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“I feel more confident and empowered knowing that I’m taking control of my health.” —Hunter Kent, Ohio

Is PrEP right for you? PrEP has been shown to be 92-99% effective in preventing HIV infection when taken as prescribed.

Let’s talk about


“As a mixed status couple, PrEP provides peace of mind for the both of us.” —Brandon & Chris Columbus

Find a PrEP provider and learn more at

or call our PrEP Hotline: (800)

Dayton Medical Center 1222 S. Patterson Ave., Suite 230 Dayton, OH 45402 (937) 853-3650


King-Lincoln Medical Center 750 E. Long St., Suite 3000 Columbus, OH 43203 (614) 340-6700

Short North Medical Center 1033 N. High St. Columbus, OH 43201 (614) 340-6777



Letters from Equitas Health President and CEO Bill Hardy and Prizm Publisher Carol Zimmer Clark.



Believe it or not in this new era of playing defense, some things are still going right for LGBTQ people.


12 14

Long before he and his husband changed the world, Jim Obergefell had to step out of the closet.


At this month’s Transforming Care Conference in Columbus, providers can receive training from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.


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It’s a beautiful part of Ohio any time of year, but fall in Hocking Hills is extra special.

SHADES OF AUTUMN This fall, break the rules.

Chief Executive Officer Bill Hardy President Joel Diaz Publisher Carol Clark Editor Bob Vitale Creative Director Staley Jophiel Munroe Designer Nick Huskey Advertising Director Mike Moffo



DeAngelo Graham has become one of the National Anthem regulars at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. PRIZM Contacts:


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Mary Reaman of Dayton: “Faith, to me, is a belief in the power of Love to transform us and our world.”

HALLOWEEN’S HIGH POINT In 10 years, Columbus’ HighBall street party has become a Halloween must with lots of LGBTQ flair.


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Prizm encourages feedback from our readers. To share your comments, email For news consideration, press releases, event listings, letters to the editor, and inquiries about freelance writing or internship opportunities, email For photography submissions and inquiries about modeling/styling assignments and social media internships, email

The 12th annual event offers a movie-watching binge of 17 features, documentaries and shorts over three days.


Cleveland celebrates at its annual HRC Gala, Cincinnati screams for Pride Night at Kings Island, and Columbus toasts Bi Local’s monthly happy hour.

PRIZM @PrizmNews prizmnews


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Filmmaker Del Shores visits Columbus, and comedians Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher play Cleveland.


More information about the people and places in this issue.

Fair and accurate reporting is critical to our mission. If you discover an error, please contact our editor, Bob Vitale, at Address subscription inquiries to 7575 Huntington Park Drive, Columbus, Ohio, 43235.

October 2017 |


bill hardy CEO’s Note

Dear Friends, I’m thrilled to share with you the launch of Prizm!

Publisher’s Note Dear Readers,

During the 25 years that I have served as president and CEO of Equitas Health, I have witnessed a remarkable transformation in LGBTQ communities across our nation and in Ohio. While progress has been made, we continue to face many challenges. As we move forward, I believe it is critically important that we remain connected and remember how to come together. There is joy in our diversity and strength in our unity. It is in that spirit that Equitas Health launches this inaugural issue of Prizm. Our goal for Prizm is to connect LGBTQ Ohioans and contribute to our sense of shared community. In its pages, you will find wideranging news and information as well as personal stories and experiences that celebrate who we are. For those of you not familiar with Equitas Health, we are one of our nation’s largest HIV- and LGBTQfocused healthcare organizations. We’re based right here in Ohio and through 16 offices in 11 cities we are committed to meeting the needs of the LGBTQ community. Our move into news and publishing is strategically aligned with our mission. In addition, Prizm will serve as a social enterprise for Equitas Health. All of Prizm’s profits will be reinvested in Equitas Health’s community-based health and social services. The advertisers who are a part of this first issue have stepped up to support the launch of this new venture but also are supporting our organization’s work across Ohio. Thank you! I’m also excited to introduce you to Carol Zimmer Clark, who was


| October 2017

carolclark I am thrilled to join this new venture, Prizm, and to return home to Columbus after a 12-year career adventure to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and to Dayton.

the award-winning publisher of the Dayton Business Journal since 2011 and who will lead Prizm’s print and digital news service. With over 25 years in the industry, Carol has led advertising sales teams throughout the eastern United States: at large metro dailies, including The Columbus Dispatch and The Virginian-Pilot; as well as weekly community newspapers and niche publications. The enclosed pages demonstrate the Prizm team’s commitment and passion to delivering a magazine that speaks to our collective community. We hope you will enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed the opportunity to share this with you. Most of all, I hope it will strengthen our connectivity, unity and well being. Together,

Bill Hardy President and CEO Equitas Health

Prizm is a monthly publication we created to connect LGBTQ+ people across Ohio to a statewide community that shares their triumphs, joys, setbacks and struggles. In this unique time in history, when equal rights finally won are under threat, and some rights are still not yet accomplished, it couldn’t be more important to stay connected and to support our community. While we understand it will be a challenge, our staff is galvanized around the mission to cover many parts of Ohio and the mosaic that is our diverse LGBTQ+ community with news, politics, health, arts, entertainment, fashion and culture through journalistic storytelling and informative content, all with a modern, artistic edge. Our coverage will come to you each and every month from staff, freelance writers and photographers, as well as our readers. Our very experienced editor, Bob Vitale, will guide Prizm’s content decisions, so should you wish to share your feedback, story ideas and event information, reach out to him at In the coming months, we will be creating small reader advisory boards in multiple cities throughout Ohio to ensure that our content always reflects the diverse lives, experiences and viewpoints of our readers. Should you wish to nominate someone—or yourself—

for consideration, contact me at Of course, if you are a business leader who is interested in advertising to our diverse LGBTQ+ audience, I would love to hear from you. With 25,000 copies distributed to more than 1,000 locations across Ohio, we offer a niche audience that is hard to reach otherwise. It is important to us—and, I hope, to you—that Prizm serves as a social enterprise of Equitas Health (, with 100 percent of its profits reinvested back into the organization’s community-based and LGBTQfocused health and social services. My best,

Carol Zimmer Clark Publisher


Reasons for

HOPE By Bob Vitale

Was it really just two summers ago that we set down our champagne glasses and headed to our county courthouses to marry the loves of our lives?

Now we’re being blamed for hurricanes.

Was it really just last year that we celebrated the long-coming realization by national leaders that our gender identity has no effect whatsoever on our ability to serve and defend our country?

We won’t shy away from the tough issues in future issues of Prizm. (Can any of you gay meteorologists out there help us debunk the hurricane theory?)

The ground feels a little shaky lately on the right side of history. No matter how much we remind ourselves about that arc of the moral universe bending toward justice, a lot of powerful and empowered people are straining these days to wrench it back toward intolerance and discrimination. On one single day in July, President Donald Trump tweeted his intent to kick transgender Americans out of the military, nominated the stridently anti-LGBTQ governor of Kansas to a job as his “religious ambassador” and allowed the Justice Department to fight the idea that bias against sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination. Two weeks later, white supremacists and neo-Nazis took to the streets of Charlottesville, Va., and an Ohioan among their ranks used his car to kill one counter-protester and injure 19 others.


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“It’s just bad, bad, bad, bad, bad everywhere,” says Jenn Shepard, a lesbian activist from Columbus.

Our mission—our promise—is to report on and reflect all parts of LGBTQ life and culture. Our community lives with great joy but endures much hardship. We’re not naïve about that. We will cover it all. But we want to start off on a hopeful note. Frankly, we need a little pick-me-up ourselves. To be honest, we didn’t have to dig too deep to find good things happening in all parts of Ohio. And we can all find something in our own lives that should give us hope as well, right? Maybe you finally have a job where you feel comfortable enough to keep a picture of your significant other on your desk. Maybe you finally have a job. Maybe you finally have a significant other. “I think that I’m always hopeful,” says Arykah Carter of Cincinnati, a member of the board of directors for TransOhio. “With time and with effort, things change.”

Tom Grote has seen plenty of change over four decades of involvement in LGBTQ causes. “I grew up on the South Side of Columbus in the 1960s and ’70s,” he says. “Back then, most of the dads in the neighborhood joined the Southeast Lions club. Yes, one of those clubs, where they recite the Pledge of Allegiance and everyone gives a lion roar at the end of the meeting. My dad was a Lion. His friends were Lions. Their dads were Lions. I was a closeted, scared gay kid back then and never would I have thought that I would ever be a Lion. Nor did I want to become one.” In September, Grote became the first openly gay member of the Southeast Lions. The club is aging, he says, and most members no longer live in the neighborhood. But Grote, his husband and their two daughters do. Members are trying to relaunch the club, and they want its new iteration to reflect the world outside their meeting room. “At my first meeting, the members uncomfortably asked me what they should call my partner,” Grote says. “They had never had to ask that question before. Not once in 80 years. I proudly stated, ‘You can call him my husband!’” That’s one reason for hope. Ninety-nine to go...

2. The number of Ohio businesses that publicly back more inclusive nondiscrimination laws has grown this year from 60 to more than 200. They include big names and big employers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, American Electric Power, Huntington, KeyBank, Procter & Gamble and Sherwin Williams. 3. Meanwhile, 19 Ohio cities have passed expanded nondiscrimination laws of their own. Added to the list this year: Akron, whose City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on March 27. 4. Olmsted Falls, a suburb of Cleveland, added sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination laws on Feb. 14.

12. Columbus City Council member Shannon Hardin, who in 2015 became the city’s first black openly gay elected official, is seeking a full, four-year term. 13. Jeremy Blake, the first openly gay City Council member in Newark, a town of about 50,000 that’s 40 miles east of Columbus, is running unopposed for a second term. 14. “We had been hearing for years people asking why there wasn’t a Pride event in Athens,” Southeast Ohio LGBTQ+ Center board chairman Mike Straw told The Athens News in June. The first Athens Pride—a drag show, concert, rally and picnic—took place June 9-11. 15. The Southeast Ohio LGBTQ+ Center is new, too. It met for the first time in January. 16. Akron had its first Pride on Aug. 26. The headliner was Martha Wash of “It’s Raining Men” fame. 17. The first Fairfield County LGBT Pride Walk—”Yes! Right here in your hometown, Lancaster, Ohio,” organizers gushed on Facebook—took place on June 10. Lancaster is 40 miles southeast of Columbus.

5. City Council members in Kent unanimously approved an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance on July 26. 6. In Toledo, where the local anti-discrimination ordinance covered sexual orientation but not gender identity, City Council members expanded the law on Feb. 7. 7. They join cities whose anti-bias laws already covered sexual orientation and gender identity: Athens, Bexley, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Columbus, Coshocton, Dayton, Dublin, East Cleveland, Lakewood, Newark, Oxford and Youngstown. 8. Should we ignore Westboro Baptist Church protestors or confront their hate head-on? It’s a debate that takes place every time they slither into a community. Jim G. Helton, president of the Tri-State Free Thinkers in Cincinnati, opted for the latter when Westboro announced plans to picket Oak Hills High School, the University of Cincinnati and other sites on Sept. 6. At least 500 showed up to counter five people from Westboro Baptist. 9. Nick Komives, executive director of Equality Toledo, won a spot on the Nov. 7 ballot for a seat on the Toledo City Council. 10. Openly gay Kerry McCormack, who was appointed to the Cleveland City Council in 2016, is running this fall for a four-year term. 11. Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati’s first openly gay City Council member, is seeking a third term in November.

18. About 60 people attended Love Is Love, the first Pride event in Gallipolis, a village of 3,600 on the Ohio River. Here’s what one person posted about the June 26 gathering: “When I came out in high school, it was pretty hard. It took a lot in me just to come to the event today. … But seeing how many people were there and that there was nothing to be afraid of, I am just in awe.” 19. The Kaleidoscope Youth Center in Columbus counts 82 school-based gay-straight alliances and other groups in its statewide GSA network. 20. Deenah Pfahler wasn’t meant to see the coming-out letter addressed to her from her son, Aaron. She prayed about it for three months. She even asked God to change her son’s sexual orientation. God ended up changing someone. Pfahler started Love on a Mission, a group in Mansfield that offers LGBTQ young people a safe

space to feel loved and accepted. The group meets on the third Sunday of every month, and the mom who once prayed for God to change two of her sons—Aaron’s twin, Austin, is gay too—now lovingly accepts her children and others. “I have a lot of adopted children now,” she says. 21. In the home state of Leelah Alcorn, the transgender teen who killed herself in 2014 and left behind a plea to “fix society,” four cities this year have banned conversion therapy for minors. (Cincinnati was the second city in the country to enact a ban.) In Athens on Aug. 21, the City Council vote was unanimous. 22. Dayton banned conversion therapy on July 5. 23. Columbus City Council members voted unanimously for a conversion therapy ban on March 27. 24. Toledo’s vote to outlaw conversion therapy was unanimous on Feb. 7. 25. Rachel Dovel had to take out a loan to pay for her gender confirmation surgery in December because the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County had refused to cover such care for its employees. In May, she and her employer announced a settlement that includes a new policy. “This makes it worth it,” Dovel told the Cincinnati Enquirer. 26—34. Across Ohio, attorneys offer free, one-on-one counseling for transgender people navigating the gender- and name-changing process. So far this year, 16 clinics sponsored by Equitas Health have taken place in Akron, Athens, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Mansfield, Toledo and Youngstown. 35. TransOhio helps people who can’t afford to pay for these legal matters. 36. An official Ohio historical marker unveiled in June at W. 29th Street and Detroit Avenue in Cleveland commemorates the location of the city’s original Lesbian-Gay Community Service Center and its first Pride parade. 37—52. Sixteen Ohio companies scored 100 percent ratings from the Human Rights Cam-

October 2017 |


paign in its 2017 Corporate Equality Index, a measure of LGBTQ-inclusive policies: Convergys Corp., Fifth Third Bancorp, Frost Brown Todd LLC, Macy’s Inc., and Procter & Gamble Co. of Cincinnati; Eaton Corp., the Federal Reserve Bank, KeyCorp, Squire Patton Boggs and Thompson Hine LLP of Cleveland; Abercrombie & Fitch, American Electric Power, Cardinal Health Inc., Huntington Bancshares Inc. and Nationwide of Columbus; and Owens Corning of Toledo.

was elected in Golf Manor, a suburb of Cincinnati, in 2015. 74—76. In addition to the openly gay city council members seeking re-election in November, three more are in the middle of terms. Kevin Wadsworth Johnson has been a City Council member in Portsmouth since 2009. Anita Davis was elected in Youngstown in 2015. Richard Trojanski was elected as City Council president in the Cleveland suburb of Maple Heights in 2015.

53. Church services and a voguing competition were part of the first Family Black Pride celebration in Akron on Sept. 9-10. Why “family”? “We want our grandmothers, grandfathers, children, cousins to embrace our LGBTQ community,” co-chair Steve Arrington told the Akron Beacon Journal. 54. They’re doing drag in Findlay. Daisy Dukes, a new nightclub in the city 45 miles south of Toledo on I-75, has hosted several drag nights. 55. Fifteen miles up State Route 12 in Fostoria, population 13,000, the Diva Den bills itself as “an LGBT safe place to drink, eat, dance and enjoy a show and have some fun.” It’s open every Saturday night inside the Venue 18 Entertainment Complex. 56—62. Bowling Green State University, Kent State, Miami, Ohio State, Ohio University, Wright State and Youngstown State allow students who haven’t legally changed their names to get university email addresses with the names they prefer. 63—66. John Carroll University near Cleveland, Lourdes University near Toledo, the University of Dayton and Xavier University in Cincinnati are Catholic institutions with LGBTQ student groups on campus. 67. Kent State University’s LGBTQ Student Center christened an expanded space in September. 68. David Borocz-Johnson noticed a lack of services for LGBTQ+ people when he started working in Lorain County three years ago. He started the Lorain County LGBTQ+ and Allies Task Force this year. “My hope is we can help shape Lorain County’s culture so it is an inclusive and progressive place that supports its LGBTQ+ community members,” he says. 69. When the Human Rights Campaign releases its 2017 Municipal Equality Index in November, look for two Ohio cities to make big jumps. Toledo scored 89 of 100 possible points and Akron scored 82 points in last year’s ranking. Both cities have expanded nondiscrimination laws and banned conversion therapy this year. 70—72. Cities that scored 100 points last year on the annual HRC index of local policies: Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton. 73. Ohio has an openly gay mayor. Ron Hirth


| October 2017

77. State Rep. Nickie Antonio of Lakewood was the first openly gay Ohioan elected to the state’s General Assembly. She is serving in her fourth and final term. 78. Antonio lives on a street in Lakewood where someone painted swastikas on two driveways in August. According to The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, she led a group of chalk-wielding children to create different images on the sidewalks of Belle Avenue. 79. Jenn Shepard, the Columbus activist who admits to feeling discouraged this year, decided with her wife, Jerra, to do something about it this spring. “I see people come together to do terrible things,” she says. “Why not come together to do something good?” Every Friday and Saturday night now, she and Jerra Shepard give supplies to the homeless people they encounter in Columbus’ Short North. 80. A new honor society and scholarship program at the University of Cincinnati is named for Bayard Rustin, the openly gay civil rights icon. The Bayard Rustin Society honors LGBTQIA+ students and allies who have at least a 3.25 grade average. 81. Black, Out and Proud is a new group in Columbus that’s focused on education, social opportunities and social justice. “We envision a place where black LGBTQ+ people are thriving, valued and celebrated by ourselves and others,” organizers say. 82. In just eight months, Black Queer & Intersectional Columbus has pushed conversations about racism, violence and the inclusion of people of color within LGBTQ organizations to a more urgent space on the agenda. The group is discussing an alternative Pride in 2018. 83—84. Two health systems in Northeast Ohio have expanded services for LGBTQ patients. MetroHealth, which opened its Pride Clinic 10 years ago in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, now has LGBTQ-competent physi-

cians in Brecksville, Middleburg Heights and Rocky River. The Cleveland Clinic has added LGBTQ-competent providers in Lakewood and Chagrin Falls. 85—86. In the 18 months since it added LGBTQ-focused primary care to its mission, Equitas Health medical centers in Dayton and Columbus have welcomed more than 400 new transgender and gender-nonconforming patients from all over Ohio. 87—95. Nineteen hospitals, medical centers and VA facilities in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Euclid, Garfield Heights, Medina, Toledo and Warrensville Heights received 100-point scores in this year’s Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index. The index takes into account visitation policies, cultural competency training and other factors. 96. The Cleveland Transgender Chorus made its debut performance on July 29 at Youngstown Pride. 97. WGTE-TV in Toledo aired a live half-hour program in August called, “Let’s Talk About LGBTQIA.” Members of the community discussed local and national issues facing LGBTQ people and shared information on resources available in Northwest Ohio. 98. Whitnee Russell’s daughter had a lot of choices when she went shopping for school clothes with her mom back in August. The one she liked best at JCPenney had a message that made the Gallipolis resident proud of her little girl. Inside a big peace sign, it says, “Love Wins.” “If we start with our youth, maybe we can change the world,” Russell says. 99. The University of Cincinnati’s LGBTQ Center has begun collecting gently used clothing, shoes and accessories to ease the financial burden of outward transition faced by trans* students. 100. Hugs—and pizza—can sooth a lot of ills. After Westboro Baptist Church members came to town on Sept. 5, Cincinnati’s Heartland Trans* Wellness Center invited everyone in “to come together, share dinner and enjoy the company of our incredible and resilient community.” Bob Vitale is the editor of Prizm.

wexner center


ON VIEW THROUGH DEC 31 Explore the influential artist’s near-endless personae in this career-spanning exhibition, here on its only stop outside of LA. This comprehensive survey concludes a year in which every artist featured in our galleries is a woman. Organized by The Broad, Los Angeles.



V I S I T W E X A R T S .O R G F O R R E L AT E D E V E N T S A N D D E TA I L S .

FEB 3–APR 15, 2018 G E N E R O U S S U P P O RT F O R C I N D Y S H E R M A N : I M I TAT I O N O F L I F E










Untitled #574, 2016 Dye sublimation metal print, 46 x 39 in. The Broad Art Foundation

Untitled #92, 1981 Chromogenic color print, 24 x 48 in. The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection

Untitled Film Still #58, 1980 Gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 in. The Broad Art Foundation

Images courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York



What do I do? Do I continue the lie and say, “Straight,” or do I finally

When the question came up, a scared Ohio grad student made a life-changing decision and came out.

My friend Cass, sitting in the driver’s seat, posed that question to our friend, Matt, in the front seat and to me in the back.

from the Sears and JCPenney catalogs that I tore out after my parents tossed them in the trash. I later burned those pages because, although I couldn’t say why, I knew, just knew, it was wrong to have them. Those images meant something to my 8-year-old self. I just didn’t know what at the time.

I had recently turned 26, and after teaching high school German for two years, I’d left Cincinnati to attend grad school at Bowling Green State University. We were driving to Wooster, Matt’s hometown, for a weekend break from classes. Our conversation had been wideranging, covering what was happening in our program, with our friends, our families, and the world in general.

I thought of my high school self, especially that one evening when I was a junior. After finishing a performance with show choir, a classmate who was a year older drove me home. Except he didn’t take me home. He took me to a city park along the shores of Sandusky Bay, and I had my first experience with another boy. Although we remained friends, we never spoke about it.

Then that question came from out of the blue.

I thought of that cute, kind boy on the same floor of the residence hall where I lived as a freshman at the University of Cincinnati. The boy who became much more to me over the course of those first few months in a new city where I was starting a new life. The cute boy I would eventually avoid because I couldn’t accept what I felt, what we did, what that meant about who I was.

“Are you gay or straight?”

Are you gay or straight?

As Matt answered “gay” from the front seat, I was freaking out in the back seat. What do I do? Do I lie like I have been for years? Do I finally admit it to myself and to someone else?

They say that at the moment of death, your life flashes before your eyes. I wasn’t about to die—no matter how much it felt like it—but I found memories running through my mind in that moment. My mind flashed back to the times in my life when I brushed up against the truth of who I was, the times when I was either too young to understand what it meant or the times I slammed the closet door shut because I knew what it meant but wasn’t willing to admit it, to own it, to take that leap of faith and self-awareness. I thought of that coffee can I kept hidden in the basement when I was around 8. Rolled up inside that can were the pages of men’s underwear


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The AIDS crisis had just started, so in addition to the personal insecurity about my identity, I was terrified that anything, even a touch or a kiss, meant certain death. I thought about my family, especially my sister and four brothers. I’m the baby of six, and all of my siblings were married. All but one had children at that time. I had one expectation of adulthood. I would get married and have a family. It went without saying that the person I expected to marry would be a woman. And yes, I even thought of the talented, intelligent and fun woman I’d already been engaged to. I thought of the guilt I felt for dragging someone else into my lie. I remembered the relief I felt when she broke it off.

All of that flashed through my mind in an instant as I panicked in the backseat of the car. It’s amazing how many memories, how much thought, how many regrets you can squeeze into the time it took Matt to say, “Gay.” What do I do? Do I continue the lie and say, “Straight,” or do I finally admit that scary truth? “Gay.” In that moment, I felt a weight lift from my shoulders. Is this what I’ve been missing? Why did I wait so long? The dam broke, and I felt freer than I ever had in my life. Like so many others, I felt a need, a drive—a requirement, really—to share my acceptance of myself with others. I wanted to ask for their acceptance. I decided I needed to start with my family. Mom died when I was 18, and I still wish I’d been able to tell her. I was a momma’s boy, and I hate that I lost out on the ability to be myself completely with her. I can never know how she would have reacted to my coming out, but that means I can believe my mother’s love knew no bounds. I can believe that she would have hugged me and told me it changed nothing. Dad and I always had a good relationship, and it became much stronger after Mom died. I knew he had to be the first person in the family I told. On a visit home to Sandusky, I sat with him on the porch, watching life go by on the street like we had so many times over a childhood filled with happy memories.

By Jim Obergefell Illustration by Tyler Lemmon

I finally gathered the courage and told Dad I’m gay.

Jim, all I’ve ever wanted is for you to be happy.

I don’t remember if I cried, if I shouted for joy or if I was struck silent by his reaction. I do know I realized how incredibly lucky I was to have been raised by such a wonderful father. And I felt relieved that my most feared admission was accepted in the way we all hope, with love and without judgment. But I still had five siblings to tell, and no matter how well Dad reacted, I was still nervous. I called my sister—my oldest sibling—to invite her out for dinner. I said I had something I wanted to talk to her about. When she asked why I couldn’t just tell her over the phone, I said I wanted to do it in person. Her reaction was a variation of Dad’s. Years later I learned she came to that meal already expecting what I was going to say. After we made our plans, she hung up the phone and told her three children that Uncle Jim had asked her out because he had something to tell her. As one, my nephew and two nieces immediately said, “What, that he’s gay?” It’s a shame that so many of us fear acknowledging what many of our loved ones already know or suspect, but I suppose that’s part of the process of becoming your own person. In those moments of complete vulnerability, we learn more about ourselves, and we learn more about the people we love. I’m lucky to have the family I do, a family that never missed a beat in their love and support for me. I wish everyone could experience that. Within months of taking that leap of faith into self-actualization, I fell in love with a man named John. Almost 21 years later, we married in the cramped confines of a chartered medical jet on the tarmac of a Maryland airport. We all know how that turned out. Jim Obergefell and his late husband, John Arthur, filed a lawsuit against the state of Ohio that in 2015 resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling for nationwide marriage equality.

October 2017 |


A Path Forward Columbus healthcare conference will include training in gender competency. By Bob Vitale Far too often, says Dr. Scott Leibowitz, healthcare providers learn about treating transgender patients from transgender patients themselves. “Nobody should be in the position of having to educate their own provider,” says Leibowitz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist who serves as medical director of behavioral health for the THRIVE program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. THRIVE treats children who are trans*, gender-nonconforming or born with differences/disorders of sex development. For nearly two years, though, an international organization that issues standards of care for genderidentity disorders has been working to train medical and mental health professionals on the best ways to serve transgender patients. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health will bring its Global Education Initiative training to Ohio this month as part of the Transforming Care Conference, scheduled for Oct. 19-20 at Ohio State University’s Fawcett Center in Columbus. Conference sessions are focused on issues of LGBTQ health and well-being: mental and behavioral health, cultural humility, access to care, advocacy and holistic health. The conference is designed not just for health and social services professionals. Activists, academics and community members are invited to attend as well. “This is the second year of Transforming Care, and this year we have grown to include registrants from 15 states, Canada, Uganda and Botswana,” says Julia Applegate, director of the Equitas Health Institute for LGBTQ Health Equity, which is hosting the event.

| October 2017

It’s extremely pressing, too, Leibowitz says, because greater transgender visibility has encouraged more trans people to come out and seek transition-related care. He says good care requires coordination among professionals in multiple disciplines; Nationwide Children’s THRIVE program includes urology, endocrinology, gynecology, psychology/psychiatry, genetics, adolescent medicine, pediatric surgery and social work. WPATH’s training—the sessions in Columbus will be the first in Ohio— includes a foundational track and advanced topics. It covers everything from gender competence to cadaver lab training for surgeons. Those attending either level of training can take part in the Transforming Care Conference on Thursday, Oct. 19. WPATH training extends beyond the conference dates and is scheduled for Oct. 20-22. It’s a big addition to the conference, Applegate says. “There is no better place to receive this kind of training than at a WPATH course,” she says. According to Leibowitz, gendercompetent care involves more than just showing respect to patients whom professionals know are transgender. It also means avoiding gender assumptions until patients share their own gender identity. That will help the hidden population of trans patients feel safe enough to come out, he says.

“Any individual who serves humans,” Leibowitz says.

Leibowitz says he hopes all health professionals will seek out training to become gender competent. Transgender patients shouldn’t have to drive hours to have access to good care, he says.

The same gaps in society’s

Bob Vitale is the editor of Prizm.

Who would benefit from the WPATH training?


understanding of gender nonconformity exist in the medical community as well, according to Leibowitz, and that perpetuates the healthcare disparities that transgender people face. “It’s extremely important for these gaps to be addressed.”

Transforming Care LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS Health Equity Conference

Register Today

October 19-20, 2017 Fawcett Center – The Ohio State University

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Gary J. Gates, PhD A recognized expert on the geography and demography of the LGBTQ population and a former research director at UCLA’s Williams Institute. Gates is responsible for many of the best estimates of the size and scope of America’s LGBTQ population.

Assumptions about people “are flimsy, numbers are solid. The reality of our political system is that you don’t really count unless you are counted.

Topics & Sessions now available at: Presenting Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

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Bronze Sponsors Chamberlain College of Nursing | Henry Schein | NASW-Ohio | OSU College of Nursing OSU Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies | Skylight Financial | Sun Behavioral Health | TransOhio

A Natural Escape In a modern yurt or on an outdoor hike, Hocking Hills offers a calming getaway. By Andrew Newman Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese practice of forestbathing. The bathing of one’s mind and spirit rather than one’s body. For those seeking to escape the constant turmoil of city life, nothing quite matches the fresh air of the outdoors. Immersing oneself in the contemplative majesty of nature is not only a great adventure for a weekend, but also a necessary healing of the spirit. At the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls in Southeast Ohio’s Hocking Hills, everyone can find all the comforts of home while still managing to discover the peace and beauty of the outdoors. Located on the border of Hocking Hills State Park, the Inn boasts log cabins, cottages, rooms at the bed and breakfast, and yurts. Yurts are new here. Traditionally homes of nomads across the grasslands of Central Asia, yurts are round tents that support a sweeping roof without a central pole. The modern yurts at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls come with a lavish bed (or beds), a full bathroom, a beautiful central skylight, and heating and air conditioning for any time of year. Before making our way to the Inn, we decided to make the most of our day at Hocking Hills and trekked the small distance to Cedar Falls. The hike between Cedar Falls and another waterfall, Old Man’s Cave, is of modest difficulty but easily the most rewarding and visually stunning journey. Beginning at Cedar Falls, visitors encounter massive moss-covered boulders and old-growth trees that transport hikers to another world as they follow bubbling Queer Creek on their way to Old Man’s Cave. While not a loop, visitors can take the same hike back to Cedar Falls or choose a slightly different path instead and visit picturesque Rose Lake. The first impression of our yurt was excellent. Modern design harmonized beautifully with ancient heritage. The rocking chairs were of particularly impressive craftsmanship, and the bed was utterly sublime. We were delighted to be greeted with a couple homemade cookies instead of mints. The room did come with a beautiful new gas log stove, but unfortunately we could not get it working (likely user error).

Kindred Spirits is the on-location restaurant built off of the original Watts cabin, circa 1840. The seasonal menu is the first designed by Executive Chef Abby Cole and showcases a hearty take on succulent highend dishes. On our way to be seated, we cut through the intimate and bustling kitchem and watched with admiration as Chef Abby prepared dishes in front of us. The ambiance of Kindred Spirits wraps guests in a precious warmth from a half-remembered era of log cabins and grandmothers’ quilts. The Rosemary & Parmesan Crème Brulée caught our eye as a starter and proved to be a delicate and spreadable dish served with crispy salted crostini. The perfectly plump Pistachio Crusted Scallops were a delight. And the Pan Roasted Filet Mignon was cooked with precision and integrity. We also tried the hand-stuffed Pumpkin Ravioli and another pasta dish, Chicken Paprikash, and were moved by the depth of flavor, especially from the ravioli. For dessert, we tried the Wild Berry Cobbler and Chocolate Mousse and were perfectly content. That night, the oft-times forgotten stars bloomed in radiance from the inky black. The best view of the magnificent night sky is found on the cozy patio attached to our yurt facing away from the lights of the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. We enjoyed ending our evening there in quiet contemplation. There exists an assumption that the LGBTQ community and rural Ohio are somehow incompatible. There is a warning half-heard, repeated over and over, that rural life is unsafe for us. And while we wholeheartedly advocate for personal safety and awareness at all times, every member of the staff was absolutely affirming, and we spoke with several other members of the LGBTQ community while there. Donnie, who is hoping to buy a house locally with his partner of five years, helped serve us our complimentary breakfast. Misty graciously checked us out of our room and saw us off. And hikers Linda and Heidi were an absolute pleasure to get to know, after they finished taking selfies together at Cedar Falls. Andrew Newman is a freelance writer.

October 2017 |


This fall, trendsetting fashion is about brave defiance. As reflected in the LGBTQ+ community, individuality breaks all the wrong rules for all the right reasons. Functionality need only keep you comfortable; so if it’s warm, wear it. Prizm’s one rule for our fall fashion statement is to remain authentic to yourself. Vibrant, colorful falls in Ohio embolden the creative spirit, so take a note from Mother Nature’s wardrobe and envelop yourself in color, texture and sparkle. Faux fur, brocades, velvets, heavy denim, lace and leather should all make a feature. Take advantage of the theatrical and transformative nature of the season, stacking colorful layers to create your own signature look. Take small steps to incorporate contrasting fabrics and bold color pieces to your everyday repertoire. As societal norms toward gender become more enlightened, so can your wardrobe! Become the rock star you want to meet. Be the fashion culture you wish to see. Models Lily Chapman Tylon Fuller Sahian Torres Brian Estabrook Luc Thai Photographed at Common Studios


| October 2017

Creative Director/Photographer Staley Jophiel Munroe Stylists Aaron James Iris Yang Hair Rendevous Salon Makeup On Call Artistry

Producer Kate Heitkamp Lighting Tech Matt Reese Assistants Marcus McDowell Nick Huskey

Royal Factory Atelier Skirt $145 Cross Earrings $5 Ruby Hill Hat $125 Shirt $25 Model Tylon Fuller

Iris Yang Two-Piece Dress $950 Necklace $170 Gold Vine Earrings $36 Arlo Menswear Private Collection Royal Factory Atelier Leather Pants $46 Leather Coat $98 Hat $8 Neon Choker (Brian)$8 Rings $6 Necklace Belt $18 Bracelets $2.50 Models Sahian Torres Brian Estabrook

Royal Factory Atelier Sunglasses $15 Leather Top $14 Coat Dress $468 White Leather Skirt $24 Seashell Bracelet $6 Starfish Ring $7 Opalescent Choker $18 Model Lily Chapman

Royal Factory Atelier Blue Lucite Necklace $18 Iridescent Choker $6 Distressed Tee $24 Sunnies $12 Shale Bracelets $4 Stone Necklace $28 Model Luc Thai

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Short North Medical Center 1033 N. High St. Columbus, OH 43201 (614) 340-6777

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Royal Factory Atelier Scarf (Tylon) $8 Denim Pants (Tylon) $24 Belt (Tylon) $5 Sunglasses $15 Tee (Brian) $14 Denim Pants (Brian) $38 Necklaces (Brian) $28 Ruby Hill Floral Bomber $225 Striped Shirt $30 Gold & Black Mesh Tank $45 Jeweled Jacket $125 Iris Yang Earrings $36 Models Tylon Fuller Brian Estabrook


Lost Worlds October 21 | 8PM -1AM Purchase your tickets now at

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SINGING OUT DeAngelo Graham’s National Anthem is a homerun at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. By Bob Vitale Photo by Zoë Lapin Corey Kluber has to throw the ball inside a 17-inch zone from 60 feet away. Francisco Lindor has to hit the ball with a wooden stick that’s 2.6 inches in diameter. But neither of them has to sing in front of 30,000 people, remembering early 19thcentury lyrics to a melody with excruciating range. Three times so far this baseball season, though—and possibly again when the American League playoffs start in October at Cleveland’s Progressive Field— DeAngelo Graham has stepped onto the playing field, strode up to home plate, taken a big, deep breath and belted out what experts say is a tough tune to perform.

The openly gay Akron resident and Sandusky native has become something of a National Anthem regular in Northeast Ohio. Team officials in Cleveland receive 2,000 audition tapes a year from singers and musicians, individuals and ensembles.


“No matter what’s going on in the world,” Graham says, “I can’t imagine living anywhere else.” The 41-year-old’s love for singing started while growing up among Jehovah’s Witnesses, a faith he later left. He sang in school choruses and as an adult at karaoke nights. A friend urged him to try out as a National Anthem singer for Akron’s minor-league baseball team. He now sings just about once a month either at the Akron RubberDucks’ Canal Park or in Cleveland.

“The only thing I’m thinking of is, ‘Don’t mess up the lyrics,’” he says with a laugh.

He happily posts his performances on YouTube, but Graham has no interest in making a career out of singing. “If it was a business, I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much.”

He’s actually thinking of a lot more than that.

In Cleveland, his image is projected onto a Progressive Field

| October 2017

scoreboard that’s 59 feet high and 221 feet wide, but he says he’s not watching himself as he sings. Nor is he watching the thousands of people watching him. Graham says he looks only at the American flag flying beyond right field. And he doesn’t embellish the anthem with Whitney-esque endings, either. “I think the melody’s beautiful, so I sing it as is.”

Graham has been asked back 10 times and has gotten compliments from Cleveland Manager Terry Francona. But he almost missed his cue in June when traffic held him up. Team officials had another singer ready to take his place, but he and his partner, Gus Panas, got to the ballpark just in time. Bob Vitale is the editor of Prizm.

October 2017 |




The Rev. Mary Reaman Founding Pastor, Tree of Life Community: A Unitarian Universalist Congregation Home: Dayton Identifies As: Lesbian Pronouns: She/Her/Hers On Faith: “Faith, to me, is a belief in the power of Love to transform us and our world. I believe my purpose is to continually seek to grow in heart, mind and spirit, and to befriend people, communities and creation in a way that celebrates our differences, challenges the status quo and calls us to live more deeply from the truth that we are One, and none of us are free until all of us are free.” Her Advice to the LGBTQ Community: “First, I’m not much on advice-giving. I find listening a better tool for Wisdom to be revealed, but if I were to offer something it would be along the lines of: Let us not grow complacent in our call for justice for ourselves and all who are relegated to the margins of society. Explore your spiritual capacities, stay curious about truth, and do whatever makes you come alive because the world needs people who are awake, passionate and engaged to make a difference, and I believe the LGBTQ community can lead the way!”

Photo by Staley Munroe


| October 2017

s ’ n ee w o ll high point Ha Interviews and Photos by Staley Munroe

What started in 2007 as a street festival that attracted 5,000 people to Columbus’ Short North Arts District has grown over the last decade into a two-night couture extravaganza of fashion, music, drag, street performance and over-the-top costumes. The city’s profile as a creative capital has grown along with it. “The lasting legacy ... is one which has helped to craft the national profile of Columbus as a center for creativity,” says Betsy Pandora, executive director of the Short North Alliance, which hosts the party as a yearly fundraiser for its work promoting the neighborhood and its businesses. HighBall is expected to draw 30,000 people this year when the party begins on Friday, Oct. 20. From the beginning, the LGBTQ presence has been visible and huge, on-stage, behind the scenes and among the crowd. Nina West, the only host the show has ever known, says it’s only natural. The Short North has long been the cultural heart of Columbus’ LGBTQ community, and Halloween has long been referred to as Gay Christmas. We spoke with Nina, the drag alter-ego of Columbus’ Andrew Levitt, and three other LGBTQ veterans of HighBall Halloween about the event, their involvement and what it means to our community:

Nina West

As the official host of HighBall since the beginning, what does this 10-year milestone mean to you?

How have you seen HighBall’s creative platform empower the LGBTQ community?

HighBall and the Short North Alliance were the first team of people to really take a chance on me and trust me at the helm of a major event. So it truthfully changed my career.

HighBall celebrates the diversity of art and how it is presented in all of its fabulous forms, and that is evident in every aspect of the event. The Short North Association has a commitment to our LGBTQIA community, and as a result they showcase it in all of its glory on both nights of the event, from host to designers to organizers.

Over the past 10 years, what three absolute highlights do you most remember? I have a few favorite moments and costumes. One year, a couple came as Mount Rushmore and had this incredible headpiece mounted between them. I had never seen anything like it. It was so creative and out of the box. Group costumes always win me over if they are done well, and I have two favorites from HighBall. About three years ago, a group of friends did the entire cast of Labyrinth! So good. Complete with Goblin King!

This is such a queer-positive event, encouraging people to not only come as a fabulous version of someone or something else but to also come as your fabulous self. In what ways do you continue to cultivate your own creativity?

I listen to myself. The goal that I have when producing these shows and experiences with my friends is to do something that is worthy of us. I don’t want to just throw something together. I And then maybe two years ago, I have to sit with something, think about it, remember looking out into the street from doubt it, come back to it again and rebuild the stage and I saw this group of people it for it to work. working out with Richard Simmons to I question everything, and that can a person dressed in a box as Richard sometimes be a dangerous part of the Simmons. It was so funny. So energetic. process, but it also really helps me edit And again, original. I loved it. and sift out the ideas. I am not trying to Maybe my favorite moment, other than outdo myself. Ever. I am trying to just do getting to be part of it, was watching my something that is worthy of my time and friend Bryston Walters win the Couture the time of my friends and team that help Fashion Showdown. It was amazing. me put it together. October 2017 |


Aaron James What is life like for a designer in the final days, up until the final runway show? Things tend to be pretty hectic in the last few days leading up to show, running around trying to do final fittings, rehearsals for the show, still trying to get zippers into garments and hems finished. And then you’ll get the bright idea to change or add something the night before the big show, so you’re backstage sewing and hot-gluing gems and seaweed and flowers right up until the very second before your model walks out onto the stage. It’s crazy and stressful but exciting. How have you watched HighBall evolve over the years, especially since moving away and coming back? I still remember the first year I did HighBall in 2010. The main stage was in an empty parking lot on 5th Avenue and High Street. It was like negative-46 degrees outside, and all the pre-staging, hair and makeup was in a little odd empty building on 5th and Pearl. I had no idea what I was getting myself

into, but I became friends with some of the most brilliant creatives Columbus had to offer, like Kelli Martin, Lindsay Hearts, Brianne Jeanette and Crys Darling to name a few. I was bitten by the HighBall bug and have looked forward to doing it year after year since. What industry tricks can you now implement from your time in New York as a Broadway costume designer? Broadway garments are worn eight times a week: danced in, flipped about, dragged across the stage and whatever else a choreographer comes up with. So now I put more thought and attention into every little stitch, tuck, fold or pleat. What advice would you give aspiring costume or fashion designers? Always stick to your guns and stay true to yourself. Make the things you want to make even though they might not fit into what everyone else says fashion or design should be. It’s your new ideas and ways of looking at things that change the world and open minds to a new way of thinking.

Melanie Kortyka Beyond its incredible fundraising mission, why is HighBall important? HighBall Halloween promotes a sense of neighborhood pride and is a fantastic opportunity for attendees, designers and performers to explore their creativity. I remember when I was new to Columbus and saw people pile into COTA buses wearing amazing Halloween costumes. I was wondering where everyone was going, and little did I know that they were all headed to HighBall Halloween!

Collaborative. We work with so many amazing partners to create HighBall Halloween. Not only do we have an incredible core team of eight people—not including myself and the Short North Alliance staff—we also work closely with talented performers and enthusiastic sponsors. It is an amazing opportunity to work with so many individuals.

We also receive amazing support from neighborhood partners like the Candle Lab, Jeni’s and Torso.

HighBall features a lot of women in leadership. How do we replicate that elsewhere?

Describe the HighBall producer/ coordinator experience in three words.

I am fortunate to work with strong women in leadership, not just within HighBall Halloween planning but throughout my daily interactions with business owners in the Short North Arts District.

Variable. You never know what you’re going to get, which I love and always keeps me on my toes. I get daily phone calls from someone saying they have a wild idea. These ideas are what creates so many special and unique experiences at HighBall each year. Exciting. It is very energizing to work on such a large event and rewarding to see everything come together. I participate in a variety of unique events leading up to HighBall Halloween, from model calls to


volunteer training. When I am finally onsite at the event, everyone is buzzing with excitement to see the over-the-top music and fashion.

| October 2017

As a younger woman progressing through my career, I have also received a great amount of professional support from these women. I think that supporting and cultivating younger generations of diverse female leaders is a great lesson for me and other women my age to carry onto future female leaders.

que jones What inspired you for this year’s collection and costume couture entry?

carry an immense amount of mental energy.

This year’s collection is inspired by nature. Specifically, plants and their ability to transform and adapt to the harshest of climates.

From the designing process starting in June, through the construction, fittings, detailing, redesigning, models, hair, makeup and so many other elements, until the moment the costumes step on stage, I am fully engaged.

This last year has been especially hard for the majority of this country, myself included. I found comfort in watching plants that are able to survive with minimal resources in the harshest environments, and through all of this maintain an unsurpassed elegance and beauty. With just a little wind, a plant can share its beauty with the world. Which is more work: Designing for huge drag shows or for HighBall Halloween? Which is more fun? Physical work: the huge stage shows for sure. Mental work: HighBall for sure. When doing the big shows, there are amazing costumes, but most of these are then repeated for 10 to 25 people. Do this in repeat with several different designs and you are up to 75 costumes in a very short time. Highball is only four outfits, but all four are deeply personal to me and as a result

That exhale after the last costume exits the stage is the best feeling in the world. It’s hard to say which is more fun, because I love them both for very different aspects. People affectionately refer to Halloween as “Gay Christmas.” Why do you think that is, and do you agree? Halloween celebrates the different, the unique, the macabre. It’s a night where you can be yourself or whatever you want to be. This is an idea I think Queer people have fallen in love with. In your opinion, what must all stageworthy outfits include? They must be effective. As in make you feel something. What that feeling is stays with you and the designer. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a forgettable look, because it didn’t make you feel anything.

October 2017 |


Dayton LGBT Film Fest Dayton LGBT Film Festival will feature 17 shorts, features and documentaries Over the course of one October weekend in Dayton, movie-goers can see almost as many LGBTQ stories and characters as the major studios sent to the nation’s multiplexes in all of 2016. The 12th annual Dayton LGBT Film Festival will feature 17 shorts, features and documentaries between Friday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 15. The characters run the full spectrum, from a fabulous queer teen to a pair of foul-mouthed, septuagenarian boyfriends. Kurt Fleagle, part of a group that screens more than 100 films between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July to help select the annual festival lineup, says a growing number of films featuring transgender characters and LGBTQ people of color means a more diverse festival that draws ever-increasing numbers of viewers. “It’s really heartening to see,” he says. But if LGBTQ cinema is becoming more inclusive, the same can’t be said for mainstream American movies. According to GLAAD, which takes an annual inventory of inclusiveness on the big screen, just 23 of 125 major-studio releases last year included LGBTQ-identified characters. The number of trans-inclusive films in 2016? Just one. All screenings for the Dayton LGBT Film Festival will be at the Neon, an independent movie theater Downtown. For more information and tickets visit ALASKA IS A DRAG


Tough but diva fabulous, Leo, an aspiring drag superstar, is stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska.

When a struggling man— HIV-positive for 20+ years— deposits a $100 birthday check from his mother, he loses his government assistance. GOD’S OWN COUNTRY


Johnny Saxby works long hours in brutal isolation on his family’s remote farm in northern England.

This documentary about the creator of “Tales of the City” moves nimbly between playful and poignant and laugh-out-loud funny.





Serena is a misanthropic microbiologist, great with bacteria but horrible with people.

When others call Billy Bloom theatrical, he takes it as a compliment; when his classmates feel provoked by his drive to be different, it only motivates him further..

The first-ever feature documentary celebrating the worldfamous Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo explores universal themes of identity, dreams, family, loss and love.



After a breakup, Jonah struggles to open up to a new relationship with awkwardly hilarious results.

An accidental meeting in an elevator at a department store leads two older women to their limits and forces them to improvise.

| October 2017

OUT in OHIO Pride Night at Kings Island


Bi Local Unicorn Happy-Hour


The social and advocacy group for people who identify as bisexual, pansexual or any nonmonosexual orientation hosted a happy hour on Sept. 14 at Bossy Grrl’s Pin Up Joint in Clintonville. Bi Local get-togethers—allies are invited, too—take place on the second Thursday of every month from 6-8 p.m. Photos by Kate Heitkamp

Cleveland HRC Gala

The annual black-tie dinner to celebrate the community and raise money for the Human Rights Campaign took place on Aug. 26 at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland Hotel. HRC Cleveland honored Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist Connie Schultz with its Leadership Award and playwright Christine Howey with its Torch Award.

For 20 years, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Greater Cincinnati has hosted a night at Kings Island for the LGBTQ community. It’s a fundraiser for the center, which awards grants to organizations that advance equality, visibility and education on LGBTQ issues. Headline entertainers at this year’s Pride Night, which took place on Sept. 8, were Sharon Needles and Willam. Photos by Frimbot.Photag

Photos courtesy of Shawn Wolfe

October 2017 |


Saturday, October 7Saturday, October 14

Northwest Northeast West Central Southwest Southeast

Calendar More events at

Monday, October 2Thursday, October 5

Exhibit The History of LGBTQ Civil Rights This travelling exhibit also will run Oct. 9-11, Oct. 16-20 and Oct. 23-25 at the Cuyahoga Community College West Campus Galleria, 11000 Pleasant Valley Road, Parma, 44130. More info: Wednesday, October 4

Film and Fundraiser A Very Sordid Wedding Creator Del Shores will attend this screening of his sequel to “Sordid Lives.” 7 p.m.-10 p.m. at Studio 35, 3055 Indianola Ave., Columbus, 43202. Tickets are $20 or $50 for VIP. More info: FB: Evolution Theatre Wednesday, October 4Sunday, October 8

Drag ISQCCBE Coronation 26 Weekend A full weekend of events marks the passing of the crowns for the Imperial Sovereign Queen City Court of the Buckeye Empire. Full schedule and more info: coronation Friday, October 6

Fundraiser Celebrity Bowling Tournament Bowl with your favorite Toledo celebs to help Harvey House of Northwest Ohio. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. at Interstate Lanes, 819 Lime City Road, Rossford, 43460. Tickets are $25 individually or $40 for two. More info:


| October 2017

Tuesday, October 10Wednesday, October 11

Event Fashion Week Columbus

Theater Kinky Boots

A week of fashion shows, fundraisers and networking events. The finale runway show features designers Olivia Dorado, Esther Appiah, Jonathan Stein, Joan Madison, Zuri Greer, Juan Saenz-Ferreyros and Gerardo Encinas. More info:

The classic boy-meets-drag-queen, dragqueen-saves-shoe-factory tale with music by Cyndi Lauper is part of the Broadway in Akron series. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m., at the E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, 198 Hill St., Akron, 44325. Tickets are $20-$78. More info:

Tuesday, October 10

Thursday, October 12

Comedy Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher

Film U People

The lesbian comedians are also spouses. 8 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre, 1511 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 44114. Tickets are $32.50. More info:

This 2009 documentary features the cast and crew of Hanifah Walidah’s “Make a Move” video. 6 p.m.-8 p.m., at OU’s Walter Hall Room 145, Athens, 45701. More info:

Friday, October 13Saturday, October 14

Music Vox on the Rocks: Rising Star The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus ensemble hosts a singing competition. Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center’s Performing Arts Theatre, 546 Jack Gibbs Blvd., Columbus, 43215. Tickets are $20. More info: vox. Saturday, October 14

Education Family Pride Network Conference For LGBTQ parents and LGBTQ people who are planning on raising a family. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Childhood League Center, 674 Cleveland Ave., Columbus, 43215. More info: Saturday, October 21

Fundraiser and Party Masquerage The ball raises money for Equitas Health. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 1043 S. Main St., Dayton, 45409. Tickets are $65-175. More info:

October 2017 |


RESOURCES More information about the people and places in this issue... Page 12: ‘Gay’ Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day. It’s a day created 29 years ago to celebrate the act of coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The date was the anniversary of an earlier LGBT march on Washington. The Human Rights Campaign has a number of coming-out resources, including a Resource Guide to Coming Out. There also is information specifically for coming out as bisexual, coming out in the workplace, coming out as transgender, and special coming-out issues for African-Americans, Latinas and Latinos, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and people of various faiths. Visit Jim Obergefell was the lead plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that led the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of nationwide marriage equality on June 26, 2015. Obergefell and Washington Post reporter Debbie Cenziper wrote “Love Wins,” a 2016 book about the lives of Obergefell and his late husband, John Arthur, and the fight for marriage equality. You can follow Obergefell on Twitter at @JimObergefell. Page 14: A Path Forward Learn more about the World Professional Association for Transgender Health at Transforming Care: The LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS Health Equity Conference will take place on Thursday, Oct. 19 and Friday, Oct. 20 at Ohio State University’s Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, 43210. Visit to register. Visit for more information about the conference organizer, the Equitas Health Institute for LGBTQ Health Equity.


| October 2017

Page 17: A Natural Escape The Hocking Hills Tourism Association offers information about state parks, events, lodging, places to eat and things to do at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is located at 21190 State Route 374, Logan, 43138. Visit for rates and booking information. Page 18: Shades of Autumn Royal Factory Atelier is located at 1209 N. High St., Columbus, 43201. They’re on Instagram at royalfactory and on Facebook at Royal Factory Atelier. Iris Yang is online at yachu-yang., on Instagram at yyang.2 and on Facebook at Iris Yang In Wonderland. Ruby Hill is on Instagram at glttr_n_grit and on Facebook at Ruby Hill by Aaron James. Arlo Menswear is online at

Page 28: One of Us Tree of Life Community: A Unitarian Universalist Congregation is at 1630 E. 5th St., Dayton, 45403. Learn more about the congregation and its beliefs at The Rev. Mary Reaman can be reached at Page 29: Halloween’s High Point HighBall Halloween takes place on Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21 on N. High Street and E. Goodale Street in the Short North area of Columbus. General admission is $5 each night. Visit to buy tickets or learn about VIP packages. HighBall needs volunteers to help sell tickets, check wristbands and do other jobs. You get free entry and two drink tickets. Visit to sign up. Page 34: Dayton LGBT Film Fest The Dayton LGBT Film Festival takes place from Friday, Oct. 13-Sunday, Oct. 15 at the Neon, 130 E. 5th St., Dayton, 45402. Festival passes, which include tickets to all screenings and the opening-night party, can be purchased for $50 at Tickets to individual films are $8.

Page 26: Singing Out To view videos of DeAngelo Graham singing the National Anthem at Progressive Field in Cleveland and at Akron’s Canal Park, go to YouTube and search for BigDcub1975. Cleveland’s professional baseball team accepts audition tapes and audio files from performers who wish to sing the National Anthem at Progressive Field. Visit cleveland. auditions.jsp for details.

If you have tickets to the opening-night film, you also can attend the opening-night party at Mudlick Tavern, 135 E. 2nd St., Dayton, 45402.

Visit for a full directory of LGBTQ resources in Ohio. To add your organization to the list, email

A Prescription for Change. 100% of profits are reinvested back into health and social services.

Offerings • Open to the public • Pharmacists specializing in chronic disease management • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) counseling and access • Accepts Medicaid, Medicare and most third party insurance plans

• Competitive medication pricing for uninsured patients • Private and personalized medication counseling • Refill reminder calls, text messages and/or emails for all prescriptions • Free home delivery to patients living in Ohio* *

Short North Pharmacy 1033 N. High St. Columbus, OH 43201 (614) 340-6776

Some limitations may apply. Consult a pharmacy associate for details.

King-Lincoln Pharmacy 750 E. Long St., Suite 3100 Columbus, OH 43203 (614) 300-2334

Dayton Pharmacy Wright Health Building 1222 S. Patterson Blvd., Suite 110 Dayton, OH 45402 (937) 424-1440

Profile for PRIZM News

Prizm Magazine October 2017  

Ohio's LGBTQ+ Magazine

Prizm Magazine October 2017  

Ohio's LGBTQ+ Magazine

Profile for prizmnews