS PARTY March 17th • March 17th, 2016, 5P.M.-7 P.M. : LOCAL LOUNGE ( 3536 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212) pqmonthly.com

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 • 17


FEATURES FEATURE

18 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

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VOICES

PERS{ECTOVES

THE AWAKENING: DAYLIGHT, THE WARRIOR QUEEN, CONTINUES ON HER QUEST

By Marco Davis, PQ Monthly

As we step through the forest, I feel the moist moss and decaying debris beneath my feet, I feel the crisp breeze blow through my hair and between my legs, providing me with a deeper thrill of adventure. Your hand, however, is the one thing I am most aware of. It is so strong and rough, signs of a lifetime of hard work, at the same time, your touch is so gentle and assuring; as if I’m being led by the spriest spirit of the forest. Your smell is like leather mixed with vanilla and tobacco and a lingering of a camp fire. Your stride steady and broad, I almost struggle to keep up, but the sight of your thighs and ass in your brown leather pants keeps me on your tail. I just can’t help myself. As we make our way to the rise, you turn to me, your blue eyes quenching my thirst, your smile leading me on. You speak,” We will rest at the crest of this hill, Queen Daylight. I will answer your questions then.” Queen Daylight?? As we make it to the rise, a sparkle catches my eye, I follow and see an incredible sight!! A table set beneath a pavilion of linen and gold, lavender and rosemary fill the air. As we reach the table, he pulls out my chair and bows with such a flourish, I do feel like a queen. Hawk takes the seat to my right and pours me a glass of water and presents me with a meal of fruits and cheese. As Hawk bites into a strawberry, I ask, “Where are we going? Why did you call me queen?” Wiping the juice from his cleft chin, he holds me in his eyes and replies, “We are heading just beyond this valley over the coast range to have an audience with The Oracle. He had heard of your Awakening and had I left his side to wait for your emergency and bring you to him. It was foretold upon your Awakening you would be given your quest and once completed, ascend to your throne as Queen Daylight, the Warrior Queen of Love.” “You are joking right?! How am I fit for a quest? I have no training in protecting pqmonthly.com

myself or finding whatever it is I am to find... Who am I to question anything? I did just sprout right up out of the earth after my visit with the man at the water’s edge. Oh, my God, it is all coming back to me. Yielding to the water and the song it gave my soul; being pushed to the edge of everything I have known and surrendering to the pressure, allowing myself to be transported and transformed as the ancestors, holding me through their rock forms as I was carried downstream and away. Parts of me took to the sea, parts absorbed into the shore, carried away on the wings of birds and the fur of animals, photosynthesis. I was given to the whole and the mysteries of life the seed of knowledge that sprouted me up and out and into your presence!” I rise excitedly and exclaim, “We must leave at once!! I have many things to speak to The Oracle about.” That said, I stride forward knowing exactly where we were going, the heartbeat of The Oracle finding rhythm with my own, pulling me on. As we step on, Hawk turns and nods; I look back and see the few squirrels and rabbits that were along the shrub line move towards the table and shift into human form. Wawawawhat??? The veil has been lifted, my eyes see beyond. Glorious to behold! As I turn back to the trail, I notice that Hawk has taken the lead again, I’m not complaining, great view and it’s the carrot I’d want to have dangled in front of me leading me on. Our journey is effortless. By nightfall, we are making our way down from the coast range, I hear music in the distance, drums and violin, the smell of roasting food fills the air as the music and my heart beat pulls us on. This scene is odd. As we move back into the woods, the area has a strange dark quality to it, the air is thick and moist, and every so often an abandoned car occupies space amongst the trees, covered with moss and decay. I feel like I am walking through the timeworn sacred ground. The cars are not junk, but rather monuments from the past. As my vision widens, I notice more than just cars. We are walking through an ancient town, there are light poles, chimneys, partial walls, walkways. Hawk indicated with his right hand that we are going just ‘across the street’, I already know that. I can see The Oracle’s aura from where I stand. Its glow and vibration filling the space around us. Such presence. As we step down age worn stairs, we enter an old courtyard that has multiple levels and each level is a living quarter. A large fire pit burns in the center and just beyond I see The Oracle, sitting on an enormous mound of pillows and furs. The Oracle is in dark robes of green and blue velvet trimmed with silver and gold, an open chest heavy with crystals and bones and feathers. Laughter thunders out as we step into the room. To be continued.... FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 • 19


NIGHTLIFE

VOICES

FINDING LEO My Best Valentine By Leo Bancroft, PQ Monthly

It’s raining outside. I’m scrolling through Facebook past angry political posts and memes about cats. And then I see a post from AIDS Walk Portland. Drawn in, I look at the photos from last summer. Blue sky and sunshine on the green grass of The Fields Park, smiling friendly faces, pictures that bring back happy memories and joy. My mind starts jumping ahead to this summer, and ideas bubble up for making 2016 even better. I volunteer for Cascade AIDS Project because I believe in the mission: to prevent HIV infections, support and empower people living with or affected by HIV, and eliminate HIV-related stigma and health disparities. I also want to make a difference because of the people I care about who are affected by HIV. But how do I describe the greater gift that the community has given me? In 2010, I was mad a God for suffering in the world, and angry at the church for the human failings of its leaders. Upset about my poor choices in love, and my loss of faith, I was struggling with depression and felt adrift. I had moved back home to Beaverton, after dropping out of seminary. I was lonely, tired of taking myself to dinner alone, and I was just plain feeling blue. I didn’t yet know I am trans. My friend from seminary asked me if I would join her team in the AIDS LifeCycle, a 545 mile from San Francisco to LA. I wasn’t a cyclist but thought I would give it a try, hoping it would be a way I could get fit. Because I live in Portland, I was connected to the training captains and teams from this area. Team Portland for the AIDS LifeCycle is very committed, and I tried to train hard. We got up early on Saturdays and spent the whole day on the bicycle, going up steep hills, learning to ride in the wind and the rain, learning to follow good cycling etiquette. We shared the stories of how our lives were impacted by HIV. Truthfully, I was still a bit of a lost soul on those rides. I am especially grateful to David Duncan and Maje Anderson, great cyclists and extraordinary men who shepherded me along my steep learning curve, fear of falling and other anxieties, as well as my general struggles. They never left me behind. They helped me face the scariest downhills. The rest of the team is also excellent but some of my strongest memories are of those times when I couldn’t keep up, but David and Maje stuck with me. The actual event in the summer of 2011 was incredible, with 2500 cyclists and roadies over 7 days. Again, I felt out of my ele-

ment and overwhelmed by several challenges (for me one of the hardest was waking up, packing all my gear, and getting on the bike without my usual slow morning dawdle). I was moved deeply, however, by the way, people encouraged and supported one another. This was also a time when I most strongly identified as “one of the guys”, and tried to figure out what that was about. Flash forward to 2012, and David and Maje invited me to ride a shorter ride, this time for the local organization, Cascade AIDS Project. I did some training on the bicycle, but more importantly, became involved in the local community. I met so many new friends who changed my life forever and found meaning and purpose in working to end AIDS and fight stigma. It’s amazing how just a few choices can change the direction of your life. I raised money, fought stigma, and promoted education to make a difference in the lives of those affected by HIV. But what I have received far outweighs anything I have given. It was a journey for me to come from the place of sorrow in 2010 to the place of joy I am now. It took time to rebuild my faith, and find community. It took a village to help me come out as trans. I find so much inspiration and courage from those who choose to be public about their HIV status. Such as the Positive Pedalers from AIDS LifeCycle, whose motto is Eliminating Stigma through Our Positive Public Example. Also, Cascade AIDS Project’s group Positive Force NW, who seek to build community and eliminate HIV/ AIDS-related stigma. I have tried to craft my own life motto, “no shame, no fear, no stigma” based on these role models. They have given me the bravery to live my own most authentic life, loved and cared for me, and helped me find community as my real self. I saw God at our AIDS Walk. For Valentine’s Day this year, I give my love and gratitude to all who walk, all who donate, all who volunteer, and to all who don’t let stigma or fear hold them back. For those who are struggling, you are in my heart. I look forward to a day when HIV is no more, but until then, I am grateful for an opportunity to walk alongside those affected by HIV. I can’t wait organize our faith communities again this year for AIDS Walk Portland, on September 10th, 2016. You can sign up now! Start or join a team at AIDSWalkPortland.org! Thank you all for being a part of my story and in my life.

Leo Bancroft is a Lutheran trans man. He volunteers on the boards of Cascade AIDS Project and ReconcilingWorks. You can reach him at leo@pqmonthly.com. 20 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

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FASHION CALENDAR

TURN A LOOK: PISCES Sally Mulligan, PQ Monthly

Welcome to the second installment of Turn a Look: Horoscopes! Every month I will be forecasting fashions for the sign that month falls on. Spring feels imminent and that means it’s time for PISCES to ready themselves for a stylish year ahead! What are you water babies looking to accept about your fishy nature and what are you looking shirk? Here are my fashion predictions for your year. CALLING IN: DAYDREAMING DREAMBOAT February is all about you, sweet and sensitive Pisces. Indeed, this turn towards spring feels like it was created just for you, and since we know we can often find Pisces with their heads among the clouds, there’s no need to feel the call back to Earth this month! How does this translate to your wardrobe? It’s best to remain unencumbered this year since you don’t know where you’ll end up. Lots of light and floaty fabrics and comfortable shapes. Clean and simple will get you far, and with only a few well-chosen accessories like a trademark necklace and some comfy shoes for your adventures ahead.

in softness, merqueer! Silk, cashmere, suede, jersey. Anything that feels right in your heart and on your skin, go for it. Temper your sensitive, easily overstimulated nature with a bit of ease. Simple shapes and soft fabrics put together in

CASTING OUT: SO SECRETIVE It’s no secret that Pisces are among some of the most secretive in the zodiac. For a malleable water sign, you are often shrouded in mystery. This month’s full moon (2/22) is in Virgo and is bound to shed some light on aspects of your life that you aren’t prepared for, but fear not, you really have nothing to hide. This is a dream month for you and it is best not to challenge this big reveal. Cover up if you must, but at least, do me a favor and wear some sexy undies? If you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, you deserve to do it on your own sexy terms. It’s time to determine what you will show and what you will shield.

“EMBRACE SIMPLICITY ON THE OUTSIDE & YOU WILL MANIFEST THE CLARITY YOU SEEK ON THE INSIDE.”

CASTING OUT: CRYBABY With all the excitement ahead, it’s time to toughen up, dear Pisces. Now, I don’t mean you need to shake your tender side. Rather, this year you embrace the duality of deriving your strength from your more sensitive self. So how do you strike a balance? Leather and lace, love. Nothing says “Don’t try me” like some biker style leather, and nothing quite holds the longing of “Wait, don’t go!” like lace. So go on, mix and match a ruffled lace top with some leather leggings, or some bitchin biker boots with a sheer granny caftan. Too scared to jump in the deep end? Grab a leather jacket or backpack and you’re right on trend without the emotional fallout. Hey, this is probably why we tender queers started flagging in the first place. You have to have a hanky handy. CALLING IN: LOVE OF LUXURY As an emotional creature, it’s entirely understandable that you would want to indulge a little for comfort. Pisces are notorious for their love of nature, luxury, travel, and pleasure. And as for the clothes? Duh! Bathe

PISCES PLAYLIST: “We’re Never Coming Home,” Molly Nilsson; “It’s All in Your Mind,” Beck; “And That’s Saying A Lot,” Christine McVie; “Sea, Swallow Me,” Cocteau Twins. **You TURN A LOOK: PISCES. WHAT ARE YOU CALLING IN AND CASTING OUT THIS YEAR? probably already know this but just in surprising ways. You’ve got enough on your mind without case: I am not a professional astrologer and these are just overthinking your outfit. Embrace simplicity on the outside my fun suggestions. Do what you want and let me know and you will manifest the clarity you seek on the inside. how it goes! **

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 • 21


NIGHTLIFE FEATURE

BLACK LIVES MATTER PART 2: POLITICS, ECONOMICS, AND WHITE FEAR News Report, Starla Muhammad, Charlene Muhammad for PQ Monthly in collaboration with New America Media

During his year-end Dec. 18 press conference, President Barack Obama told reporters steady, persistent work over the past few years is “paying off for the American people in big, tangible ways.” He touted unemployment falling to five percent and growing wages as examples of progress. But for many Blacks on the economic front, 2015 continued to remain relatively stagnant. According to mid-December data released by the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for Blacks was still on average twice that of Whites, regardless of educational achievement. From December 2014 through November 2015 the unemployment rate for Black college graduates was 4.1 percent compared to 2.4 percent for Whites. The disparity between those with less than a high school diploma was, even more, telling, with Blacks having an unemployment rate of 16.6 percent compared to 6.9 percent for Whites. According to the EPI data, “persistent disparities in unemployment are constant reminders of how race continues to have an undue influence on life in this country.” The optimism many people, especially Black Americans had when Mr. Obama first took office has waned. When asked what changes or expectations folks can expect during the president’s last year in office, economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux was blunt. “I think we should expect pretty much what we’ve been getting and again, people will have mixed feelings and ambivalence about this president and his legacy. His legacy is that he’s the first Black president, his legacy is that he did healthcare,” said Dr. Malveaux referring to the Affordable Care Act. “I’m not so sure what else I would consider a part of his legacy. Again I would ask questions, has the material conditions of Black people in particular changed? And unfortunately, the answer would have to be pretty much no,” she continued. “Now he did get us out of the recession and that means that everybody is better off. But have any of the gaps, the wealth gaps, income gaps, the unemployment gaps, have they narrowed? And the answer is no,” said Dr. Malveaux. However, it must be pointed out, she explained, that Mr. Obama had to deal with a very hostile Congress vehemently opposed to everything he tried to accomplish. As he heads into his final year as president, Mr. Obama could utilize his power of Executive Order to help Black

people, the noted author and president emerita of Bennett College for Women told The Final Call. It could be used to set up an investigative arm to examine and study the issue of reparations for Black descendants of slaves as laid out by H.R. 40 introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) in 1997. It has never made it out of committee with some members of the Congressional Black Caucus even not supporting it. “This president has the opportunity to do something. It’s mild but it might get us started in a direction of a conversation that we need to have about wealth gaps. I don’t expect that to happen, but what I have seen in this last year, there have been flashes of boldness from the president that we had not seen before,” she said. But as Mr. Obama’s term winds down, the message of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has resonated with many White voters who feel their place at the top is being usurped. His racially coded language has not stopped thousands of mostly Whites who fill venues to hear his message. “There is a fear that White people are being left behind, and soon will be vanquished, or put into the third or fourth sphere where they have been used for the past few hundred years of running the world,” said Khari Enaharo, author of “Race Code War, The Power of Words, Images And Symbols on The Black Psyche.” The widespread violence at the hands of police is like a clarion call to White race warriors, he added. “All police are not White Supremacists, but there are White Supremacists who will disguise themselves as police, and they will engage in racial injustice,” Mr. Enaharo told The Final Call. The clarion call sounds like, “Let’s take our country back,” “We’ve got to stop these savages, we got to stop these monsters,” and politicians are stoking that fear, he said. “What they have done is created a whole industry where they have criminalized through racial codes, symbols through racial code words, through racially coded images. They have criminalized an entire race of people,” he added. The killings have purposefully shifted people’s focus from thousands of things they should but don’t pay any attention to, Mr. Enaharo said. “That means we don’t have to deal with HIV-AIDS anymore. We don’t have health problems. We don’t have an eco-

Always have supported LGBT rights, Always will.

nomic problem. … That is by design to get our attention off of the things that are being done to us and we are not paying attention to this war, this racial war that is being waged in education, economics, sex and sports. Everywhere we look we are racially wiped out and we aren’t paying attention to it,” said the author. Several efforts aimed at self-determination and action, including “Buy Black” campaigns, calls to support Latino, Native American, and Indigenous businesses and withholding dollars from huge multi-billion dollar corporations took root this year in response to injustices and a call to redistribute the pain. Cecile Johnson, the CEO and founder of the African Development Plan, a solutions-oriented collaborative that looks at the needs of Black communities on a local, national and international level, said this year marked an increased awareness globally on what Black Americans have been faced with hundreds of years. For the first time, said Ms. Johnson, there seems to be more willingness by Black people to work across religious and ideological lines and build coalitions. The elders are helping behind the scenes but an intergenerational healing and atonement need to take place and youth must continue moving forward, said Ms. Johnson, who holds a master’s degree in Inner City Studies Education. Black people have a right to self-determination and human rights which include the right to education, culture, and life, she said. Moving forward Black people can continue doing things to invest in their collective future, including harnessing $1.2 trillion in spending power they have, she said. “There’s things that we can do, churches, mosques, synagogues that are all Black, put your money in a Black bank. That only takes 15 minutes and now you’re beginning to invest in us, that’s one step,” said Ms. Johnson. Black faithbased institutions must be actively engaged and working in the community by investing in businesses, establishing mentoring programs and other services, she continued. “I see a political climate and us pushing a Black agenda, pushing political empowerment, pushing self-determination as a way to begin waking Black people up. So I see 2016 as a year that people are going to have to get woke up,” said Ms. Johnson.

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ARTS &PHOTOS CULTURE FASHION

EMPOWER OIL EMPOWER 4PLAY

$44 Empower your sexuality with the latest product from Empower Bodycare, Empower 4PLAY. Formulated to be pH balanced, this cannabis-infused, sensory enlivening, topical pleasure oil entices and arouses randy sensations for adult playtime. Potent, Portland approved, non-GMO, Vegan, Sustainably sourced. Put It Where You Please. 503-862-8338, empowerbodycare.com

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 • 23


VOICES BOOKS HEALTH

24 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

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FEATURE MUSIC

POLITICS

TODAY WE NATURALIZE, GAY SKATE WITH PQ Oaks Park Roller Skating Rink TOMORROW WE VOTE New America Media, News Report, by Elena Shore

SAN JOSE – Hoang Truong says becoming a U.S. citizen gave him “the key” to unlocking a better life. “When we become a U.S. citizen,” he said, “we have the key -- the key to the higher education door, the key to freedom, the key to vote, the key to do whatever we want.” Truong, who came to the country seven years ago from Vietnam, said he was watching TV one day when he saw there was an upcoming free workshop in San Jose to help people apply for citizenship. With help from the local organization Asian Law Alliance, Truong and his family were able to get fee wavers so they didn’t have to pay the $680 naturalization fees. Truong, his mother and his sister, applied for citizenship in July, had their interviews in October, and in November, they became U.S. citizens. This year, they will be able to vote in their first U.S. presidential election. Truong spoke to over 50 ethnic media journalists and community members at San Jose City Hall. The media roundtable was organized by New America Media in collaboration with the New Americans Campaign, a national, non-partisan coalition that aims to make citizenship more accessible. In a climate of escalating anti-immigrant rhetoric, service providers here are encouraging more immigrants like Truong to take the step to become U.S. citizens so they can have the chance to make their voices heard in November. “With this presidential election happening right now, the rhetoric around immigrants and immigration is scary,” said Vanessa Sandoval, immigration legal services program director of Services Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN). “Naturalization empowers people. They become engaged. They have a voice,” said Sandoval. “The urgency is now,” she said. “It’s a time to come forward.” John Kramar, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), says becoming a citizen is often easier and faster than people think. “After someone takes the citizenship test, they often say, ‘That wasn’t as bad as I thought,’” Kramar said. “There was a time in years past when you would file and it would take several years. We’re now averaging four to five months.” That means that green card holders who apply for U.S. citizenship now could be able to register to vote in time for the elections. “There are hundreds of thousands of people who are eligible and are not natupqmonthly.com

ralizing,” said Theodore Ko, a staff attorney with Asian Law Alliance. “In an election year, there is no more important reason.” According to the last available data from 2008, about 193,000 green card holders in Santa Clara County are eligible to naturalize, including about 34,000 Mexicans, 22,000 Vietnamese, 32,000 Chinese and 11,000 Filipinos. If they naturalize, they will not only be able to vote, but also to access the other benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen, said Ko. These include protection from deportation, the ability to travel freely, and access to better job opportunities and income potential. Taking the step to become a U.S. citizen is a “win-win, for the people, but also for the city,” said Zulma Maciel, assistant to the city manager at the City of San Jose Office of Immigrant Affairs. Research shows that when someone becomes a U.S. citizen, their income increases by an average of 8 to 11 percent. Greater earnings have a multiplier effect and stimulate the economy, she said, from increased payroll taxes to greater spending power. “San Jose’s vitality is derived from our large immigrant population,” said Maciel, “and when immigrants become citizens, they invest in the community.” Next month, the city kicks off a public outreach campaign to encourage legal permanent residents to become U.S. citizens. Through partnerships with local libraries, they are creating “citizenship corners” with materials to educate people about the citizenship process. “The greatest barrier to citizenship is that fear factor,” said Kramar. “That’s why demystifying the process is important to us.” Residents who want help with their applications can go to free citizenship workshops – in San Jose and in cities around the Bay Area – where legal service providers are available to assist them in multiple languages. Those who want to take the first step on their own can fill out their application at CitizenshipWorks.org, a free online tool. It is currently available in English and Spanish, with other languages coming soon. The New Americans Workforce, a partner of the New Americans Campaign, is also working with local employers to bring citizenship clinics to worksites. For Truong, going to a free citizenship workshop was the best way to get help. Service providers there spoke Vietnamese and guided his family through the process to become U.S. citizens. “It’s a really great gift,” said Truong.

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For more information about the New Americans Campaign and upcoming citizenship workshops, go to www.newamericanscampaign.org. For more information regarding citizenship, voting, or how you can get involved in the Northwest, please go to CAUSA and here is also their link to the donation page: www.causaoregon.org/ resources/get-involve/donate. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 • 25


GLAPN

GLAPN FEATURE FEATURE VOICES

KNOW YOUR CITY LAUNCHES OUR STORIES MATTER PROGRAM By George T. Nicola, GLAPN

Know Your City (KYC), a community-based history and social justice organization, has launched a new program called Our Stories Matter. Its mission is “to ensure that the history of underrepresented people is included as an equal part of our curriculum standards for Oregon Studies.” Our Stories Matter “calls on the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and Portland Public Schools to work with Know Your City and other culturally specific organizations to provide inclusive Oregon Studies curriculum for youth and K-12 schools in the Portland region.” KYC elaborates “As the population of the Portland area grows, displacement and discrimination continues to erase the value of our combined histories and cultures. Even though our schools are more diverse than ever, there is an educational and cultural void for our youth of color, young girls, LGBTQ youth, and other historically oppressed identities. During history and civics lessons, their personal experiences are often misrepresented or ignored, which makes school success more of a challenge. Know Your City is working to ensure that all students have a fair chance to have their

26 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

story told.” Our Stories Matter has been endorsed by local and multicultural organizations such as AFSCME Council 75, Basic Rights Oregon, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), In Other Words, Verde, Lara Media Services, Standing Up for Racial Justice PDX, the Bus Project, and Tivnu. KYC’s Executive Director Cameron Whitten led testimony in favor of Our Stories Matter before a January 27 meeting of the Portland City Council. Others who spoke in support included Todd Struble of APANO, Portland Public Schools board member Michael Rosen, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla citizen Katherine Quaid, and openly gay 2014 Teacher of the Year Brett Bigham. The Council voted to accept the testimony. To learn more, visit: http://knowyourcity. org/ourstoriespdx/

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