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PQMONTHLY.COM VOL 1 No. 9 Oct./Nov. 2012







Photo by Jeffrey Horvitz, PQ Monthly


 • October/November 2012


Melanie Davis


Gabriela Kandziora

Principal & Business Development

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MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE October: the unequivocal harbinger of autumn. With it, the very real reminder that summer is far more fleeting than it seems in the middle of an August heat wave, the reminder that change isn’t just in the air, it’s inevitable — it’s a new season, ready or not. In a day, it seems, it’s darker, colder, and wetter. But we’re Northwesterners — we’re nothing if not resilient. Besides, with the new season comes one of our favorite holidays: Halloween. It isn’t the candy or the parties (we have those all the time) as much as it’s the notion of casting off our identity — if just for a night (or day, depending on your bedtime). We dive into those costumes, those themes — all for a stab at escapism, in some form or another. An alter ego. A temporary identity, if you will. A momentary, fantastical out. As queers, we know all about identity, don’t we? Whether we’ve been out for three months or three decades, we’re well aware of the powers of perception — how just loving sets us apart. How we see each other, how others see us, how we see ourselves — in every facet of living imaginable. Our awareness is like our sixth sense. Or maybe our first, because it’s that important. Think on that, dear readers, as you explore the bounty that awaits you — for within these pages, we are serving up stories that we think represent the best of the best queerness we’ve happened upon, as we do month in and month out (and every day online). All are diligently reported and written with you in mind — because without you, we’d have no identity at all. -The PQ Monthly Team

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COVER IMAGE: Let them eat candy! — Learn more about the multifaceted Asia Ho Jackson on page 27. Photo by Jeffrey Horvitz, PQ Monthly; makeup by Marsina Charleston McCall; location scouting by Lyle Spiesschaert.

A SMATTERING OF WHAT YOU’LL FIND INSIDE: New study reveals struggles of black LGBTQ Oregonians........................................................................ page 6 Terry Bean weighs in on politics — and this election................................................................................ page 9 Out and on your ballot: Queer candidates............................................................................................... page 10 Gay Mormon leader helps heal the rift between his communities......................................................... page 13 Cheese & Crack brings charcuterie to the people................................................................................... page 14 Mr. Kaplan goes to Washington................................................................................................................... page 17 Country pride: Celebrating the simple life................................................................................................. page 18 Becoming Darcelle: Walter Cole on bullies, beatniks, bathhouses, and happiness.............................. page 23 White Bird Dance welcomes community into its flock.............................................................................. page 24 Hunter Valentine and Kiss Kill serve a hot tonic.......................................................................................... page 29

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Columns: LGBTQ Legal Outlook; The Lady Chronicles; ID Check; Rain City; Cultivating Life; and Eat, Drink, and Be Mary Plus Query a Queer, Astroscopes, This Month in Queer History, End Up Tales … and more! October/November 2012 • 

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The undead were the life of the party at Equity Foundation’s 2011 BENT Halloween event. Equity Foundation hosts its second annual BENT Halloween party Oct. 27 at Leftbank Annex. The fundraising event will support the organization’s scholarship fund for LGBTQ youth, which raised more than $68,000 last year. “Money is so tight for college students,” says Executive Director Peter Cunningham. “It really helps fill the gap.” The event will include a VIP reception with performances by Portland groove-hop group The Love Loungers and Polaris Dance Company as well as a dance party driven by DJ Christopher B (voted best DJ by G.I.R.L. for 2012). Included with both VIP and dance party tickets is entry into a cash prize ($500) costume contest. In addition to giving out scholarships to LGBTQ students, Equity Foundation also supports community organizations (to the tune of about $4 million since its founding in 1989), and engages in shareholder actions to influence companies to adopt more inclusive policies. For example, Equity recently sold all its stock in insurance company Aflac because the company refused to add -- or even vote on adding -- domestic partner benefits to its employees. Equity has in the past helped persuade companies such as Lowes, Target, and Best Buy to change their ways. Equity Foundation supporter Jane Lynch will serve as honorary chair for the event, though she will not be in attendance. A limited number of tickets are available at half price through Tuesday, Oct. 23, thanks to a donation by Steve Dotterrer. Regular ticket prices are $150 for VIP and $50 for general admission. PQ Monthly is proud to be a sponsor for this event. For more information,

LOCAL ORGS TO COMMEMORATE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF MEASURE 9 DEFEAT Basic Rights Oregon, Q Center, and the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific NW will host a day of action Nov. 3 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the defeat of Oregon Ballot Measure 9 and birth of the state’s modern LGBTQ rights movement. Organizers hope to harness the enthusiasm created by the anniversary to help defend the freedom to marry (and the defeat of Referendum 74) in Washington state. At 9 a.m., voters will gather at Q Center to contact to voters by phone and door-to-door. Afterward, Basic Rights Oregon will host a lunch a reception at Q Center, featuring speakers and the 20-minute documentary, “Fighting for our Lives.” For more information on this event, as well as regularly scheduled phone banking, contact


The Civil Rights Division of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) announced Oct. 10 that it found substantial evidence that Chris Penner, owner of North Portland’s P Club/Twilight Room Annex, unlawfully discriminated against the Rose City T-Girls based on the gender identity of its members. “No place of public accommodations in Oregon is going to be allowed to discriminate based on gender identity,” Oregon Labor and Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian said in a release. “Enforcing civil rights laws is important to all Oregonians, especially the fundamental right to patronize businesses of your choice without being summarily barred based on a group affiliation.” Members of the group of transgender women and cross-dressers brought the issue to attorney Beth Allen and BOLI after the group’s founder received two voicemails from Penner asking the RCTG to find a new spot for its weekly social gatherings. In the voicemail mesBrad Avakian sages — which RCTG founder Cassandra Lynn posted to YouTube — Penner expresses concern that the venue will be seen as a “tranny bar” or “gay bar.” Yet, BOLI investigators found that no concerns about the group were ever raised to the RCTG. “The P Club never notified the T-Girls of any complaints about their behavior and never took any steps to remove allegedly troublesome individuals,” Avakian said. “Blocking the entire group from visiting the P Club in reaction to rumors that the establishment ‘is a tranny bar’ is an overreaction, is unfair, and is on its face unlawful discrimination.” In other BOLI-related news, the bureau is collaborating with Q Center to provide education around housing rights for LGBTQ people. For more information on this effort, visit

and Family” in which she explains her recent findings on the benefits of marriage for everyone, regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation. Her research found that both straight and same-sex married couples are more likely to be healthy, happy, and well off financially than single, separated, or divorced folks. According to Seccombe, cohabitators experience some, but not all, of the benefits of married folks. Q Center has launched a new program aimed at the elder community called “eRa: Encouraging Respect for Elders.” The program — which will be led by Senior Services coordinator Susan Kocen — seeks to address the needs and concerns of LGBTQ elders through information, education, and social events. To learn more about the program, visit The Hilton Hotel and Convention Center of Vancouver will be hosting an LGBTQ wedding show called “I Do for Us Too” from 1 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 4. Tickets are $10 for couples and $8 for individuals and can be purchase online at The Portland Area Business Association (PABA) is collaborating with the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC) and Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon (PACCO) to put on a business showcase and networking event called “Uniquely Portland.” For more information, visit


IN OTHER NEWS … Basic Rights Oregon will hold its second annual Tr a n s g e n d e r Ju s t i c e Summit Oct. 20-21 at Portland State University. The summit will include workshops for trans and genderqueer folks and their allies as well as a keynote speech from Kylar Broadus, the founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition and the first openly-transgender person to testify before the Kylar Broadus U.S. Senate. There will also be a Saturday night dance party in connection with the event. For more information, visit Causa will host a forum on changes to immigration policy affecting same-sex binational couples recently announced by President Barack Obama. Attorney Barbara Ghio will be on hand to answer questions about how the changes affect community members. The forum will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 30, at Portland State University’s Multicultural Center. For more information, visit Portland State University professor Karen Seccombe has published a new book called “Exploring Marriage

October 19 is Spirit Day, the day on which folks don purple in a show of solidarity against bullying and in support of LGBTQ youth. Spirit Day is a relatively recent phenomenon, but taken hold and seen widespread adoption, including Ellen, Oprah, national talk show hosts, and White House staff. You can learn more about Spirit Day at A new social networking website and app for HIV-positive men launched in October. Called, the site uses the tagline “Positively Sexy Guys” to sell the community created to combat stigma as well as provide health, social, and other resources. Like Grindr, the app will use geo-location to help users find nearby members.

WORLD It appears no person or object is safe from Russia’s law against gay “propoganda.” According to the Advocate, an anti-gay group is pressing authorities to investigate Vesyloy Molochnik milk (co-owned by Pepsi) because the carton features a rainbow. Will the People’s Council take on the sky and, perhaps, Leprechauns — both of which are known for their pro-rainbow positions — next? October/November 2012 • 



Photo by Erin Rook, PQ Monthly

Khalil Edwards, coordinator of the Portland PFLAG Black Chapter, co-presented the “Lift Every Voice” report. By Erin Rook PQ Monthly

Portland PFLAG Black Chapter and the Urban League of Portland have released a groundbreaking report that highlights the challenges facing black LGBTQ Oregonians and makes policy recommendations.

“We come into this world with many identities,” “We were not actually able to pull out information spePFLAG Black Chapter coordinator Khalil Edwards said cifically about trans people in our survey.” at the Oct. 11 release event. “Today we know there is Still, the statistics that came through were troubling. The still a lot of work to do around people being safe being Lift Every Voice study found that nearly half of the respontheir true selves.” dents (43.7 percent) earn $20,000 or less a year, while 18 The report, which is the first of its kind, includes sober- percent are unemployed. These numbers are particularly ing statistics about bullying, barriers to healthcare and edu- stark when combined with figures showing black lesbians cation, safety, and rates of incarceration. It includes insights are twice as likely to be raising children as white lesbians. culled from existing studies The report also found as well as an original study significant barriers to and two focus groups. Thirty healthcare access. Black volunteers interviewed 200 LGBTQ people experience black LGBTQ Oregonians, much higher rates of diabeand collected surveys from tes and HIV and are more 15 locations, such as Pride likely to face ignorance celebrations, the Sexual and abuse from medical and Gender Minority Youth providers. According to Resource Center, and Casthe study, 99 percent of cade AIDS Project. LGB people of color expe“Folks were really excited rienced at least one barrier that for the first time they to health care. were being asked what matIn education, the tentered to them,” Edwards dency of black LGBTQ said. “We did [focus groups] students to experience Photo by Erin Rook, PQ Monthly in part to give a voice to Urban League of Portland Board Chair Lolenzo Poe, City of Portland employee and activist Kathleen harassment on multiple an often unheard popula- Saadat, and Retired Portland Public Schools teacher Carolyn Leonard (not pictured) spoke on a levels leads to poor edution… . We wanted to pro- panel about the reports applications. cational outcomes, Imarvide an opportunity for isha said. They are more folks to speak beyond what the numbers can tell us.” likely to miss class, to only have high school diploma or The numbers don’t say enough, according to Western GED, and to see their grades directly affected. States Center organizer Walidah Imarisha. Though those “I think it’s incredibly important for all of us to know behind the report augmented their research with a local the lived reality of people in our communities,” Imarisurvey, there were still significant gaps. sha said. “Transgender people of color particularly are underKatie Sawicki, urban policy associate for Urban League represented in many areas of research,” Imarisha said. lift every voice page 29


Native Americans and their families. The materials, which will be officially released Nov. 12, were previewed Sept. 26 Basic Rights Oregon has expanded its at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indiracial justice work into the Native American ans conference in Pendleton. BRO offered community with a tribal toolkit to support a sneak peek of both the film and a draft of “The Tribal Toolkit for Equality: Sample Tribal Codes to Support LGBT Justice in Indian Country,” a step-bystep guide for tribes seeking to increase the inclusiveness of their governmental institutions and programs. “It was an amazing opportunity to connect with a broad range of Native and tribal leaders,” BRO Executive Director Jeana Frazzini says. “The stories of Native American LGBT [and] Two Se-ah-dom Edmo presented the Tribal Toolkit to the General Assembly of the Affiliated Tribes Spirit families was very well received, as was the tribal of Northwest Indians in Pendleton. toolkit. This is a very posiLGBTQ equality and an “Our Families” video tive beginning of what we hope will be a featuring the stories of LGBTQ and Two Spirit long and strong partnership.” PQ Monthly

 • October/November 2012

The toolkit is a joint effort of the Native American Program of Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Western States Center, and BRO and covers a wide range of topics including employment benefits, family law, and non-discrimination policies, according to Se-ah-dom Edmo of Indigenous Ways of Knowing. “The Tribal Equity Toolkit is significant because it is the first of its kind in the nation,” Edmo says. “Written specifically for tribes and tribal nations, it specifically addresses areas of concern that have historically been high priorities for tribes — keeping families together and strong, protection of all tribal citizens, equity and justice and decolonization.” The toolkit was warmly received at the convention, according to Edmo. Four tribal leaders — from Quinault Indian Reservation, Swinnomish Indian Community, Klamath Tribes, and the Makah Tribe — thanked BRO from the floor following the presentation. Nearly 50 elected tribal leaders pledged their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in their tribal communities and explicitly asked for

more information about the toolkit. “Personally and professionally, I will remember that moment in my life as one of the most inspirational, and this work as my proudest accomplishment in my career thus far,” Edmo says. The Native American LGBT/Two Spirits “Our Families” video will premiere at 6 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc. (NARA), and will include a screening, a panel discussion, and refreshments. “The official event will start with a traditional Native American benediction from a respected elder,” says Kodey Park Bambino, racial justice and alliance building organizer for BRO. “Speakers from Basic Rights Oregon and NARA will discuss the significance of this intersectional work, the uniqueness of the video, and the ways in which Two Spirit people will continue to play a central role in this work.” A panel discussion will follow the presentation during which audience members can ask questions. To RSVP, contact Bambino at


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October/November 2012 • 




This November marks the 20th anniversary of the defeat of Oregon Ballot Measure 9, an initiative put forth by the Oregon Citizens Alliance that sought to amend the state constitution to prohibit public schools from “promotingâ€? homosexuality and require all levels of government to teach youth that being gay is “abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse.â€? Fortunately, the measure was defeated in the Nov. 3, 1992, general election by a margin of 56 to 43 percent. But it didn’t go down without a fight. PQ readers shared some of their memories from that time. “In 1992 I was 21 years old and attending Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. ‌ I had just “officiallyâ€? come out to my parents and they were STRUGGLING with my homosexuality. ‌ In the midst of all this, Measure 9 was put out on the ballot. What timing! My parents were horrified — they were forced to have to ‘think’ about an issue that now personally affected them. I was horrified — the measure reiterated everything my parents felt and said to me about being gay. It was a punch in the gut. I recall my mom sneaking ‘Yes on 9’ literature in my bag. I remember crying when she did, but I retaliated by putting ‘No on 9’ pamphlets in her purse. It was a silent, but very emotional battle that went on for months.â€? – Meighan Holder “triangle productions! was in the midst of producing “BENT,â€? a play by Martin Sherman dealing with homosexuals in Nazi Germany during WWII. An amazing time. The documentarians who were doing the doc on Measure 9 came and interviewed the cast and crew. ‌ Also, the Anne Frank Exhibit was here during that time and I would drive up to the theatre and have to clean it off because people would put swastikas on the outside of the theatre and ‘hate fag’ notes.â€? – Don Horn



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“Trust me when I tell you that with each passing day, every one of my friends began to feel the stress that comes from being part of a persecuted, marginalized group. We stood strong but being told we are less than others because of our sexual orientation took its toll. We began to feel hunted in much the same ways my people were hunted in Eastern Europe. It’s difficult to describe how you begin to look over your shoulder, sleep with a weapon close by, get used to being called a dyke or a faggot lover on the street. You never get used to it. It always hurts. Living through Measure 9 was difficult on our psyches.� – Pauline Miriam



campaign, but nothing he’s done on behalf of our community has surprised me, and it’s sometimes been frustrating to hear naysayers among us critiWhen it comes to our rather long, drawn out cize him for not doing everything right away.” battle for LGBTQ rights, there isn’t much Terry On what he’d implore each and every reader to Bean hasn’t borne witness to — or been inticonsider: “Elections have serious consequences. mately involved with. Best known for co-founding People say they don’t care about politics, but I national gay powerhouses like the Human Rights know they care about their friends being fired Campaign (HRC) and the Gay & Lesbian Victory from their jobs for being gay, I know they care Fund, he’s inarguably among our city’s most visabout respect for our relationships, and I know ible and influential civil rights activists — and he they care about LGBT suicide. Who is elected routinely does it all on a national stage. makes a huge difference for LGBT families and Bean, a fifth-generation Portlander who owns our whole community. I think it’s high time we and operates Bean Investment Real Estate, also demand our family and friends and the people helped organize the National Gay Games and, in closest to us consider our equality when they 1979, the National March on Washington for Lescast their vote. It is unacceptable for people who bian and Gay Rights — the first march of its kind. say they love us to support those who consisThat event drew thousands upon thousands of tently block our path to justice and the dignity LGBTQ people to our nation’s capital to demand we deserve as Americans. They must be told that equal rights and protections. continuing to do so is an act of betrayal and will Terry Bean meets with President Obama just before the president’s speech at the convention center this past July. As we’re all keenly aware by now, election day harm our relationships.” stand and address the needs of their LGBT employees — is fast-approaching, and PQ Monthly chatted When Bean daydreams, in five years he imagwith Bean about the past, present, and future of LGBTQ and to treat them fairly in the hiring process. People forget ines: “I’d like to see a Supreme Court with a solid majorpolitics — and the monumental importance surrounding how different things were eight or nine years ago — when ity of progressives. Over the next few years, many LGBT the Federal Marriage Amendment came so close to pas- cases will be heard at the highest level and it’s critical that our choices Nov. 6. On his proudest moments with HRC: “Obviously the sage. I saw firsthand how critical the HRC was in blocking President Obama is reelected so he can nominate judges repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, as well as the passage of the that effort — and how they used every political chip they who will treat our community’s concerns fairly and with Hate Crimes Act, would not have been possible without had on Capitol Hill to defeat that horrible law.” an open mind. On his most memorable political moment: “It was elecover 30 years of work educating politicians, lobbying and “The new health care law has a large number of proraising money to support our friends and defeat our ene- tion night, 1990, when my best friend Barbara Roberts was visions in it that help the LGBT community — and a promies, and strategizing that path to legislative victory. Those elected Governor of Oregon. It was thrilling to watch her gressive majority on the Supreme Court is also important tireless efforts behind the scenes have too often gone unno- become the strongest governor in the country for LGBT to protect equal access to health care for LGBT Americans rights. While governor, she was also on the HRC’s Board of and their families. Everything we’ve worked so hard for, for ticed and un-thanked — and I think that’s a shame. “The HRC’s Corporate Equality Index has also been a Directors — something unheard of at the time. decades, could be put in jeopardy if we have a President “Another standout moment was the election of Barack Romney instead of a President Obama.” remarkable success; it changed the job market and employment environment for LGBT people. This isn’t as effective as Obama — because I knew from the beginning what an passing ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act), but important advocate he would be for our community. Maybe Look for more from Terry Bean on our website — it has gone a long way towards helping businesses under- it’s because I knew him personally from the start of his PQ Monthly


Dressing and presenting a “feminine persona” is just part of Vancouver resident Susan Miller’s identity. It’s an important part of the 48-year-old retail worker’s self-care and social routine, but she says she can’t imagine transi-

Before making headlines with their accusations of discrimination against North Portland’s P Club, most Portlanders had probably never heard of the Rose City T-Girls. The 200-plus member social group for t-girls (transgender women and crossdressers) is not political or activist in nature. For many of the members, group social outings provide as safe space to dress and present as women. Most folks in the LGBTQ community (and, increasingly, the world at large) know that “transgender” is an umbrella term for various manifestations of gender nonconformity; they may be less familiar with those whose gender identity, expression, or behavior differ from social norms occasionally, rather than daily. (Left to right) Amy Lynn, Cassandra Lynn, and Susan Miller. While some members of the RCTG identify and present as women “full-time,” others consider tioning to live as a woman full-time. themselves crossdressers and maintain a strict separa“Susan, my female side, is only part of who I am and tion between their masculine and feminine identities. what makes me the person I am. I need both male and

female sides in my life,” Susan says. “There are things I love about being female and would love to do all the time, but the same thing also applies to being male.” Cassandra Lynn can relate. Though the 51-year-old Beaverton business owner has thought about getting breast implants, she doesn’t want to be a woman full-time. RCTG member and 61-yearold Tualatin resident Amy Lynn, on the other hand, currently dresses part-time but hopes to transition to full-time after she retires from her job in auto parts sales. Though Susan and Cassandra present as woman part-time, it doesn’t mean their feminine identities are any less important to them. Susan blog regularly about her experiences as a crossdresser and Cassandra is the founder of RCTG (and the driving force between the complaint against P Club). “I hate the word ‘just’ in the transgender world,” Cassandra says. “I can’t stand when someone that is full time transitioned say ‘you are JUST a crossdresser,’ conveying they are better than me, or I t-girls page 24

October/November 2012 • 



In the midst of many highly divisive and heated electoral races — many of which cause members of the queer community consternation — one thing concretely shows how far the LGBTQ people have come in the political realm: the 2012 ballot has one of the highest number of openly queer people running for national or state offices of any previous election. Here, we provide a space for some of the openly LGBTQ candidates who will be appearing on our ballots to give a statement for the readers of PQ Monthly. While these are not to be taken as endorsements of the candidates or their platforms, PQ presents these statements in honor of the members of the LGBTQ community who put themselves under the spotlight of the political process in order to enact change for their communities and the world. Want to sound off on the platforms and share your thoughts on the candidates? Head over to for community discussion, statements from numerous other candidates, and ongoing coverage of the 2012 election. KATE BROWN, SECRETARY OF STATE “I have been your Secretary of State for four years, and today, I ask for your support so I can continue to be your watchdog — finding savings and efficiencies in state government, fighting fraud in Oregon’s citizen initiative process, and defending Oregon from the right-wing war on voting that is gaining attention in states across the country. I also ask for your vote this November so I can continue to be your advocate. As a state legislator, I am most proud of our work to pass the Oregon Equality Act that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. I am also proud of our work on domestic partnerships. But to be clear, I can’t wait for Oregon to show that love and commitment are what make a marriage because the only real threat to marriage is when we allow laws to stand between two people who are brave and bold and bonded enough to dedicate their lives to each other. What got us this far is a progressive instinct. We are less moved by ideology than an innate sense of what is right, what is just and what is fair. This progressive instinct is part of what I love about Oregon and I have great faith that this tradition is alive and well here in Oregon. With your vote, we can defend the progressive spirit we have created here in Oregon — and keep it moving forward.” NENA COOK, OREGON SUPREME COURT “I am running for an open seat on the Oregon Supreme Court because I strongly believe that, in order to guarantee integrity in the courts and ensure all Oregonians receive fair and independent justice, we must have a court that is made up of justices who draw from differing and diverse experiences. This experience is exactly what I would bring to the Supreme Court. My record of service to Oregonians is both broad and deep. I have extensive civil law experience, having represented individuals, consumers, businesses, labor unions, and public bodies in court. I bring experience in criminal cases, having worked in the Marion County District Attorney’s office as a certified law student. I also bring appellate experience and have had cases in the Oregon Court of Appeals, the Oregon Supreme Court, and the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. And, since 2007, I have gained judicial experience serving as a pro tem judge. My commitment to integrity in the courts goes beyond my professional experience. My family fell on very difficult times when I was a child after my parents divorced, resulting in much-needed help of lawyers to sort through our situation. They were there for me and my family, and that commitment left a lasting and profound impression on me. Through this experience, in my own career, I have a life-long need to continue giving back to my community and ensure all people have fair access to our legal system. Oregonians are very fair-minded, and I am proud that voters evaluate candidates based on their records and experiences. I am honored to have the support of the LGBT community.” CHRISTINA LUGO, REPRESENTATIVE, HOUSE DISTRICT 5 (PACIFIC GREEN PARTY) “I am running for U.S. House of Representatives because I believe that it is important to stand for progressive values like the environment, health care, and peace at a time when the Democrats have abandoned the poor and working classes in America. It is time to end the war in Afghanistan now, time for single-payer health care for all Americans, time to invest 10 • October/November 2012

in a green energy future to turn us away from the deleterious affects of global climate change. It is time for civil rights for all Americans, including the right to marry and the right to employment nondiscrimination. The Green Party has stood proudly for peace, women’s rights, the environment, and health care for more than 25 years since its founding in Oregon. As a Green and a member of the GLBTQ community, I am running proudly as an advocate for peace and a healthy planet.” STEPHEN DURHAM, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (FREEDOM SOCIALIST PARTY) “I am an openly gay presidential candidate running with Christina López as my vice-presidential running mate. We are campaigning on a socialist feminist platform that addresses all the issues facing the broadest sectors of the LGBT community: homophobia, marriage equality, transgender discrimination, racism, sexism, ageism, anti-immigrant prejudice — in addition to the need for jobs, housing, and affordable healthcare. Our campaign slogan is, ‘Vote for the Greater Good Instead of the Lesser Evil.’ I have been out of the closet since the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion and a queer activist in the labor, anti-police brutality, feminist, immigrant rights, anti-war, and social justice movements. I became a radical because I adhere to the idea that none of us is free until all of us are free. I am a socialist candidate because I believe the capitalist system is brutal and unjust and is not capable of meeting our needs. Our lives and our futures are knitted together as women, workers, people of color, youth, elders, immigrants, and the disabled as never before. We must use our votes to challenge the political lockdown of the electoral arena by not delivering our votes to the Democrats or Republicans, the twin parties of Big Business. We must strengthen the queer movement and all the social movements and work together in solidarity to create a new system, based on the social sharing of wealth and power.” TINA KOTEK, REPRESENTATIVE, HOUSE DISTRICT 44 (DEMOCRATIC PARTY) “We’re going to make history in Oregon in 2012. With an evenly split 30-30 House of Representatives, this election will allow Oregonians to choose between two very stark sets of priorities for our state. One will push tax giveaways for the very rich and out-of-state corporations at the expense of our schools and other services we all rely on. The other will prioritize education, jobs, and standing up for the middle class. It will protect a woman’s right to make her own private health care decisions without intrusion from politicians. It will defend all that we’ve fought for to protect the civil rights of all Oregonians. I get up every day to fight for that second vision for Oregon, where every one of us gets a chance to live the life we were meant to live. Between now and Nov. 6, I hope you’ll join me. Please find a candidate who believes in prioritizing equal opportunity and equal rights, and join me in making sure their vision is Oregon’s future.” CAMERON WHITTEN, STATE TREASURER “As a community, we pride ourselves in seeing the big picture. Oregon’s pioneering spirit has put us ahead of the nation, time and time again. Statistics reveal that $9.5 billion of Oregon’s short term funds are invested into various financial institutions, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America. The majority of these funds are located outside of Oregon. Investment officers travel the world to manage this portfolio, and can charge flight, food, and lodging fees to the treasury. While these investments are intended to provide a rate of return, it is stripping our local economy of capital that should be channeled into small business startups. ... A state bank is a solution to Oregon’s financial hardships. Oregonians deserve a say over how our assets are managed, rather than CEOs who make their decisions miles away from Oregon. … A State Bank of Oregon will employ talented bankers to partner with the private sector, helping local banks lower interest on loans, increase lending capacities, and help entrepreneurs and farmers access the capital they need to grow our economy. … 2012 is the right year to build a coalition around the State Bank of Oregon. As treasurer, I will be at the legislature to encourage bipartisan support for a resilient economy, based on resilient structures that are answerable to the democratic will of the people.”

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12 • October/November 2012


‘AS MY FATHER MADE ME’ Gay Mormon leader Mitch Mayne helps heal the rift between his communities By Nick Mattos

Mayne worked hard to build. The California state constitutional amendment, which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, was ardently supported Mitch Mayne is led by his faith that he is whole, just by numerous religious organizations, perhaps most aggresthe way his Heavenly Father made him. As an openly gay sively by the LDS Church. leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, “When Prop 8 hit, it was a really divisive time for Mormons Mayne has endeavored to bridge the divide between his in California,” Mayne recalls, “and we lost a lot of members two communities — and his efforts have over it. I remember hearing the letter [that resulted in many Mormon communities the LDS Church issued in support of Propdiscontinuing their discipline of LGBTQ osition 8] read in Sacrament Meeting, and members and instead embracing them getting up to walk out of the church.” as they are. However, the biggest impact for Mayne “When I came out to my parents at was at home. “My partner, who wasn’t a age 16,” he recalls of his life growing up member, … started to really dislike the in Idaho, “my mother told me, ‘It would church. When Prop 8 hit, our home life have been better if you’d been born dead began to crumble, because I was committhan gay.’” ted to the church and my faith but also While this reaction — and a subseto him.” The relationship ultimately disquent unsuccessful effort to force him into solved over the religious tensions caused “reparative therapy” — was hard for Mayne by the issue. initially, he has since come to a place of forHowever, soon after the passage of giveness and understanding, particularly Proposition 8, Mayne’s prayers began to with his mother’s reaction. be answered in a most surprising way. “I “What I realized in retrospect,” he was approached by the Stake Presidency Photo courtesy of Mayne Frame Photography [a regional leader] in the East Bay, who said explains, “were that these weren’t the words of a mother who hated her son. These were the words of a that he was familiar with my story and my Mormon history; Mormon mom who wanted the best for me, who had been he was trying to put together a series of programs that would through some very difficult things in her life and had really mend the fence after Proposition 8 and they wanted my help internalized the message that gay people were doomed to with it.” live short, hard, brutal lives of debauchery.” These meetings — 16 in all, in locations throughout Mayne moved from Idaho to the San Francisco Bay Area Northern California — sought to integrate the gay and 12 years ago; there, he was stunned to discover a radically Mormon communities and to open up a dialogue after the different experience of being gay and LDS. strains of the bitter battles that had just occurred. “I had an amazing life for a gay Mormon man! I was celSoon afterward, Mayne was asked to become a regional ebrated by my ward for who I was. It wasn’t uncommon leader of the church himself. “Don Fletcher [the San Franon Sundays for someone to come up to me and say ‘Hey! cisco Stake President] sat me down and said, ‘I want you There’s a play by [LDS author and activist] Carol Lynn Pear- to be a conduit between the LDS community and the gay son playing in the city about gay Mormons! You should community,’” Mayne recalls. come with me!’” Mayne’s appointment to the local church leadership During this time, Mayne met a partner who was not a marked a sea change in the experience of gay Mormons member of the Church; fellow members were highly sup- in the area. portive of the couple, and he continued to be an active “In San Francisco,” he explains, “we haven’t changed docmember of the Mormon community. trine, but we’ve been adamant that we’re not excommunicatIn 2008, Proposition 8 threatened to destroy the life that ing people for being gay or transgender anymore. We have PQ Monthly

LGBTQ members who have partners, who are dating, who are single — but no one is under the threat of discipline. Our job is to bring people closer to our Savior, and we’re not doing our job if we’re kicking people out of our church.” The actions of the San Francisco stake have had significant impact in the larger Mormon community. “Since we’ve become so public and big about what we’re doing, we’re seeing other wards across the states emulate us — there are wards in D.C., Virginia, Arizona, and elsewhere that have adopted this sensibility. … There is a recognition in many Mormon hearts that excommunication of LGBT people is simply not a Christlike thing to do.” Mayne travels worldwide working with LDS leaders and communities — including local Mormons in Portland and Beaverton — helping them to better serve their queer members and ensure that they feel safe and comfortable in the church. “The truth of the matter,” Mayne states bluntly, “is that Mormons are kind of weird, and we’ve been persecuted by society. The same is true of the gay community. So, when we do that to our own, it stymies and troubles me greatly. That’s a critique for both communities: we have to learn to be kinder to our own as well as each other. The LGBT community is really the first to call for unity, equality, and inclusion, yet there is so much anger towards the Mormon community that we have a difficult time extending it to the church. We need to be, as gay people, more loving, more kind, more Christlike, and be what we seek to achieve. … Yes, the Mormons did a bad thing, and I think Prop 8 and everything around it was one of the most un-Christlike things the church has done. This doesn’t mean that the gay community has the right or the necessity to hate the church. Instead, we need to open up the dialogue and help them see how we are so much alike.” Ultimately, Mayne sees his journey — as a gay man and a Latter-Day Saint — as an expression of faith in a very present and personal God. “I know that my Savior lives,” he says as he bears his testimony of faith, “and He knows me better than anyone. He is my very best friend. There is nothing I can’t take to that relationship — my successes, my failures, my challenges and my fears, my sex life, my dating life, my friendships, my career. Everything. Everything is part of Him and that relationship with Him. All we have to open the door and let Him in, regardless of who we are.”


Feminist icon and Ms. magazine cofounder Gloria Steinem was in town Oct. 6 for NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon’s Annual Gala. PQ Monthly had a chance to sit and chat with her briefly (along with young journalists from the Tubman News Network) before the big event. Steinem shared her thoughts on the importance of identity-specific spaces and the connections between the women’s rights and LGBTQ rights movements. A former student of the Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy for Young Women (the recently closed all-girls middle school), asked about the importance of a women’sonly education:

“I think it’s very helpful at some time in our lives, if we come from a group that has been peripheralized in some way for whatever reason — whether it’s age or race or sexuality or sex or class or whatever it is — to be central, to find out what it’s like to be central. To be together and able to tell our stories and discover that our experiences are not our fault — that it happens to other people too.” PQ Monthly asked Steinem to speak the connections between feminism and LGBTQ rights activism: “Well, first I think that what is still not well enough understood is that what’s called the women’s movement and what’s called the LGBTQA — A, we have to include allies — movement is organically connected.

Sometimes when I’m on campus people will say, ‘Why are the same groups against birth control and lesbians?’ So I think we need to understand that the hierarchical, patriarchal view of life is that sexuality is only moral and acceptable when it’s directed towards having children and is inside patriarchal marriage. So the gay and lesbian movements and the women’s movement have always come together because we are all trying to free human sexuality to be a form of expression — not only the way we procreate. “I fear sometimes our adversaries know our connections better than we do. Otherwise people wouldn’t be asking that question. We need to know we’re not alone so we need to be able to speak our experience

and know that other people are having it, too. ... It’s just very important to be able to see that t h e re i s b o t h shared experience and shared opposition.” St e i n e m i s currently working on a memoir called “Road to Photo by Jules Garza, PQ Monthly the Heart: America As if Everyone Mattered.” More details are available at October/November 2012 • 13



“I love surprises,” explains William Frederick Steuernagel V, owner of Cheese & Crack. Currently in its fourth month of operation, the acclaimed food cart succeeds in providing a tactile, sensory dining experience that is as high in surprise as it is on fun.

237 NE Broadway #101

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Cheese & Crack serves up a sophisticated take on Lunchables.

Photos by William Steuernagel

“I used to cater back in college,” Steuernagel, a native of Oklahoma, explains of his inspiration for the cart. “Making a good cheese spread was one of my favorite things — a plethora of different cheeses and meats, the accoutrements, the sweet things and the spice. The whole flavor spectrum.” Upon moving to Oregon, he was impressed by Portland’s food cart culture, but didn’t see it as a sustainable business model. “People go into business and then immediately go out,” Steuernagel says. However, after revisiting his childhood-favorite Lunchables — and discovering just how ghastly their modern iteration is — he was inspired to create a food cart based on individual boxed portions of meats, cheeses, crackers, spreads, and sides that Steuernagel likens to “a deconstructed sandwich.” After gathering a small business loan and drumming up $4,300 with a Kickstarter campaign, Cheese & Crack was born. While Cheese & Crack is currently located in a quaint and quiet alley space off SE Hawthorne Blvd. at 33rd Ave., nestled between cafés and vintage clothing stores, Steuernagel views this location as both “sketchy” and temporary. “This [location] is my ‘training wheels’,” he explains, “although I love that I’m in a sketchy alleyway. Where else do you expect to find cheese and crack?” He is currently on the waiting list for a space in a

cart pod near Powell’s in downtown Portland, where he hopes that his “adult Lunchables” can bring some fun to office workers’ meal breaks. “Fun” is a good summation of what Steuernagel endeavors to bring to Portland’s palates with Cheese & Crack — a niche he sees underrepresented in our gastronomic culture. “Food can be taken so seriously in Portland,” he explains, “and especially on the higher end of things can result in a very serious, non-playful plate — a sliver of carrot and a sliver of rutabaga topped with one grain of salt. I need a handful of salt, and I need some cheese with it!” To accomplish this, Steuernagel focuses on providing the highest-quality components for his customers, allowing diners to organize them into a meal any way they see fit. “The menu is based on extremes,” he says, “really salty options, really sweet jams, really sour fruits — unexpected things. It’s a full range of flavor within a box. “About half of my menu is locally-made products, and the other half is purchased from local importer Classic Foods.” As part of his commitment to the Portland sensibility, the cart provides its customers with compostable flatware and boxes, keeping landfill waste to a minimum. To accommodate seasonality and variety, each day’s boxes vary; however, the offerings consistently include exotic cured meats, housemade savory cookies, and unique home-cured pickles — a sort of high-end ploughman’s lunch. In addition to the charcuterie boxes, Cheese & Crack also offers a full sodaand-bitters bar, allowing customers to compliment their meal with such refreshing and exotic flavors as rhubarb and cherry. “The flavors are meant to quench thirst and compliment the cheese,” Steuernagel says, “but it’s also fun to see how each person customizes their drink experience.” On Cheese & Crack’s refrigerator hangs a postcard with the admonishment, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” While Steurnagel’s endeavor certainly engages with hunger in many ways, the cart succeeds in being one of the most fun, refreshing, and innovative dining options in a diverse and challenging gastronomic scene — so, perhaps the only foolish part is that nobody beat the young entrepreneur to the punch. Cheese & Crack is located in the alley of SE Hawthorne and 33rd Ave. in Portland. For more information, call 918798-5605 or check out

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The United States Supreme Court has not historically been a sympathetic forum for LGBTQ concerns. Whether in matters of immigration, government employment, national security, or the criminal law, the court was no great friend of the gays for many, many years. Only in recent years has this pattern begun to change. In 1995, in Romer v. Evans, the court overturned Amendment 2, Colorado’s “no special rights” constitutional amendment that sought to prohibit gays and lesbians from petitioning the government for civil rights protections. And most famously, in Lawrence v. Texas, the court in 2003 invalidated all remaining sodomy laws in the United States. Except for an obscure 1972 decision issued without an opinion, however, the issue of marriage rights for same-sex couples has never occupied the court’s attention. That situation is about to change radically in the coming term. This year, at least six marriage-related cases will be before the Supreme Court. They fall into two sets: those that challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the one that raises the marriage issue explicitly. The Defense of Marriage Act, which Congress enacted and President Clinton signed in 1996, bars federal benefits for marriages between same-sex partners contracted under state law. For the last several years, all courts considering DOMA have held it to be unconstitutional, on a variety of theories. Last year, the Obama administration announced that the constitutionality of the law could no longer in good faith be defended and that it would no longer do so. The Supreme Court, however, has yet to speak. The lead cases are from Massachusetts. Gill v. Office of Personnel Management (now called BLAG v. Gill, for the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group that Congress formed to defend the law) and Massachusetts v. US Department of Health and Human Services each challenge DOMA’s definition of “marriage” as unconstitutional. Each was favorably decided in the Massachusetts federal trial court. The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed in both cases that DOMA was unconstitutional. BLAG sought review by the Supreme Court. Occasionally, the Supreme Court will take a case away from a lower court and rule on it itself, because of the importance of the case or for other reasons. The Department of Justice has asked the court to take a case away from the Ninth Circuit — Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management — and decide it together with the Massachusetts

cases. Similarly, the citizen litigants in Pederson v. Office of Personnel Management and Windsor v. United States have asked that those cases be taken away from the Second Circuit and decided by the Supreme Court this term. Of particular note here is Edith Windsor, whose wife died in 2009 and who was forced to pay over $350,000 in federal estate taxes that she would not have owed but for DOMA. She is elderly and in frail health and the concern is that she might not live to see her case decided if the court does not act quickly. Lastly, there is the actual marriage case, Hollingsworth v. Brown. (This case was formerly called Perry v. Schwarzenegger and, later, Perry v. Brown.) In this case from the Ninth Circuit, plaintiffs in California challenged in federal court the voters’ adoption in 2008 of Proposition 8, a constitutional ballot measure that overturned that state’s court decision legalizing marriage between samesex partners. While the trial judge decided it on sweeping grounds — holding Proposition 8 unconstitutional — the Ninth Circuit affirmed on a basis so narrow that it currently applies only to the state of California. What the court will do with all of this is a matter of rampant speculation. The lawyers in Perry obviously think they have the votes on the Court — five are required — to overturn Proposition 8; otherwise, presumably, they would not have brought the case. Other court watchers note that the court tends to favor an incremental approach, suggesting that the DOMA cases may receive its attention this term and marriage itself at some future time. At a minimum, though, the court will have to decide the Hollingsworth petition, meaning, if it is denied, that marriage between same-sex partners would become legal in California once again. The court’s first conference, at which votes could be taken and actions on petitions announced, has already passed. It is likely to be late October at least before any more is known. If the court is watching the polls, same-sex marriage is on the ballot in four states this year, and the decision on the petitions may not come until after the election in November. Knowing the court’s action on the petitions, of course, will tell us only what cases the court plans to hear this year. Hard news of how the court views the foremost civil rights issue of our time likely will not be known until near the end of the court’s term in June. Until then, advocates and opponents will continue to handicap the outcome and to wait with growing anticipation.

Portland attorney Mark Johnson Roberts practices family law at the Gevurtz Menashe law firm with a particular focus on LGBT family law issues. He can be reached at




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“My first year at CAP we had some real challenges,” Kaplan recalled. “We laid off six staff and had a $330,000 deficit. That said, there is a great group of people there and Saying goodbye is always the hardest, isn’t it? Even a lot of history. I’m the seventh executive director, and each if it is for the best, and the person leaving is about to one before me moved it to where it is today. More impordo some great things. There’s just something about the tant are the hundreds of folks who get involved — board leaders of our nonprofits — they keep getting plucked members, staff, or volunteers — those people make that place work.” AIDS United, Kaplan’s new digs, is a nonprofit that formed in 2010 after a merger between the National AIDS Fund and AIDS Action Council. Their stated mission: to end the epidemic in the United States — and to do so, they coordinate grants, technical assistance, and steer policymaking. “One of the things that really excites me about AIDS United is the clear and concise mission to end AIDS in the U.S,” Kaplan said. “During my 10 years of working in D.C., before moving to Portland, I worked internationally — with staff and programs around the globe. I’ve seen a lot of domestic talent and energy turn with excitement to international work, but for me, the opportunity to now focus exclusively on the U.S. at such an incredible turning point in this epidemic is exciting.” Photo by Jules Garza, PQ Monthly Even with all that excitement comes with Michael Kaplan addresses enthusiastic walkers the morning of 2012’s record-breaking AIDS Walk Portland. rather bittersweet realization that he and his for these big-time, far-reaching assignments. First, partner, Sean, will be pretty far away from some of their Kendall Clawson leaves Q Center for Salem — and now now-favorite spots. Michael Kaplan is leaving Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) “I lived in D.C. from 1998 to 2008 and I loved it — there’s for AIDS United in Washington, D.C. so much going on there and so much to do. But I’m a much CAP announced Kaplan’s departure just before this year’s better person for the four years I’ve spent in Oregon. I’ve record-setting AIDS Walk — an event that went off with- learned to create a better balance between work and life, out a hitch, attracting the city’s and state’s finest, includ- and to enjoy the day-to-day stuff more. There’s just so much ing Governor John Kitzhaber, who praised CAP’s work and here — whether it’s going to Mount Hood, the Gorge, or just momentum, especially when contrasted with some spots walking from our house in Mt. Tabor. I really can’t think of around the nation without anything like it. a more beautiful place in the world — especially between “There are definitely a few places that might be tired July 5 and the end of September.” or lackluster, but there are so many others doing amazing And they’ll be taking the memory of one of their most things,” Kaplan said of the governor’s assessment. “The real- meaningful experiences — and a particularly brave one ity, though: after 30 years, a lot of folks are just burnt out.” — with them: while in Portland, Kaplan and his partner “I actually think now is the most exciting time for this became foster parents. work,” he continued. “After 20 years of living with HIV, for “The foster parenting was really thanks to Sean,” he the first time I believe there’s a clear path to ending this said. “I don’t think I would have done it if not for him, epidemic. We just learned early treatment not only extends but I’m so glad we did. We took Alice in at 4 — and she life — but it reduces the likelihood of infecting partners by was supposed to be a two-week placement. She ended 96 percent. That’s huge.” up staying with us for a year and a half. She’s now been Kitz heaped a bunch of praise on the work CAP has adopted by her aunt — but we try to stay in touch. That, done — and does. But it hasn’t always been sunshine and like living in Oregon, really changed my outlook on life, rainbows. and I think parenting really helped balance me. I’ve PQ Monthly

always been a little impatient and I had to learn to be a lot more patient.” “Sean and I are having lots of talks about doing it again,” he added, “but first we need to get moved and situated in D.C. before looking deeper. And, what can I say, the Oregon Department of Human Services was great to work with; they had no issue with two gay, HIV-positive men raising Alice, nor did Alice’s family. They were really supportive and there’s definitely a huge need — you have to go through a lot before they’ll place someone. Classes, home assessment, references, background checks — so much more. But once you’re there, it’s worth it.” CAP certainly has some big shoes to fill — but, as Kaplan points out, it’s really about the framework already in place — and community engagement. “I’ve felt very lucky for this opportunity at CAP and I know the success of the agency is the result of a lot of different people and communities working together. It’s about dynamic individuals taking collective action — that’s how CAP succeeds. But, in the end, it won’t be collective action that ends the epidemic. It’ll come down to individual ones: each person committing to knowing their status, to getting linked to care and treatment, and, when warranted, to being open about their status. It’s a commitment to having the hard conversations about the things that put us at risk and not turning Kaplan and his partner, Sean Sasser, pose for an AIDS Walk our backs on those 2012 promotional image. infected.” The search for Kaplan’s successor is on — and we’ll follow that story as it develops. In the interim, let us say: bon voyage, Michael (and Sean, too). You’re welcome back anytime. Portland will be here with open arms.

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You can take the queer out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the queer. It’s no secret that rural LGBTQ folks often flee their conservative hometowns for the progressive promise of the nearest metropolis. But those who do don’t shed their country culture when they merge onto the freeway. Meanwhile, those who stay behind create their own queer culture among the cornfields and cow pastures. These are four stories of LGBTQ folks bucking stereotypes to stay true to themselves and their rural roots. DIGGIN’ IN Urban farming may be all the rage in cities like Portland, but 26-year-old Chloe Flora and 29-year-old Amari Fauna come to their interest in working the land honestly. The two self-identified transdykes behind Blue Door Farm both grew up in rural areas where farming was a way of life. Flora spent summers bucking hay, digging ditches, and helping neighbors tend to their animals while Fauna worked her family’s potato farm and cared for a menagerie including chickens, ducks, pigs, cows, horses, and sheep. “It has been amazing to watch as our food bills have dropped to very low levels during our productive months,” Fauna says. “Rewards aside, it just feels right to take our combined histories and put them into action.” Chloe Flora The pair made their first foray into urban farming with a small yard in 2009 and have grown into a larger plot of land that is now home to a large garden, small food forest, bee hives, and a dozen chickens. What began a solitary subsistence project has grown to encompass the wider community. “Urban permaculture farming in Portland is an incredibly cis[gender], straight world. Finding other farmers that are queer, let alone queer and trans, makes us a bit unique,” Fauna says. “We originally set out to do this with a focus on just meeting our own needs. It’s only since moving into our new home that we’ve started to enjoy the ability to share the abundance with others. And I think people are catching on.” The farm’s Facebook page is starting to accumulate followers neither Flora nor Fauna know personally, the pair is starting to build connections with other queer farmers, and the farm’s eggs and ferments are selling out. “This is our way of reclaiming some of our rural past that we gave up in seeking community and resources,” Fauna says. RIDIN’ AND ROPIN’ Dean Blades, 51, grew up on a grass seed farm east of Salem where his family also raised cattle and horses. One of his uncles was a bull rider, and Blades developed an early interest in the rodeo. It’s a passion that has followed him through life. When he isn’t working as a general contractor for the construction business he owns with his brother, Blades spends much of his time at the rodeo. In addition to serving as the president of the Santiam Canyon Stampede, a professional rodeo owned by the Stayton/Sublimity Rodeo Association, he also helps a friend run the video equipment that provides score-keeping and instant replay to professional rodeos across the western United States. When he’s not traveling, he keeps close to home. Blades Photo by Jonathan Reitan, PQ Monthly lives in Sublimity with his partner, a mere four miles from Dean Blades where he grew up. While the thought of walking through (let alone living in) a town of fewer than 3,000 people is enough to make most city gays quake in their ironic cowboy boots, Blades says country folks get an undeserved bad rap. “I get along with most everyone I encounter in the rodeo community and find that this group of people are probably the most honest, caring people you’ll ever come across,” Blades says. “I think the rodeo and rural community is a lot more tolerant and supportive of the gay community than a lot of people think.” Still, Blades says he’s interested in organizing a gay rodeo to bring his two worlds closer together. “There hasn’t ever been one done here that I have been able to find, at least not a real rodeo. There have been people try to get some things started but it has mostly only produced social events and not an actual rodeo,” he says. “I may be trying to achieve something that’s not possible, but would love to make it happen someday.” 18 • October/November 2012

Though José Miguel Cruz, 33, has no interest in returning to the rural and suburban parts of Kansas where he spent his childhood, he still feels connected to the simple way of life and the music that illustrates it. “Music is a visceral element and is tied to many of my childhood memories. I’m not in contact with most of my family, so in some ways it’s how I stay close to José Miguel Cruz my roots,” Cruz says. “Growing up and going to country and western dances with my mom and then coming out as gay at a young age [12], I never thought I would be able to combine the two.” But then in 2008 he discovered the gay and lesbian country dances put on by DJ Crystal at the PPAA in Portland, and the seeds of three popular queer country dance nights were planted. “I loved that gay men and lesbians were doing couples dances together, but my favorite couple that [first] night was this gay male couple who were in, I’m guessing, their early 50s — wearing tight Wranglers, cowboy hats, and matching belt buckles. They were spinning each other around so tenderly,” he recalls. “I’d never seen anything like it and it was like my worlds had collided in the best way possible.” Cruz began teaching his friends to line-dance and two-step at the annual Trans Family Picnic and, before long, a friend with a barn in the city offered it up for organized dances. Known simply as “Barn Dance,” the event drew large crowds of first-timers and old-timers alike for the six months the space was available. When the barn closed up, Cruz moved on, DJing “Goldspur” with Jenstar at Spare Room and “Gay Country Pizza” with Jodi Bon Jodi at Portsmouth Pizza Pub. While neither of those events happens today, Cruz says the dances at PPAA are still going strong. “There are a lot of queers who grew up in the country, live in the country, or enjoy country music, and it’s great to have a space where we can express that part of our musical and cultural interests,” Cruz says. “Plus, it’s so sexy to hold a handsome guy close and spin around the floor with him.” DO-SI-DOIN’ Like many people in her generation, 32-year-old Jane Palmieri (aka Montanna Jane) was first introduced to square dancing in elementary school gym class. But while most children are glad to graduate from holding the sweaty palms of awkward classmates, Palmieri found herself drawn to the music and patterns of the folk dance as an adult. “It appealed to me because it had its roots in the mountains that I grew up in … , the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachians — cow pasture to one end of the property, a creek at the bottom of the hill, and peach orchards up the mountain,” she says. “Oddly Photo by Vanessa Filkins enough I have never square danced to live music in Virginia.” Jane Palmieri aka Montanna Jane Palmieri hosted her first Portland Queer Square Dance in 2009 and, despite a rough start, was able to launch a series the following year at In Other Words Feminist Resource Center. These days, she organizes a gender-free dance every fourth Sunday as part of Every Sunday Square Dance. Traditionally, square dance calls have distinct directions for “ladies” and “gents,” but gender-free dances use a combination of dances that don’t rely on roles and creative substitutes for gendered calls. “Sometimes if I really want to feature a great dance, instead of saying ‘gent’ and ‘lady’ I’ll use ‘anchor’ and ‘line,’ ‘gentle-spoons’ and ‘ladles,’ or ‘talls and smalls,’” Palmieri says. “There is another dance that I’ve changed Adam and Eve to Adam and Steve. We ask that night that people use elbow swings and two-hand swings instead of ballroom swings so that there is not a different hand position for each dancer.” Because the dances are no longer exclusively queer, the crowd gains diversity while maintaining its gender-free focus. “It’s an all-ages community dance, not a pickup scene. This is an event where crusty punks dance with lawyers and everyone is welcome,” Palmieri says. “Folks are given the opportunity and permission to hold hands in a safe, non-threatening, and nonsexual way. Touching a stranger is very uncommon in our current society.” To learn more about the organizations mentioned in this article, find them online: Blue Door Farm (, Santiam Canyon Stampede (, Crystal’s Country Jam at PPAA (, and the gender-free Every Sunday Square Dance (


October/November 2012 • 19


BMP/GRND: Halloween Edition is a queer ‘90s dance party with DJs Kasio and Rhienna. Come dressed in your best ‘90s costume! 9 p.m., Branx/Rotture, 315 SE 3rd, 21+, $5 after 10 p.m., facebook. com/BMPGRND. Spookalicious. DJ Aurora spins killer tunes to raise the dead, with ghoulish go-go dancers and a caustic costume contest. Come out for cheap drinks and freakish fun! 9 p.m., Crush 1412 SE Morrison, 21+, No cover. Bring yr body-ody-odies to RUTHLESS, with the [heart]beats of Ill Camino and Bruce LaBruiser. Fierce jams all night. You like to fierce, don’t you? 10 p.m., Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK, 21+, $3.


Join the Portland Frontrunners for their weekly Waterfront Run. Meet underneath the Marquam Bridge on the Eastbank Esplanade. 9 a.m., SE Main and Water Street, (Recurs weekly every Saturday.) Daddies and Papas — a monthly group for gay, bisexual, and trans men raising young children — allows kids and dads to socialize and have some fun. 10 a.m.-Noon, Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi, for more information, email info@ Witching Hour, a night of goth music and bingo, encourages you to get your witch on and score big in Grandpa Radio’s Haunted Bingo Parlor. Seriously. 9 p.m., Sloan’s, 36 N Russell St., 21+, facebook. com/witchinghourpdx. DJs ill Camino and Moisti bring you Nuttz 2 Buttz, a new dance party spinning old school booty shake and hip hop vs. 80’s dance and electronic! Trust us, you do not want to miss the booty shaking contest. 9 p.m., The Eagle Portland, 835 N Lombard, 21+,


The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus presents its biannual Classical Matinee. The theme of this year’s concert is Love and Marriage, in solidarity with our neighbors in Washington and their struggle for marriage equality. 3 p.m., Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, $17 and up, Superstar Divas Megashow. Honey Bea Hart, Bolivia Carmichaels, and Ginger Lee bring you diva realness every Sunday night! 8 p.m., CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis, 21+, no cover, (Recurs weekly every Sunday).


Gay & Grey 4th Thursday Social. 4 p.m., Starky’s, 2913 SE Stark. SALT presents TEMPLE! With music by Pocketrock-it and Kasio Smashio, and 20 • October/November 2012

Want the full scoop? Head over to to check out the full calendar of events, submit your own events, and look through photos from parties around town!

killer photos by Pocho’s Cosas, it’s time to party party party! 10 p.m., The Matador, 1967 W Burnside, 21+, no cover.

The Rosetown Ramblers presents Scares ‘N Squares 2012. Spend the weekend do-si-do-ing and dance until the end of time, with square dance callers Deborah Carroll Jones, Charlie Robertson, and Gary Monday! Visit for more information and a full schedule of events.

15 non-Manifest members, manifestpdx. org. (Recurs weekly every Sunday.) Queer Feminist Theory Reading Group. 4 p.m., Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi, for more information e-mail emi@ Gender Free Square Dance. A caller and live music complement this centuries-old tradition, using gender-neutral language for one and all. If this is your first square dance, come early for lessons! 7 p.m., The Village Ballroom, 700 NE Dekum, $7 sliding scale, all ages,




TWERK. Portland’s newest queer hiphop dance night turns up the bass with DJs Slutshine and II Trill, and special guest DJ Bruce LaBruiser! 9 p.m., Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK, 21+, no cover! Apocalysp! Halloween Edition, a dirty rock ‘n’ roll queer night for the punk rock fag in everyone, has your host DJ Weinerslav and special guest DJs IKNOWWHITEPEOPLE, DJ KO, and Bruce La Bruiser! 9 p.m., The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard, 21+, $3 cover if not in costume, facebook. com/Apocalysp.


QPoP! (Queer Parents of Portland), meets to embrace community and provide the support of other queer parents. 10 a.m.Noon, Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi. 55+/- is a lesbian social group made up of mature women who just want to have fun and network! 12:30 p.m., Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi, for more information email The Oregon Bears Halloween Pub Crawl brings the scruff all over town. The crawl begins at 8 p.m., Fox & Hounds, 217 NW 2nd, 21+, LURE. Calling all uniformed men and their admirers ... if your kink is wearing a uniform or cruising men in uniform, this is the place to be! 9 p.m., The Eagle Portland, 835 N Lombard, 21+, no cover, DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid present Bollywood Horror X! With a costume contest hosted by Anjali with cash and prizes, psychedelic Bollywood Horror visuals, and the wickedest beats from the subcontinent, add a little spice to this year’s Halloween and check it out! 9 p.m., Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th, 21+, $8 with a costume, $10 without a costume,


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-

Paper Cowgrrls: A Crafting Circle for Women! Plan your next project, pack up your materials and join others using paper as a base for art and craft. 6:308:30 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!

Saturday, November 3

Slinger of soul, DJ Action Slacks brings out the shimmy with Sugar Town! featuring the swingingest, springingest soul music. 9 p.m., The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd, 21+, $5 cover. Maricon, a dance night for homos and their homeys. 10 p.m., Eagle Portland, 835 N Lombard, 21+,


Bridge Club is Oregon’s T-Dance, and the best place to check out the cuties in the light of day. 3-9 p.m., Produce Row Cafe, 204 SE Oak,


Bears Coffee. 6:30 p.m., Cooper’s Coffee, 6049 SE Stark, The Border Riders Motorcycle Club holds a meet-and-greet for gay men interested in recreational motorcycle touring. 7-9 p.m., The Eagle Portland, 835 N. Lombard, 21+,


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,


Storytime with Maria. Youth Librarian Maria Lowe reads stories, sings songs and engages the children of LGBTQ families with activities for every age. 9:30-10:30

a.m., Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi. Hey ladies, come on OUT to L4L.PDX, a chance for women 35 and over to dance to a large variety of music and meet new and interesting people. 5-9 p.m., Embers, 110 NW Broadway, 21+, $5 cover. HRC Portland’s most anticipated event, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, is an event that is SO mysterious, we have a hard time describing it. Eat and drink with mystery dinner companions while supporting the HRC’s efforts in the Pacific NW. For more information, visit steering-committees/portland. 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 everlovin DJs Beyondadoubt, Il Camino, and Trans Fat (with the ever popular Bloodhound photobooth). 10 p.m., Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 21+, $5,


Old Lesbians Organizing for Change. 1-3 p.m., Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi, Gender Crash! is a monthly group for youth who identify anywhere in the trans spectrum. 4 p.m., SMYRC, 2406 NE Sandy,


The Siren Nation Film Festival, an entirely volunteer-run arts festival devoted exclusively to female artists, celebrates its sixth year, with screenings of “SHE SAID BOOM!: The Story of Fifth Column” and “Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years, 1984 to 1992.” Clinton St. Theater, 2522 SE Clinton, for a full schedule of screenings visit


Of course, you really won’t want to miss the PQ November Press Party! Get the first look at the November/December issue and rub elbows with Portland’s “power gays.” 5-7 p.m., Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, 1106 West Burnside St., Portland, 21+.


Portland Leather Affinity Group Meeting. 3-5 p.m., Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi. 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. The Oregon Bears present Boxers & Balls, a fundraiser for the HIV Day Center. 9 p.m., AMF Pro 300, 21+, $12 per person,


We all know Halloween is Queer Christmas — sans obligatory, awkward family gatherings — so dust off those costumes, scour the city for new ones, borrow one — whatever you do, GET OUT. If you’re anything like us, planning began after the last firework exploded in July. So drink (just punch, if you prefer), dress, and be merry. Here’s a smattering of our best bets for Halloween Saturday, October 27:

BLOW PONY’S “ H E L L A K I N GS AND HEADLESS QUEENS”: They had us at Heklina. True story: the kids who run The Pony have managed a coup of sorts — they’re bringing Heklina (of Trannyshack fame) from San Francisco to celeWho knows what’s in Heklina’s pumpkin this time around? brate Halloween’s

big night in the Rose City, which means you can add “legendary performance” to the list of not-miss items on the BP agenda. As per usual, go-go dancers galore, two stories of sweet dancing and music, and one of the most diverse crowds in town. Heklina hasn’t been in Portland since the end of Miss Thing — and rumor has it, if we treat her real nice, she’ll come back for New Year’s Eve. 9pm, $5, Rotture, 315 SE Third. WICKED AWESOME III: Party promoters should rename this one The Queer All-Stars. DJ Freddie Says Relax and Bent PDX (Katey Pants) are seriously bringing it: a slew of beloved deejays, a variety of bands and cover bands, and delectable queer performances. Take a deep breath; are you ready for this list? Deejays Roy G Biv, Mr. Charming, Freddie Says Relax, Bruce La Bruiser. Hosted by Max Voltage. Bands like Bomb Ass Pussy and Thee Zombettes — performers like Jeau Breelove, Boys + Mixtapes, Wayne Bund, Kaj-anne Pepper. OK, we’re running out of space. This is the party’s third incarnation — and if past shindigs are any indication, this one will be nothing but ridiculous fun. “But PQ, shouldn’t all this talent in one place cost, like, a hundred bucks?” Nope. Try eight. 8pm, $8, Plan B, 1305 SE Eighth. INFERNO HALLOWEEN!: This is, of course, the longest running ladies-only Halloween bash in the city — and this year, party-goers will have a shot at winning some sweet cash: 50 bucks for the fiercest and the vampiest costumes (interpret as you will). If there’s one thing

they know how to do, the ladies of Inferno know how to dance, so Halloween Saturday should be no exception. And the great thing about this party? You can get started early — meaning you get one full celebration in before you head to the next, or you’re in bed before all the amateurs begin sauntering home. Your choice. 6pm, venue TBA, $8. BENT: A HALLOWEEN CABARET AND DANCE PARTY: Equity Foundation promises to spice things up by mixing a little cabaret singing and performing before opening up a big ole’ dance floor and hosting a costume contest with a $500 prize. Yes, you read that right. You can get tickets for the cabaret craziness and the dance party, or just the dance party. VIP tickets include a bunch of extras including food, drinks, and desserts. 6:30pm (9pm dance party), $50/$150(VIP), Leftbank Annex, 101 N Weidler. PORTLAND EROTIC BALL: No, this isn’t a Madonnathemed bash. (“Erotic”? Get it?) But the thousands-strong Erotic Ball celebrates its 13th birthday on Halloween Saturday, and promises to bring only the very sexy, as has become customary. Not queer-only, but more than welcoming to the queer crowd. Drag goddess Sasha Scarlett will serve as your hostess for the evening. 8pm, $39/$69(VIP), Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside. Of course, we’ll have all the latest party info for you at We’re magical online.

-Daniel Borgen

OLD WIVES’ TALES Celebrating Dining Diversity Vegans! Flexitarians! Omnivores! 1300 East Burnside Portland, OR 97214 HOURS: Sun-Thu 8am-8pm • Fri-Sat 8am-9pm


October/November 2012 • 21

Music Millennium’s Vinyl Room Grand Opening November 1st thru 4th Buy $50 in vinyl, get a certificate for 6 Voodoo Donuts! Buy $100 in vinyl, get a certificate for a Voodoo Dozen! Great deals throughout the store!

Expires November4th 2012. Not valid with any other offer.

32nd and East Burnside Street • 503-231-8926

22 • October/November 2012



Walter Cole on bullies, beatniks, bath houses, and happiness

The many faces of Walter Cole: (L to R) Linnton Grade School photo, fresh out of the military, giving one of his very first performances as Darcelle, decked out in full Imperial Sovereign Rose Court Coronation regalia, and looking as stunning as ever today. By Nick Mattos PQ Monthly.

Walter Cole may be the most fascinating man in Portland. Best known as the proprietor and titular performer of the Darcelle XV Showplace — the longest-surviving drag club in the United States — Cole has been a fixture in Portland’s business and art scenes for well over half a century. He’s a father, a war veteran, an entrepreneur, a lover, a beatnik, a philanthropist, and a celebrity; throughout it all, though, he’s been a happy man, and brought happiness to countless others as well. Here, Cole tells PQ about his painful early life in Linnton, finding inspiration and true love in the Portland counterculture, and how he reacts when people confuse him with the beloved character he created. PQ: So, Walter, what was your first memory of Linnton? Walter Cole: I was born in 1930, and Linnton was a town then — now it’s just a freeway, but back then, we had everything there: doctors, dentists, a dry goods store. My father worked in the mills, and we lived in a company house. … We were all poor, but nobody knew it. Every payday, I’d get an ice cream cone, and that was my treat for the month. PQ: What’s your earliest memory of your mother? Cole: My mother was very ill when I was a child. She’d take me into Portland, and every time we would stop for Chinese food, right in this same part of town where the bar is now. Then, she got so sick that she had to stay in bed; she was bedridden for two years before she passed away. I know good and well that if she lived to now, or even to 45 years ago when I started this, she’d be very proud. She was so liberal about everything. Everything was fine — as long as you didn’t hurt anyone or hurt yourself, everything was fine. PQ: What was school like for you? Cole: I grew up as a little sissy boy. In those days, there was no word for queer — “gay” meant happy — so I was a sissy. I was always picked last for baseball. … I had a lot of girlfriends, though, and I played jacks really well. … It was quite evident to folks around that I was a sissy. You never remember some of the teachers in school, but you always remember the bullies. PQ: Who was your bully? Cole: Bobby Palmer. He lived in the house behind ours, and there was only one street in Linnton, so I couldn’t avoid

him. It was never physical, but it was verbal, and I’d come home crying to my aunt Lilly who raised me. She was my father’s unmarried sister, and my angel. She kept me going through all of this. PQ:What was your relationship like with your father at the time? Cole: My father, when I was a kid, was pretty distant. When my mother passed away, he started drinking more — he’d come home from work, eat dinner, go to the tavern, come home drunk. I really didn’t have a relationship with him. When he did find out that I was gay, later on, after I married and had children and everything, he was livid and disowned me. However, he didn’t mind molesting me when I was in early puberty. That didn’t make him gay. It was horrendous for me. PQ: So, this abuse was going on right when the bullying started? Cole: It was a terrible combination. When I graduated from high school, I had a choice to go to Lincoln or Roosevelt. All the bullies and bullshit people went to Roosevelt. I went to Lincoln, which was urban and … very diverse. It was a great school to go to because nobody gave a damn! I got married [to Jeanette Rossini] right after high school in 1951, because at those times if you had money you went to college, and if you didn’t you got married. I was in the closet all this time. I found “friends” every now and then, but not so much during high school. Right after, though, I started realizing that I’m not straight arrow! (Laughs) PQ: Who was the first man you remember being attracted to? Cole: I was more attracted to the sex part, not the person. PQ: Where’d you meet men for that part? Cole: We used to have the steam baths here, and that’s where people went — there was one down here on Flanders. PQ: What was the situation like the first time you went? Cole: It was kind of scary, because it’s very dark in there. It didn’t take long to get into the swing of things, though! … There was also one across from the Keller Auditorium, where the fountain is now. PQ: Which one was better? Cole: This one [on Flanders] was the dirty one, and the other was clean, but it didn’t matter. Only in and out! I never hung around all day. That was when I was married,

and cheating and lying about who I was to myself and to h e r. Eve n t u ally, I couldn’t do it anymore, and I had to tell her that I was gay and that I needed out. PQ: What was her response? Cole: “Go to the hospital and get cured.” That was what they thought then. It was horrendous, really — we had two children, and it wasn’t easy for them, or me, or her. After the years passed, we’re all one big family now; my son works here, he and his wife lives next door to us, and my daughter just called me today. PQ: What happened next? Cole: I opened Portland’s first coffeehouse. It was called Café Espresso, and it was downtown at 6th and Harrison. I had the first espresso machine north of San Francisco, I’m sure — a big gas-fired boiler, so illegal nowadays that you probably couldn’t even plug it in! I don’t think anyone else had espresso but me. PQ: So, in a sense, you’re responsible for Portland’s coffee culture, too? Cole: Yes. I could have been Darcellebucks if I stuck with it! (laughs) The cafe had folk music, poetry readings, everything. PQ: And this was in the 1950’s, so right in the beatnik era. Were you involved in the beat scene here? Cole: You’re lookin’ at it right here! (Laughs.) I walked into that scene with my little briefcase and glasses, a crew cut from the army, and fit right in with them. PQ: What was Portland’s beat scene like? Cole: Far out! They behaved themselves — they didn’t smoke pot or do drugs at my place, but they were far out. I made a lot of good friends there, and most of them are still beatniks. PQ: So, tell me about your partner Roxy [Neuhardt]. Cole: (Sighs.) Roxy was my first love, my first date, the first person I wanted to be with. PQ: Do you remember the moment you met him? Cole: Oh yes! It was at a bar, the Dahl and Penne … [and] he was sitting there at the bar, facing the room. I put my hand on his knee, [introduced myself and found out that he was a dancer], and told him I’d come to his show. becoming darcelle page 29

October/November 2012 • 23



Jaffe says. This means that the performances need to be fresh, with repeats kept to a minimum. They must be doing something right, because the When White Bird Dance audience not only returns — it’s also growing. White got its start with a one-off preBird’s shows regularly sell out, and the organization also sentation of the Paul Taylor brings dance to Portland Public Schools students via Dance Company 15 years ago, multidisciplinary curricula and free performances. no one could have predicted It all aligns with White Bird’s goal to make dance excitthe heights to which it would ing and accessible to the community. Its greatest success soar. Its founders — then book to this end may have been the recent “Le Grand Continenpublisher Walter Jaffe and chef tal,” a group line dance created by Montreal-based chorePaul King — never intended to ographer Sylvian Émard and performed by 160 nonproput on performances, or even fessional dancers in Pioneer Courthouse Square. to live in Portland. But both “‘Le Grand Continental’ was, in a way, a culmination the city and the work quickly of everything we’ve been striving for,” Jaffe says. “We grew on the New Yorkers and love bringing dance to the stages here, but the ideal is before long, White Bird was a to bring the great choreographer and have him work local institution. with our community to create dance.” “We’ve learned to do what The thousands who turned out to watch the show’s we’re doing,” Jaffe says. “It’s a two performances are evidence of the contemporary huge learning curve for all of dance audience White Bird has helped to build over us. We do this as an experithe past 15 years. In addition to growing audiences, ment; we didn’t know what we White Bird is also committed to growing choreograwere doing.” phers through its commissions and, soon, through an More than 160 non-professional dancers participated in White Bird’s presentation of Le Grand Continental at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Despite Jaffe’s lack of conannual financial award. fidence, the manager for the Paul Taylor Dance Company presenter west of the Rockies. Earlier this year, the Associa“We want to provide a support system for younger art— Jaffe was on the board at the time — entrusted him and tion of Performing Arts Presenters gave King and Jaffe the ists. In April we will have a 15th anniversary gala event — 15 King with presenting the company in Portland. Neither 2012 William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence years is important,” Jaffe says. At the gala, the organization of the men had any experience putting on dance perfor- and Sustained Achievement in Programming. will introduce the White Bird Dance Awards — including mances, but they soon found they had a knack for bringone for a national/international dance Though White Bird started with a ing people together. figure, as well as an “angel award” for one-off show, it has since presented And Portlanders wanted to come together around dance. 160 companies (now averaging 12 per contributions supporting dance and In conversations with Oregon Ballet Theatre’s founding year), commissioned 29 new works, and a third cash award for someone in the Artistic Director James Canfield and Portland Institute of shared these performances with more region looking to create dance. Contemporary Art founder Kristy Edmunds, the couple dis- than 350,000 audience members. “The creation of work is essential covered that Portland had an audience for contemporary for future of dance,” Jaffe adds. “Over the last 15 years we’ve seen dance, but little programming after budget cuts killed an a lot of dance,” Jaffe says. And he’s not It’s a difficult economic climate for important series at Portland State. the arts community – especially when just talking about performances preFollowing the success of that Paul Taylor performance, sented by White Bird. In order to bring performers are traveling from so far King and Jaffe learned about the dance scene the city dance to the community, Jaffe and King away. Still, Jaffe and King say that as long once had and began to develop a vision for how to bring must first go out and find it. as the dancers keep dancing, White Bird it back. will do their best to give them a stage. The duo scouts dance all over the Soon White Bird was organizing a fundraiser for Cas- country and the world. At any given “The one thing we can always count cade AIDS Project (King served on the board), presenting time, chances are good that one of them on it that artists are always going to the sold out world premier of BodyVox, appearing on the is traveling to a dance festival, watchcreate art. It’s inspiring that under the cover of the Oregonian’s A&E section, and bringing legend ing and learning about as many as 30 most difficult situations, artists conMikhail Baryshnikov to Portland — all before 2000. tinue to create art,” King says. “We’re dance companies in three days. It’s not The budding organization would go on to launch White as glamorous as it may sound, the men White Bird founders Paul King and Walter Jaffe with their just lucky to be able to work together Bird Uncaged — a forum for more experimental dance — point out, but it’s not a horrible chore cockatoo (aka White Bird CEO) Barney. and be part of an amazing city.” while presenting household names like Alvin Ailey. for a dance fan. Now in its 15th season, White Bird has grown into an Fo r W h i t e Bi rd’s 1 5 t h s e a s o n s c h e d u l e , v i s i t “We’ve developed this amazing dance audience. We have award-winning arts organization, and the sole dance-only critics now in our audience telling us what they thought,” PQ Monthly

t-girls  Continued from page 

don’t know as much as them.” Still, both Susan and Cassandra choose to remain largely closeted. Susan says it’s a personal thing that most people wouldn’t understand, while Cassandra believes there’s no point if you aren’t full-time. Amy is out to everyone but her son and granddaughter and coworkers. “People in general have a harder time understanding crossdressers,” Susan says. “People can understand someone who feels they were born the wrong sex or wants to be the opposite sex, but when it comes to someone who just wants to live part of their life as the opposite sex, 24 • October/November 2012

that is harder to understand.” Most people are familiar with drag queens or full-time transgender women, Susan says, even though they are far less common than crossdressers. This is largely because these identities are public, while crossdressing can be a more private or infrequent expression of gender identity. As a result, misconceptions abound. Common ones include that most crossdressers are gay men, that they all want to transition and live full-time as women, or that they are perverted or mentally unstable. “Most crossdressers are straight/heterosexual — studies show between 75 percent and 85 percent,” Susan says. “Some may only dress occasionally; they may like to wear just one or two items of clothing and

may wear them under their male cloths. It actually is a small percentage that dress fully and go out.” Cassandra takes issue with perceptions of instability. “How can I run and operate three very successful retail businesses being a sicko or a mental case?” she says. “We have many cross dressers that are much more secure, much more successful, much happier, and much more content than most of the straight public.” Amy says she has been well received by the people she has come out to (including her ex-wife), and hopes to open up to the rest of her family soon. And yet, because of the stereotypes, she feels she has to be careful. “So far everyone I have told is totally

accepting. I told my two sisters-in-law and bot h of t hem said t hat t hey love Amy way better,” she says. “I have several neighbors that know [and] are just fine with it. Although I’m still very cautious when kids are around, as I live in an apartment.” Amy credits the Rose City T-Girls for giving her the space and the courage to be herself. “I have been dressing off and on most of my life, over 50 years,” she says. “I have only been going out in public for about four years, thanks to the Rose City group getting me out of my shell.” To learn more about the Rose City T-Girls, contact Cassandra at cd_cassandra_loves_


(Author’s note: if unfamiliar, google “Oregon Ballot Measure 9” before reading on.) I imagine the list of side effects from growing up hyper-religious is long enough to overwhelm sets of encyclopedias — major and minor conundrums and minutiae you’re still chatting with your therapist about well into your 30s, depending on when exactly you decided to professionally exorcise your Christian demons. Anyone who says there’s an expiration date on residual childhood trauma — what lurks in the mind’s darkest recesses — never met a born-again member of the United Pentecostal Church. I suppose it’s at least one part the big chunks of life that went missing — the years of culture my church shielded me from — and one part the seething jealousy that crawls into my throat when close friends talk about upbringings completely void of religion and spirituality, rife with lots of television and secular music. But this isn’t a column intent on Jesus-bashing or an atheist exploration. (RIP, Hitchens.) Besides, I’d hate to deprive my therapist of so much bounty. This is all mere background — setup to explain how exactly I came to shake Lon Mabon’s hand. The September evening in question was a chilly affair, the kind of wet Northwest cold that hits your skin through every layer. Amy and I — she was my best friend then, the one person I shared both church and school with — drove to Salem with some kids from our youth group. We piled into the long, blue Buick LeSabre my grandfather had given me, and set out for our destination: the shabby, makeshift campaign headquarters where Lon himself was doling out Measure 9 materials — buttons, yard signs, the whole gamut. Our church embraced Measure 9, preaching its merits so fervently that a group of affirmation-seeking kids terrified by the prospect of hell were intent on impressing parents and elders, proving we meant spiritual (and political) business. We gathered all manner of paraphernalia, including one of Lon’s prized recruiting tools — a video showing the depraved homosexuals in their natural habitats: at Pride parades, nancing around the Castro, in leather — the video was quite thorough. It offered “expert” testimony explaining the dire consequences of the gay choice and lifestyle. I watched the movie at home, alone, late at night. I studied it. I embraced full immersion. Their best, most passionate pitch awakened scores of latent emotions — and yearnings. These were my people. A moment, please: Thank you, Lon

Mabon, for making me gay. If not for you, so many men would have missed out on so much. The video became my new religion. It opened my eyes to a universe I never knew existed, and I set out to gobble up every last bit of it. This was no easy feat — considering I was, ostensibly, still a kid, still confused about church and God, and still beholden to powers that would and could most certainly squash any hint of detour should they detect it. So I’d bury my secret, but still explore every nook and cranny gay Portland offered. I ventured to Balloons on Broadway, a hub of No on 9 resistance. (Little did I know, years later, the store’s owner would become one of my dearest friends.) I’d grab every issue of the gay newspaper I found. (Little did I know, years later, I’d write for it.) And, eventually, I happened upon The City Nightclub, where I regularly exorcised my demons — and doubts — which is another column (book) for another day. Thank you, Lon Mabon, for introducing me to gay nightclubs. I’ve given them lots of money over the years. While the road to gay wasn’t as simple as a few sexy turns on The City’s light-up dance floor — though it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying — looking back, I realize I was saved by moments: moments where I glimpsed people like me, queers I wanted to be, minutes and hours when I felt true camaraderie and community. Somehow, somewhere, some power-that-was reached through those thick clouds of religion and told that gay kid everything was going to be alright. Once, over beers, a guy I dated insisted I regale him with stories from all those years I spent in the United Pentecostal Church. He wanted to hear about the speaking in tongues, the all-night revivals, the prophecies, the half-year I spent at Bible College. The conversation lasted for hours — and beers — and, at the end, he told me I had the perfect excuse, the perfect out for any bad behavior or personality flaw I’d exhibit for the rest of my life. Resting with relative ease on the other side, I said: “Well, let’s hope it never comes to that.” And that’s it — and what Mr. Mabon accidentally handed me that night: hope. The kind of hope you feel on a good first date, when it’s all easy smiles and knowing glances — before the relationship goes south. The promise of progress, of movement, of momentum, even if you feel mired in circumstance or at some particular moment can’t quite shake the past. There’s always promise — sometimes we find it in the most unlikely of places.

Daniel, still Lon’s most grateful fan, can be reached at

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ASIA HO JACKSON Writer, drag star, bad ass mob boss By Erin Rook PQ Monthly

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Los Angeles transplant Nghia Xuan Ai — better known as performer Asia Ho Jackson — often presents herself as a sultry diva. But our cover model’s inner domestic goddess was revealed in an interview with PQ Monthly. We also discover the true depths of her affinity for catsuits. PQ Monthly: What is your name, age, pronoun(s), and identity word(s)? Asia Ho Jackson: My father gave me the name Nghia Xuan Ai (Meaning of Love — yeah I know, cheesy but poetic) and my friends call me Asia. It became a name that’s stuck with me through these past 10 years. I’m about four months from hitting my return to Saturn; 28 revolutions around the Sun. I [couldn’t] care less if you used pronouns such as he, she, whatever. It’s the intentions behind what’s said that’s important for me. At the moment, I would identify myself as transgender. PQ: What brought you to Portland? Jackson: I grew up in Southern California and I wanted a change in my life. I felt like I had stunted my creativity and my spirit from being so comfortable in my cocoon there for so many years. I fell in love with Portland when I visited back in 2010. I enjoyed the sentiments of the region and I even grew to love the weather and seasons here.

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PQ: What do you do for work? Jackson: I’m a server at an amazing Thai restaurant in the Northeast called Sweet Basil. If you ever get to try it, get the spicy sweet basil dish. It’s great with tofu (unless you don’t like tofu). PQ: What do you do for the love of it? Jackson: I love to curl up comfortably with some green tea and a great book. I love to be creative; it’s my nature.

Photo by Erin Rook, PQ Monthly

PQ: Tell me about your drag persona. Do you think it’s like having an alter ego? Jackson: Asia is very much an alter ego. She was named after the continent I’m from, my real mother’s last name, and my drag mother’s last name (Noxeema Jackson). Asia Ho Jackson is another medium/canvas that allows me to be more creative. She represents the other half (somewhat of a yin and yang nature) that is beneath my being. PQ: Tell me about your involvement in Shorty Shorts. What films are you in? What are your characters like? Have you done anything like that before? Jackson: I play Madam Katui (aptly named by moi) in “Cat Scratch Fever.â€? It was at Devon Chase’s and Rachael Palmer’s last Christmas party that Eric Sellers had mentioned to me that he wanted me to play the mafia crime boss villain in his film ‌ and I was totes Asia-Gung-Ho about it! I had always wanted to play a villain/monster. I feel connected to those roles because they have more depth than the hero — plus I get to be in a skin-tight cat suit! HELLO! PQ: What are you going to be/do for Halloween? Jackson: I will be preparing a cauldron at Lone Fir. I will also gather the trick-ortreaters to make Youthful Stew. It’s my yearly ritual for eternal youth. PQ: Who are your muses (locally and in general)? Jackson: There are many local artists that inspire me. They are so uninhibited in their performance and art; I think it’s extremely admirable and I strive for the same. The muses that I’ve always adored are Michell Ho (the first and foremost of Asia’s inspirations), Barbra Streisand, Bjork, Daria, Kylie Minogue, Audrey Hepburn, Michelle Yeoh, Gong Li, and anyone that has to deal with adversity. They’ve got balls!



Sometimes I forget I’m a transwoman. In a way, it’s an improvement from the first 18 months of my transition, when I was acutely self-conscious of the fact at all times. It’s also alienating. It’s easy to forget I’m a transwoman when there are no other transwomen around to remind me. I have transwomen friends, and I love them, but I can go weeks without seeing them. I go whole days at work, in fact, every day at work, without seeing a trans person, and I work with a lot of people. When I remember I’m a transwoman at work, I become self-conscious, perhaps because it’s never mentioned. Because of the nature of my job, that makes sense, but it also leaves me wondering what others think. I assume they’re supportive, but there’s no real cultural dialogue about transitioning, and so, aside from correcting pronouns now and then, it’s just never remarked upon. Occasionally a friend will ask a question about my life prior to transitioning, and I’ll start babbling like a fool, making all sorts of connections I’d never seen before, because I don’t really think of myself as having one life these days. Instead, there’s the tragedy, and the transition, and I don’t like to think about the tragedy — meaning my life in the wrong gender. Unfortunately, that tragedy’s been compounded by tragedy 2.0: starting to transition at age 38, which makes forgetting the first tragedy — physically, mentally, and otherwise — seem impossible. All of this is enveloped in the great tragedy of having been born into a transphobic culture, and not having heard the word transgender until I was 23. I usually don’t think of these things as tragic. I just think of them as things that make me mad, but maybe I’m feeling less mad lately, and more tragic, or at least more unlucky. With perfect objectivity, I can appreciate my transition as the chance to correct tragedy number one, and feel at home in my body. I can marvel at hormones that come in pills, and laser hair removal, and employment non-discrimination protection. At other times, I’m not so content, and I feel like some mutant creature, born too late to have never heard of transitioning, and too early to have started when I now wish I had. At those times, tragedies two and three really get to me, which may be why I don’t mind forgetting I’m a transwoman now and then.

There are times I remember and get excited. I feel like I’ve landed on a new island, where there are no rules, and my friends and I make them up as we go along. That’s the good that goes with the bad, which is probably how it always happens. It certainly helps make things feel less tragic. When I started transitioning, I only wanted to think about the good, and it’s all I looked for. The bad kept showing up, though. I wanted to think about clothes, makeup, and being a girl, and I kept hearing about dysphoria, discrimination, and family problems. By now I’ve experienced all of it, but I still find myself looking for the positive. Maybe that’s why the unluckiness feels like a cloud over my head, because I won’t let myself see it in front of my face. My nightmare when I began transitioning was being completely shunned and dying alone and unloved. It took awhile for those thoughts to go away, but they have. My fear now is that my anger at the tragedies won’t vanish. It’s unlikely, though. I don’t like staying angry, and writing always seems to change things. Writing doesn’t make transwomen show up at my work, though, or at the grocery store, or the mall. I’m usually the only one. I don’t often feel like a transwoman in my life, though; I feel like myself, which is a bit confusing, since the “me” I am now doesn’t seem very different, on the inside, than the one who survived the first tragedy. I know I’m less depressed, and less paranoid, but I’m still impatient, quiet, and funny — to myself, at least. There are still ways to address tragedy number two, which involve expensive surgeries, voice coaching, and caring more than I currently do about changing myself. I don’t know why I’m angry about something I don’t want to do things to change, except that I can envision a life where I would have had to do nothing at all. I read about those lives on the internet, and they involve loving, enlightened parents, caring service providers, and cooperative schools. I’m happy for the children who get to transition that way, but I can’t help feeling resentful ... and a little tragic. I guess I’ll take the good with the bad.

Leela Ginelle is a journalist and playwright. Her play “Suede” will be read at the Q Center on Nov. 17.

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Part Jesse James, part James Dean, outlaw heartthrobs Hunter Valentine are at large in the Pacific Northwest just in time to take the chill off our newly-returned rainy season. Along with Portland’s own Kiss Kill, they’ll bring the heat to the Tonic Lounge Oct. 21. Hunter Valentine’s epic 70-date tour comes just ahead of their new album. The band promises to treat Rose City audiences to some sweet selections from “Collide and Conquer,” due to drop Oct. 23. “We’re really proud of it,” says Kiyomi McClosky, who founded the band of hard-driving, all-female rockers with drummer Laura Petracca. “Our sound is gritty pop-rock. This record is a different step … everything from mid-tempo pop songs to aggressive rock, to ballads.” McClosky is featured as the new face of feminine rock on the cover of the latest issue of Hunter Valentine: (left to right) Veronica Sanchez, Kiyomi McCloskey, and Laura Petracca. Curve Magazine, and makes no apologies for her bewitching brand of machismo. been following the lives and loves of McClosky, Petracca, “I’ve been labeled ‘The Dictator’ at times,” she says. and bassist Veronica “Vero” Sanchez, the intimate concert “When women know what they want and stand by it, they’re offers the added thrill of seeing primetime heartthrobs up called some form of ‘bitch.’” close and personal. McClosky shrugs off the Casanovag For fans of Showtime’s “The Real L Word,” which has image she’s acquired from appearing on the reality-based

lift every voice Continued from page 

of Portland, outlined some of the report’s specific policy recommendations in the focus areas of health, employment, and education. Many of the suggestions hinged on increasing cultural competency and training community members to provide needed services. “There is a role for everyone in lifting up this community,” Sawicki said. The organizations involved hope that report will serve as a call to action. Urban League of Portland CEO Michael Alexander spoke to the importance of meeting people

becoming darcelle  Continued from page 23

He heard that from all the men, but I actually followed through and went to the show. We had coffee afterward, I drove him home, he got out of the car, and I drove home. For three months, that was our routine — not ever messin’ around. Nothing! I figured that I wasn’t going to be a one-night stand; he wasn’t going to be my trick and I wasn’t going to be his trick. And it worked — we’re still together 45 years later. PQ: When did you know that you loved him? Cole: The minute I saw him. PQ: So, this is all before you started Darcelle? Cole: When I met Roxy, we were both entertainers — he was a dancer and I was acting in local theatre. … I had a friend who worked in a friend across the way called Magic Garden — it’s a T&A bar now, but then it was a lesbian club. She and another person had a drag show once a week.

series as par for the course when the audience has but a tiny window into her world. “People didn’t seem to understand what nonmonogamy meant,” she says, “so they assumed I was cheating. ... I was just dating. We have a great time on that show.” Like a double-dose of winter tonic, Hunter Valentine has been perfectly paired with kick-ass Portland rockers, Kiss Kill. Michelle Blau and Dusti Ohland, the delicious dykes of KissKill who were recently named among the “8 Women To Watch” by Bound Magazine, are “thrilled and excited” to warm up their hometown crowd for Hunter Valentine, along with Queen Caveat and The Happening. They promise to add to the eye and ear candy with their own hard-rockin’ fury, showcasing tracks from their recently-released CD, “Keychain Pistols.” Backed by talented drummer Bam Bam Purkapile and the well-matched back-up vocals and guitar licks of Jeff Leopard, Kiss Kill have been taking Pacific Northwest audiences on their thrillride for five years — and, like the rain, won’t be letting up any time soon. Watch them watching you this Sunday, Oct. 21, 8 p.m. at the Tonic Lounge (3100 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland; https://; $7. 21+).

where they are to creating change. “What you want to do is respect the fact that where you were a day before you discovered and grew is where they are at,” Alexander said. “I think organizations, like people, go through that same evolution … . How do we tilt the levers that need to be tilted in this community?” A panel of community member spoke to ways t he report could shape t heir work in the community. Retired Portland Public Schools teacher Carolyn Leonard echoed Alexander’s message of walking beside people on their path to understanding. “You can’t drag people kicking and screaming. You have to start where they

are and entertain their questions,” said Leonard, who is working to create a more LGBTQ-friendly culture in the A.M.E. Zion Church. “I say, ‘Angels have no gender, and we’re all moving toward angels.” Lolenzo Poe, chief equity officer for Portland Public Schools and chair of the board for the Urban League of Portland, emphasized the importance of black men being allies. “Black men have a responsibility to be at the forefront of this. I should not be one of the only black men in this room,” Poe said. “Whatever hat I wear … it is a report that saddens me, humbles me, and tells me there is still much work to be done.” City of Portland employee and long-time activist Kathleen Saadat praised the report

and spoke to the fear felt by black LGBTQ individuals. “I’m 72 years old. I’ve known since I was 5 or 6 years old that I was not like the other girls. … This has been a long time coming,” Saadat said. “It makes my community infinitely more livable, safer. … If you’re black, you do not want to lose your community because that is your primary protection. You don’t want to be out there with no clothes on and no one to protect you.” Imarisha and Kodey Park Bambino will present a workshop on the report at the Basic Rights Oregon Trans Justice Summit on Oct. 21 at Portland State University. The full report can found online at

Roxy’s show closed, and we decided that we wanted to do a show. We brought my friend Tina Sandel in, myself, and Roxy. PQ: And that was the very first time you wore drag? Cole: Yes … I just changed costumes. To this day, it’s a costume. I don’t want to be a woman, I don’t care to dress up and walk around town. I don’t want to go to Nordstrom’s and buy high heels! That’s not me — I’m an entertainer. PQ: I imagine that people sometimes confuse Walter and Darcelle. Cole: Some people think that Darcelle would love to be a woman and go through the whole operation. I stop them in their tracks when they go in that direction … because that’s not my gig. I love our transvestite friends, they’ve been loyal to me and we have a great time together, but that’s not me. I’m an entertainer, and I just dress to entertain. I went from [playing] doctors and attorneys in book plays, to playing Darcelle. I just changed the costume. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just

another costume — just another role. PQ: You’ve made such an impact here in town. Is it odd when people point that out to you? Cole: How do you react when someone calls you an institution? I just say, “Well, people get locked up in those, don’t they!?” (Laughs). I’m just grateful when people take the time to say it. Total strangers come up to me and say, “I love what you do, you’ve been a pioneer, I’ve seen you at fundraisers …” I love hearing it, but I just don’t know how this happened. I didn’t plan on it, you know? I didn’t say, “Hang on! I’m plowing through Portland’s scene!” I sometimes don’t know how to react, but I can’t believe my own publicity. When you start believing your own publicity, it won’t happen anymore. People don’t want to see somebody that has a big head, who’s all blown-up about themselves. I didn’t do any of this by myself. … Nobody does anything alone. It’s too big a world to conquer on your own. PQ: What would you want PQ readers to remember?

Cole: If you’re not happy, move on. Family, friends, work, lodging — get the things that make you unhappy out of your life. Life is just too short to not be happy. I’m happy every day! Sometimes Roxy just gets so annoyed with me because I wake up every morning just singing, with bells on. He’ll be like, “Stop it! You were up all night!” — but I don’t care. I’m ready to go. … Happiness is so important. Live your life, and be happy. Too many people spend too much time dwelling on the negative. I have this thing: if I can’t change it, I’m not even going to think about it. I can’t be bothered with thinking about the things I can’t change, in my life or anyone else’s. If you can’t change it, drop it. Cole’s memoir “Just Call Me Darcelle” is available at the Darcelle XV Showplace (208 NW 3rd Ave., Portland). For more information on Cole, Darcelle, and the showplace, visit You’ll find more from our interview with Cole on the PQ Monthly blog. October/November 2012 • 29

NO HALO By Nick Mattos PQ Monthly

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Somewhere on the Oregon Coast stood a house — more of a hut, really, composed of driftwood, felled logs, artifacts washed upon the shore. Over the last five years, my friends and I have built this house, each summer lashing together logs and clearing the debris that each winter levies upon the structure. Now, Kathryn, Kate, Gordon and I walk into the dunes and see that the past tense is appropriate: the walls of the house have collapsed completely, the roof a pile of sticks covering the floor. The house is gone. “Oh my god,” I gasp. I loved this space more than any other, once wrote in my will that my ashes were to end up here, mixed in with the charcoal of the campfire. Now, I look at its ruins, my friends picking through the felled logs, stunned. At once, a memory rushes back to me. When I was 16, growing up in a tiny liberal town in late-90s Northern California, I had perhaps the ideal job for a rather pretentious and queeny teenager: clerk at an independent video store. The shop specialized in foreign and queer films; I specialized in wearing crazy costumes and mincing about the aisles, shelving videocassettes like a young Mister Humphries. As befitted a thoroughly self-destructive youth, I was also a chainsmoker; as I was both underage and a spectacle, the managers demanded that I hide around the corner of the building in a parking lot on my smoke breaks. One shift, I do just that: sit upon an overturned five-gallon bucket with bone-skinny legs crossed at the knee, my (no joke) white angel wings luminous beneath the streetlight of the almost-empty lot. I toss my cigarette away with a limp wrist, notice someone sitting in one of the cars but think nothing of it as I strut back to work. A week later, I’m working at the counter, blasting Mazzy Star and singing along to “Fade into You” while I check in returned videocassettes, wearing my cheap angel wings. In the sea of brightly-lit aisles, a woman cries softly in the comedy section. This is Sebastopol, California, and public crying isn’t an uncommon sight — in this hippie town, everyone’s heart chakra is so stupidly open that everyone’s burst into tears on the street at least once — so I think nothing of it. At that moment, she looks up at me, walks up to the counter. “Excuse me,” she asks. “Do you smoke cigarettes?” “… Yes,” I say hesitantly. “Want one?” “No,” she replies, tears running down her

cheeks. “But I need to tell you something.” “Ten years ago, my father was very sick, dying in the hospital. His ward in the hospital was full of AIDS patients. Those skinny gay boys, walking around gossiping and laughing, were my lifeline. I bummed their cigarettes while they rolled their IVs around outside the hospital, and cried on their shoulders in my father’s last days. I can’t tell you how much I loved each of them. They saved my life.” She wipes her eyes and goes on. “A week ago was the 10-year anniversary of my father’s death. I have missed him every day for 10 years, and while I was sitting in my car, getting ready to go home, it was like a train of grief hit me — I couldn’t breathe, I missed him so much. I thought my heart would stop. I’m not religious, but I didn’t know what else to do, so I asked the universe for something, anything, just to make the pain stop for a moment. “It was at that moment that I looked up and this skinny little gay boy with wings walked around the corner, the streetlight shining on him like a halo, and lit a cigarette. This sounds silly, but I knew it was one of the boys from the ward, sent back from heaven to comfort me. I saw the angel and I cried, knowing that my father was okay wherever he was, that I’d be okay too, that something bigger was happening that all of us were part of. That angel,” she sobbed softly, “was you.” I stood there in my wings, her eyes looking expectantly into mine, stunned. Now, 12 years later, I stand here — still skinny, still a chainsmoker, possessing of a bit more sartorial sense (thank goodness) but caught with no wings, no halo — stunned, the remains of my work staring expectantly at me. “Look at this!” Kate exclaims. On the topmost of the logs, someone has scrawled graffiti. “This is the saddest day,” Kate reads aloud. “We loved this place. Can it be rebuilt?” Beneath the graffiti is written a date: one day before today. The weight of this, of the truth that all this time we shared the space, settles over the group. Perhaps the world provides intricate ways for us to be benevolent towards each other without our intending or realizing it, without demanding any effort on our part past being ourselves and doing what we love. Maybe, without even needing wings or halos, we end up being angels for one another, doing ordinary work that from the outside looks like a miracle. I break the silence — “Can it be rebuilt?” I ask. The grey sky looms above us, the great ocean roaring softly, nature remaining indifferent to our effort and our drama. We look at one another, at the place we once called home, at the dunes and the hills and the coastline stretching out to the horizon, as the question and its answer hang silently in the salty air.

Nick Mattos and his friends have not yet rebuilt the house. Send reports of miracles to


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ARTS BRIEFS Portland Gay Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chorus presents its biannual â&#x20AC;&#x153;Classical Matineeâ&#x20AC;? Oct. 21 at the Reed College Kaul Auditorium on the theme of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Love and Marriage.â&#x20AC;? The performance will feature music by classical masters offered by the Chorus, chamber ensemble, and instrumental and vocal soloists in solidarity with the fight for marriage equality in Washington. Among the concerts highlights will be the debut of newly formed wind quintet, The Q. For more information and tickets, visit Bradley Angle holds its sixth annual Women of Wonder Day event at Excalibur Comics on Oct. 21. The free all-ages event includes a silent auction of original art and collectible items from television, film, and music as well as other comic-themed activities. Proceeds from the event support survivors of domestic violence. Bradley Angle is the only domestic violence agency in Oregon with LGBTQ-specific programming and services. Learn more at bradleyangle. org and Former Portland Pride headliner Hunter Valentine is returning to town for a show at Tonic Lounge Oct. 21 featuring Queen Caveat, Kiss Kill, and The Happening. The 21+ show is $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Check out the band at Oregon LGBT chorus Confluence is collaborating with Salemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pentacle Theatre to present on Oct. 23 â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Laramie Project, the highly-acclaimed play about Matthew Shepard, the gay University of Wyoming student whose torture and murder in 1998 sparked increased awareness of hate crimes against LGBTQ people. For more information and tickets, visit The Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - The Order of Benevolent Bliss are seeking submissions of photography and visual art on the theme of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Femme, Butch, Queer & Trans Intersectionâ&#x20AC;? for a Transgender Day of Awareness art show at Q Center. The deadline for submissions in Oct. 25; the art show will take place Nov. 20. The show will raise funds for Q Center and the Order of Benev-

olent Blissâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; working and grants funds via a silent auction. Artists not interested in selling their work are still welcome to show it. Send an image of the art, plus a biography, title, and description to Q Center is also seeking submissions from LGBTQ and allied musicians for a compilation CD to raise funds for Q Center and SMYRC. So far, organizer Logan Lynn has received submissions from Scream Club, Peaches, Nicky Click, Jeremy Gloff, Shunda K of Yo Majesty, Atole, Holcombe Waller, TAHOE JACKSON, Towering Trees, Matt Alber, Tom Goss, Mattachine Social, Bobby Jo Valentine, and others. Send submissions and questions to logan@ Inspired by the feature on country queers? Check out gender-free square dances Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Village Ballroom. As part of the Every Sunday Square Dance series, fourth Sundays fall through spring are gender-free. No experience is necessary as all dances are taught before they begin. Live music and an experienced caller bring this centuries-old tradition to life. Dances are $7 at the door and all ages. Learn more at The 2012 Q Center Concert Series presents â&#x20AC;&#x153;Crescendo: An Evening of Classical Ensembles and Solos,â&#x20AC;? at 7 p.m. Nov. 3, featuring performances by Doug Shick, Glenn Goodfellow, Maggie Hanson, Juliana Trivers, and Queertet. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Tickets are available at Portland will be representing at Palm Springs Pride for Qulture Qreativeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth annual COMPOUND festival, which aims to provide an inclusive alternative to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Gay Pride.â&#x20AC;? Local DJs Mr. Charming (Gaycation) and Roy G. Biv (Bent) will be spinning at the HARD TIMES party Nov. 2 and Chelsea Star will be making an appearance at the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Daytime Realnessâ&#x20AC;? party on Nov. 6. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re heading south for November, show some love to our local favorites. For more info, visit

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October/November 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 33

34 â&#x20AC;˘ October/November 2012

Cultivating Life THE PERSONAL POLITICS OF FOOD mean just think about what’s being asked of food these days,” Hamilton says. “Food PQ Monthly is going to save the planet, we’re going to cure obesity, we’re going to save the dysIt’s easy to feel functional family because if you just eat the swirl of pol- a meal together at the dining room table itics as beyond every day all your fucked up family probourselves, “put lems will go away, it will create memories. there” beyond And I think, ‘the poor madeleine.’ The little our reach of per- fucking madeleine carries so much freight sonal impact or these days.” action. With so But at the other end of that spectrum is much money being spent on simply getting to live blindly and without thought to how elected versus fixing our country, I under- our actions impact the world. I liken it to the stand the question, “Can I really make a dif- ridiculousness of the statement, “I’m not ference?” But so much of politics are per- voting.” Truth is, you vote every day with the sonal, especially for those of us who hear our actions you take. When you opt to buy your love lives being debated on political stages, produce at the local farmer’s stand, you vote and our very worth of equality discussed as to keep your dollars close to home and to political platforms. For me, politics are per- support your local economy. You most likely sonal, and no matter what are also voting for less my own apathy might be, I environmental impact will always, definitely, turn on the world, without up to vote. the need to transport Just as politics are pergoods long distances, sonal, personal choices and without massive can also be political, espedegradation against cially when it comes to the land for major food food. Food politics have production. When you been a rising conversation opt to cook more from over the decade, with quesscratch and less from tions of food safety and regprocessed and packulation, and the growth of aged food products, movements like slow food, you vote to value your “locavores,” and attention own health and the towards “food deserts.” Apples as beautiful these are produced within a few miles health of those you’re There is a mindfulness to of your backyard — so why buy them from New Zealand? cooking for. participating in food politics and a waking Even growing your own food is a political up to understanding and knowing where statement, let alone growing food in your your packaged, processed food comes from front yard and (gasp!) tearing up the lawn. and on whose back it gets to you. What was But hanging a rainbow flag and building the quality of life of the cow that makes up raised beds in the front of our house is one your burger? Or the reality that your burger of the first things we did when we moved is most likely made of thousands of cows all into our house 12 years ago. At that time, mixed up together? What’s the environmen- our neighborhood of grass lawns were the tal impact of the apple you’re eating flown standard and lots of folks slowed down or here from New Zealand? (And why on earth stopped by to see what “the ladies” were up are we as Oregonians eating New Zealand to. Gardening in our front yard has brought apples when the Northwest produces gor- us closer to our neighbors, and political talk geous crops of them?) How is it that there during election season has even been a part are epidemic proportions of asthma among of the front yard scene, as well as sharing the children of the workers who picked your advice on growing good greens. produce? Once you start to scratch the surI don’t get the concept of politics not face, it is never ending and can easily feel being personal. They’re infused in every bit overwhelming. of my life, including the work I do, where I I recently heard NYC chef and author invest my money, and even the food I put Gabrielle Hamilton speak at Feast PDX, in my mouth. And yes, at the ballot box. I Portland’s national food festival (my favor- plan to vote this November, no question ite part were the talks, by the way). Hamil- about that, but I also vote for a better enviton suggests we’re going overboard in our ronment, a local economy, and fair workfood politics. er’s rights when I vote with my food dollars. “Sometimes I think, ‘poor little food.’ I Why wouldn’t I? By LeAnn Locher

LeAnn Locher is an OSU Extension Master Gardener. You can connect with her at


EAT, DRINK, AND, BE MARY Dr. Daniels & Mr. Beer By Brock Daniels PQ Monthly

The sun sets earlier over the horizon and large cauldrons of harvest serum boil as steam tentacles its way into the black night air. Full bodied, dark, and herbal — local brews of the fall are some of the best of the year. Specially blended recipes of malt and hops are infused with the bounties of the season. Fresh pumpkin and spices add a special zip and warmth to these local beers. Made with 30 pounds of hand-roasted

Fun, real, willing to be “monkeys on display through the brewery windows, and willing to put on a show for anyone that stops by to peer/leer/stare in,” Ian McGuinness and Natalia Laird make some of the best micro brews in Portland at Natian Brewery. Their Pu-Pu-Pu-Pumpkin Ale is brewed and then aged for a full year! This ale is like drinking pumpkin pie in a pint glass. And it is definitely worth that one year wait. This is the must-have pumpkin brew of the season! For a list of local brew pubs serving this incredible treat, go to Pumpkin beer tasting was a fun jaunt across the city, but I soon found that with the alcohol content of each pint being between 7-9 percent, I started transforming from Dr. Daniels into Mr. Beer … in a good way of course. These incredible hand-crafted masterpieces are worth every sip, and worth the wait it takes to produce them. Experiment, explore, and have fun turning into your alter ego!

Photo by Hilary Pollack

pie pumpkins, Amnesia Brewing’s Headless Horseman Olde Pumpkin Ale is a great blend of spices, various malts, and a myriad of hops, making for a unique complexity. The Horseman rides! In the spirit of the season, Laurelwood Brewing crafted an amber-colored brew with roasted whole pumpkin, toasted pumpkin seeds, and organic pumpkin puree. A touch of spice creates a subtle and delicious beer, sure to chase away the evil spirits. Medium-hopped, the Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale is smooth — almost creamy — and the toasted pumpkin seeds add a unique nose as well as flavor that sets this beer apart from others. My Big Fat Greek Baklava Ingredients: ½ cup pistachios ½ cup walnuts ½ cup almonds 1 lemon ¼ cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon vanilla 15 filo cup shells ¼ cup water ¼ cup honey

Amnesia Brewing 832 N Beech St, Portland

Laurelwood Brewing NE Portland, 5115 NE Sandy Blvd SE Portland, 6716 SE Milwaukie Ave Battle Ground, Wash., 1401 SE Rasmussen Blvd Natian Brewery Corner of NE Stark & Couch, Portland Everyone needs a little nibble as they drink down their autumn brews. Try my Baklava recipe; it is extremely easy. The nuttiness and sweet spice pairs perfectly with pumpkin beer, and these little bitesize morsels will be a hit at any of your fall festivities! Directions: Place your nuts on a cookie sheet, and roast in the oven on 350ºF for about 8 minutes to toast and release the oils. Cool, and add to a food processor with the zest of 1 lemon, ½ the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Pulse until well blended and a course mealy texture is achieved. Fill each little filo cup with the nut mixture and bake at 350º for about 10 minutes. While those are baking, boil the water, honey, and other half of the brown sugar together and allow it to reduce to thick syrup. When the cups come out of the oven, spoon about 1 teaspoon of syrup over the hot cups, and let absorb in. Enjoy!

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 October/November 2012 • 35

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How does someone know if they are gay or trans? Some people say they were “born that way,” but I also know people who came out later in life after being in straight marriages. I accept people regardless; I just don’t get it. Answer: I imagine there are as many answers to this question as there are LGBTQ people, which is probably why you’ve encountered individuals with such divergent coming out experiences. Of course, this sort of response doesn’t really help you in your quest to understand. Let me put it this way: How does anyone know who they are? Identity is multifaceted, sometimes complex, and often dynamic. Some aspects of a person’s identity are clear from a young age and remain constant through life. Others are discovered only after years of questioning, searching, and experimenting. And, sometimes, they change. Now, you don’t often hear LGBTQ people describing sexual and gender identity as something mutable because that’s a message that is easily misunderstood and twisted by people who would prefer we didn’t exist. It’s also sometimes easier to think of identity as simple and static. Contemplating the complexities of life can be a real headache. (Trust me — I’m a chronic case.)

Whatever the reason, the reality is that identity (particularly of the sexual and/or gender variety) is not always as simple as “born this way” or “trapped in the wrong body.” But acknowledging that identity sometimes changes (“shifts” or “evolves” might be more accurate) is not the same as saying it can be changed. It is tempting to say that those who come out later in life are emerging from a period of repression (aka “living a lie”) to embrace their true self. Sometimes, that’s true. Some folks are aware of their queerness from a young age, but unable or unwilling to express it openly. Others may not get the memo until later, but experience it as an aha moment that explains their life until that point. But even these variations on the theme of “I’ve always been XYZ” don’t ring true for everyone. To suggest that this is a universal narrative renders invisible those who have experienced a shift from one firmly felt identity to another, who may consider their previous identities just as true as their current one. And just to complicate things further, some folks embody more than one narrative at a time. A lesbian/gay/bisexual person may feel they’ve always experienced same-sex attraction, but still find that their sexual identity is fluid and constantly evolving. A trans/genderqueer person may have felt a disconnect between their body and their gender identity since a young age and still, even after transitioning, look back fondly on the time they spent living as the gender they were assigned at birth. Though we may now be standing together as members of the LGBTQ community, we all reached this point via our own unique path. There are countless ways in which people come to realize they are LGBTQ. I asked

a few of my friends about their experiences, and some common themes emerged despite the diversity. Whether a person comes to their identities through structured experimentation and list making, trial and error, or hard-to-describe gut checks, we know who we are when it feels right. Or, at least, more right than who we were trying to be before. It’s sort of like in romantic or friend relationships when you realize that person is the real deal, a “soul mate” of sorts. It may happen instantaneously or over time, but eventually you feel like you’ve known them forever, and wonder how life might have been different if you’d met them sooner. Most people have more than one relationship like this in their lives. It doesn’t mean that past relationships were inauthentic; they just ceased to serve them. Identity is like a relationship with yourself. Some folks are lucky enough to meet their true selves early in life. Others don’t make that connection until later, after going through some failed relationships with themselves. And sometimes, you have a few good years with a version of yourself only to discover that you need something different out of that relationship. No matter how we come to understand our identities, what matters is that we strive to be honest and loving with ourselves and others. If we do that, everything else should fall into place. The path we take through life and the meaning we assign our journey is just one more thing that makes us human. If you ask me, it also makes us pretty damn interesting. I like big questions and I cannot lie. Especially the one we keep close to our chests for fear of judgment or embarrassment. Your closeted curiosities are safe with me. Send your queries on all things queer to

Obama v. Romney Mad libs (or cons)

We’ve got some blanks that are aching to be filled. Before our next edition hits the streets, the presidential election will have come and gone, so help us report on the results in the interim by sharing your response on the outcome. Scan or take a picture of your work of snark — or savvy political observation — and email it to We just might share it with your fellow readers. But if you only have the time and energy to fill out and submit one thing in the next couple of weeks, please make it your ballot. (And don’t send that to us. We’re big fans of well-hung Chads, but we’d rather not be responsible for uncounted ballots.)

Oh my __________ ___________, I was so __________ that ____________ won the election that I immediately _____________. adjective



past tense verb

candidate’s name

This means four ___________ years of _______________ — and will have ______________ implications for our ____________. I’m adjective




convinced the _____________ voters must have had their _____________ in their _____________ when they checked the box next adjective



to______________’s name. I am going to ___________ for the next four years, even if it ______________ me. As a _____________, same candidate



this makes me ____________ for my ____________. emotion

identifying noun


Mr. President, I wish you ________________, you ____________________. May you ________________ and _____________. noun

term of endearment or insult



Submitted by ___________________ (optional) 38 • October/November 2012


ASTROSCOPES WITH MISS RENEE End Up Tales 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:


ARIES: Fighting the urge to put your belongings into storage, unthaw the credit card, spin the globe, and point? How about rather than undoing the progress you’ve made over the last couple of years, you expand the world of your mind instead? Spin the globe and correlate it to workshops, cooking classes, dance lessons, etc. ¡Olé!

VIRGO: Ve n u s ( l ov e / beauty/art) has been sharpening her game under Virgo’s exacting gaze. Let her inspire you: Get your “hurr did” and adopt a smart new do. Yep, buy those hot fall boots. In clothing; sometimes tighter IS better. Stop hiding, we wanna see what you’re workin’ with! Relax, Venus has us lovin’ you.

AQUARIUS: I was told that in fall gardeners prepare the soil for spring by composting organic material, tilling, checking pH, etc. Prepare yourself for upcoming spring by utilizing decaying matter (Sun entering Scorpio Oct. 22), preserving the richness of your soil and envisioning that what you value will grow (Full Moon in Taurus Oct. 29). Delicious!

TAURUS: Full moon in Taurus Oct. 29 asks: “What/who do you value? Is it still applicable to who you CURRENTLY are?” Change doesn’t come easily for Bulls, but freeing up stagnant outgrown spaces will allow room for better and healthier. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds.” ~Bob Marley #PuffAndPass

LIBRA: Libra, here’s a newsflash, darlin’: YOU MATTER, TOO! Several planetary aspects (New Moon in Libra Oct. 15, Venus entering Libra Oct. 28, and Full Moon in sister sign Taurus Oct. 29 ) hopefully help you see that sometimes the only thing you end up getting out of bending over backwards for everyone is exposed private bits. #LispTheWordsSelfCare

PISCES: Your highly psychic ruler Neptune has been retrograde since June 4. It resumes following normal forward motion starting Nov. 11. Please ponder the likelihood that over the past five months you’ve fared your best when you’ve gotten out of your head and trusted your gut. Remember/incorporate this neat trick come November. #IntuitionMission

GEMINI: Planetary aspects over the next month make you feel you’re 10-feet tall, 3feet wide, the baddest mofo in the bar. Honey, you may wanna rethink that. Things go much more smoothly if you curb tendencies to double book, promise more than you can deliver, and assume someone else will “get that for ya.”

SCORPIO: Oct. 5 Saturn (structure/discipline/karmic lessons) strode purposefully into Scorpio for a 2½ year stay. Prepare to work, take ownership of your own happiness, and become impeccable with your words/ deeds. Your brilliance will shine through especially in areas of career, getting paid for your talents, and manifesting longed for stability. Rise, Phoenix.

CANCER: Sun and Saturn transiting through fellow water sign Scorpio, coupled with other planetary aspects in early November may have you thinking about how you support and are supported when it comes to manifesting stability for yourself and your loved ones. The Universe may ask you to disentangle yourself and shift your focus. New mantra: D.I.Y.

SAGITTARIUS: Vroom vroom! Get-erdone Mars enters Sagg, giving extra get up and go! But, honey, where are you aimin’ that thing? Planetary aspects opposing and trining you require focused intent to best take advantage of this burst of energy and inspiration. My advice? Work to free yourself wherever you’ve gotten boxed in. Disentangle does not mean yank.


CAPRICORN: Your ruler Saturn entered the depths in Scorpio, Oct. 5, for a 2½-year stay. These could sincerely be the years you remember flinging open your arms, taking several leaps of faith and soaring. Grind bullsh*t dogmatic fears into dust then plant and grow love flowers there. Theme song: “Chains of Love” –Erasure

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LEO: Leos = Life of the Party. Duh! But the party can’t be every single day or it loses something, mais non? Sharpen some #2s and break out the notebook, Qween/King. Planetary aspects are asking you to get your school on. Get deep, take a philosophy course. Learn a new language. Brain protein. Stretch yourself. Grow.

Where am I? In your bed, I discover, my eyes opening to Saturday morning, all bleary from the previous night’s partying. It only takes a moment before the scene becomes clear: you lie beside me, face buried in your pillow, ass-up in your underwear. You are my ex-boyfriend and we are in your bed — that same bed I spent four years in. My eyes open wide, I stare at the ceiling, thankful for the good sign that we’re both still at least partially clothed, and the thoughts come. Maybe home isn’t a place, or a person — it’s something we carry around inside us, something that radiates out and fills the space we occupy. I lay here, in your bed, the morning falling over the duvet cover with our sleepy bodies beneath it, and the truth hits me with the primitive force of visceral knowing: my home isn’t with you anymore. I slide out from beneath the covers, try not to wake you, quietly pull my pants back on over my American Apparel briefs. How do we know when we’re over someone? Perhaps the heart stops racing at the mention of them, the Facebook comments they leave on our friends’ pages stop making our hearts catch in our throats, the sound of an incoming text doesn’t evoke hope that it’s a dispatch from them. Maybe, though, it’s more than that — the mind finally getting strong enough, making its voice loud enough to be heard over the heart, the truth more urgent and resonant than the lies the body tells. One by one, my fingers push the buttons of my shirt through their holes, each one reaffirming the essential truth that your bed isn’t home any more, your body no longer a haven, that somewhere in the process of leaving you I withdrew myself from the space around you and became myself again. You stir, open your eyes to me tying my shoes. “Good morning,” you say sleepily. “Where are you going?” “Thanks for letting me crash here last night,” I say, smiling at the truth that our history is over, the thrill of my own liberation — “but I’m going home.”

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October/November 2012 • 39


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PQ Monthly: October/November 2012 Issue  

Under the theme of "Pioneers," we honor the trailblazers of the LGBTQ community.