PQMONTHLY.COM VOL 1 No. 6 July/August 2012
LEATHER PRIDE WEEK BDSM FOR ALL!
SOBER IN A WET WORLD
PLEASANTLY BEAT KING DANGEROUS THE DIVINE KATE THE ASCENSION OF
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AND THE PRIDE GOES ON ...
Photo by Christopher Alvarez, PQ Monthly
You’ve still got some Pride in the tank, right? If not, pull over to the nearest gay station and fill ‘er up with unicorn sweat ‘cause Portland Latino Gay Pride (July 19-22), Oregon Leather Pride Week (Aug. 3-12), Capitol Pride in Salem (Aug. 5), Eugene/Springfield Pride (Aug. 11), Oregon Coast Pride in Lincoln City (Sept. 6-9), and Southern Oregon Pride in Ashland (Oct. 11-14) still remain on our summer staycation itinerary. What fuels you during the wild and wacky Pride season? We know for a lot of people booze is at least part of the answer, which got us thinking about non-drinkers and how they stay engaged in LGBTQ social life despite the ubiquitous presence of alcohol. Our owner-publisher, Melanie Davis, knows that challenge well. The woman goes to everything and has been enjoying the sauce-free life since she came to terms with her drinking problem several years ago during Pride season. She’s always open to chatting about the struggles, motivations, and rewards of sobriety. Check out the perspectives of a couple of other clean and sober queers on page 10. Whether the angel you personally wrestle with is liquor, creativity, identity, the after-effects of abuse, or the general rigors of modern queer life, we hope that you’ll find something of interest and inspiration in these pages.
-The PQ Monthly Team COVER IMAGE: Northwest summers rock and so do these three local musicians. Photographer Jeffrey Horvitz captures the intensity of the fiercely talented (left to right, clockwise) Racquel Russo, Edna Vázquez, and Autry!
A SMATTERING OF WHAT YOU’LL FIND INSIDE: Cameron Whitten’s hunger strike for housing rights................................................................................... page 6 Sober queers: One struggle, many paths to recovery.............................................................................. page 10 Opposing viewpoints: Liquor companies and the LGBTQ community.................................................... page 13 A survivor’s story: Shining a light on child sexual abuse.......................................................................... page 14 .. BDSM for all: Oregon Leather Pride Week.................................................................................................. page 18 Hear them roar: Three lovely local musicians who rock our world......................................................... page 24 ‘Very Merry Wives’: Shakespeare and same-sex marriage..................................................................... page 26 Watching the throne: Jeau Breedlove’s inevitable ascension................................................................. page 28 Words, words words: Kate Bornstein and Jack Donovan on their new works......................................... page 29 Columns: Matters of Faith; The Lady Chronicles; Whiskey & Sympathy; Rain City; Cultivating Life; and Eat, Drink, and Be Mary
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Plus schedules for Oregon Leather Pride Week and the Portland Queer Music Festival, Query a Queer, Astroscopes, This Month in Queer History, End Up Tales … and more! July/August 2012 •
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• July/August 2012
NEWS BRIEFS NEWS BRIEFS
BREVITY ROCKS! NEWS FROM NEAR AND FAR LOCAL
The Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) will host a mayoral candidate forum with Jefferson Smith and Charlie Hales from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 10 in room 2500A of 1900 SW 4th Ave. PCOD Chair Nyla McCarthy will moderate an hour-long question session preceded by brief opening remarks. Questions will focus on issues affecting people with disabilities who, PCOD says, comprise at least 18 percent of the population.
A bill allowing more than two adults to be legally recognized as the parents of a child has passed the California Senate and is awaiting an Assembly vote. The proposed law was inspired by a case in which a child was placed in foster care when her lesbian parents could not care for her, even though her biological father would have made a suitable legal parent. Similar laws already exist in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maine, and Washington, D.C.
The Fifth Annual Red Ribbon Show, hosted by the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Willamette Empire (ISCWE), raised more than $8,600 July 8 for Camp Starlight, an Oregon summer camp for children affected by HIV/AIDS, a program of Cascade AIDS Project. This year’s show had some star-studded support with donated auction items from HIV-positive celebrities including Jack Mackenroth (Project Runway), Olympian Greg Louganis, and Styx bassist Chuck Panozzo.
Two high profile men came out in the last month — journalist Anderson Cooper and R&B artist Frank Ocean (Odd Future). Cooper, who is now considered on of the highest profile gays in the country, came out via an email to friend A n d re w Su l l i van of The Daily Beast, saying that Anderson Cooper while his sexuality had never been a secret, he had declined to disclose it Frank Ocean publicly in an attempt to separate his personal life from his professional life. Ocean came out without the use of any labels, by describing his first love in the liner notes of his new album, which contain love songs to a “he.”
Photo by Julie Cortez, PQ Monthly
Surrounded by Portland Police Bureau personel who participated in the “It Gets Better Video,” Detective Mary Wheat speaks at a press conference at Q Center.
The Portland Police Bureau premiered an “It Gets Better” video June 15 with a press conference at Q Center that included remarks from Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Police Chief Michael Reese, Q Center Executive Director Barbara McCullough-Jones, Sexual Minorities Roundtable Co-chair Danny Rosen, and Detective Mary Wheat. The video, inspired by version put out by the San Francisco Police, featured 17 LGBTQ members of the PPB and was released just in time for Portland Pride. Two transgender women were allegedly assaulted June 26 near NW 2nd Ave. and Burnside St. Portland Police arrested 50-year-old Reginald Ferdinand McGhee on charges of assault in the fourth degree and intimidation in the first degree (a bias crime). The victims — Mya Rose Wolf-Black, 30, and Jacqueline Adams, 23 — told police that McGhee yelled anti-gay slurs, removed his belt, and began to swing its large metal buckle at them. Wolf-Black suffered scratches on her arm; Adams was not injured. Portland, Ore., joined a growing list of cities across the nation holding vigils for the young Latina lesbian couple shot June 23 in Portland, Texas. Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, was dead when police arrived at the scene while her girlfriend, Mary Christine Chapa, 18, was found in critical condition and underwent emergency surgery. The vigil took place July 14 and was organized by volunteers from Pride NW, GLSEN, Q Center, MCC Portland. Organizers asked that participants bring flowers instead of candles, which were then collected and bundled into bouquets after the vigil for LGBTQ seniors. Portland Latino Gay Pride announced July 16 the recipients of its annual Mariposa Awards. The 2012 honorees are youth advocate Ernesto Domínguez, juvenile custody service specialist Arnoldo Jaramillo, immigrant rights activist Aeryca Steinbauer, and Latino sex education organization OYE: Opciones y Educación. The award recipients were nominated based on their history of community involvement and volunteerism, advocacy and support of the Latino and/ or LGBTQ community, commitment to arts and culture as a means to eduAeryca Steinbauer cate and inspire, and demonstrated leadership and dedication to social justice. The Mariposa Awards will be presented at Noche Bohemia – PLGP Opening Reception, July 19, 7 p.m.–9 p.m. at Q Center. pqmonthly.com
Governor John Kitzhaber signed an executive order in June establishing a new Oregon Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Task Force in response to the increasing incidence of domestic violence in the state. The Task Force will be dedicated to preventing domestic violence and supporting victims of abuse by identifying and addressing gaps in support services for racial and ethnic minorities, Native American and tribal members, and gay and transgender populations. Thomas Bruner has been named the new CEO of the Oregon and SW Washington Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Bruner will take over for Christine M. McDonald starting in August. He most recently served as the vice president of corporate diversity with the American National Red Cross where he worked Thomas Bruner to advance diversity and inclusion, and was Cascade AIDS Project’s executive director from 1998-2005.
NATIONAL The active duty military contingent of the San Diego Pride officials will march in uniform for the first time this year after receiving approval from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Veterans were already allowed to wear their uniforms in Pride parades, but approval for active duty servicemembers is new since the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. San Diego Pride is July 20-22. The nation’s leading Latino organizations recently endorsed a first-of-its kind public education campaign, Familia es Familia, which seeks to increase support of LGBTQ family members in the Latino community. The campaign will include an interactive bilingual website; social media content on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube; earned media; and a mobile device based organizing campaign. Founding partners include Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), Hispanic National Bar Association, Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Hispanic Council on Aging, National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, National Hispanic Media Coalition, National Hispanic Medical Association, and US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
WORLD As the 2012 London Summer Olympics approach, The Advocate set out to identify the out athletes competing for the gold. The (short) list includes: Seimone Augustus (U.S.A., Basketball), Matthew Mitcham (Australia, Diving), Megan Rapinoe (U.S.A., Soccer), and Marilyn Agliotti (Netherlands, Field Megan Rapinoe Hockey). Stefany Lee (U.S.A., Wrestling) was headed to the Olympics, but got disqualified after traces of marijuana were found in a drug test. In other Olympic news, the International Olympic Committee has a new policy for verifying athletes’ eligibility to compete. The policy, which seeks to create a fair playing field but is being criticized as a sex test, is expected to ban women with naturally occurring testosterone levels that reach “normal” male testosterone levels (a level which the IOC has declined to give a number) from competing with other women. Such women may be allowed to compete if they take measures to decrease their testosterone levels, as the hormone is believed to provide an unfair advantage. Further evidence that the world could use a lesson in the intricacies of sex and gender: A Swedish judge recently dropped attempted rape charges on the grounds the accused man didn’t know the victim was a transgender woman. The judged ruled that the intended crime (determined to be raping a cisgender woman, as opposed to raping the woman the perpetrator was convicted of assaulting) could not have been fulfilled, therefore negating the possibility of an attempt. July/August 2012 •
STARVING FOR JUSTICE CAMERON WHITTEN’S HUNGER STRIKE FOR HOUSING RIGHTS By Erin Rook PQ Monthly
Cameron Whitten hasn’t eaten in more than 45 days, but he says he can’t complain. At least not about his physical condition, which grows increasingly slender and weak each day he forsakes food to raise awareness of homelessness and housing issues. “I’m feeling like a million brown rice,” Whitten says on day 46 of the hunger strike that began June 1. On day 31 it was “a million buckwheat.” The queer Occupy activist and former mayoral candidate is hoping to persuade city officials to take specific actions to address what he calls a “state of emergency” by continuing his hunger strike and holding rallies, slumber parties, and marches. “We need to find sustainable — environmentally and economically — way of getting people off the streets and into transitional living,” WhitPhoto by Erin Rook, PQ Monthly ten says. Housing activist Cameron Whitten has been on a His initial demands hunger strike outside City Hall since June 1. He plans of city officials were: to hold rallies on day 50 and day 70. to withdraw the fines
against the co-owners of the Right 2 Dream Too Rest Area through the remainder of the lease agreement, to put a housing levy on the November ballot, and to issue a one-year moratorium on home foreclosures. At a solidarity “slumber party” on July 1, Whitten put the latter two requests on hold until 2014 and added three others: to create a task force of concerned citizens and nonprofit organizations to problem-solve basic city services, to initiate a dialogue between city officials and representatives from the homeless community on alternatives to the camping ban, and to locate a site capable of providing shelter and basic services for 300 people. Mayor Sam Adams and the city commissioners have all made time to talk with Whitten, but none have indicated support for his demands. “The mayor met with Cameron two weeks ago,” says Communications Director Caryn Brooks. “I don’t think they see eye to eye on those things being doable.” Brooks says she was not present at that meeting, but that the mayor expressed concern that changing the rules for R2DToo could set an unsafe precedent, allowing landlords to get away with providing substandard living conditions to tenants. “I feel like they have good intentions, but we’re dealing with a conflict of ideology here,” Whitten says. “We don’t have an agreement on what the big picture is.” So he’s raising the stakes. After 30 days of consuming juice, water, and supplements, Whitten announced he was ending his hunger strike — to begin a new one. Phase two includes a combination of water and supplements that provides fewer than 100 calories per day. He’s taking calcium, potassium, sodium, tea, honey, and pea protein powder (“so my brain doesn’t atrophy”). “I want to make a statement without putting myself in
harm’s way too fast,” Whitten says. “I think I’ve got it organized well enough with medics that I can survive 100 days without going to the hospital.” While Whitten is still lucid, and even recently enrolled in classes at Portland Community College, the prolonged fast is no doubt taking a toll on his body. Since June 1, he has lost at least 30 pounds — about 16 percent of his starting weight. The body typically enters “starvation mode” when it has lost 18 percent of its mass, and generally cannot survive after losing 40 percent. He is also organizing an “epic” housing rally to correspond with the strike’s 50th day, July 20. The demonstration is the latest in a series of actions raising awareness about homelessness and housing issues. Activists have maintained a 24/7 vigil at City Hall since Dec. 1, but Whitten’s hunger strike attracted greater attention to the cause, particularly after the July 1 slumber party. Confirmed speakers for the rally include author Ahjamu Umi, First Unitarian Minister of Social Justice Rev. Kate Lore, Dignity Village cofounder Ibrahim Mubarak, community organizer Woody Broadnax (aka Mr. Juneteenth), and Portland mayoral candidates Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith. While Whitten isn’t holding his breath waiting for action on his demands, he does believe the hunger strike and housing demonstrations are having an impact. “There’s been a lot of good talk policy wise,” Whitten says. “I feel like I’ve at least been able to influence housing policy so far.” And he’s not done yet. Whitten is already planning for a second sleepover and march on day 70 (Aug. 10), as well as an online ad campaign and a push for national media coverage. For frequent updates on Cameron Whitten’s hunger strike, visit cameronwhitten.com.
EXPOSING ‘THE HIGH COST OF BEING GAY’ By Daniel Borgen PQ Monthly
There’s a man on a mission — a serious one. Jim Casey wants to educate you and every other gay out there about the financial realities the LGBTQ community, as a whole, faces. He wants you to understand the specific ways in which federal and state governments manage to bilk you out of exorbitant amounts of money — simply because of whom you love. While most of us Jim Casey have a vague idea that the government is sort of perpetually screwing us — and not in any fun way — many are overwhelmed by or simply don’t understand the specifics. Enter “The High Cost of Being Gay,” an in-depth, comprehensive presentation and educational tool created by Casey that offers same-sex couples an outline of “the finan • July/August 2012
cial hurdles they may encounter throughout their life, as well as tools and solutions that may help mitigate the costs.” A little background on Casey, who is president and CEO of Southern Californiabased Integrated Wealth Management: he’s a man committed to equality, incredibly active in non-profits and charities, and he remains on what some might call a crusade to end the financial disadvantages queers all around the country face. He’s a philanthropist, an activist, a man of means who is dedicated to relentlessly giving back. Anytime he’s asked why he does, he replies, deadpan: “I’d ask others who have the ability why they aren’t.” His “High Cost” presentation highlights some hard truths. “Tradition tells us that we enter into committed relationships for better or worse, for richer or for poorer,” he told PQ Monthly. “For many gay couples in America, the reality is ‘worse’ and ‘for poorer.’ Even if the state you live in recognizes your marriage, the IRS and federal government do not. From estate taxes and health insurance, to retirement accounts and the pricey preparation of legal docu-
ments, most gays and lesbians don’t realize the hard costs and the efforts needed to protect themselves.” A Federal Club member of the Human Rights Campaign, Casey doesn’t solely focus on the financial specifics. He explores — in depth — the rather heart-wrenching emotional piece of all this. “Love is not always enough,” Casey said. “No matter the strength of your partnership, unmarried partners don’t enjoy the protection of legal benefits afforded to married couples. In the eyes of the federal government, you’re strangers.” In terms of the biggest effects his presentation have had on those who’ve seen it, he’s noticed people rea lizing “the inequities of gift taxes when a same-sex couple deposits money into joint checking accounts as well as the co-mingling of investments.” In layman’s terms, you can be taxed for sharing a checking account. (Just for starters.) “People a re shocked,” Casey sa id. “They’re shocked we’re financially penalized for doing something that is so simple and common.” And there are lots more
revelations where those came from. The LGBTQ community has seem some serious strides made over the last several months — there’s the repeal of DADT and steps toward undermining DOMA. While Casey applauds and welcomes this significant progress, he makes an important observation: “I think most same-sex couples are not aware that no matter what is passed or progressed, until we receive the same federal recognition as straight married couples, we will not have financial equality.” The solution? Get involved locally. “Start with talking about the federal inequalities that pertain to a financial situation,” he said, “and shout it everywhere you can.” Most agree our long road to equality includes a complex, multi-pronged approach — and the fight Casey has brought to the forefront of our consciousness is as integral a part as any. For more information about Jim Casey’s work and his presentation, go to www. IWMgmt.com or call 866-888-6563, ext. 113. Maybe someone wants to volunteer to bring him to Portland? pqmonthly.com
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THIS MONTH IN QUEER HISTORY JULY Proof that gay Mormons are not a new phenomenon â€“â€” in 1886, Mormon Bishop Thomas Taylor lost his position in Salt Lake City due to his relationships with men. In the Roaring Twenties the U.S. Senate published a report critical former Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels and Undersecretary Franklin Rooseveltâ€™s handling of a gay sex ring at a navy base (1921). A gay Navy sex ring? Now thatâ€™s a recruitment strategy. In 1935, U.S. lesbians find their sex lives outlawed for the first time as an Oklahoma appellate court rules that cunnilingus is a â€œcrime against nature.â€? In 1958, a Pennsylvania court ruled that drunkenness (â€œthe vodka made me do itâ€?) is not an acceptable defense for sodomy. Fortunately, folks wouldnâ€™t need a defense for too much longer. July seems to be the season for getting rid of sodomy laws. A whole slew of states overturn their anti-gay laws this month: Connecticut (1969), Delaware (1972), Colorado (1972), North Dakota (1975), Washington (1976), Vermont (1977), and Nebraska (1978). Oregon becomes the fourth state to decriminalize sodomy in 1971, some 128 years after it is first made illegal via the adoption of the â€œBlue Bookâ€? (1843). But the French did it first. France became the first Western nation in the world to repeal its law against sodomy in 1971, helping the European country earn its â€œsexually liberatedâ€? reputation. But as recently as 1994, Missouri expanded its sodomy laws to include additional sex acts and add penalties for sodomy for â€œritual or ceremonyâ€? (so much for the honeymoon). The law also accidentally outlawed extramarital straight sex.
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California requires anyone convicted of having anal or oral sex to register as a sex offender (1947). Thirty years later, the state creates an online directory including outdated consensual sodomy convictions (1997). Norway is ahead of the July LGBTQ rights class; it established the right to change oneâ€™s legal gender in 2000. The first civil union in Argentina was performed in 2003. Same-sex couples would only have to wait seven years for an upgrade to marriage class. Canada beat Argentina to the punch by four years (2005). Stateside, Washington, D.C., inspired a wave of gay wedding registries when it legalized samesex marriage in 2009. That same year, India repealed its law against homosexuality and the New York Blade ceased publication. pqmonthly.com
HRC TOURNEY: BALLERS SHOOT FOR SOCIAL CHANGE By Daniel Borgen PQ Monthly
It’s a particularly sporty summer, what with that tiny little competition going on in London — and Human Rights Campaign is doing its part once again to keep Portlanders active and engaged. The organization is putting on what’s become one of the year’s biggest and most anticipated draws: the Women’s 3x3 Basketball Tournament, which returns July 28 at Irving Park. Basketball: one of those universal languages that can transcend difference, bringing all walks together to compete, and this time around the competition aims to make the world — or at least our city — a better place, through camaraderie, education, and inclusion. The brainchild of HRC’s Shaley Howard, the tournament — in its fourth year — has enjoyed pretty incredible support, increased participation year after year, and impressive, sustained growth. Howard, respected ‘round the city as co-chair of HRC Oregon and SW Washington’s dynamic (and busy) membership and community events chap-
ter (her other half: Jose Rivas), talked a little about how the event came to be, its logistics, and where it’s headed. “The idea started over four years ago when I was trying to think of something that I’m passionate about — something that would also bring more women into HRC,” Howard explained. “I started researching women’s tournaments, specifically three-by-three tournaments in the area, and I discovered there were none. Lots of co-ed events but nothing for women only.” Howard began recruiting by word of mouth at pick-up games and leagues she frequented, then moved on to posting fliers and spreading the Photo by Izzy Ventura, PQ Monthly word via social media and cross-promotional advertising. “Anyone who’d give me two minutes to tell them about the tournament would hear all about it,” Howard recalled. “One of the most important and unique things about our event is that all women are encouraged to play — from ages 18 to 60 and up — and at any skill level. Having so many brackets allows for more diversity and inclusion.” (As of press time, 26 teams had signed up to play.)
There’s much to say about HRC’s social presence in the community — but what many don’t know is how, precisely, people like Howard and Rivas use these types of events — and yes, socializing — to go about effecting change. “Social engagement is extremely important for bringing positive change to our community,” Howard said. “The more LGBTQ people interact with the community at large, people from all walks of life, the more we all realize how many things we have in common.” “So much of the homophobia and other ‘isms’ of the world are born out of ignorance and fear,” she added. “When people actually sit down and have a friendly conversation with someone they’ve been taught to fear and hate — because of sexual orientation, race, sex — their perspective begins to shift. And, if you can have these interactions during a fun activity like bowling or basketball, it becomes easier to connect. These individual dialogues and connections through social events ... inevitably have a positive ripple effect throughout our entire community and beyond.” Howard and her cohort have twice garnered recognition from HRC nationally — at the organization’s annual gathering in Washington, D.C. — for their work surrounding community engagement. In 2010, the tournament won “Specialty Event of the Year” and last year Howard, Rivas & Co.
won “Community Events Program of the Year,” which honored all the events held throughout 2011. “We work hard to create unique, fun, creative events and are always looking for new ways to bring the entire community to HRC,” Howard said. “We’re thrilled and honored to receive national recognition.” In addition to the basketball tournament, Howard is also looking forward to HRC’s Urban Farm Gala and Auction on Aug. 11 at Meriwhether’s Skyline Farms. “It’ll be a terrific night of food, drink, great company,” she says, “all coming together to support the cause of equality for LGBTQ people.” In the interim, keep your fingers crossed for sunshine aplenty, because on the last Saturday of July, these ladies are going to be getting real sweaty. (Read: sexy.) And remember: men are welcome, too. This humble writer will be joining in the day’s festivities to catch glimpses of my favorite players in action, to cheer everyone on, and to rub elbows with the day’s special guest: Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown. Most importantly: it’s not too late to sign up and shoot some hoops! For more information, check out HRC’s Fourth Annual Women’s 3x3 Basketball Tournament on Facebook. To register and for all the logistical information, visit http:// action.hrc.org/site/Calendar and click on “event details” in the tournament listing.
July/August 2012 •
SOBER QUEERS ONE STRUGGLE, MANY PATHS TO RECOVERY By Erin Rook PQ Monthly
According to a 1989 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LGBT folks experience a higher incidence of substance abuse than their non-queer peers. Approximately 30 percent of gays and lesbians have a problem with alcohol. In a culture so dominated by the bar scene, how do queers in recovery deal? Two community members share their stories. THE DIVA Before he got clean (seven years) and sober (two years), Angel Hanson’s life was “a whirlwind.” In addition to drinking, he consumed a variety of drugs including ecstasy, LSD, methamphetamines, c o c a i n e, “t ra i l mix” (a one-two punch of ecstasy and Viagra), GHB, and marijuana. “I was insanely crazy, loud, the life of the party,” Hanson says. “I had to be number one at all times ever ywhere. I wanted everyone to like me.” Hanson — a dancer and choAngel Hanson, aka Ecstacy Inferno reographer perhaps best known for his bold drag persona Ecstacy Inferno — hasn’t lost his knack for entertaining. He currently hosts two regular shows at Hamburger Mary’s — Viva Variety and the somewhat ironicallynamed Drunk Tank. “Clearly if you … have ever hung out with me or been to my show, I’m crazy loud and insane just like before, only I’m sober now,” Hanson says. “I didn’t get sober to not live life and be boring. I’m here to have fun and live life to the fullest.” Though some of that life still takes place in bars (a difficult scene to avoid for a hard-working queen), Hanson takes steps to make that space safe and surrounds himself with sober and otherwise supportive friends. “I don’t hang in bars unless it’s for a reason — work, meeting, dancing, birthdays — but I always go with friends. And if I’m in a rocky spot or feel triggered, I leave places and go to friends, home, or to a meeting,” Hanson says. “I thought for the longest time that to be gay meant I had to drink and party and do drugs; that’s how I was introduced into our community. So now that I am sober I hang out with sober gay and straight people and go to other sober gay events when I can.” He doesn’t just hang out with sober folks, but his group of friends has shifted since he got stopped drinking and using. In order to get healthy, Hanson says he had to let go of some friends from his former life. Others have joined him on his path to sobriety. 10 • July/August 2012
“A lot of my using friends have gotten sober in the end,” Hanson says. “The friends who didn’t support [me] weren’t real true friends and are no longer in my life.” Hanson says that while he’s proud of who he is and what he’s accomplished, he still struggles with fear of success, being alone, and the universal challenge of “loving my self and putting myself first.” “I have been through a lot, seen a lot, done a lot. I don’t regret anything in the past. I had to go through it and do the things [I did] to become who I am today. Life’s full of amazing opportunities. My number one thing: Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself,” Hanson says. THE SOCIAL WORKER For Kelly Wilkerson, 48, getting clean and sober was about shifting focus. Before she entered recovery five years ago, her days revolved around post-work drinks and getting high — essentially her daily escape from life. “The bar was my living room,” Wilkerson says. “I drank till I ran out of money, then I did things for the bartenders like clean ash trays and tables to manipulate a free beer or two.” Like Hanson, Kelly Wilkerson Wilkerson’s identity intersected with her addiction, if in the opposite way. Instead of drinking to fit into the gay community, Wilkerson got drunk and high to escape a part of herself she couldn’t bear to face. “I hated myself and I wanted to just die and get it over with,” Wilkerson says. “I had pretended to be straight my whole life, wore dresses, put on make up and the whole lot. Drinking and smoking were my hiding place; where I didn’t have to face my horrific reality of being made wrong in God’s image.” But eventually, she couldn’t stomach the double life any longer — telling her clients not to drink while pining for a beer, putting on a face that didn’t match who she was inside. So she asked a friend who was in Alcoholics Anonymous to take her to a meeting. Wilkerson, who hasn’t had a drink since, credits the meeting with saving her life. But she still had to do the hard work of transforming her life herself, which included parting ways with her bar “family.” “I knew I couldn’t take my friends with me so I left all of them behind — the most difficult thing I ever had to do,” Wilkerson says. “I had to be free of their influence. Funny thing is, that not one person from my ‘family’ called me in all the past five years — not one.” These days, Wilkerson generally avoids bars, aside from the occasional birthday or other important event. “I choose to hang with people who are in my sober queers page 13
HOW TO DEAL: SEVEN WAYS THAT QUEERS CONTEND Edited and compiled by Nick Mattos
Queer life is sometimes a bit much to deal with. Between work, family, finances, social life, romance, and trying to figure out which brunch joint will have the shortest line on a Sunday morning, the stress can sometimes be overwhelming. Here, seven fabulous folks share their coping mechanisms — the things that they do to relax, unwind, and make sense of a chaotic world. Take them as insights into a few different facets of the human experience, or as humble suggestions for new strategies you can add to your own toolbox of ways to deal with the stress of everyday life. Either way, you may be inspired to pick up some lipstick, an external hard drive, a journal, and a flogger. DRAG: “How do I deal? Makeup. No joke. One of the most relaxing things I can do is make myself into someone else for the night. It reminds me of my versatility as a human being and takes away the constrictions of having to be one specific way. If I’ve had a shitty day, a great way to end it is in drag.” — Dennis Dentoni SAND: “Playing in the sand! I find that play is an excellent way to process through the things that happen in my life, and playing in the sand is particularly soothing. Part of it may come from the connection with nature, from the physical movement, and from the tactile experience of really good, soft sand.” — Kate Knowlson BEARDS: “Changing my facial hair. Adding or subtracting sideburns or a moustache, adjusting the length and the shape — the possibilities are endless. I can have a whole new me every couple days if I want. I’m all about self-actualization and a total perfectionist, and I always feel the need to improve myself ... and I realized that my beard is in a constant state of flux. I guess I’m constantly looking for the “perfect” me, but as time progresses it’s more just “different” versions that come out to best suit different moods, I guess. The perfect me for the moment. And I’ll openly admit I’m shallow enough that when I look good, my confidence is tenfold. I think most people are like that, though.” — Benjamin Oaks WORDS: “I find the best way for me to deal is to sit down and write out what I am feeling. As I write I tend to find the things that have been having bubble under the surface leak through and lend themselves to being a story or breakthrough that I did not know was there. I find that when I am writing and then I share it (via blog, etc.) that seeing others have gone through the feelings, I can deal with things just that bit easier.” — Michael Lee Howard BEATINGS: “I live in New York City nowadays, where it’s constantly crowded and very hot and nobody looks where they’re going. Naturally, I want to hit people all the time, which works out well because as a dominatrix I get paid to do so. I find hitting people to be the most wonderful release, because I get it out of my system and don’t have to take it out on the rest of the world. I see people walking around looking so angry all the time, and I just think, ‘If only they got to hit people too, they’d feel so much better!’ There’s a really particular joy that comes from someone submitting to you, and allowing you to be the boss, especially if you don’t get that in other parts of your life. People pay me a few hundred dollars apiece to be the boss, whether that involves hitting them, stomping on them, or just talking down to them. Tapping into that canal of human nature and allowing yourself that relief, to just go to town and beat the shit out of someone, is one of the most fucking satisfying ways to deal.” — Ginger Millay IMAGES: “Saving hundreds of images to my hard drive. I’m a digital hoarder ... I just save way too many pictures. Interiors, design stuff, models, porn. Tumblr was supposed to be a solution, a place to store all of it, but then I got really particular about what I post there, and, even worse, found way more things to save. My actual living space is virtually bare though!” — Michael Sanderson DEALING: “Life is the longest and only thing that will ever happen to me, and every part of it is worth experiencing, even the painful or hard parts. I deal with life by enjoying every experience, knowing I might never have another chance to.” — Michael Valentine pqmonthly.com
July/August 2012 • 11
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sober queers Continued from page 10
interest groups, like shamanism, music, recovery, camping, and photography,” Wilkerson says. “This is where I meet people who don’t make drinking a priority in their life, but instead make life their priority.” But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Though Wilkinson’s girlfriend drinks and smokes infrequently, her social circle includes regular substance users. Wilkinson experiences jealousy of those who still partake and struggles with staying involved in her recovery program. “More of my problems revolve around staying connected with AA,” Wilkerson says. “After five years, I am growing weary of the rhetoric and the same stories over and over and over. AA is made for the newcomer and it is hard to stay engaged unless you are sponsoring or doing other types of service. This is a hard point in sobriety and many relapse during this time.” Still, she says it’s all been worth it. “I couldn’t ask for more. I have reunited with my family, I have my self-respect back, I am no longer a hypocrite, but instead a productive therapist who can really understand the plight of the addicted,” Wilkerson says. “I am secure in my sexuality, and I have the first relationship of my life. I am living beyond what I thought was out there for me and I’m only five years in — imagine after 20?” Hanson and Wilkerson spoke highly of their experiences with 12-step programs, and also recommended the following resources: The Multnomah Count y Crisis Line ( 503-9 8 8 - 48 8 8 ) , the Hooper Detox Center, and Portland Alternative Health Center. LGBTQspecific addiction support services are also available through Quest Center for Integ rative Health and Q Center. pqmonthly.com
OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS LIQUOR COMPANIES AND THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY By Nick Mattos PQ Monthly
Queers and alcohol have a rich and varied relationship, for better or worse. Bars have historically served as de facto community centers for the queer community, and many major gay parties and dance nights in urban centers are often sponsored by liquor companies seeking to ingratiate their brand with queers in order to capitalize upon our high levels of expendable income. However, research also indicates that young queer people often begin drinking at an earlier age than their straight counterparts, and that alcoholism and unhealthy drinking patterns may be more common amongst the LGBTQ population than in straight populations. Questions arise: Does the aggressive courting of the queer community by liquor companies help or harm our community and the individuals therein? Do liquor companies have a responsibility to engender healthy drinking habits in the community — or is it an individual’s responsibility to ensure that they maintain their own healthy habits? Finally, is it a bad thing for queer individuals if the community embraces the “intoxication culture” sold by liquor companies? The opinions expressed in these responses do not necessarily reflect the views of PQ Monthly, or, for that matter, the views that you hold on the issue — which is exactly why we invite you to share your thoughts and continue the conversation at pqmonthly.com.
LILLIE CRAW — POET, NOVELIST, EVENTS COORDINATOR I recently learned that one of my dearest friends f r o m m y Mi d w e s t e r n hometown had died in a drug- and alcohol-related incident. He was queer. He was only 40 years old. We partied a lot together, and then I stopped. I moved to Portland with my husband, who came out as trans and as a comics artist. I came out as a poet. And we became creative hermits, effectively cutting ourselves off from the queer social scene. I s a y “e f f e c t i v e l y,” because most queer events (even the literary ones) in Portland have a heavy Lillie Craw focus on alcohol consumption. There are queer-positive spaces that serve alcohol without reveling in intoxication culture (like The Waypost), but they are few and far between. So I think when we ask the question about big liquor companies like Absolut and Jagermeister sponsoring events like Pride, and what effect that has on queer culture, I think we are asking the wrong question, or at least too narrow a question. Corporations only have the power we cede to them, and I believe the real question we should be asking is whether or not there is a place for intoxication culture inside queer culture. I say no. With little access to comprehensive and relevant healthcare, exclusion from traditional social institutions, little or no protection in the form of hate crimes legislation, and little in the way of housing and job security, there are plenty of reasons for queers to anesthetize themselves with alcohol (and the drugs that usually accompany it). Yet this anesthetization does nothing to advance our resistance to the institutions that oppress us. In fact, intoxication culture keeps us from forming the real and deep bonds that will help us to rise against. In his zine “Towards a Less Fucked Up World,” Nick Riotfag talks about how intoxication culture isolates the most vulnerable among us
— queer youth. Drinking is something they will eventually “graduate” to, but until then they are held at bay from queer cultural events that happen mostly in bars. Additionally, due to the shame and isolation of growing up queer in an oftentimes hostile world, Riotfag points out that most queer youth have their first sexual experience under the influence of drugs and alcohol — and that many of those experiences turn out to have tragic consequences. I believe the recent tragic shooting of teen queers Mollie Judith Olgin and Mary Christine Chapa sums up my point entirely: If we still live in a world where people kill us simply for being queer, why are we killing ourselves with drugs and alcohol? So what’s the answer? How do we have a queer social life in the absence of alcohol-fueled events and venues? I believe it involves, again, resistance and rising against. Rather than mirroring a consumer culture that values only white, hetero-normative, wealthy, cis men, we can construct our own culture of creation rather than continually pursuing a culture of consumption.
MARC DELPHINE — FOUNDER AND CEO, EQUALITY FUNDS, LLC It is neither good nor bad that liquor companies consider us a viable market — it just is. Businesses sponsor markets that they believe w i l l respond to their advertising, nothing more, nothing less. If t he LGBTQ communit y didn’t drink so much alcohol, companies like Absolut Vodka wouldn’t sponsor our parties … T h at b ei ng s a id, it should be noted that the l i q u or c om p a n i e s a r e probably not a big sponsor of anything Mormon, Marc Delphine wouldn’t you agree? Where there’s a market, so shall advertising be. It’s obvious Absolut, et al is a beneficiary of our community’s drinking habits. If we were really entrepreneurs, we’d buy their stock! [In terms of the effects of liquor company money upon LGBTQ social life,] I see a positive effect on the bottom line of the liquor companies and a negative effect on the hangovers of the lives of so many of my gay brothers and sisters who partake. But as a semi-recovering alcoholic … the choice was and is my own to indulge in a “social life,” with or without alcohol. I will never consider myself, nor anyone else a “victim” of liquor companies as some may suggest. That is such folly in a day and age when we need more personal responsibility. To assert the notion that some corporation is responsible for my behavior is ABSOLUT-ly ridiculous! Is the LGBTQ community some protected class that needs help from the government to stop the “predatory advertising practices” of liquor companies? If so, should I get a “bail out” for my DUII and subsequent car impound? To put it bluntly, the purpose of a for-profit company is to make money. It would be great to see companies supporting values of the community but that is a long shot and a major challenge when you’re talking about alcohol. I hate answering questions with questions, but SHOULD liquor companies actually care about the “health” of gay “society?” They certainly care about “the gay dollar!” Hell, we give them enough of it! There are laws to protect the innocent children who may or may not be able to make adequate choices for themselves (not to say kids don’t get their hands on the stuff all the time), but the LGBTQ community does not warrant such protection. If we “collectively” drink too much, then maybe we need more self-discipline. That is up to the individual to decide. Which leads me to a relevant quote: “Discipline is the greatest indicator of self respect.” July/August 2012 • 13
A SURVIVOR’S STORY SHINING A LIGHT ON CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE By Erin Rook PQ Monthly
Trigger warning: This article contains disturbing — though not graphic — descriptions of acts of child sexual abuse. There are few crimes darker than child sexual abuse and incest. Such acts are so disturbing that we shudder at the thought and skip past mention of them in news and television dramas. But some folks can’t just change the channel. For survivors of sexual abuse, triggers may lurk around every corner, latent in even the most tender touch. I c i y a p i Ta t e O’Shaughnessy knows too well the minefield that life as a survivor of sexual abuse can be. But rather than retreat, Iciyapi Tate O’Shaughnessy he is doing his best to expose these dark corners to the light. “As a survivor, one of the big frustrating things for me is the thought that we should just get over it, let it go, forgive and forget, and move on with our lives,” O’Shaughnessy says. “That would be awesome, but it just doesn’t happen that way.” The recent media coverage of the Jerry Sandusky scandal has brought considerable attention to the sexual abuse of boys. And yet, little of the press deals with what actually happened to the victims. While it’s not pleasant to read, these kinds of details matter. They drive home the seriousness of what as many as one in six children, regardless of gender, experience in their lives. They get to the heart of why the failure of adults to prevent such abuses is a serious crime in its own right. “In the first two weeks after the sexual abuse allegations at Penn State, our Help Services experienced a 130 percent increase in contacts,” says Jenny Coleman, Help Services coordinator for StopItNow, in a release. “This case shines a spotlight on a challenging and difficult topic. People need somewhere to turn to talk about their own situations. We heard from survivors of childhood sexual abuse who didn’t understand why no one ever stepped in — even though there were many signs that there was something wrong.” BETRAYED BY BLOOD O’Shaughnessy’s story may be one of the more brutal. To hear him tell it makes it obvious why it isn’t easily forgotten, let alone forgiven. For 15 years, from age 4 to 19, he suffered near constant sexual abuse at the hands of his uncle, his father, and a number of his father’s friends, including one who lived with the family. It began, he says, with his uncle taking O’Shaughnessy on drives and setting candy on his lap while he held the young boy. After the rides ended, a new abuser entered the 14 • July/August 2012
picture — Danny, a 19-year-old friend of his father’s who says. “I deal with self doubt, stress, body image, etc. I still stayed on a cot in O’Shaughnessy’s room and molested suffer from PTSD and have been triggered into severe panic him repeatedly, telling O’Shaughnessy “this is what spe- attacks by things. I have memory loss of certain times in cial friends did with each other.” my life, and I am really good at disconnecting.” After Danny moved out, O’Shaughnessy’s father, Still, in true survivor style, O’Shaughnessy carried on, who was already verbally and physically abusive to the starting his own salon, and finding the love of a supportfamily, began sexually abusing the now 11-year-old boy. ive and understanding man. He also has a strong spirituAfter getting v iolent w ith ality and an online network of the family, the father would survivors to lean on. take out his aggression on O’Shaughnessy in the shed, SHINING A LIGHT forcing him to perform sexual acts. By the time he was 14, And though he strugO’Shaughnessy’s father was gles daily with the effects of penetrating him. the abuse, O’Shaughnessy The boy had little recourse. remains committed not only Threats of violence against his to being open about his own mother kept O’Shaughnessy experiences, but also to sharquiet, believing he was proing the stories of others. tecting her. He suffered Every April, he displays increasingly cruel and violent survivor photos and stories abuse. O’Shaughnessy says in his salon for Sexual Abuse his father, who died in 2000, Awareness Month. eventually invited friends to “I have done small things join in, sometimes watching every year since I opened in while they assaulted his son. 2005, but this year I wanted After graduating from high to try bigger,” O’Shaughnessy school at 17, O’Shaughnessy says. “I believe there were tried to get away, but found about 25 to 30 people this himself living with his father year.” again after jumping off a cliff The display included and breaking his neck. While photos of abuse survivors as O’Shaughnessy did physiwell as facts and myths about cal therapy and tried to recuabuse and artwork by surviperate, his father and friends vors. It’s important to address resumed their abuse. Meanmyths, O’Shaughnessy says, while, he tried and failed at Iciyapi Tate O’Shaughnessy shines a light on abuse each April at his salon with a display especially when it comes to killing himself with muscle of survivors. male survivors. relaxants. “A major misconception is “I was convinced that if I ever told he would do some- that we as men cannot be raped — if our bodies react then thing to my mother,” O’Shaughnessy says. “That had been we must have enjoyed or wanted it — and that because we his latest thing to say to me, that he would drive a truck full were molested that we are going to turn around and do the of dynamite through her front window.” same to someone one day,” he says. He also shoots down the notion that sexual abuse conCOMING OUT OF THE DARK tributes to gay identity — a theory popular among some religious conservatives. By the time he turned 19, O’Shaughnessy was stand“To be told my being gay was because I was abused ing up to his father more and more. After a particularly makes me say what we in the LGBTQ community say all intense fight, his father assaulted him with such violence the time: Why would I ask to be put in a situation where I that O’Shaughnessy had to go to the hospital. have to struggle so much? I was molested by men. Every “I had to have reconstructive surgery,” he says. “Since time I am touched by a man I have to deal with any trigI was 19 I lied and said it was my boyfriend and we had ger that may come up. That is hard enough, then add to just gotten rough. I was humiliated. Not only was I outing that intimacy.” myself, I was telling a stranger that I was into rough sex in Next year, O’Shaughnessy hopes to expand his awareGrants Pass, Ore.” ness event to reach even more people and potentially raise This was the last straw. O’Shaughnessy changed his funds for an advocacy group such as OAASIS (Oregon Abuse last name, moved to Portland, and began attending Advocates and Survivors in Science). As hard as it can be to beauty school. Though his father spread rumors about face his demons, he says the results are worth it. him from home, he was finally free to begin the long pro“The impact of the event has been amazing,” cess of recovery. O’Shaughnessy says. “I have had many clients of mine After a period of recklessness, O’Shaughnessy began to and Facebook friends come out as survivors, and I feel like get support for post traumatic stress disorder and obses- many people learned something.” sive compulsive disorder, and started connecting with other survivors. To find local resources for survivors of sexual abuse, visit “It’s not easy. I can only speak for myself,” O’Shaughnessy oaasisoregon.org. pqmonthly.com
MATTERS OF FAITH PRAYERS FROM PRIDE By Rev. Nathan Meckley Metropolitan Community Church (MCC)
I was startled (and maybe dismayed) to realize I am fast approaching 30 years of marching in Pride parades. My first was in New York City in 1984. I had come out a few years earlier and that summer, as a recent New Jersey college grad, I was newly involved in my first Metropolitan Community Church (also in New Jersey). That summer our church contingent found itself needing to decide whether to march with other religious groups earlier in the parade or to march with other New Jersey groups at the end of the parade. We opted to march with New Jersey near the end. As with anyone’s first Pride, there were many memorable moments. One is indelibly etched in my memory. As our unit near the end of the parade reached the crest of Manhattan Island, I suddenly saw the entire parade stretched out before me as it ended in the distance and poured into Washington Square. Seeing that river of thousands “just like me,” as a young gay man who grew up an isolated gay boy in rural Pennsylvania I knew for the first time, without doubt, I would never be alone again. I truly believe I caught my first glimpse of that “great cloud of witnesses” — and it was rainbow-hued! Over the nearly 30 years of my Pride participation, no doubt a lot has changed. So much has gotten better; so much still needs to improve. Our work is far from done. One of the things I notice has changed most is my personal level of enthusiasm vs. exhaustion. Sure, it comes with pushing 50, I suppose, but I sometimes struggle to stay excited. Yet over these last two years I have discovered a new reason to be excited about Pride. At our Portland Pride booth, we predictably have literature about our church and friendly volunteers who greet people and tell them about MCC. But these last two years we started offering something more: we invite people to leave a written prayer on a slip of colored paper. We clip the slips of paper on cords stretched across the booth, creating strings of small prayer
flags over the weekend. We tell them we will pray it aloud for them (anonymously) in worship the following Sunday evening. When we first did this we had NO idea what to expect. Would anyone bother to leave a prayer? Was it too weird and churchy? What if someone wrote something snarky or inappropriate? Would we still read it as their prayer? It is strange and wonderful to watch what happens. When we ask, some people stare blankly; others smile and thank us, but do not write anything. Others scrawl something quickly; others ponder thoughtfully for a long time before writing. Yet I notice every time we ask it seems the person’s countenance softens and their eyes change. I believe the invitation to share a prayer tells them someone takes their queer spiritual life seriously — and they can too, even at Pride. Those slips of paper with simple prayers are now my favorite part of Pride. More than 150 people have left prayers at our booth over these last two years. On one hand, that may not seem like many. Yet when one considers the general distrust of churches, and the specific alienation of LBGTQ people by churches, to entrust a prayer from your heart to ANY church — even an MCC — is a profound act of faith and trust. When we share those prayers aloud in worship — prayers for sobriety, prayers for lost loved ones, prayers for family and friends, prayers for healing and hope and relationships — there is reverent silence. Heads nod in agreement. Tears flow. On those slips of paper LBGTQ souls shine through. (By the way, not a single snarky comment has turned up in the whole lot!) Most who leave a prayer at our booth may never step foot in my church. That’s OK. By entrusting a prayer to us and by praying it with them, we are connected. We belong to one another in some mysteriously spiritual and queer way. Pride now brims with renewed spiritual meaning for me. I am reminded that under the layers of rainbow tchotchkes and overindulgence, the radiant love, dignity, strength, and yearning of the human soul dwells. At Pride, the soul’s reservoir of powerful, abundant life-affirming energy — all too often hidden — has the chance to break open. But maybe most of all, the prayers from Pride remind me again — and perhaps helps someone know for the very first time — we are never alone. SPONSOR
This is the first in a series of columns by diverse local faith leaders. Are you or do you know a LGBTQ-identified faith leader who might like to contribute? Please email PQ at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rev. Nathan Meckley has been pastor of Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) of Portland in NE Portland since June 2008. He received his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from Claremont School of Theology in 2003, served as adjunct faculty at Pacific School of Religion (Berkeley, Calif.), and has taught courses, workshops, and seminars addressing issues of spirituality and sexuality in numerous settings. pqmonthly.com
July/August 2012 • 15
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THE LADY CHRONICLES SUNSHINE, SHUT-INS, AND SUNCOAST — A CURE FOR WHAT AILS (DATES) YOU By Daniel Borgen PQ Monthly
There’s something different about me this summer: I’m spending a lot less time outside. Just last year, any given sunny day you’d find me heading to or talking about some body of water or coastal paradise. Now the most sunshine I get is from daytime drinking during T-dances. I’ve never been much of an outdoors guys anyway (adventures requiring bug repellant and sweat, I’m out) — unless it involves a patio, my favorite deejays, and a Sunday afternoon. I certainly don’t hate the sunshine. I find it warm and pleasurable. I’m simply far more likely to spend a free afternoon diving into one of the many treasures my friend Ryan and I have managed to dig up at Suncoast at Lloyd Center — say an entire season of “Will and Grace” or one of my many favorite movies I bought for a handful of nickels. (That pre-owned section can be a real trove; you should totally go.) One of said treasures: “Broken Flowers,” that Jim Jarmusch-helmed Bill Murray flick that saw Murray traipsing through his past, hunting down exes in an effort to find a son he never knew he had. Where Bill ends up never really mattered to me, and I’d wager the other 12 people who’ve seen the movie agree. The most intriguing part of the whole scenario is this notion of staring down your old flames, enduring whatever they hurl your way. This spring (on my birthday), I received a handwritten letter from a boy I dated, a note that — while closing with some modest compliments — opened with a laundry list of trespasses that may as well have gone on for a hundred pages. I’ve already talked a lot about The Letter the Boy Left (May 2012), so there’s no need to re-hash specifics here. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t something I easily brushed aside. It’s not every day someone is kind enough to outline for you your shortcomings, so when he does, it’s polite to take those words under advisement. Blame it on my Taurean brain, my affinity for nostalgia — whatever the case, I’d decided I’d steal one from Jarmusch and embark on my own “Flowers”-esque adventure, only without the long road trips and without any nagging worry about mystery children. If I could learn so much about myself from a letter, imagine what I might discover over coffee, dinner — or ex-sex. I didn’t have a specific goal in mind; I had no endgame. I realized rifling through my past meant opening doors that might
have been better left shut. I’ve always fancied myself someone who can handle the hard truths, despite friends’ loud protestations to the contrary. But it turns out orchestrating a variety of encounters with the ghosts of dating past isn’t the neat, open-and-shut case one might think. Hearing all the things you already knew (with a smattering of what you didn’t) — say, face to face in a park near your home under the summer sun — can prove even exceedingly unpleasant. Fortunately, our confidantes remain, those who see us at our best and worst. The ones who know when you’ve got $10 in your checking account or when you’ve stooped to the malicious or vindictive. Even then, they’re still standing. Ryan routinely chastises me for picking at old wounds and trying to define the inexplicable. Since he’s one of the few people I know who’s managed to not completely lose himself in his relationship, I figure he’s on to something, so I listen. Another, Dennis, assures me there’s no forward movement without closure — and sometimes getting messy and vulnerable is exactly what we need. Take it in, meditate, move on — with the complicated stuff clearly in your rearview mirror. Since he’s his own family’s rock, I soak it up, taking full advantage of my low-cost therapy plan. There’s this older gentleman who regularly frequents my workplace. In the near decade I’ve known him, he’s had about a dozen lady lovers. He’s handsome, welloff, kind enough — if he were gay, he’d have 20 young, strapping suitors pounding down his door. He always seems reasonably happy mid-relationship, but, like clockwork, things fizzle, and it’s not long before he’s sighing, lamenting love lost, and complaining to me about all the things his last lover did wrong. If I could make a dating prescription, it’d be a small yellow pill that included little parts from everyone. There’d be some Nora Ephron (RIP), because harsh reality is a bit much sometimes. She’d be tempered with, say, “Broken Flowers” and the old man from my coffee shop — because we all have to make peace with disheartening — but plausible — possibilities. There’d be bits from our closest confidantes, because someone needs to strike a balance between lovers who flee at the first sign of trouble and the friends who’ll love us until the end. But that all just sounds like the makings of a silly movie, doesn’t it?
Formerly Lady about Town, Daniel now pens TLC for your reading (dis)pleasure. Reach him at Daniel@PQMonthly.com. pqmonthly.com
July/August 2012 • 17
OREGON LEATHER PRIDE WEEK OPENING UP THE BDSM EXPERIENCE FOR ALL
dent of Black Out Leather Productions of Oregon, and holder of the Mr. Oregon State Leather 1997 and Northwest Leather Sir 2009 titles. “As many people have said, it’s a time to let our ‘freak flag’ fly, even if I don’t identify with the term ‘freak.’” The event also serves as a comfortable stepping-out point for those who may not want to let their so-called “freak flag” fly in all areas of their lives. “Being into leather or BDSM has often been referred to as ‘a second closet,’” Butts says. “Coming out to your family and friends is one closet that many of us have conquered already; telling your mother that you like beating people up or being beat upon is a very different closet to come out of … . Like coming out of the gay closet, coming out of the BDSM closet can be challenging because being into BDSM is still very stigmatized.” Nick Elliott, Ms. Tracey, and Tarsus display their titles awarded during last year’s Oregon Leather Pride Week. To honor all people’s boundaries — a hallmark of the Leather scene — Oregon Leather By Nick Mattos Pride Week is conscious and committed to respecting peoPQ Monthly ple’s privacy, ensuring that all people are given their full The kinky and kink-curious alike will be out in force agency to be as open or private about their sexual tastes August 3-12 when Oregon Leather Pride Week 2012 whips as they please. out all over the fair city of Portland. As to why the leather and BDSM scenes are so vibrant A highly diverse array of events, parties, workshops, and in Portland, Butts notes: “We have a lot of leather history “munches” (casual meals) promises every segment of the here in Oregon and in the Northwest.” community the chance to explore and enjoy big-time senFor example, the Rose City was the site of the Catharsuality of whatever variety and flavor floats their particular sis bar contest, considered to be the world’s first leather boat. From fetish dances to family barbeques, demonstra- night for women, back in 1982. Three of the first four Intertions to dungeons, the coalition of organizations that plan national Ms. Leather title holders, all named in the late and program Oregon Leather Pride Week promise that 2012 1980s, were from the Portland area. Tony DeBlase, influenwill be one of the best in the event’s 23-year history. tial leather icon and designer of the black, blue, and white“Oregon Leather Pride Week is a sort of alternative gay striped Leather Pride flag, spent the last years of his life in pride celebration. It’s a celebration of who we are, a chance to Portland before passing away in 2000. come out and meet the other people in affiliated groups,” says A few years later, then-mayor Vera Katz proclaimed the Thom Butts, chair of Oregon Leather Pride Week 2012, presi- week of August 3, 2002, to be Leather Pride Week in Portland,
noting in her proclamation that “the motto of ‘Safe, Sane, and Consensual’ adopted by the leather and fetish communities is vital to all relationships between consenting adults.” In 2004, the diversely talented Andy Mangels launched the Oregon Leather History Project, an archive of historic documents and artifacts related to the state’s leather scene; that same year, Mangels raised over $10,000 while serving as Mr. Oregon State Leather in other to “adopt” the uniform room at the national Leather Archives and Museum in the name of the fair City of Portland. With all this history — and with the nature of BDSM, which necessarily involves intense experiences — some may think that it’s hard to get into the scene as a new participant. However, Leather Pride Week can serve as the perfect intro for folks curious to explore their own edges. “I think that the events during Leather Pride Week are geared for new people in the community,” Butts says, “and there’s nothing that will really push boundaries if they don’t want it or scare anyone off. ... There are other events throughout the year that really aren’t for the inexperienced or faint of heart, but everything would be good for the newbies as well as the experienced people.” “One group in particular, Whipper Snappers, is focused especially for younger folks in the community and the education of teaching and skills for BDSM for the new generation,” he adds. “Education really is key the whole gamut of skills in BDSM, from how to safely tie people up to how to properly flog someone, how to tell when the top is doing something wrong, how to throw a single-tail whip, even how to play with electricity. A lot of those things are intuitive, but due to the nature of the play it’s easy to cross the line into the unsafe and medically dangerous. Education ensures that everyone can have a fun, safe time.” For those who want a new and perhaps surprisingly fulfilling experience, Butts has simple advice: “I think there’s something for absolutely anyone in the Portland community during the week ... so if you’re curious, come out and get involved.”
PORTLAND LATINO GAY PRIDE: LIFE IS A ¡CARNAVAL! Julie Cortez El Hispanic News
Portland, OR — The theme of this year’s Portland Latino Gay Pride is ¡Carnaval!, but take a close look at the graphic livening up the celebration’s posters and advertisements and you might notice that under the carnaval headdress hides an enduring symbol of PLGP: a masked wrestler, or “luchador.” The theme changes a bit from year to year, but “la lucha” — the struggle — endures as a central, unifying message for the Latino LGBTQ community and its allies, according to David Martínez, PLGP co-founder and chair. “We all share struggles,” he says. “We all have common things that we go through.” Should some of those struggles be financial, PLGP’s events — taking place July 19-22 — have you covered. While donations are suggested and appreciated, no one will be denied entry to any event due to lack of funds. “Our commitment has been to the community and making sure anyone who wants to celebrate Latino Gay Pride can,” Martínez says. PLGP 2012 opens with Noche Bohemia on July 19 at 7 18 • July/August 2012
p.m. at Q Center (4115 N. Mississippi Ave.). In addition to featuring music and poetry, the all-ages opening reception will honor this year’s Mariposa Award winners as well as the Equity Foundation’s PLGP scholarship recipient and PLGP volunteers and sponsors. The festivities continue with a dance party on July 20 at Boxxes (1035 SW Stark St.), before moving on to the main event — the Portland Latino Gay Pride Festival — on July 21, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Pure Space (1315 NW Overton St.). Both the dance party and the festival are limited to attendees 21 and over. Martínez says that while last year’s location, the Eastbank Esplanade, was beautiful, the festivities were a bit — pardon the pun — dampened by falling on the “wettest day in July.” So the PLGP board sought out a space that offers an outdoor feel as well as protection from the elements. Pure Space, with its 20-foot windows and open floor plan, fit the bill. The cultural celebration will include live performances, a non-stop D.J., exhibitors, and Latin food and drinks. In the interest of keeping the event financially accessible — and funding PLGP’s Equity Foundation and Hispanic Chamber scholarships — this year the festival offers
a VIP experience for $20. The suggested donation for general admission is $5. For more information and to order VIP tickets, visit latinogaypridepdx.com/events/. The 2012 PLGP closes with the Nuestras Latinas y Sus Amigos brunch, July 22 at 11 a.m. at Dingo’s (4612 SE Hawthorne Blvd.). This all-ages brunch is $10, but, again, no one will be turned away due to inability to pay. Martínez says there was some early skepticism about the festival and “whether we were real and sustainable,” but since its inception in 2006, Portland Latino Gay Pride — which is still planned and executed by unpaid board members and other volunteers — has continued to grow and evolve, while staying true to its grassy roots. Extending beyond the one long summer weekend, this year PLGP drew its largest contingent ever to the Portland Pride Parade, brought author Charles Rice González to town in the spring, and founded the first Equity Foundation scholarship for the Latino community. “We’re all volunteers,” Martínez says. “We do what we do from the heart.” Latino or not, LGBTQ or not, he adds, if you come to a PLGP event, “Be ready to be a part of our community, which is what we’re all about.” pqmonthly.com
July/August 2012 â€˘ 19
OREGON LEATHER PRIDE 2012 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Tuesday, August 7
Friday, August 3
Kinky Women’s Welcoming Munch
PLA’s Annual Fetish Ball
7:30pm-12am, $15 members; $20 others Host: Portland Leather Alliance North Star Ballroom, 21+, Open to All
Leather, Scotch & Cigar Social
8:30pm-Midnight, FREE Host: Brent Seeley, Mr. Oregon State Leather 2009 & Blackout Leather Productions Eagle Portland, 21+, Open to All
T.G.I.F. (Thank Gear It’s Fetish) Party and Full Moon Fisting Party
7pm- 9pm, FREE Host: Bad Girls Holman’s, 21+, Women Only
Wednesday, August 8
Tribal! The Victory Party
Whips in the Park
2pm-4pm, FREE Host: Whipper-Snappers Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 18+, Open to All
First Strike Party
8pm-1am, $10 in advance/ $15 at door Host: Whipper-Snappers The Sindicate, 18+, Open to All, A/C
Sunday, August 5 Sunday School with Bad Girls
10:30am-4:30pm Host: Bad Girls Bad Girls or any other kink organization: $35/day; non-members $40/day; $15 per individual workshop Lunch included with full day price The Sindicate, 18+, All Genders Welcome, A/C
7pm: “Kink & Kinship” - 9pm: “Best of Cinekink 2012” $8 per screening, $12 both shows Host: CineKink Clinton Street Theater, 18+, Open to All, A/C
Monday, August 6 Movie Night with Lady Alycyn
Door at 6pm, Movie at 7pm, $5 suggested donation Host: Lady Alycyn, Ms. Oregon State Leather 2003 & Blackout Leather Productions Location: TBA, 21+, Open to All 20 • July/August 2012
8pm-2am, $15 before 9pm, $20 after 9pm Host: Dirty Playground The Sindicate, 18+, Queers of all genders & bodies welcome
Thursday, August 9
Saturday, August 4
Dirty Playground: Queer sex & BDSM party
FUR FUCK: Bear & Cub Party
8pm-4am Host: Hawks PDX $7 lockers if attendees in two items of fetish gear or more Fisting Demos at 10pm & Midnight Hawks PDX, 18+, Male Only, Smoking on Patio
1pm-5pm, $15 with RSVP by Aug. 1, $20 after Host: Society for Tea Enjoyment and Entertainment in Portland (STEEP-Ltd) RSVP for location: email@example.com 18+, Dominant Women & submissives of any gender, A/C
8pm-1am, $15 members; $20 others Host: Portland Leather Alliance The New TA Event Center, 18+, Open to All
5pm- 8pm, FREE Hamburger Mary’s, 18+, Open to All
Leather Family BBQ
STEEP: Dommes’ Tea
PLA’s Pride Party
6pm-Dusk, FREE, Bring a dish to share Plates & utensils provided; Grills available for meats, veggies, & vegan Host: Oregon Leather Pride 2012 Committee Overlook Park, All Ages, Open to All 6pm-8pm during Leather Family BBQ, FREE Host: Whipper-Snappers Overlook Park, All Ages, Open to All
SE PDX Munch
6pm-9pm, FREE Host: Larissa aka “Naughty Minxxx” Vino Vixen’s Wine Bar, 21+, Open to All
10pm-6am Host: Hawks PDX $7 lockers for Oregon Bear members Hawks PDX, 18+, Male Only, Smoking on Patio 10pm-late, FREE Host: Dominic, Mr. Oregon State Leather 2008 & Blackout Leather Productions Eagle Portland, 21+, Open to All
Sunday, August 12 Leather Pride Victory Brunch and Rose & Thorn Awards Brunch at 11:30am, Awards at 1pm FREE / Order from menu Host: Blackout Leather Productions Multnomah Grille @ DoubleTree by Hilton All Ages, Open to All, A/C
Closeout Beer (Bear) Bust
4pm-7pm, $8 beer or soda bust Host: Oregon Bears Eagle Portland, 21+, Open to All
Friday August 10
Darklady’s Potluck & Pervy Porn Night
8pm-2am, $15 Host: Club Sesso, 21+, Open to All
Leather Vegas and Contestant Meet & Greet 6pm-10pm, FREE / Scrip available for purchase Host: Blackout Leather Productions The Embers Avenue (Back bar), 21+, Open to All
7pm-Midnight Host: Darklady Productions The Catalyst, 21+, Open to All
Saturday, August 11 Leather Tastings 12pm- 5pm, $3 members; $5 others Host: Portland Leather Alliance The New TA Event Center, 18+, Open to All
Portland Leather Men Potluck
4pm-6pm, FREE Host: Portland Leather Men Portland’s oldest men’s-only leather group meets for food and camaraderie. Contact for location: tuckerwalter@ gmail.com, 18+, Men Only
5pm-6:30pm Host: Boys/Bois in Leather Service The Embers Avenue, 21+, Open to All
2012 Mr. & Ms. Oregon State Leather and Oregon State Bootblack Contests Door at 6pm, Contest starts at 7pm, $10 Host: Blackout Leather Productions The Embers Ave (Back bar), 21+, Open to All
Photo by Julie Cortez, PQ Monthly
Photo by IZZIE VENTURA, PQ Monthly
OREGON LEATHER PRIDE LOCATION INFORMATION (All events are in Portland, OR) Clinton Street Theater
The Embers Ave
DoubleTree by Hilton
Lucky Lab Brew Pub
The New TA Event Center
TA Event Center
Vino Vixen’s Wine Bar
2522 SE Clinton St. 824 SW 1st Ave.
234 SE Grand Ave. 15 SE 28th Ave
1000 NE Multnomah 835 N Lombard
915 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
N Fremont St. & N Interstate Ave.
19 NW 5th Ave.
300 NE Multnomah
4810 NE Garfield 110 NW Broadway
631 NE Grand Ave. 5224 SE Foster Rd.
2929 SE Powell Blvd.
MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS Bad Girls
Portland Leather Men
Boys/Bois in Leather Service
SE PDX Munch
Blackout Leather Productions
The Society for Tea Enjoyment & Entertainment in Portland – A Ladies’ Tea for Dommes (STEEP-LTD)
Club Sesso / Twisted Party www.twistedpartyportland.com
Portland Leather Alliance
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.fetlife.com/groups/17633
Photo by Julie Cortez, PQ Monthly
July/August 2012 • 21
GET OUT! FRIDAY, JULY 20
Hal Sparks (Queer as Folk “fauxmosexual” and general funnyguy) comes to town! 7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m., Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th, 21+, $20-25. LumberTwink — Wayne Bund, Matt Bearracuda — along with DJs Pocket Rock-It and Otter Pop — throw a little dance party honoring NW beardos, making all your plaid fantasies come true. 9 p.m, Eagle, 835 N. Lombard, 21+, $4, $2 if you’re donned in plaid. Peep Show! Your favorite queer cabaret show is back with some Summer Lovin’. Performances by: Anthony Hudson, Kaj-anne Pepper, Slim Pickens, Gula Delgatto, and many, many more. 10 p.m., Red Cap Garage, 1035 Stark, 21+. Search “Peep Show” on Facebook. Check out PQ Monthly online for all the Saturday night dance parties, including Blow Pony and the rotating Genderf**king Takeover’s rotating fiesta.
SATURDAY, JULY 21
Why don’t you take a Gaycation? Think hot, sweaty, queer love on the dance floor (with resident DJs Mr. Charming and Snowtiger). 9 p.m., Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 21+, $3 cover. Repeats Aug. 18. Bear Beer Bust. 9 p.m., The Eagle Portland, 835 N Lombard, 21+, oregonbears.org. Repeats Aug. 18. The Witching Hour: Goth Bingo, featuring all queer DJs and bingo callers. 9 p.m., Sloan’s, 36 N Russell, 21+, $1-2.
TUESDAY, JULY 24
Bi/Pansexual Conversation Group. 7 p.m., Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi, for more information e-mail stephanie1225@ gmail.com.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 25
Pivot hosts Faith and Sexuality, a support group for those who struggle with their sexuality because of their faith. 6 p.m., Pivot, 209 SW 4th, pivotpdx.org.
THURSDAY, JULY 26
Gay & Grey 4th Thursday Social. 4-6 p.m., Embers, 110 NW Broadway, 21+. Q Center hosts a screening of 22 • July/August 2012
“Live Free or Die,” a documentary telling the story of Bishop Gene Robinson, the first out gay man to be elevated to such a leadership role, and the challenges he faced in occupying his office. 7 p.m., Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi, free.
FRIDAY, JULY 27
PQ Monthly and Capitol Pride present Cruise-In at Southside Speakeasy. Drive in, ride in, bike in, run in ... just come in to help raise funds for Capitol Pride! 7 p.m., Southside Speakeasy, 3529 Fairview Industrial Drive Southeast, Salem, 21+, $5 cover. Pivot hosts Film Friday. This week’s film: “Captain America” (2011). 5 p.m., Pivot, 209 SW 4th, pivotpdx.org. (Repeats Aug.3 “Albert Nobbs,” Aug. 10 “Bill Cunningham New York,” Aug. 17 “Moneyball” — all at 7 p.m.) Apocalysp! a dirty rock ‘n’ roll queer night for the punk rock fag in everyone, with DJ Weinerslav! 9 p.m., The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard, 21+, no cover! The Oregon Bears migrate to Embers for the Double X Dance, the scruffiest night in town! 9 p.m., Embers Avenue, 110 NW Broadway, 21+. DJ Anjali & the Incredible Kid spin some Bollywood goodness in Al’s Den. 10:30 p.m., Al’s Den at the Crystal Hotel, 303 SW 12th, 21+, free!
SATURDAY, JULY 28
Ladies! INFERNO’s DJs Wildfire and D-Zel turn up the heat for a Mustache Party! 6 p.m., DIRTY Nightclub, 35 NW 3rd, $8 cover, 21+, infernodances.com
SUNDAY, JULY 29
Got Pride? Capitol Forum Show benefiting Capitol Pride. 6 p.m., Southside Speakeasy, 3529 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, 21+, no cover! SunBurn, every Sunday afternoon at Vendetta. Rotating deejays, sprawling patio, free, done. 4306 N Williams. Free. Superstar Divas Megashow. Honey Bea Hart, Bolivia Carmichaels, a nd Ginger L ee bring you diva realness every Su nd ay n ig ht ! 8 p.m ., CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis, 21+, no cover, ccslaughterspd x.
Want the full scoop? Head over to pqmonthly.com to check out the full calendar of events, submit your own events, and look through photos from parties around town! pqmonthly.com/calendar
com/divas. Repeats Aug. 19.
Thursday, August 2
Paper Cowgrrls: A Crafting Circle for Women! Plan your next project, pack up your tools and materials and join others using paper as a base for art and craft. 6:30-8:30 p.m., Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi, $5 suggested donation. First Thursdays mean DIRT BAG wants to punch you in the face (in the form of a queer, indie dance pop, electro, house, remix jams party). With DJs Bruce LaBruiser and Ill Camino! 9 p.m., The Know, 2026 NE Alberta, 21+, No cover!
Friday, August 3
Pivot hosts MPowerMENt, a group for gay men ages 18-39 who want to be more involved in shaping their community. 5 p.m., Pivot, 209 SW 4th, pivotpdx.org/mpowerment.
Saturday, August 4
Slinger of soul DJ Action Slacks brings out the shimmy with Sugar Town! featuring the swingingest, springingest soul music. 8 p.m., The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd, 21+, $5 cover. DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid kick off their 11th year of ANDAZ, a sweaty Bollywood Bhangra dance night! 9 p.m., Rotture, 315 SE 3rd, 21+, $3-7, theincrediblekid.com. Maricon, a dance night for homos and their homeys. 10 p.m., Eagle Portland, 835 N Lombard, 21+, facebook.com/ maricon.saturday.
Sunday, August 5
Capitol Pride brings the gay to Salem. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., for more information, visit capitolpride.org. 2012 Butch Femme Lesbian Picnic. 1 p.m., Laurelhurst Park, Picnic Area D, no pets please, bring cooked or prepared food to share, call Pamlin Pegg at 503-223-5998 for more information. Bridge Club is a great place to check out the cuties in the light of day. 3-9 p.m., Produce Row Cafe, 204 SE Oak, facebook. com/bridge.clubpdx. CineKink, “the kinky film festival,” returns to Portland for a hot, one-night stand. 7
p.m., Clinton St. Theater 2522 SE Clinton, 18+, $6-12, cinekink. com.
Monday, August 6
Pivot hosts Always Looking Up, a peer social support group for HIV+ young adults age 1424. 5-7 p.m., Pivot, 209 SW 4th, pivotpdx.org/always-lookingup. Gender Queery is a monthly discussion group for trans, genderqueer, folks outside-thegender-binary, and allies. Meetings have great discussions on an ever-changing topic followed by socializing. 7-8:30 p.m., Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi.
Tuesday, August 7
Bears Coffee. 6:30 p.m., Cooper’s Coffee, 6049 SE Stark, oregonbears.org. The Border Riders Motorcycle Club holds a meet-andgreet for gay men interested in recreational motorcycle touring. 7-9 p.m., The Eagle Portland, 835 N. Lombard, 21+, borderriders.com. Girltopia. CCs welcomes the ladies to dance it out, downtown. 9 p.m., CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis, 21+, no cover!
Thursday, August 9
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, featuring Anatoly Molotkov, accompanied by musician Ragon Linde, with the premiere screening of Chris Martin’s documentary about Ghost Town Poetry founder Christopher Luna. 7 p.m., Cover to Cover Books, 6300 NE St. James Rd, Suite 104B, Vancouver, WA.
Friday, August 10
Gay & Grey Summer BBQ. 11:30 a.m., Friendly House, 1737 NW 26th, for more information, call 503-224-2640. Drag Night at SMYRC. Open to all youth 12-23 who identify as LGBTQ. 7:30 p.m., SMYRC, 2406 NE Sandy #100, smyrc. org. BENT With your dance floor hero, Resident DJ Roy G. Biv, and with special guests (as always). 9 p.m., The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard, 21+, $5, facebook. com/bentpdx. Mattachine Dance Party RETURNS! The four-year-old, NYC-based queer dance party
starring the likes of John Cameron Mitchell, Amber Martin, and Paul Dawson revisits our fair city, spinning songs from queer yesteryear and beyond. Get your pinko-commie, downtown-homo, early-era gay on. 9 p.m., Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 21+, $10, $7 before 10 p.m.
Saturday, August 11
Amazon Dragons 20th Anniversary BBQ and Reunion. All former Amazons, friends, and family are welcome to join. 1 p.m., Kelley Point Park, N. Marine Drive and Lombard, RSVP to aloureynolds@yahoo. com. HRC’s 3rd Annual “Urban Farm” Gala, a Portland-style dinner proudly serving farmfresh gourmet food, superb Oregon wines and micro-distillery products. 5 p.m., Meriwether’s Skyline Farms, 12735 NW Skyline, $125-175, portland. hrc.org. Melissa Etheridge brings her raw “chick with a guitar” spirit to Portland. (Hopefully she left the babymomma drama at home.) 7 p.m., Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd., $40-60, oregonzoo.org. MRS. is Portland’s favorite themed (and costumed) dance night. Check out their Facebook group for this month’s theme, then dance it out with your ever-lovin DJs Beyondadoubt, Il Camino, and Trans Fat (with the ever popular Bloodhound photobooth). 10 p.m., Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 21+, $5, facebook.com/ MRS.PDX.
Sunday, August 12
Manifest Men’s Wellness Community Wanderlust Fitness Cycling Group. Explore Portland in this fitness ride for men looking for a moderate workout. 4:30 p.m., Meet at Whole Foods at NE 15th and Fremont, $3-15 non-Manifest members, manifestpdx.org.
Thursday, August 16
Of course, you really won’t want to miss the PQ July Press Party! Get the first look at the July/August issue and rub lost of elbows. 5-8 p.m., Miracle Theater, 425 SE 6th, All Ages. pqmonthly.com
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July/August 2012 • 23
HEAR THEM ROAR THREE WOMEN WHO ROCK OUR WORLD By Nick Mattos PQ Monthly
The summer concert season is in full swing, from the upcoming Portland Queer Music Festival to the numerous street fairs throughout the city. What does it take for musicians go from private inspiration to public performance? Here, PQ presents the stories of three local ladies who rock and shares their takes on how songwriting and performance help them transform the suffering in their lives into art that strengthens them. RACQUEL RUSSO “I don’t understand the creative process, just like I don’t understand the process of dreaming,” says Racquel Russo, frontwoman and creative force behind Naming Names. “It’s so unconscious, so basic that it’s almost without effort sometimes. Not to say there aren’t the arduous moments, but in time something just happens and I find myself singing something, and I can’t deny what just slipped past my lips.” After relocating to Olympia, Wash., from her home state of Hawaii in 2002, Russo adopted her stage moniker, Naming Names, and started playing shows as a soloist; later, she added current bandmates Tim Yates and Gordon Nickel to her lineup. When the band relocated to Portland in 2006, Naming Names’ first bookings in town were at seedy punk dive bars — inspiring Russo to remake her avant-garde piano pop into straight-up rock. “Once you get the microphones in front of you, the sound of your own voice in the amps and the energy of the people in the room, there’s absolutely no going back,” she explains. “It was as though my songs went into a telephone booth, ripped off their civilian clothes, and emerged as indie rock. I didn’t fight it, because it was organically happening and it was exactly what I needed to do — get swept up in the wave. It was a movement away from my original artistic vision, but it taught me Photo by Greg Maguire, PQ Monthly critical lessons about being a performer, both in regards to self-acceptance and self-criticism.” After a few years of rocking out, Russo felt the call to return to her anti-folk creative center, releasing the “I Ching”-inspired EP “Rev” to mark the transition. She returned to writing, and found herself called to create films to accompany her performances; the resulting gallery shows embodied the intimacy and emotional rawness that first compelled her to sit in front of the piano. “I think a lot of creativity comes from pain,” she says of her process. “It’s not a requirement, certainly, but it’s an effective propellant. … When I’m in a place of struggling, the creativity happens spontaneously. I sit down at the piano, and the next thing I know the song has arrived.” “Songwriting is ultimately a tool I use to figure out what’s going on,” she notes. “I’m quite good at telling myself convincing stories about what is happening in my life, but honestly I don’t have a clear view of the situation or the role I’m playing within it until I open it up and let a song come out of it. At that point, reality confronts me, and I confront it — and we are forced to contend with each other.”
Photo by Greg Maguire, PQ Monthly
24 • July/August 2012
AUTRY! “Really, I want to be able to just do my music,” explains Autry! when asked whether she seeks the spotlight. “Fame is actually something that scares me; I feel like famous people must be very lonely. People just see a character, rather than the real you. Being able to just do what I do, and make money off it, would be awesome though. When it comes to fame, I’m like, ‘whatever.’”
A Portland native, Autry! enrolled in the city’s celebrated Rock & Roll Camp for Girls in her early teens — but her wild ways didn’t ingratiate her with the camp staff. “I think about half of the rules at the camp came from me, actually — no smoking, no making out,” she chuckles. “I guess I was just too rock and roll for Rock & Roll Camp for Girls!” Soon after her expulsion, the death of her best friend Haley inspired Autry! to get serious about her craft. “Sometimes I can sit down and write a song in a half hour, but there are some songs that just don’t come for years,” she says of her process. “I have to put them away, then come back and finish them way later. … I like to keep in mind that songwriting can be a mathematical equation, but I also don’t like it to get repetitive. I see some musicians doing the same things over and over sometimes, and it bugs me. I like to mix it up.” In the last few years, Autry! has released her debut EP “A.U.T.R.Y.!,” launched a web video series that shoots in her closet and features guest stars such as Melody Awesomazing, and formed a new band that includes co-conspirators Kevin Collins and Dapper Dom, with whom she is recording her first full-length album. “I’m a very emotional person, so I have to write songs and make art,” she says. “Otherwise I can’t live with myself. I feel like I’m a glass, and I just fill up, and I can overflow. I don’t like to overflow! I just have to empty it out with the music.” EDNA VÁZQUEZ “I think creativity comes from deep emotions — frustration, sadness, joy,” muses Edna Vázquez. “It comes from a place further away than I can ever know. … It’s just so strong in me, and makes me stronger.” Growing up in the Mexican states of Colima and Jalisco, Vázquez found early on that her creative impulse sometimes put her at odds with her community. When I was 11 years old,” she recalls, “I would grab some paper and go to the plaza in town to write, which was a very rare thing for a woman to do in my little town. People would wonder, ‘What is that weird girl doing there with that paper?’ It was just the place I felt the creativity strongest.” Photo by Greg Maguire, PQ Monthly Vazquez moved with some family members to Oregon at the age of 17; here, she found more acceptance of her sexuality than she did in Mexico, but less creative inspiration. “I went into a stage in which I was shut,” she says of the time. “I stopped writing. It was then that I joined the [Los Palmeros] mariachi band, though, and everything started falling into place. All these really macho boys started teaching me rhythm, and it was as if I needed to stop writing for a while so that I could understand how rhythm worked.” Her career quickly took off, with appearances on reality TV shows such as “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento” and “Sábado Gigante” and steadily-rising popularity in the Northwest mariachi scene. While Vázquez is still very active with Los Palmeros (they’re currently recording a new album entitled “Cantares de Occidente”), her inspiration recently led her to expand in an ambitious and revealing new direction as a singer-songwriter. “My new project is … somewhat political, talking about the issues we face now in our community,” she says her forthcoming solo album, “Ser Abstracto.” “It’s how I ask how humans cope with their day-to-day lives. I mean, I want everyone to survive this mess! They are songs about the awakening of the human senses, and how we get so attached to material stuff that we lose track of our own greatness.” When asked what she would advise for those who want to follow their creative dreams, Vázquez is characteristically and poignantly emphatic: “If you want to be creative, be fearless and bring it out. Your work is a piece of light that you need to bring out, because other people need that light of yours. Share it with all of us, so we can all grow together.” A much longer version of this article can be found on PQMonthly.com. For more information on the musicians featured and listings of their upcoming shows, check out their websites: namingnames.net, autrysmusic.com, and ednaVázquez.com. pqmonthly.com
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SHAKESPEARE, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, AND SMIDGE OF SHAMELESS SILLINESS By Julie Cortez PQ Monthly
Elizabethan English meets irreverent talk of sexting, butter cows, and lady-on-lady love in “The Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa.” Set in a contemporary fictional Midwestern town, this loose adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy puts same-sex marriage on a pedestal, then makes it — and politicians, Iowans, Canadians, Germans, and golf-loving lesbians — the butt of its jokes. Presented by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland through Oct. 13, this version of “Merry Wives” transforms one of English literature’s most popular rogues, Sir John Falstaff, into a failed presidential candidate looking to recoup his misused campaign funds by bilking the wives of Windsor, Iowa — a town that proudly and wholeheartedly embraces the marriage equality rights for which the state is famous. Falstaff’s attempts at seduction are directed at same-sex and “unsame” couples alike. “I am an equal-opportunity seducer,” he confesses, “believing your marriage as worthy of plunder as another’s.” Alison Carey, who wrote the play, says she’s heard from “shockingly few” who’ve been offended by the rather broad comedic brush with which she has painted the world of Windsor. Photo by T. Charles Erickson “Her voice as a playwright and an Francie Ford (Robin Goodrin Nordli) and George Page (Ted Deasy) learn about their adaptor of Shakespeare is so powerwives’ (Gina Daniels,Terri McMahon) schemes to have their revenge on John Falstaff. ful,” OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch says of Carey. “Her wit is razor sharp.” He admits he has indeed received a few complaints from miffed lesbians, Iowans, and Canadians in the “Merry Wives” audience as a result. “I’ll sort of lay myself down with Falstaff and say I’m an equal opportunity offender,” Carey says. “It’s all done with an enormous amount of love and respect for people. In this lovely, self-realized community of Windsor, Iowa, you can be eccentric and you can be who you are and it’s open to all people who are willing to respect the identity and loves of other people. The intention is not to offend; the intention is to create joy.” Rauch, who just so happens to be married to “Merry Wives” director Christopher Liam Moore, praises Carey’s “beautiful career-long commitment to LGBTQ issues in her writing.” Rauch would know; their careers paths have rarely diverged. He and Carey co-founded the Cornerstone Theater Company — which began as a traveling ensemble before settling in Los Angeles — when they were barely out of their Harvard graduation robes. Moore was also a founding member and Carey’s husband, Benajah Cobb, was Cornerstone’s technical director; now all four work at OSF. Carey was a driving force behind Cornerstone’s signature approach to adapting classics to reflect specific contemporary communities. She examined the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in 1994 by setting “Twelfth Night, or As You Were” on a naval base, and made a case for same-sex marriage in “As You Like It: A California Concoction” in 2006. “Merry Wives” — Carey’s first adaptation for OSF — is greatly influenced by her happy disbelief that we’ve come so far in six years. “I don’t think any of us in the world had any idea the conversation about gay marriage would move so quickly,” she says. “It seemed like this wacky dream.” In “Merry Wives,” Carey has not made a case for anything; marriage equality is a celebrated fact of life in Windsor. She instead chose to “step over the conversation about whether gay marriage is good or bad — we’ve had that conversation — [and] to move into the place where the comic possibilities open up. Gay marriage is here; let’s just have some fun and make some jokes and not debate — just present. The idea of a world where gay marriage is not only accepted but really revered was an incredibly fun world to write about and a world that I believe in.”
“A MARRIAGE CAN BE SAME-SEX OR UNSAME, BUT ONLY SAME-SOUL MARRIAGE EARNS THE NAME.”
“The Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa” opened in June and will close Oct. 13. (That’s the same weekend as Southern Oregon Pride, by the way.) For information and tickets, visit osfashland.org/. And be sure to check out the September/October issue of PQ Monthly to have your heart melted by the decades-long love story of Christopher Liam Moore and Bill Rauch. pqmonthly.com
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WATCHING THE THRONE: HIP HOP ARTIST JEAU BREEDLOVE’S INEVITABLE ASCENSION By Daniel Borgen PQ Monthly
So, it’s that time again. Portland’s Queer Music Festival, one giant collection of all the best Portland (and beyond) has to offer, is right around the corner (July 22, to be exact). Among the many artists festival-goers are clamoring to see — one of Portland’s most energetic and enterprising — is rapper, frequent guest star, regular collaborator with all sorts of folks, Jeau Breedlove. But, hell, don’t take our word for it. Music Fest organizer Samuel Thomas said this about the notorious(ly named) Breedlove: “Hip hop is one of the hardest scenes for queer musicians to break into. Luckily, in Portland, we’ve had talented queer hip hop artists appear the last couple of years — and at the very top is Jeau Breedlove. Immediate, snarky, smart, and one incredible lyricist — I’ve watched him grow and mature in a way most rappers never do, and for that I’m supremely proud to showcase him this year.” But, unlike most artists who arrive on scene, build hype, and keep going at breakneck speeds, Breedlove approached things a bit differently. He took a break — to regroup, refocus, and emerge revitalized. “Basically, I sat out a number of shows offered to me because I wanted to focus a bit more on what sound I was really going for,” Breedlove explained. “I work with a really weird — well, eclectic — selection of music in my sets, so I stepped back to establish a theme of sorts. “I have a number of original beats that have been gifted to me, but I also like working with more popular music — beats from the likes of Rihanna, Britney, and even Whit-
28 • July/August 2012
ney,” he added. “Every show is a different crowd, so I try to give my best performance — things specifically chosen for those who show up to any given party. I want each show to be bigger and better than the last.” After loads of Portland appearances — Pride, Peep Shows, queer dance parties, Breedlove was on the road to Seattle to showcase his sweet lyrics for homos in the Emerald City. “Seattle Pride was fucking amazing,” he said. “I performed at the Wild Rose Block Party with Kitty Morena [ChiChi Pussyculo]. I definitely felt the love from the lovely ladies — and gentlemen — up north. The response they gave us was overwhelming, considering they pretty much had absolutely no idea who we were.”
But it’s clearly never just a name that captures and keeps people’s attention; it takes an amount of expertise and aptitude to endear oneself to a city the way Breedlove has. And, with talent comes collaboration. Breedlove has performed with a variety of local legends-in-the-making, including Magic Mouth and Carla Rossi (Anthony Hudson). “I have and always will credit Peter Condra [Magic Mouth] for the performer I am today,” Breedlove said. “I was always active in high school theater and improve — it was then I realized I was pretty quick-witted. I thought my writing could extend to rapping, but it wasn’t until many years later that Peter introduced me to Chichi and Chonga. We clicked immediately, played a show with Magic WHAT’S IN A NAME? Mouth, they all blew the fuck up, and it’s been kind of nonstop ever since.” Breedlove — that name still sends When pressed about what typically shivers down some people’s spines. provides the impetus for, say, writing “The Adams/Beau Breedlove scanlyrics or arranging music, Breedlove dal was huge when I first started to relies on a familiar mix — the sort of Photo by Adam Gretzinger, for PQ Monthly process creatives know well. book shows and I was fascinated by it,” he said. “The name Breedlove sticks Jeau Breedlove will perform at the Portland Queer Music Festival. “I write when I get dumped, have a in people’s minds and it definitely didn’t hurt that my name brilliant idea, or if I just need a song to fill a time slot,” he rhymes with Beau. I wanted something very Portland — said. “I write both sober and sloppy drunk — but I never and scandalous at the same time. I like the name, and I’m perform a song unless I’m 100 percent behind it. I’d rather jeau breedlove page 29 not really bothered if others don’t.”
GUIDED BY GALILEO: KATE BORNSTEIN’S MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE By Erin Rook PQ Monthly
When Kate Bornstein first set out to write her memoir — “A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish
jeau breedlove Continued from page 28
play a seven-minute banger set than overstay my welcome on stage.” As for who and what he looks forward to, Breedlove puts Sistafist high on his wish list — and he cites Damon Boucher and Friscokidd as frequent partners in collaboration. “Kitty Morena is easily my favorite person to perform with,” he said. “Her energy and professionalism is unreal. I also love working with Magic Mouth when they’ll have me.” As for the immediate future, Breedlove has some big plans for the Queer Music Festival, and has a release on his radar. “I’m compiling material for a mixtape that’s been in the works for some time now — no rush, though,” Breedlove said. “I’m not setting a date and rushing to put out a piece of shit. Shit’s gotta be legit. Until then, I’ll keep doing me and collecting that paper at the venue.” pqmonthly.com
boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today” — three separate psychics tried to dissuade her. “My girlfriend [sexologist and author Barabara Carrellas] is like the queen of urban tantra and is friends with all these psychics,” says the 64-yearold gender theorist. “Three psychics told me I was going to get horribly sick if I [wrote the book] and sure enough I did, exactly where they said I was.” One of the psychics also told Bornstein that her spirit guide would be Galileo (the Italian scientist with the bold notion that the Earth orbits the Sun). This too turned out to be surprisingly insightful. “Did you know the church kept him apart from his daughter?” Bornstein asks. “She was a nun and he was under house arrest by the Vatican and they were not allowed to talk to each other. ... He made for a good spirit guide.” Like Galileo, Bornstein and her daughter are divided by the Church of Scientology, which has declared the author and performer a Suppressive Person, someone Scientologists are required to dissociate from. The 16th century scientist was able to communicate with his daughter via letters. “A Queer and
Pleasant Danger” is Bornstein’s letter. Unfortunately, for her daughter to read the book would be a serious act of rebellion. “The repercussions would be harsh,” Bornstein says. “She’d be immediately suspected of being a Suppressive Person. She’d become what they call a Potential Trouble Source. She would have to disavow again her connection with me, make [amends] for connecting with me, and petition for re-entry into the group.” And that’s just because Bornstein wears a scarlet SP. The content of the book, of Bornstein’s life, could be difficult to swallow for someone who grew up sheltered in an insular religious community. But even if her daughter — Jessica Leah Baxter — doesn’t read the book, Bornstein wants her to know she is loved. “If you know a friend who knows a friend who knows my daughter, give her my love,” she says. In the memoir, Bornstein speaks in frank and compelling terms about the highs, lows, twists, and turns of her life. She reveals intense personal truths about anorexia, gender identity, and BDSM, as well as harsh realities about her time as a high ranking Scientologist working and living with founder L. Ron Hubbard on the Sea Org. Such a dramatic tale seems almost too much to be true, but Bornstein says she has made a sincere effort to be honest (a challenge at times for a natural storyteller who admits to being adept at lying).
“I don’t want to lie,” Bornstein writes in the book’s prologue, “so before I sat down to write the first full draft of this book, I got five words tattooed onto the back of my right hand. They’re done in white ink, with shadowing the color of blood. They look like they’ve been carved into the back of my hand, and healed up as scars. ‘I must not tell lies.’” The Church of Scientology wants you to believe she’s a liar, Bornstein writes, that’s what SP’s do. But she wouldn’t dare. She was terrified enough of the wrath she might incur by being honest about the dark side of an organization known for harassing those who make them look bad. That’s why you won’t find a single direct quote from the Hubbard’s writings in the memoir. A copyright infringement suit would be too easy. “I am not the boldly forth kind of person,” Bornstein says. “I was screaming, crying, locking myself away. It was terrifying. They’ve done some very bad things. Google Paulette Cooper.” Despite Bornstein’s fear of repercussions from the Church of Scientology for publishing the book, she says it’s been quiet so far. “I was more than half expecting it, to wake up and walk outside my house, street poles littered with posters,” Bornstein says. After she was excommunicated, her wife at the time was told she was a thief and a child molester. “All I can take that [silence] to mean is that their lawyers read [the book] and said there’s nothing to be afraid BORNSTEIN page 33
CONTROVERSIAL AUTHOR JACK DONOVAN SHARES ‘THE WAY OF MEN’ By Nick Mattos PQ Monthly
People interested in gender theory — and perhaps willing to have some of their most treasured beliefs about gender challenged — should head down to CounterMedia on Aug. 10 to hear the influential and controversial local author Jack Donovan read from his new book, “The Way of Men.” Donovan first found notoriety amongst queers with his treatise “Androphilia: Rejecting the Gay Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity,” a manifesto published under his pen name Jack Malebranche in which he posits that modern gay culture robs gay men of their ability to identify with an essential male nature. However, writing “Androphilia” made Donovan aware that a working understanding of what constituted masculinity, and the virtues to be found therein, still needed articulation. “In ‘Androphilia,’” he explained to PQ, “near the end you can see me trying to define masculinity, and one of the things that I was criticized for when the book came out was that it wasn’t really well-formed. My definition was still a bit folksy. My project since ‘Androphilia’ has been to understand masculinity better, and I came up with a system that I think works in ‘The Way of Men.’” Donovan’s system asserts that masculinity is intrinsically related to gangs — groupings in
which hierarchies based on competence, courage, and value to the group’s survival emerge naturally. In Donovan’s view, this is diametrically opposed to the culture we now find ourselves in, which he calls a “bonobo masturbation society.” This culture, in which men face great social pressure to be concerned about being “good men” rather than being “good at being a man,” prevents all people from manifesting both their true nature as individuals as well as their worth for the culture at large. “‘The Way of Men’ is forceful and direct in a way that modern people would consider feral,” Brett Stevens wrote in his review for the blog Amerika. “It is not apologetic, or evasive. It is not indirect or passive. Like a boxer, it walks right to its objective and begins the pummeling. It is not a tantrum, or a rant, or any of the other artifacts of the democratization of language. It is Jack London-style writing, words applied with intent and unrelenting pressure, yet with an inner soul and attention to detail. Nothing is unnecessary. This alone lifts it from the cloud of frustrated impotence that is most writing about masculinity and manliness.” For those perhaps uncomfortable with the concept of engaging with a treatise on masculinity, Donovan suggests that a more in-depth consideration of masculinity could help people understand all gender identities more fully. “If you’re considering a whole bunch of parts, understanding one is better than understanding
none,” he said. “Understanding and considering masculinity and femininity as historically polar concepts can help you extrapolate a lot of things about the differences between genders.” Speaking of polarization, Donovan’s assertions about the nature of masculinity have been met with very vocal praise and loud criticism alike. However, he sees this as another natural expression of how power works. “If you’re going to exclude people, people are going to dislike you,” he said. “Masculinity is an exclusive concept. If you define something, you’re defining it against something else, because all definitions are exclusive. Everything can’t be everything. If I define masculinity, there are people on the bottom of that hierarchy — and from a Nietzschean perspective, people will resent it. If you put forth this idea that there’s a way to be better at masculinity, the people at the bottom will have anger, jealousy, and hatred towards those at the top. People today would starve the eagles to save the hares. … If our culture cares so much about those who identify as victims rather than those who could be the best of the best — the strong — culture is inverted. I’m not saying that I’m an eagle by any means — I’d just rather see the actual eagles at the top.” Jack Donovan will read from “The Way of Men” on Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at CounterMedia (927 SW Oak St., Portland). Learn more at Jack-donovan.com/. July/August 2012 • 29
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12:43 a.m., Thursday — Matt loves this time of the night, how silent Clinton Street can be, the sound of his shoes shuffling along the still-warm cement. He walks with the toofast stride of a man fleeing a bar, passing gardens with flowers tightly closed to the night and houses with dark windows. One house is bright beneath the streetlight, a candle flickering a welcome in its window; he ascends the stairs, opens the door without knocking. “Hey sweetie!” a woman’s voice sounds out with late-night huskiness. Kathryn is on the couch, twisting elegantly to place a record onto the player, her hunter-green dress draping across the cushions. On the wall behind her hangs a framed Dizzy Gillespie poster, his cheeks puffed out garishly as he blows into his trumpet. “Hello darling,” he slurs slightly. Fiona Apple’s voice comes through the speakers, telling us what it is she does every single night. Kathryn gets up, gives Matt a hug, he kisses her on the cheek. “Your text freaked me out a little,” she says. “Was everything okay out there with Natalie and Scott?” “Oh, yeah, they’re fine. Dig a Pony was fine. I just wasn’t fine.” He scowls, sits down on the couch beside her. “I guess I was just out there, with all the pretty hipsters, Nat and Scott being so funny and so fucking good, you know? They’re, like, the most earnest, sweet people ever. And I just got to feeling like shit.” Henri the cat rubs against Matt’s leg, leaving long black hairs stuck to his blue jeans. “How so?” “Like I’m shit,” he says, looking at the ground. “Like … a bad person. Like my being there with everybody and not having fun was just the tip of this iceberg of my not knowing how to actually be a fucking person.” He looks up, catches Kathryn’s gaze. “Almost like it was this evidence that I’m actually a bad person. It sounds crazy, I know, but does that make sense?” “I dig it,” she says, pushing her black hair behind her ear. “But, sweetie, you’re not a trope.” “C’mon, don’t use your fancy writer words.” “Don’t get mad at me because you dropped out of college.” She gets up, walks into her messy kitchen, still talking. “Think ‘stock character.’ You know, the bad guy in a black hat, the wise old woman, the trickster.” She reappears in the doorway, a bottle of cheap champagne in one hand, two glasses
in the other. “They’re a good shorthand for showing the nature of a character in a film or whatever, but they’re a bullshit way of thinking about our own nature.” “I mean, Jesus, I’m not good at my job, I’m not good at dating, I’m not good at being a son,” Matt laments. “Hell, I shoplifted gum from a gas station. Gum! As if I couldn’t afford a pack of fucking gum. I worried that I’m just a fucking stock character of a bad guy.” Kathryn sighs, hands a glass to Matt as Henri bats at her skirt and Fiona sings that she just wants to feel everything. “There’s just no such thing as a bad person. We’re not angels, sure, but we’re not devils either. Hell, we’re not golden children or femme fatales or tricksters or manic pixie dream girls, even. We’re not tropes. We’re just people, all of us, even me, even you — full of potential for good and bad, full of angels and devils and tricksters and dream girls.” She pours wine into Matt’s glass, the bubbles shining in the candlelight. “To butcher Walt Whitman: we are large. We contain multitudes. Even,” she says softly, “some shit we’d rather wasn’t living there inside us. Here’s where it gets really screwy, though: Even if someone has a lot of dark shit inside, scary unethical crazy freaky bad stuff — which, bee tee dubs, everybody totally has swimming around inside them — this doesn’t mean that nobody’s going to love them. Hell, maybe they’ll luck out and find people who love them even more for having all that dark shit. Best-case scenario, though, is that they learn to love that shit themselves, and to do that they have to drag it up out of those hidden places and start owning it. Maybe that’s what’s starting to happen for you, Matt, or at least I hope so — and I love you way more for it.” Matt smiles at her, his eyes unexpectedly wet. “Thanks, sweetie.” Kathryn raises her flute in a toast. “May our true friends drink champagne,” Kathryn says. “And our sham friends drink true pain!” Matt replies, their glasses clinking together. “That’s the spirit!” she laughs. “Don’t worry, you’re just a person like the rest of us. Just relax and enjoy the pleasure of our company, okay? We enjoy yours.” Outside, the train whistle gives its plaintive moan. “I’ll try,” he says, smiling. In the window behind him the train cars chug past on their tracks, the clear sky above hangs heavy with stars. Kathryn looks over Matt’s shoulder, through the window to the silence of the summer night settling over the city like rain, then meets his eyes again. “You’ll make it,” she says. “We all will.”
Nick Mattos isn’t sure whether to call Rain City “extremely creative nonfiction,” “flash faction,” or “short stories inspired by real life, introspection, and whiskey.” In any case, send nudes to email@example.com. pqmonthly.com
This summer is all about the readings. Carter Sickels, local author of 2012 novel â€œThe Evening Hour,â€? will give a roof deck reading at 7 p.m. July 20 on the top of the Independent Publishing Resource Center. The reading is free and a short open mic will follow. The next day (July 21), there are more literary pursuits with The Thank You Writers Present: Val Garrison, Rachel Cotton, Lindsey Kugler, Dexter Flowers, and Liz Moyer. A.M. Oâ€™Malley hosts at 7 p.m. at the Waypost. An indy book tour will be coming through Portland featuring Anna Joy Springer (author of The Vicious Red Relic, Love, and punk singer in Bay Area bands Blatz, The Grâ€™ups, and Cypher in the Snow), Janice Lee (author of â€œDaughterâ€? and editor of â€œ[out of nothing]â€?), Leon Baham (author of â€œPonyboyâ€? and â€œSigh: A Word Problemâ€?), as well as local guest Cooper Lee Bombardier (a Sister Spit alum whose essay on trans identity and competitive facial hair is coming out soon on The Rumpus) at 8 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Independent Publishing Resource Center. Author Jack Donovan (â€œAndrophilia,â€? â€œBlood-Brotherhood and Other Rites of Male Allianceâ€?) presents a reading from â€œThe Way of Men,â€? his new book on â€œmanliness and tribalismâ€? at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 at CounterMedia. Pioneering gender theorist and performer Kate Bornstein will stop by Powellâ€™s Books at 7 p.m. on Aug. 13 as part of the tour for her recently released memoir â€œA Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today.â€? And if thatâ€™s not enough book-loving good times for you, be sure to check out the block party celebrating Powellâ€™s Books 41st birthday on Aug. 25. In addition to authors (obviously), there will be music and games. Proceeds will support the Independent Publishing Resource Center. So much literary love.
Looking for something less verbose, more visual? The Vespertine Circus is swinging through the Alberta Rose Theater at 7:30 p.m. July 19 with its Suessian aesthetics, acrobatics, and clowning. Tickets are available at albertarosetheatre.com and at the door (with a $5 discount if you arrive in circus animal costume).
SACOORAMAAN (Juke, Chicago Dancehall, of the Fade to Mind collective), DUBAI (Utopian dance music by Nadia Buyse of Ghost Mom, Adrian Piper Cover Band), REZNOREKTION, CONCRETE FLOOR (Crushing House, members of ASSS), and special guests. PICA members who attend will be entered to win a TBA:12 pass.
On July 20, the queer cabaret Peep Show returns after a short break. Hosted by Little Tommy Bang Bang, the 10 p.m. show will feature performances by Carla Rossi and Kaj-anne Pepper, Zora Pheonix, Slim Pickins and Gula Delgatto, Mr. E, Saturn, Marla Singer, Kitty (Chi Chi and Chonga), Asia Ho Jackson, Hammercise, and more.
Need a feel good belly laugh? Local comic Belinda Carroll is hosting a night of comedy July 18 at Crush to benefit the family of Carmen Trineece, who recently lost her battle with thyroid cancer. Featured comics include Jen Allen, Tynan De Long, Devin Monaghan, Carmen Garrison (Yakima), Joe Hieronymus, and Leah Mansfield (Seattle).
Queer variety show Homomentum is getting the musical treatment. While the work is still in process, creator Max Voltage is offering a sneak peek performance of the sci-fi fantasy musical at 3:30 p.m. July 28 at the Portland Center Center lobby. Expect dancing unicorns and plenty of glitter as well as appearances from Riley La Roux, Carla Rossi, Dina Isis, Frankie Bean, Xander, Mr. E, and more. Free, all ages, and on time. A number of shows and events are bringing the summer jams. Portlandâ€™s Queer Music Festival kicks off its second year July 22 with a full day of shows at two locations (one all-ages, one 21+). Headliners include Imperial Teen (SF) and Sacha Sacket (LA). Kritik and the Beatz performs July 28 at 9 p.m. at The Escape Bar. You can preview the bandâ€™s sound at soundcloud.com/kritikpdx. The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art celebrates its sweet 17 Aug. 2 with a late-night, two-floor dance party at its downtown headquarters featuring sound and visuals by MAXXIMUM VOLUME, MAS-
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BORNSTEIN Continued from page 29
of here. More trouble than it’s worth.” So she leaned on her Twitter “twibe” for emotional support. “I’m in link with over 1,300 people right now,” Bornstein says. “I think if I yelled ‘help’ enough of them would come. That makes me feel stronger. I don’t think I could have done it without that.” But her Twitter followers do more than provide strength in numbers; they also provided content for “My New Gender Workbook,” a re-imagining of the 15-year-old gender studies staple, ”My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real or You, or Something Else Entirely.” “The f irst version hinted without really stating explicitly how gender is only one space of regulation and it shares its impact on us along with other spaces of regulation like race, age, etc.,” Bornstein says. The new, partly crowdsourced edition “gets into exploding binaries,” and looking at the intersections of all kinds of regulated spaces. In addition to finishing up “My New Gender Workbook,” Bornstein is being filmed for a documentary called “Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger.” Cameras will be rolling when she visits Portland on Aug. 11 at Powell’s Books — one of her favorite places. “Last time I was in Portland, I got to an event late, I ran into the fucking hall, and there were like 350 people,” Bornsetin says. “I was blown away. I was crying with happiness in Portland. Whenever I think where am I going to move, Portland tops the list.” Unfortunately, Bornstein’s partner is a “sun bunny,” so she’s not likely to relocate to rainy Oregon anytime soon. “That’s why I want to win a Pulitzer Prize,” she says. “So I can summer in Portland.” In the meantime, you ca n catch Bor nstei n at Powel l’s Book s Aug. 13 and follow her on Twitter @katebornstein. pqmonthly.com
WHISKEY & SYMPATHY
Dear Sophia and Gula,
It’s embarrassing to even write it, but here we go: I’m a lesbian who can’t stop queefing. I’m not sure what it is about my voluptuous and sensual body, but pretty much as soon as I start enjoying big-time sensuality with another woman, I’m out of control, sometimes to the point that it weirds out my partners. I’m a sexually liberated and empowered woman, but this is the one thing I get hugely anxious about, especially because I’ve had some partners who really haven’t been into it at all and responded poorly. I mean, it’s not like it’s something contagious; it’s just a funny little quirk about my body, but they still freak out! Should I start disclosing this early on to my partners? How can I feel more comfortable about my queef issue?
Cheers, Anxious About That Downtown Sound
O-girly, it’s not you! It’s bodies!
Sophia St. James
Dear Anxious, Queefing. It’s such a fun word to say ... queefing. Ok, I can assure you that you are not the only one who queefs. As a matter of fact, there are many different noises or quirks that the body can experience while being aroused or sexually engaged. Think of that moment when you are wet and sweaty and the “smack” noise two bodies make drowns out your moans, or the uncontrollable twitch your foot gets when just the right spot is hit. Everybody is different, which means everyone has something they are worried about. Honestly, queefing, or vaginal flatulence, is a normal part of having a vagina. Let’s talk about what queefing actually is. The vagina walls expand and contract. When a person gets excited, does certain body movements, or engages in penetrative sexual activity, the vagina sucks in air. (Think of it like a vacuum ... a vaginal vacuum). Unlike our anus, the vagina does not have a sphicter to control the flow of air escaping, which means when the air is released, it comes out full force. So you can relax and know you are not abnormal and weird. I can’t help but think about the “South Park” episode called “Eat, Pray, and Queef.” Basically the episode educates the viewer on the normality of queefs. It’s just as natural as a fart. Just as one can be embarrassed by a loud ripping fart, a person can be embarrassed of a queef. Just as one finds farting natural and a little humorous, a person can find queefing natural and a little humorous. I think the only way to be comfortable with it is to eventually accept it and be able to discuss it with your lovers. Communication is always key. Think about it; would you rather deal with it when the queefing starts or deal with it prior to it happening? I think it would be easier to discuss things on your terms when you aren’t driven with passion and lust. There are not very many ways to prevent it from happening all together, but you can try a few things to lessen the sound or intensity of the queef. Kegal exercises (contracting the vaginal wall muscles) are a great way to strengthen the muscles in the vagina. Do Kegals five to six times a day, 15 to 20 times, holding each contraction at least five seconds. But when it comes down to it, it’s part of you and how your body gets ready for some hot action. Just know you are not singled out, nor are you strange. You are perfectly normal and healthy. xox,
Stop and take a minute and think about the beautiful word of porn. There are no cellulite scabs, farts, body fluids/sounds that aren’t edited out at the perfect moment. Everyone has a glowing tan with sexy tan lines and the director tries to get them in the best angles and lighting as possible. So sex LOOKS sexy. I know that all them sexy stars had to take time to clean things and get ready for the shoot. They get prepared with e n i m a s, s h owe r s, man/ladyscaping, and makeup. I don’t have the time. Now s t o p a n d think of real sex — good sex — when you Gula Delgatto break stuff sex. You’re not caring about the way your stomach looks or if you are wearing the cute panties, cuz they are on the floor. You two wrestle around and rip your clothes off like they are on fire. Things heat up! Your skin gets dewy and glistening. You’re wet all over! The smell of warm bodies fills the room, but you don’t notice. Bull snorts come out of your nose cuz you can’t take a second to separate your mouths. Your bodies pushing back and forth until your skin finds the perfect suction to your partner’s and BAM! — a fart noise. I love that noise; that means things are going well! And if there is a giggle and attempt to make more little farty sounds, even better! There is nothing better than laughing during sex; it should be a good time. Don’t be anxious about that downtown sound because when things are being shoved inside of you back and forth, making that plunger suction, there is bound to be air trapped in that region. I say let it go! That’s real sex! Sound like a boot in a bucket of mud? Just let everything go! I took a quick poll with some friends to find out what they thought of body sounds/fluids and I wasn’t surprised most of them love the stinky, dirty, freaky things your body can do during sex. A lesbian friend of mine found she was a gusher at the age of 35! She thinks that was the best sex she had ever had and her body showed it. My gay boy friend ate his first ass (in the shower) and hasn’t looked back; he loves it. So don’t worry about the things you can’t control during sex; worry about the things you can. Like, when asked if you want a Cleavland Steamer, you might want to opt out for the Glass Bottom Boat. Anxious About That Downtown Sound, I think U freaky and I like you a lot! -Gula
Need some advice from Sophia and Gula? Send your query — with “Whiskey & Sympathy” in the subject line — to firstname.lastname@example.org Sophia St. James has been an erotic entertainer since 1996. She has traveled performing and educating the public on self confidence, self worth, and the art of sensuality no matter their outer appearance. Working as a sex and sensuality educator, sex toy/product reviewer, adult film director/producer, model, and erotic visual performer, Sophia is a well rounded woman with drive and determination. Sophia is also a mother and healthcare professional who takes pride in being a body positive and sex positive fierce femme.
Gula Delgatto’s life began in a small rural farming town in Romaina. She was scouted singing in a rocky field picking potatoes by a producer of a “Mickey Mouse Club” type ensemble. While touring the Americas the group fell apart due to jealousies and drugs. She later transitioned from Vaudeville to starring on the big screen to woman’s prison, and eventually advised the Dali Lama on fashion n-stuff. Currently she’s taking her life knowledge and giving back in an advice column for PQ. July/August 2012 • 33
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Cultivating Life MEDITATION AND CHAOS: THE GARDEN HOLDS BOTH By LeAnn Locher PQ Monthly
day with sunshine on my back washed over me and my mind was still. To think I even swept each stepping stone individually as I finished my time here in this spot in the garden. I left this task a different woman than when I started. My meditation on this day was a moving meditation, in the garden, grounded and focused. How lucky are we gardeners?
Meditation o r m o n o t o n y. Creative play or chore. Grounding or to-do list. Which lens do you view gardening through? Is it WILD ABANDON a wonderful way to stretch your There’s chaos in the garden and I blame body, or is it back breaking work you get the passion flower. Actually, I thank the pasdone as quickly as possible? Do you wage sion flower. It’s wildly out of control this war with the weeds or do you collect reci- year and I’m beyond myself with giddiness pes for dandelion greens? about it. There are so many blooms coming I had a recent conversation with myself off of this thing I can pick with wild abanwhile undertaking a cleanup of an area of don flowers for floating in bowls of water or the garden that is mainly utilitarian. A long tucking behind my ear for evenings wandernarrow path along the ing in the garden. I’ve even north side of our house been known to adorn our serves as a thoroughfare dog Diego with a bloom from back to front, with tucked into his collar. the main watering hose Passiflora incarnata can stationed in the center. be touchy here in Zone 8. Through the years we’ve It’s late to leaf out, often removed overgrown rholeaving gardeners thinking dodendrons here that it didn’t make it through hindered a clear walkway, the winter. Most of the and created a gravel path time it does, and a lesson from end to end, with a in patience is taught by planting bed along the not cutting the seemingly property line. It gets a lot dead vines back as it will of travel but it also serves show new growth as late as as an “over the fence” June. A few winters it will place for conversation die back to the ground, but with our neighbor, and Even Diego likes to wear passion flowers. it always comes back, and both the morning and this year it’s back with a evening light here is magical. vengeance, already covering the side and But it’s easily overlooked in mainte- top of a backyard arbor with its deep green nance. The long row of Nandina domes- foliage and crazy architecture of a flower. tica “heavenly bamboo” had flopped and The flowers of the Passiflora will dazzle twisted into strange shapes, fallen leaves you. Their layers of petals and sepals form littered the ground and drifts of arugula rings in colors of lime and lavender and and pansies — both hopping outside of mesmerized those who gave the plant its their planting beds — were growing in the common name, dubbing it “Passion” for gravel paths. It was easily a hot mess. The the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. time had come to deal with it. Roman Catholic priests during the 1500s During the two hours of pruning, stak- saw the five petals and sepals as represening, and weed pulling I found my mind tative of the 10 apostles and the radial filawandering away from work deadlines, my ments above the petals as suggestive of the to-do list, and other chores I could be doing. crown of thorns. I focused on the task at hand and my conI like to gaze into a passion flower and versation with myself became calm and think of the Aztec, Maya, and Inca people almost, dare I say, gentle? The rhythm of the who saw vines for invoking the sun and work and fine detail focus of clearing leaves how perfect the Passiflora flower is for welamong tiny gravel or pulling tiny tendrils of coming and inducing more sunshine into oxalis growing in the path made me narrow our lives. And then I tuck another bloom in on that time, that moment, that place. behind my ear and head out into the sweet And my awareness of how fortunate I was sunshine of summer. Indeed, another medto have this garden with a glorious summer itation in the garden awaits.
LeAnn Locher gardens — and meditates — in her North Portland garden. Connect with her and other like-minded gardeners at facebook.com/sassygardener. pqmonthly.com
THE GOOD LIFE
EAT, DRINK, AND, BE MARY CHECK OUT THIS MAN’S BUNDT’S By Brock Daniels
cookie, the Lunch Whistle is a masterful blend of white chocolate, dried cranberries, and orange zest. The combination of these B u t t e r , f l o u r , three ingredients make this cookie special, sugar, and eggs seem but don’t forget that these three ingredients like old-fashioned ingredients for a baker are just hitchhikers in a sweet and tender in today’s diet-restricted public, but — batter, making the finished cookie buttery, with an emphasis on true, time-tested, no- perfectly crisp on the edges, yet soft and nonsense baking — Warren Becker shares chewy in the center. Incredible. his passion for retro delights at his beautiFantastic cookies aside, Warren’s speful Blue Collar Baking Company in down- cialty are his bundt cakes — “little coffee town Portland. cakes with holes in “It’s about the them,” Warren explains. s i m p l e t h i n g s ,” “The design of the pan Warren shares as allows the cake to stay we sit down in one moist.” of the relaxed sitAnd moist they are. ting areas sectioned Pumpjack is what I dug off for semi-priinto, a multidimensional vate noshing. “Life creation of pumpkin, should be easy.” candied ginger, butterFloor-to-ceilmilk, and spices that ing windows reveal bring me straight back the bustling real life to Thanksgiving 1980, that Blue Collar’s when grandma made insides disguise. pie. Tied for my firstA friendly comfort place favorite bundt with quickly relaxes the the Pumpjack is the Tool soul. Belt — sweet almond cake with an incredible candied almond nutty topping that pairs perfectly with the tender sweet cake. Grab a glass Photos by Xilia Faye, PQ Monthly of milk. Gimme that sweet bundt, Warren Becker! I love finding little Surrounded treasures in the world. In all of my travels b y Wa r r e n’s around the world I have never had anything vintage ther- like Warren’s little creation — the Bundtm o s c o l l e c - let, a perfect little bite-size offspring of a tion, we sink cake and a cookie. Made with bundt cake into the soft dough, a few other ingredients, and some leather couchs of his well-known finesse, the Bundtlet is with a plate of born. Sweet, soft, delicate, and glazed, these individually- little treats will find themselves as a mainselected handmade favorites. stay at all my parties and events. DO NOT Making gift boxes for his friends of cook- leave without one! ies and specialty cakes for holidays and speFrom a home kitchen to a prime locacial occasions, Warren started cooking out tion in the heart of Portland, Becker uses a of his certified home kitchen four years ago, magic spoon to transform real, fresh, local and the word quickly spread about the taste ingredients into edible masterpieces. and quality of his baked goodies. Soon his “We’re not afraid of butter,” he says gift box business grew and Warren opened proudly. And we are all so grateful! his walk-in bakery early this year in the heart of downtown — bringing his amazBlue Collar Baking Company ing delicacies to the local public. Owner: Warren Becker Cookies like the Working Class Stiff Bar, email@example.com Mocha Mud Flap, Big Rig, and the Jack 503-227-3249 Hammer shine proudly atop dome-covered 319 SW Pine Street pedestals. My personal favorite — and a Portland, OR 97204 best seller — is the Lunch Whistle. A genius Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. remake of your traditional chocolate chip Saturday 7:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. PQ Monthly
Brock Daniels, a Pacific Northwest native, has studied wine, culinary arts, gastronomy, and loves researching new food. Brock has written a self-published cookbook titled “Our Year in the Kitchen.” Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. July/August 2012 • 35
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July/August 2012 • 37
THE FUN STUFF
QUERY A QUEER Are you a lesbian puzzled by gay men? A transgender person pondering bisexuality? A straight person perplexed by queers of all stripes? PQ is here to help you through your “questioning” period. Send your questions to email@example.com and put Query a Queer in the subject line. Question:
Do people in the public eye have an obligation to come out?
Answer: As more and more celebrities come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, the debate grows over whether we are owed these declarations of identity. Public figures (an increasingly broad designation in this age of reality TV and YouTube stardom) who are suspected of being “family” are increasingly pressured to come out and criticized if they persist in avoiding the subject. On the surface, it’s a relatively simple debate between the right to privacy and the responsibility to use one’s
THEME: UNDER THE SEA
1. One who pretends to be something he is not 6. Cruise or Hanks, e.g. 9. A tropical South American monkey 13. Far beyond norm 14. Bleat 15. Floor covering 16. Slanted or listed 17. Bow shape 18. Tripod 19. *Pinching crustacean 21. *Underwater flower 23. Make lacework 24. Go cold turkey 25. International Monetary Fund 28. Holier than who? 30. A hand tool for drawing angles, pl. 35. “Yes, ____!” 37. “Layla” singer-songwriter
1. Door sign 2. Margarine 3. Back wound? 4. German surrealist Max 5. Knocks on the door, e.g. 6. Ski lift 7. *Rowboat propeller 8. Reverted to China in ‘99 9. Now Thailand 10. In addition 11. Type of eye? 12. ____ of Man 15. Move unsteadily 20. Olden days anesthetic 22. Writing point of pen 24. Eternal sleep 25. Idealized image 26. Ex-Laker Johnson 27. He sold his soul to Mephistopheles 29. Popular dunking cookie 31. A sails-shaped constellation
38 • July/August 2012
39. Roman king’s abode 40. A fit of shivering 41. On fishing pole, pl. 43. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” 44. Whatchamacallit 46. Relating to the ear 47. Caricatured 48. *Octopuses 50. On top of 52. Put to the test 53. Duds or threads 55. Wound fluid 57. Ancient wind instrument 61. *Daryl Hannah in “Splash” 65. Archeologist’s find 66. Maiden name indicator 68. _____ Domingo 69. Kiwanis and Elks groups, e.g. 70. Even (poetic) 71. _____ Park, CO 72. Contributions to the poor 73. H1N1, e.g. 74. Crevice stuffers
influence for the greater good. Celebrities who’ve made a second job of deflecting the gay question often assert that they want to keep their private life private. After Queen Latifah’s remarks at Long Beach Pride had some claiming that she had come out, the singer-rapper-actress made clear she had not, and likely would not. “I’ve never dealt with the question of my personal life in public,” she told Entertainment Weekly following her May 2012 performance. “It’s just not gonna happen.” I get the curiosity. I want to hear Queen Latifah say she loves a lady as much as the next queer. (Who wouldn’t want her on our team?) But I don’t think she owes me that. I don’t mean to belittle the impact it would have for someone of her position and influence to come out as a lady-lover, but it’s not her job. It’s the same song you hear sung by concerned Christians and armchair feminists: So-and-so should be a better role model. As if there exists an unwritten contract in which society grants celebrity/prosperity in exchange for a particular brand of upstanding morality. The idea that all LGBTQ celebs must publicly proclaim their identity also serves to uphold a double standard of outness. That standard says that if a public figure hasn’t come out to the general public, they aren’t REALLY out (and are therefore closeted). When it comes to the regular non-famous LGBTQ folks, being out to their friends and family (or not actively hiding their identity) is usually sufficient to be considered “out.” No one expects Johnny Queer or Trans Tina to come out in the media — or, for that matter, to Queen Latifah. Journalist Anderson Cooper spoke to this distinction when he came out publicly via an email to writer and friend Andrew Sullivan. “I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues,” Cooper wrote. “In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up
and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.” Cooper also spoke to the issue of safety — a valid concern for folks considering coming out. Though the journalist was primarily concerned about the dangers of revealing personal information in foreign war zones, there are legitimate safety concerns for LGBTQ folks closer to home. While celebrities aren’t immune to hate crimes, a more likely risk comes in the form of boycott by anti-gay segments of society. So why do we hold celebrities to a higher standard of disclosure than the average LGBTQ person? It probably has something to do with the life-altering impact out role models can have on LGBTQ kids and teens. Humans are social creatures and it gives us great comfort to know we are not alone in our struggles. Increased visibility of LGBTQ people also leads to greater acceptance in society, as being queer or trans becomes less sensational. But there are plenty of out and proud folks in the media these days, one might argue. Why do we need more? Because we are multi-dimensional and, as such, require complex representations of ourselves to feel truly and accurately reflected. I suspect this is one reason there has been so much interest in Queen Latifah’s coming out fake outs. There are arguably fewer out public figures in the African American and other marginalized communities, so the demand is greater. But the fact remains that coming out is a very personal act, best done voluntarily and on one’s own timetable. Coming out is more than slapping a label on your forehead (“It’s a gay!”) and going about your day. It’s a (lifelong) conversation. If some folks aren’t ready or willing to have that conversation with a stranger, I have to respect that. I think there are very few personal facts anyone has a duty to disclose (even privately). Most of those are tied to specific circumstances. Got an STD and about to get it on? You need to share that. Friend wants a ride and you’re too drunk to drive? Better ‘fess up. But when a reporter or fan wants to know what sort of people you’re into or what’s in your pants, I figure you’ve got every right to say “no comment.”
-By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly staff writer
32. It borders Mediterranean and Red seas 33. *The Titanic was one of these 34. *Spongebob’s air-breathing friend 36. Office communique 38. Paper holder 42. *A peri_____ lets a submariner see above water 45. Light studies 49. Charged particle 51. Florence Nightingale and the like 54. Thief, Yiddish 56. New show with Debra Messing 57. *Black and white killer? 58. Independent unit of life 59. Obama to Harvard Law School, e.g. 60. Barbequed anatomy 61. Carte du jour 62. Not in favor 63. Individual unit 64. Sleep in a convenient place 67. *It can be electric
THE FUN STUFF
End Up Tales ASTROSCOPES WITH MISS RENEE Miss Renee aka Tarot Chick is an empath, tarot card reader, and spiritual astrologer of 19 years based out of NE Portland. She loves love notes so feel free to holla or schedule a tarot / astrology chart session: firstname.lastname@example.org.
GRINDING TO A HALT Et tu, Grindr? You’ve really gone and raised your damn Xtra prices on us? You’ve gone from a mere pittance, a barely noticeable couple-dollar-monthly-charge to long-term, noticeably more expensive commitments. Because, as the world’s most popular gay mobile phone app, your pricing structure was totally unsustainable and you were careening toward financial ruin, right? Yes, I’m annoyed. I’m annoyed because I can brush off a couple of bucks every month, but your new pricing structure now makes me have to make concerted, important choices. Choices like: how much do I really hate ads? How many men do I really need to load? And how many vodka sodas could I buy with that 50 bucks? I’ll tell you why I hate those fucking ads. I hate them because they’re located so close to the “send” button, and every time I go to type a message or respond to some sexy suitor, my big fat fingers inadvertently hit the ad underneath. So before I can respond to my suitor (time is of the essence!), my phone’s fucking web browser opens and starts loading some inane advertisement for ring tones or some other shit I really don’t need and absolutely care nothing about. And your ad has probably given my sad little phone a damn virus. Viruses aren’t my biggest worry, though. (Although maybe they should be, given the medium.) The bigger problem is what you’re making me do that I alluded to earlier: think. With your new pricing plan, I’ve really had to take the time to analyze how useful your stupid app has been. It’s not like you’re not already time’s biggest black hole vortex time suck, now I’m aware of precisely how much I have to pay to have men demand sexy photos while never getting the balls to back up their real big talk. I’ve never been a big fan of staring down all the ways in which I waste time trolling for men — and, inevitably, healthy doses of regret. So, thus far, I’ve suffered without Xtra. Let me tell you, Grindr, it fucking sucks. All I get now is a handful of men in my neighborhood, ones I already know, and most of them have pictures of them out with their girlfriends, because they totally love happy hour — and pictures with friends prove they know how to have fun. So I’ve had to take to blocking to load more guys, which takes longer (and is kind of mean!), which in turn drains my battery more quickly, then I have to go find my fucking phone charger. Mostly, I guess I’m here to admit I’m lazy and cheap and I hate it when I’m forced to examine my poor choices, which unfortunately includes having your fucking app in the first place. The first world problems of gay men are really tough. But, while we’re here, I need to ask you: since you’re making so much more money with your exorbitant new fees, can you hire someone to block people who post pictures with their girlfriends and pets? That I’d gladly pay for. I’d even commit. Have a dating situation gone awry? A love-like issue you need to rant about? Send it to us: email@example.com. We promise we’ll keep it anonymous — if you do too.
LEO: Mercury retrograding in Leo DARES tell the King/Qween to hold up?! Well, yeah, baby. Mercury (and Uranus in bro sign Aries) retrograding brings opps to review creative progress, self concept, and the (in)effectiveness of your thought processes/communication methods. Aquarius full moon Aug. 1 reveals a shining star in your crew. Knight them. ARIES: Yo u r s w i f t / decisive/impulsive ruler, Mars, is now in “Let’s make sure everyone’s on board” Libra, making you feel like you’re jogging in a cosmic jar of peanut butter. Use this time to establish/stabilize partnerships and clarify and firm up boundaries. Resist the t-shirt with an arrow across the chest proclaiming “I’m with slow-poke.”
V I RG O : D o y o u hear that? Exactly. Not a damn thang! After the craycray past few months I’m sure that’s just FINE with you! I say grab a libation, sit down, put your feet up, and ignore the frantic people tying themselves into knots around you. Virgo’s mantra: “My name is Bennet, and I ain’t in it.”
TAURUS: Your ruler Venus swirled for months in Gemini — the twins — , unearthing hidden dual desires and friends to lovers scenarios. Hopefully partnered Bulls learned the importance of occasionally “switching it up” and single Bulls utilized presented opportunities to romantically “taste the rainbow.” Venus, entering cuddly Cancer Aug. 8, says “Grab one of ‘em and play house!”
LIBRA: Diva practice starts ... now! Dynamic Mars entering Libra brings willing/able partnerships OR a punching bag purchase. With both pushy Mars and drill sergeant Saturn in your sign it’s vital that you know who you are and what you want. Strategize. Full moon Aug. 1 offers community shift. Silver lining: Possibility for some HAWT karmic sex!
GEMINI: Yep, Mercury retrograde AH GEN, now in “Notice Me!” Leo, July 15- Aug. 8. Review where/ how your way of processing/communicating helps you shine or hinders due to insecurities. Ego balance. Full moon in bro sign Aquarius Aug. 1 brings past friends/organizations/aspirations center stage. Feet: planted. Heart: activated. Truth: spoken. RAWR!
SCORPIO: In ways, July-mid August creates more friction in your world than a marathon tribbing session. Mercury retrograding in stubborn Leo July 15-Aug. 8, deep emotional new moon breakthroughs July 18 and full moon squaring you in airy Aquarius Aug. 1 bring surprising shifts in loyalties. Venus sliding into Cancer Aug. 8 soothes home life.
CANCER: Daaayum! People/situations keep pulling, leaving you stressed and hair trigger. Stop. Ground yourself. Cancer new moon on July 18 = breaks/breakthroughs and someone/thing won’t make the cut. Good! “Tough titty” said the kitty when the milk went dry. Thankfully lovey Venus entering Cancer Aug. 8 brings soothing balm. Theme song: “Up In Here” by DMX.
SAGITTARIUS: You may find while everyone around you is getting stumped and forced to slow down, YOU’RE actually getting your feet underneath you and progressing. Energetic Mars, Practical Saturn, and even the Brilliant Nutjob Uranus in retrograde motion harmonizes with you, allowing you to use Sag’s ability to see far to your advantage. Go, Tigger! Go!
CAPRICORN: Psst! Guess what? You’re NOT the mythical Atlas! It’s time to see where you can share the load you’re carrying. Better yet, realize what’s not yours to carry anymore. An emotionally enlightening Cancer new moon Aug. 18 pairs with retrograding Uranus’ request that you review and give props to progress made. Let love in. You’re worthy+. AQUARIUS: Tribe. One of my favorite words. Our retrograding ruler, Uranus, asks you to recall where you’ve stifled and wrongly sacrificed yourself for the tribe/cause. Rewire your mind/behavior and wisely pick your new dream team. Full moon in “brotherly love” Aquarius Aug. 1 helps focus to crystal clarity on who your REAL homies are. Fist bump. PISCES: Repeat after me: “Hell to the nah!” Get a taste for what that sentence feels like in your mouth and use it in upcoming weeks as people/situations make greater and greater demands on your time, and if/when a situation arises that makes you feel you need to choose bet ween f riends/goa ls a nd your values.
ANSWERS TO PUZZLES ON PAGE 54
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July/August 2012 • 39
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40 â€˘ July/August 2012
Published on Jul 19, 2012
Published on Jul 19, 2012
In our "recovery" issue, we examine sober queers, a survivor of sexual abuse, Oregon Leather Pride Week, the Portland Queer Music Festival,...