Utah’s Gay and Lesbian Biweekly Newspaper Volume 2 ■ Issue 26 December 22–January 4
Buttars Seeks to Kill Gay Clubs Drafting a Bill Against Gay-Straight Alliances
Gay Films at Sundance Film Festival Your shopping list for the festival’s tickets
Tutus and Transexuals Local theater groups putting on two gender-bending shows
Brokeback Mountain Breaks 2005 Record Mailbox is full with award nominations
Ford Veers Right, Then Left Again Motor company denies making agreement with anti-gay group
Author Seeks Senior Gays and Lesbians Ruby Rantings Become Scripture Michael’s 525,600 Minutes Gay Agenda
WORLD AND NATIONAL
‘Brokeback Mountain’ Breaks Box Office Records, Receives Nominations, Awards by Michael Aaron
SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
Hollywood, Calif. — Break out your tux and get it to the cleaners — this year’s film award season will be one for the gay record books. Opening in just five theatres the weekend of Dec. 9, Brokeback Mountain topped all films in 2005 in per-theatre gross receipts. The film immediately began gathering nominations and awards across the country. Leading critics have called the film one of the best films of the year. Winning the Golden Lion for best picture at the Venice Film Festival in September only foreshadowed its chances during the 2005 award season. Academy Awards — Before the film even opened in theaters, prognosticators at OscarWatch.com considered Brokeback Mountain a strong Oscar contender for Best Picture, Ledger as Best Actor, Gyllenhaal as Best Supporting Actor, and Ang Lee as Best Director. The Village Voice’s J. Hoberman predicts Oscar nods for Ledger and his on-screen wife and off-screen partner: “It’s the selfcontained Ledger’s repression and scary, sorrowful, hard-luck rage that fuel the movie ... Ledger and [Michelle] Williams, the real-life mother of his child, seem a cinch for nominations.” Nominations will be announced Jan. 31, 2006, and the Oscars will take place March 5 in Los Angeles. American Film Institute — Brokeback Mountain was named one of the top ten films of 2005. An awards luncheon will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles Jan. 13, 2006. Critics Choice Awards — Nominations were announced Dec. 12. Dennis Miller will host the awards gala Jan. 9, 2006. The WB will telecast the ceremony live locally at 7:00 pm. Brokeback Mountain lead the nominations with eight nods: Best Picture, Best Actor: Heath Ledger, Best Supporting Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal, Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams, Best Director: Ang Lee, Best Writer: Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, Best Song: “A Love That Will Never Grow Old,” Emmylou Harris, Best Composer: Gustavo Santaolalla Golden Globe Awards — The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced its nominations Dec. 13. Brokeback Mountain was nominated for the following awards: Best Motion Picture–Drama, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture–Drama: Heath Ledger, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Michelle Williams, Best Director–Motion Picture: Ang Lee, Best Screenplay–Motion Picture: Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, Best Original Score–Motion Picture: Gustavo Santaolalla, Best Original Song–Motion Picture: “A Love That Will Never Grow Old,” music by Gustavo Santaolalla, lyrics by Bernie Taupin. The Golden Globes will take place Jan. 16, 2006 in Los Angeles. Independent Spirit Awards — Members of Film Independent announced its nominations on Nov. 29. Brokeback Mountain received four nods: Best Feature, Best Direc-
tor: Ang Lee, Best Male Lead: Heath Ledger, Best Supporting Female: Michelle Williams. The Spirit Awards will take place March 4, 2006 in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Film Critics Association — The winners of the 31st Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards were announced Dec. 10, 2005. Brokeback Mountain received three honors: Best Picture, Best Director: Ang Lee, Best Actor Runner-up: Heath Ledger. New York Film Critics Circle — Brokeback Mountain was named Best Picture of the Year Dec. 12. Ang Lee was named Best Director. An awards gala honoring all the winners will be held Jan. 8, 2006 in New York City. Satellite Awards — The International Press Academy announced its nominations on Dec. 1 and Brokeback Mountain received eight nods: Motion Picture (Drama), Actor (Drama): Heath Ledger, Supporting Actor (Drama): Jake Gyllenhaal, Director: Ang Lee, Adapted Screenplay: Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, Original Score: Gustavo Santaolalla, Original Song: “A Love That Will Never Grow Old” by Gustavo Santaolalla and Bernie Taupin, Film Editing: Geraldine Peroni and David Tichenor The awards will be handed out Dec. 17. Directors Guild Awards — Nominations will be announced Jan. 5, 2006. The awards will take place Jan. 28 in Los Angeles. Screen Actors Guild Awards — Nominations will be announced Jan. 5, 2006. The awards will take place Jan. 29 in Los Angeles. Writers Guild Awards — Nominations will be announced Jan. 4, 2006. The awards will take place Feb. 4 in both Los Angeles and New York City.
Gays, Gay Films Dominate Golden Globe Nominations Hollywood, Calif. — Industry insiders had said that 2005 was the year to be gay in Hollywood, and gay films, performances and actors dominated the nominations for the 2006 Golden Globe Awards, announced Dec. 13. Brokeback Mountain garnered the most nominations of any film — a total of seven — for Best Picture–Drama, Best Screenplay and a Best Director for Ang Lee. Heath Ledger was nominated for Best Actor in his role as tortured hero Ennis Del Mar and his real life wife Michelle Williams, with whom he just had a baby, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress as Ennis’ long-suffering wife Alma. TransAmerica, one of the first films out of the gate for The Weinstein Co., the newly formed studio by former Miramax chiefs Bob and Harvey Weinstein, scored two nominations. Felicity Huffman will compete for Best Actress as transgender mom Bree and Dolly Parton scored a Best Original Song nomination for “Travelin’ Thru.” Continued on page 4
DECEMBER 22, 2005 ■ SALT LAKE METRO ■ 3
Golden Globes Continued from page 2.
Homo For The Holidays December
Free Party Boys @ the W Lounge (358 South W Temple )
A Private Club for Members
Utah AIDS Foundation Music Food and Sexy Santa
~Finger Food ~Sexy Santa ~DJ GeorgeE ~Miss Mexico 2005/06 ~North Pole’s Present...Nick ~Syren Vaughn performing: “12 Days After Christmas” Photograher Kim Norman 801-244-9413
Huffman was also nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy on television for Desperate Housewives, opposite co-stars Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and first time nominee Eva Longoria. Philip Seymour Hoffman snagged a Best Actor nomination for his role as openly gay author Truman Capote in Capote. Though the film failed to score any other major nominations (it was a frontrunner for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress), Hoffman had long been considered a shoo-in for a nomination. The film adaptation of Rent, the award season’s other gay entry, failed to score a nomination despite critically acclaimed performances by Rosario Dawson as HIVpositive junkie Mimi and Jesse L. Martin as the openly gay Collins, who loses his lover Angel to AIDS. Reviews of the film were mixed, with most critics praising the performances but questioning the direction of Chris Columbus and his decision to set the play in 1989, a full five years before it was written. Openly gay actor Nathan Lane scored a nomination for The Producers, reprising his role as a down on his luck Broadway producer for the film adaptation of the Tony winning musical. The film also scored a Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy nomination. As usual, this year’s nominees offered a few surprises. Peter Jackson’s King Kong scored the director a nomination but, despite being one of the year’s most critically acclaimed films, failed to snag nods for acting or in the Best Picture category. Similarly, a number of critically acclaimed performances were missing from the nominee list. Most notably, Joan Allen’s tour-de-force as a woman scorned on the verge of a nervous breakdown in The Upside of Anger was passed over, likely because it was released too early in the year. Uma Thurman in The Producers, Sandra Bullock and Thandie Newton in Crash and Naomi Watts in King Kong were passed over. Instead, Gwyneth Paltrow proved an unlikely nominee in the Best Actress category for the Miramax flop Proof. Among the actors, a year crowded by critically acclaimed performances couldn’t find room for Munich star Eric Bana, A History of Violence’s Viggo Mortensen or Brokeback Mountain’s Jake Gyllenhaal. Also surprising was some last minute category shuffling. Maria Bello, doing the best work of her career in A History of Violence, jumped from the Best Supporting Actress category to score a Best Actress nod while George Clooney, in what is essentially a leading role, was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for Syriana. For a complete list of nominees for the 2006 Golden Globes, visit www.hfpa.com.
SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
Human Rights Campaign Awards Director Ang Lee Washington, D.C. — Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese announced Jan. 19 that Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee will be accepting the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award. Lee will be honored Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Human Rights Campaign’s Greater New York Gala Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. “Ang Lee’s vision is changing hearts and minds,” said Solmonese. “Ang Lee’s career has been defined by bold artistic choices and Brokeback Mountain is no exception. Through his moving directorial work, Ang Lee proves the old adage, ‘Love is love is love.’ We are honored to be awarding Mr. Lee with the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Award.”
NATIONAL AND REGIONAL
Gay Soldier Assaulted at Arizona Army Base originally charged with aggravated assault by civilian police, Fort Huachuca officials have decided not to prosecute the case “for reasons fort officials say they are not at liberty to explain,” according to the press report. Lawson says the solider used an antigay slur during the attack. “Congress should demand answers,” said Greer. “The complete lack of accountability when it comes to anti-gay harassment in our armed forces is outrageous and inexcusable. How many more murders and assaults will be required to wake up Pentagon leaders?” In August 2003, 23 members of Congress asked the Department of Defense to implement its Anti-Harassment Action Plan, which includes steps to curb anti-gay harassment. Those Congressional representatives concluded “that the Services are not in full compliance” with the plan and asked DoD to report on its progress by February 2004. Dr. David Chu, the Pentagon undersecretary charged with implementing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” replied that no further action was required and the Pentagon’s actions to address and deal with harassment were sufficient. Many military personnel report to SLDN that they are unaware the plan even exists. Lawson’s mother told the Star that she has “been crying [herself ] to sleep” and is “afraid for his life.” Private Lawson was told to sleep on a cot in his drill sergeant’s office following the attack, and reported his attacker’s only punishment appeared to be revocation of his weekend pass. A Fort Huachuca spokeswoman said officials took “appropriate action” in dealing with the case.
Ford Reaffirms Support For Fairness
Lesbian Couple Becomes First to Wed in U.K.
Washington, D.C. — Ford Motor Company released a statement Dec. 14 saying it would feature all of its brands in a 2006 ad campaign in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenderthemed publications. Indications that Ford made a deal with the right-wing extremist group American Family Association to cease some advertising in community publications were put to rest with this announcement. “Ford’s action is a positive outcome and win for equality and fairness,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Ford has sent a powerful signal that corporate America values its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and consumers.” Controversy erupted Dec. 1 when the AFA officially announced it was dropping its threat of a boycott, saying Ford “heard our concerns; they are acting on our concerns. We are pleased with where we are.” The next day a Ford spokesperson appeared to confirm an agreement by saying the company would stop advertising its Jaguar and Land Rover brands in gay publications. AFA is an extremist anti-LGBT organization that routinely threatens boycotts against LGBTsupportive companies, television programs it does not like, or even cartoon characters such as SpongeBob. On Dec. 5, many gay organizations issued statements calling upon Ford to disavow any agreement with AFA, to reaffirm its commitment to the gay community and to meet gay leaders and resolve the issue. As a result of that statement, Ford Motor executives met with representatives in Washington, D.C. Dec. 12.
Belfast — A lesbian couple made vows to each other Dec. 19 in Northern Ireland, becoming the first same-gender couple to hold a public ceremony under the United Kingdom’s new civil partnership law. Grainne Close, 32, and her partner Shannon Sickels, 27, passed dozens of protestors on their way to Belfast City Hall, where they held a 20-minute ceremony. The proceeding included an exchange of rings and the Dolly Parton song, “Touch Your Woman,” according to the Associated Press. “This is about making a choice to have our civil rights acknowledged and respected and protected, and we could not be here without the hard work of many queer activists and many individuals in the queer community,” said Sickels, a playwright from New York. The law took effect Dec. 19 in Northern Ireland, one day before Scotland and two days before England and Wales. Couples began registering their unions earlier this month; they can hold ceremonies after a mandatory 15-day waiting period. Sir Elton John, who at press time was set to exchange vows Dec. 21 with partner David Furnish, wrote a commentary in the Sunday edition of The Observer, calling for gay rights around the globe. “Next Wednesday, on the happiest day of my life, when I celebrate a civil partnership with David, I will be thinking, however, about those less fortunate than we are. In many countries, having a same-sex partner is still outlawed,” he wrote. More than 600 same-sex couples are expected to hold civil partnership ceremonies on Wednesday, the AP reported.
House Votes to Flat-Fund Ryan White CARE Act
Boston, Mass. — Massachussets Governor Mitt Romney announced Dec. 15 he wouldn’t be seeking a second term, prompting candidates looking to replace him after next year’s gubernatorial campaign fanned out across the state. Attorney General Tom Reilly and fellow Democrat, Deval Patrick, made appearances in Boston, while Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey headed west for appearances in Boylston and Holyoke. Romney has been a controversial figure in politics since publicly denouncing the legalization of same-sex marriages in Massachusetts last year. When same-sex marriage became legal last May, Romney invoked a 1913 law preventing town clerks from issuing licenses to couples who do not reside in Massachusetts. The law says that the state cannot marry an out-of-state couple if that marriage would be “void” in the couple’s home state. It had been created to prevent interracial marriages. The law is now under appeal. Romney has spent much of this year traveling across the country weighing support for a presidential bid. In a February speech to Republican Party members in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Romney lambasted Massachusetts’s highest court, which paved the way for gay marriage, accusing the justices of striking “a blow against the family.” Several days later, in Utah, he declared “America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home.” Reilly, who has a solid record on gay rights issues, wasted no time to take direct aim at Healey, branding her as out-of-touch with most Massachusetts residents, and a coconspirator in the supposed shortfalls of the Romney administration.
Washington, D.C — Congress put the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk in passing the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations conference report that cuts HIV/AIDS prevention programs, flat-funds most of the Ryan White CARE Act, and actually increases funding for failed ‘abstinenceonly’ programs, according to a statement released by the Human Rights Campaign. The bill heads to the Senate for approval. “Short-changing HIV and AIDS programs puts American lives at risk,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “The health of thousands of men, women and children are threatened when our nation’s leaders ignore the needs of Americans being ravaged by HIV/AIDS in neighborhoods across this country.” By a 215-213 vote, the House of Representatives passed the Labor/Health & Human Services/Education Appropriations conference report, which contains what Solmonese calls grossly inadequate funding for federal HIV/AIDS programs. The bill mostly flat funds an already stretched Ryan White CARE Act at $2.1 billion as well as cuts funding for Centers for Disease Control HIV prevention programs. Moreover, the bill provides an increase of $11 million in funding for abstinence-only education programs that fail to protect youth from contracting HIV and even teach misleading and false information. Further abandoning a scientifically-based prevention strategy, a Senate amendment to the Labor-HHS-Appropriations bill was stripped in conference committee that would have directed that all federally funded sex-ed programs teach medically accurate information. Solmonese added, “Congress should stop putting ideology over sound science.”
DECEMBER 22, 2005 ■ SALT LAKE METRO ■ 5
Fort Huachuca, Ariz. — Private Kyle Lawson, a 19-year-old Tucson resident, was physically assaulted and threatened at Fort Huachuca Army Base after fellow soldiers learned he is gay, according to a report in the Dec. 18 Arizona Daily Star. Fearful for his safety, Private Lawson is leaving the Army, while the soldier accused of his assault appears to remain unpunished. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network called on Army officials to hold the responsible party accountable for the assault and called on the Pentagon to implement an Anti-Harassment Action Plan originally adopted in 2000. The plan, SLDN has reported each year since, has never been implemented. “Pentagon leaders have consistently refused to take harassment seriously, and our men and women in uniform continue to pay the price,” said Sharra E. Greer, SLDN’s director of law and policy. “The Pentagon has found, in its own survey, rampant anti-gay harassment in the armed forces. Service members report harassment, violence and threats to SLDN on a regular basis. At least two service members have been murdered because of unchecked anti-gay harassment. Yet military leaders have utterly failed to send a strong, clear message that anti-gay harassment is unacceptable or that those who harass will be held accountable for their actions. The result is yet another anti-gay assault.” According to the Star, Lawson’s nose was broken and he was later threatened with a knife after a friend revealed during a battalion party that Lawson is gay. While the soldier who Lawson says attacked him was
Romney Will Not Seek a Second Term
Buttars Is Drafting a Bill to Ban Gay-Straight Clubs in Schools Anti-gay Utah State Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, is in the process of writing a bill to stop Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in the state’s public schools, reigniting a fight that started in Utah nearly a decade ago. Critics say such a ban would violate students’ constitutional rights. Gay-Straight Alliances are currently in 14 of the state’s high schools, according to Stan Burnett, director of youth programs at the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Utah. The clubs are designed to be a place where stuSen. Chris Buttars dents who feel ‘out of the mainstream’ can go to socialize. East High School officials banned a GayStraight Alliance club organized by Kelly Peterson back in 1996. A lawsuit went all the way to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals where the club was eventually reinstated on the basis of federal equal protection laws. Buttars’ bill is backed by ultra-conservative Eagle Forum, headed by Gayle Ruzicka. Ruzicka is spinning the bill as a simple ‘tweak’ to clarify existing Utah law that forbids discussion of human sexuality in public schools. Buttars told KSL’s Richard Piatt, “If you’re in a chess club, you’re going to be talking about chess. If you’re in a dance club you’re going to be talking about dance. If you’re in a gay club you’re going to be talking about human sexuality, and that’s illegal, in fact it’s criminal.” Courts have ruled, however, that the federal Equal Access Act, co-authored by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, trumps any local and state laws. In his monthly press conference, Gov. Jon Huntsman said that he believes the issue has been “finalized” by the courts and questions the state’s role when it comes to school
clubs. “I do believe that these are issues that should be taken care of at the ‘localest’ of levels: parents dealing with kids and parents dealing with school boards, if they have a concern. I’m not sure that this is something that should be handled at the state level,” said Hunstman. Equality Utah Chair Jane Marquardt says the issue is more of fairness and what is right for Utah’s youth. “Especially in Utah County, teens who are gay already have a tough road in front of them,” said Marquardt. “To take away an important support structure, to tell them that they don’t have the same rights to gather as other students, is a slap on the face that will have very damaging consequences.” “The fact is that teens who are struggling with their sexual orientation need an outlet; they need someone to talk to,” continued Marquardt. “Unfortunately parents and others in typically unsupportive communities aren’t the ones teens will talk with. If we shut down their First Amendment rights to meet, there’s a very real chance that we’re increasing the chances of suicide and other negative consequences of having no outlet. This isn’t about sex, this is about support for students who already face enormous discrimination at school, and sometimes in their own homes.” In an unusually harsh opinion piece, Salt Lake Tribune called Buttars’ attitude “closed-minded and dirty-minded.” “Buttars seems bent on promulgating ... homophobic nonsense, refusing to believe that club members do not spend all their time at meetings discussing sex and promoting ‘perverted’ lifestyles. He has dubbed ‘liars’ those who try to explain that the clubs promote tolerance and debunk stereotypes,” the Tribune editorial stated. “If we really want to create a more united and understanding community, we shouldn’t be shutting down clubs and closing discussion,” said Marquardt. “Rather, we should be encouraging dialogue, tolerance, and friendship between all Utahns.”
Gay and Lesbian Seniors Sought for Interviews
Danni Outlasts Rafe as ‘Survivor’ Victor
University of Utah College of Social Work Professor Amanda S. Barusch is seeking ten people over the age of 65 willing to discuss their romantic lives for a book titled “Loving: Romance and Longevity in 21st Century America.” The book draws on the experiences and beliefs of adults older than 50 to dispel myths about their emotional and sexual lives. In the past three years Barusch, Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies, and her students have conducted 95 interviews, but only four respondents did not identify as heterosexual. To be accurate, Barusch says, the book needs to include better representation of the gay and lesbian population. Interviews take about an hour and a half, and careful provisions are in place to protect the privacy of people interviewed. Interviewees do not necessarily need to be in couples, but they must be comfortable reflecting on their love experiences and the role romance has played in their lives. Those interested should call Dr. Barusch at 581-8842.
Danni Boatwright outwitted, outplayed and outlasted everyone, including gay Mormon Utah native Rafe Judkins, in the competition to win Survivor: Guatemala and $1 million. Boatwright, a 30-year-old sports radio talk show host from Kansas, became the 11th person to claim top prize on Fox’s Survivor. She won the game in an episode that will be remembered for the frightening storm that struck moments after the castaways (except for Judkins) devoured a chicken that was killed in a Mayan sacrificial ceremony. That ceremony also led to one of the most memorable exchanges in Survivor history: “Did they kill it?” asked Steph LaGrossa. To which Judkins replied, “Steph, they ripped the chicken’s head off.” Judkins went on to win the evening’s first immunity challenge, and Boatwright took the second. Eliminated, in order, were Lydia Morales and Judkins — after he released Boatwright from a pledge to take her to the Final Two.
by Michael Aaron
SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
Mutual Dependence Benefits Contract Bill Fails the Senate
Student Protests, Gets Copper Hills Principal to Reverse Prom Policy Copper Hills High School reversed its policy requiring that gay and lesbian students have permission slips signed by their parents to attend school dances. The policy, which began when 17-year-old Jason Atwood went to school administrators with concerns about his safety if he brought his boyfriend to Copper Hills High School student Jason Atwood a dance, generated national criticism after Atwood and friends staged a four-day protest of the policy. Although Atwood missed one function because of the policy — his parent refused to sign the permission slip out of concern it would take away the school’s responsibility to keep him safe — he was pleased that the policy was dropped. “That is very exciting,” Atwood told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Maybe I was wrong when I said Copper Hills wasn’t tolerant. They’re a lot more willing to work with students than I thought they were.”
Hinckley: Gays “Have a Problem”
Meth Up 12-Fold in New HIV Infections A report from the Utah Department of Health revealed that methamphetamine use was the fastest rising drug connected to new HIV infections — up from 2% in 1994 to 24% in 2003. Crystal meth was involved in more HIV infections than cocaine, marijuana or heroin.
Murray High School seniors voted in January for their favorites in a number of yearbook categories, including cutest couple. Before results were formally announced in the cutest couple category, word leaked two different couples had won: Murray High’s “cutest couple” Kortni one, a senior boy and a junior girl; the other, Coats and Taunica Crump two senior girls. No recounts could be done, because ballots were no longer available, school officials said. So students re-voted and Kortni Coats and Taunica Crump won by a close vote, principal Scott Bushnell said. “We’re just nice to everyone, and they respect us for our differences,” Coates responded to a Deseret News reporter when asked why she thought they had won.
McCoy Asks the Attorney General to Investigate Amendment 3 Backers In a letter to Mark Shurtleff, Utah Attorney General, Scott McCoy asked the AG’s office to investigate Marriage Educations Initiatives [MEI] and Utahns for a Better Tomorrow [UBT]. McCoy believed that the organizations, which helped to pass the anti-gay marriage amendment, had possibly violated the state’s campaign finance disclosure laws. McCoy also pointed out that the MEI listed a local address it never occupied and seemed to have existed for no purpose other than making donations to UBT. McCoy was also concerned that one of MEI’s corporate trustees, Neil Blair, had been in trouble for violating campaign finance laws before. McCoy pointed out that Utahns for a Better Tomorrow listed Blair as the person to whom checks for them should be sent. McCoy went on to suggest that “MEI was nothing more than a shell-corporate entity organized for the purpose of funneling campaign contributions to UBT in circumvention of the legal requirement to disclose the true identity of the contributors.”
Scott McCoy Elected to Replace State Sen. Julander Utah Democratic delegates elected Scott McCoy, 34, campaign manager of the Don’t Amend Alliance and then board member of Equality Utah, as the party’s nominee to replace outgoing State Sen. Paula Julander who left her seat because of illness. McCoy became the Gov. Jon Huntsman swears in Sen. Scott McCoy second out gay or lesbian legislator on the Hill, joining Rep. Jackie Biskupski, D-Salt Lake City. He is one of only eight Democrats in the Utah State Senate. There are 21 Republican senators. In a speech, McCoy said that he was a “new generation” Democrat and vowed to help the party revitalize and garner new seats and influence. “I saw an opportunity to serve the community and the constituents of District 2,” McCoy said about his decision to seek the office. “I thought it would be possible to bring a new energy to the Capitol.”
DECEMBER 22, 2005 ■ SALT LAKE METRO ■ 7
Appearing December 26 on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told the talk-show host that gays “have a problem.” When asked about the Mormon Church’s opposition to gay marriage, Hinckley responded: “Well, we’re not anti-gay. We are pro-family. Let me put it that way. And we love Larry King and Gordon B. Hinkley these people and try to work with them and help them. We know they have a problem. We want to help them solve that problem.” “A problem they caused, or they were born with?” King asked. “I don’t know. I’m not an expert on these things,” replied Hinckley. When King pressed the Mormon leader on the topic of civil unions, Hinckley made it clear that the church would oppose anything that led to gay marriage. “Many people don’t get married. Goodness sakes alive. You know that,” said the 94-year-old Hinckley. “Many people have to discipline themselves. If they transgress, they become subject to the discipline of the church. But we try in every way that we know how to help them, to assist them, to bless their lives.”
Lesbians Voted “Cutest Couple”
Senate Bill 89, the “Mutual Dependence Benefits Contract” was defeated in the Utah Legislature. The bill would have created a contract between people unable to marry that would allow for them to make medical decisions for one another among other benefits. The law, proposed by Republican Sen. Gregory Bell (Fruit Heights), was passed on to its final Senate floor debate by a vote of 15 to 10; but on Feb. 1 was defeated by a vote of 18 to 10. “We’re going to kill this in the House,” Ruzicka said to the Salt Lake Tribune before the vote. “This is an apology for Amendment 3, and we don’t need to apologize for that.”
Pride Fee Draws Fire from Local Activists
Senate Hate Crime Bill Defeated State Sen. Karen Hale’s hate crime bill, SB181—Criminal Code Amendments, failed in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee by a 3–4 vote. Hale, a Salt Lake Democrat, joined forces with Fruit Heights Republican Greg Bell to sponsor the bill in the Senate. 2005 was the ninth consecutive year that hate crime legislation advocates have attempted to get their bills through the legislature. Statements of opposition from the conSen Karen Hale servative lawmakers who voted against the bill included worries that it would encourage teaching tolerance of homosexuals in schools, diminish rights of those not mentioned in the protected groups, and allow prosecutors to stack charges against offenders. A Deseret News poll had found that 64 percent of Utahns favored hate crime laws with 31 percent opposed to them.
Possible “Super-Strain” of HIV Health officials in New York and around the world were concerned about the spread of what looked like a new drug-resistant strain of HIV that progressed quickly to AIDS. The New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced on Feb. 11 that they had diagnosed a patient with the new HIV strain. Officials later retracted the announcement, but claimed that such a strain was “just around the corner.”
SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
Activists Make Last Minute Plea to State Legislature for AIDS Funding
elect progressive candidates by appealing to heartland and mainstream voters. His work included broad outreach across the nation, speaking with large and small groups about the important issues facing the American people. “We need to make sure every GLBT American has a safe place to come out and join us in the fight for equality. Our equality under the law is evolving as the defining social and political issue of our time,” said Solmonese.
California Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer ruled that California’s law limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional. “It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners,” Kramer wrote in his ruling. The ruling came as a result of lawsuits brought by the city of San Francisco and a dozen same-sex couples last March, after the California Supreme Court halted the fourweek marriage spree Mayor Gavin Newsom had initiated. The Mayor had directed city officials, in defiance of state law, to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians. Queer Prom
Activist Stuart Merrill organized a candlelight vigil in reOgden Man Convicted of “Gay sponse to a half-million dollar reduction in monies proUnderworld” Murder vided by the federal governFranklin Eugene Woodrick, ment for Ryan White AIDS 49, was found guilty of murDrug Assistance Program. der for the killing of Vincent The Ryan White program Donato, 62. buys medication, insurance According to Ogden and other services for people police, Woodrick and his who are infected with HIV then-partner Rodney but have not yet developed Boyle, 33, went to Donato’s AIDS—people who are not apartment Nov. 6, 2002, for yet eligible for Medicaid promised methamphetor Medicare. The costs of amine. During that evening, those medications can be Donato pulled a butcher’s around $15,000 a year per knife on Woodrick because individual. he had broken up Donato’s AIDS activists had aprelationship with another pealed to the Utah Legman the week before. Boyle, Candlelight vigil during the final days of the Utah State Legislature to draw islature to make up the attention to HIV issues. described during testimony difference in funding after as easy to enrage, attacked the federal cuts, but all the available monies had already Donato, kicking him and breaking 13 ribs and his jaw. been allocated. Woodrick then bound and gagged Donato and joined Boyle in ransacking the apartment for drugs and money. Human Rights They settled for two VCRs and left in Donato’s car, which Campaign Names they ditched at the house of Donato’s former boyfriend to Joe Solmonese New throw off police. Donato died when the gag pushed back President his dentures, blocking his airway. A friend found his body the following day. Human Rights Campaign named The Ogden Standard-Examiner had reported the case Joe Solmonese, the openly queer several times as “centering on the gay underworld, drugs chief executive officer of EMILY’s and jealousy,” likely because of defense attorney John List, as HRC’s new president. Caine’s opening statement that portrayed the case as As a key political strategist, “reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno. Drugs, homosexual sex Solmonese oversaw one of the Human Rights Campaign and violence all wrapped up in one.” nation’s most successful efforts to President Joe Solmonese
In response to the decision to charge $5 admission to the June 12 festival, several community members expressed concern and even outrage at a Town Hall Meeting held at The Center. “This is a tie-myself-to-the-tree issue,” said Gordon Storrs, who opposed the admission price because Utah Pride Coordinator he thought it would be exclusionary. Sherry Booth AIDS activist Stuart Merrill also spoke out against the charge, saying that many people with HIV might not have $5 and it would be embarrassing for them to admit that at the gate. Pride Coordinator Sherry Booth responded by pointing out that there are many aspects of Pride, such as the acoustic stage and the parade, which will not be inside the fenced-in areas. Center representatives also said they would waive the admission price to volunteers who sign up in advance for a two-hour shift and that they are seeking community sponsors to purchase blocks of tickets that can be donated to people with AIDS and others.
Conn. Governor Signs Civil Union Bill Connecticut’s senators voted overwhelmingly to extend over 588 rights to the state’s gay and lesbian couples, making their state the first to approve such legislation without a court order. Immediately after their 26-8 vote on April 20, the senate sent the legislation to Governor M. Jodi Rell who signed it within the hour. A longstanding supporter of the legislation, Rell said the bill was a good compromise.
Queer Prom Draws Crowd An estimated 360 youths age 13-20 gathered at The Center on April 30 to dance and socialize at the second annual Queer Prom. Organized by Queers in Action, the youth leadership group at The Center, the group came up with the theme “Time Warp” for this year’s prom.
Salt Lake Metro Celebrates One Year Happy Birthday to us!
Utah AIDS Foundation Launches Website for Crystal Meth Users The Utah AIDS Foundation started www.utahtweaker. com, a new website aimed at providing information about meth to those “thinking of using, currently using,” and former users alike. The website’s launch came at a time when crystal meth—a stimulant that gives users a longer and more powerful high than cocaine—had received national media attention as one of the causes in an apparent rise of new AIDS cases among gay and bisexual men. Utah’s rate of admissions for meth treatment are three times the national average.
KSL Airs Pink Panic Story On May 11 and 12, KSL Channel 5 aired a two-part story titled “The Secret Side of the Playground,” an exposé on public places where men go to have sex with men. At the Jordan River Parkway, helicopter cameras for the news program caught sight of two men together in the bushes. Footage of children on swings from other playgrounds was interspersed through the report. The story created outrage in the queer community because it implied that queer men are a danger to children.
BYU-Hawaii Supports Queer Rights Through Housing Law After nearly ten years of attempts, Hawaii passed an anti-bias law stating that sexual orientation and gender identity are not valid reasons to deny housing. A second bill was passed to protect transgender people from workplace discrimination. A supporter of the bills was Brigham Young University–Hawaii, a Mormon church run school with its main branch in Provo, Utah. BYU student housing was exempted from the bill. Ken Miller, executive director of Honolulu queer rights advocacy group The Center, felt that the dialog between queer activists and BYU officials opened doors to future partnerships.
Navajo Nation President Vetoes Marriage Ban On April 23, the Navajo Nation joined other political entities around the country and banned same gender marriages on its reservation. On May 1, Navajo President Joe Shirley, Jr. took a step few other politicians have dared and vetoed the measure passed by the Tribal Council. The Tribal Council had voted unaniNavajo President Joe Shirley mously in favor of the legislation, which restricts a recognized union to that between a man and a woman. It also prohibits plural marriages and marriages between close relatives. The council reconvened and overrode the President’s veto in June.
Michael Mitchell Leaves for ACLU Job After helping lead the fight against an anti-gay marriage amendment, Michael Mitchell left his post as Executive Director of Equality Utah on June 15 to help advance the national dialogue on Michael Mitchell gay marriage in a new position with the ACLU in New York. Even though the amendment passed, many thought of the campaign as a major step forward for Utah’s gay community showing that more than 300,000 voters would vote against it, including two counties where a majority turned it down. Mitchell had been Equality Utah’s only Executive Director. He filled the position for four years, beginning when the group was called Unity Utah. Along with a very active board of directors, Equality Utah grew during that time, giving tens of thousands of dollars each year to gayfriendly political candidates and becoming the state’s pre-eminent gay advocacy group.
year-round during each Reign to ensure that it can meet the needs of community members who approach them for assistance. The Monarch AIDS Fund, the Rainbow Fund, the PWA Christmas Fund, the Scholarship Fund, the Felicia (Wade DeForrest) Children and Young Adult Fund, the Cancer Fund, the People’s Concern Fund, and the General Fund are supported by Royal Court members and get funding through functions organized by Court members.
Bruce Bastian Hosts Human Rights Campaign Gala The home of WordPerfect co-founder Bruce Bastian drew some 600 guests, united to show support for the Human Rights Campaign and to recognize members of the Utah queer community who have advanced the cause of equality. Laura Milliken-Gray was recognized for her work in the legal field to protect the rights of families where Utah law does not. Also recognized for their advocacy work were Episcopal Diocese of Utah Bishop, the Right Reverend Carolyn Tanner-Irish, and Family Fellowship founders Gary and Millie Watts. Tipper Gore, long-time supporter of the queer community and wife of former Vice President Al Gore, was the keynote speaker.
Royal Court Celebrates 30 Years Memorial Day weekend marked thirty years of organizational service to the community by the Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire. The Royal Court is the longestrunning organization in the queer community. The organization has eight charitable funds and works Coronation XXX
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Salt Lake County Votes Down Domestic Partner Benefits
After an emotional discussion, the Salt Lake County Council struck down a measure that could have provided benefits to the domestic partners of county employees. The measure would have given funeral leave and health, life, and dental insurance to domestic partners in longterm relationships. Introduced by councilwoman Salt Lake County Council Member Jenny Wilson Jenny Wilson, a Democrat, the proposal required the support of at least one Republican to pass. The vote divided along party lines with the four Democrat council members in favor and the five Republicans opposed. Both sides agreed that the cost of funding the proposal was negligible at between $37,000 and $74,000, so the debate focused mainly on the symbolic meaning of giving benefits to those in gay relationships. Republican Councilman Mark Crockett commented that he did not support the measure because it might send the message that Salt Lake County supports gay marriage, which was defeated in last year’s vote on Amendment 3. Many were disappointed at that stance, as Crockett was viewed as the Republican most likely to vote in favor of the measure.
Salt Lake Men’s Choir readies for the Pride Parade
Utah Pride Draws Over 15,000 With a full week of events, Pride 2005 drew tens of thousands to downtown Salt Lake City’s Library Square. Highlights included the Pride Film Festival, Pride Interfaith Service, Dyke March, Grand Marshal Reception and of course, the Pride Day Parade and Pride Day Festival. With the theme “Equal Rights, No More, No Less,” 2005’s event sent a strong political message and provided great opportunities to walk down State Street in a Speedo. Newly-elected State Senator Scott McCoy served as Grand Marshal. Taunica Crump and Kourtni Coats, Murray High School’s “Cutest Couple,” served as Youth Grand Marshals, the first time such a title was selected.
Salt Lake City Creates Human Rights Commission
SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
With a unanimous vote of 7-0, the Salt Lake City Council on June 14 approved an ordinance that creates a Human Rights Commission for the capital city. The commission serves as an advisory body to the Council and Mayor. It also provides resources for educating the citizenry on issues of discrimination and equal treatment of all segments of society. Commission members were chosen by the Mayor and approved by the Council. The commission replaced a defunct one that investigated racial and ethnic prejudice. The new commission addresses discrimination based on age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, national origin, marital status, medical condition, physical limitation, race, religion and sexual orientation.
Equality Utah Picks New Executive Director Equality Utah, the state’s preeminent gay and lesbian advocacy group, selected Mike Thompson, former deputy director of the Don’t Amend Alliance, as their new executive director. Equality Utah Executive Director Since working on the Don’t Mike Thompson Amend campaign, Thompson also worked for the Insurance Scholarship Foundation. He served as the executive director of the Town & County School of Tulsa, OK and was the recipient of the NonProfit Management Excellence Award in 2000 by The Center for Nonprofit Management.
First National Methamphetamine Drug Conference Comes to Salt Lake City
Canada, Spain Approve Gay Marriage Spain became the third European country to legalize gay marriage, joining Belgium and The Netherlands. The legislation faced stiff opposition from the Catholic Church and was debated extensively over a year, but eventually passed by a vote of 187 to 147. Polls indicated that 70 percent of Spaniards favored legalizing same-gender marriage. The same week, Canada’s Parliament also approved gay marriage 158 to 133. Prime Minister Paul Martin said, “We are a nation of minorities, and in a nation of minorities, you don’t cherry-pick rights.”
United Church of Christ Leader Supports Gay Marriage Becoming the first mainstream Christian church to do so, the head of the United Church of Christ threw his support behind marriage equality. “I believe the General Synod should affirm the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons to have their covenanted relationships recognized by the state as marriages equal in name, privileges, and responsibilities to married heterosexual couples,” the Rev. John H. Thomas, president and general minister, said. The UCC was a pioneer 20 years ago when it recommended that its local congregations be open and welcoming to all people, including gay and lesbian members. Nationwide, the church has 1.3 million members.
Gay Dad Loses In Idaho Supreme Court Gay father Theron McGriff lost his custody battle in Idaho Supreme Court. The court ruled in favor of McGriff’s exwife, Shawn, granting sole custody of the couple’s two daughters to her. Shawn had petitioned the court to change their custody arrangement after Theron’s partner, Nick Case, moved in with him. The court ruled that Theron could not have visitation with the children as long as Case continued to live in the house. Theron was also ordered to pay hundreds of dollars a month to cover his ex-wife’s legal fees. Theron McGriff
The court stated that its decision was not based on Theron’s sexual orientation, but on his lack of cooperativeness and his hostile relationship with Shawn.
Salt Lake City’s Harm Reduction Project hosted the first annual “Science & Response: 2005, 1st National Conference on Methamphetamine, HIV, and Hepatitis.” Medical professionals from Yale, Johns-Hopkins, the University of Utah and several other universities addressed a wide variety of topics, including meth and the sex trade, meth and women, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other health concerns. Local and national law enforcement agents from all levels, including Salt Lake City Chief Prosecutor Simarjit Gill, discussed current legislation and enforcement strategies. Social service and mental health workers from several agencies also enlightened attendees concerning the psychological aspects of the epidemic. Other speakers of interest to the queer community included Yves-Michel Fontaine of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and Michael Sevier, Ph.D., director of University of California San Francisco’s Stonewall Project.
OUTreach to Ogden Youth The Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden selected Gary Horenkamp as the first project leader for OUTreach, a collaborative effort between the UUC and Weber State University’s Gay-Straight Alliance. The group provides resources for Ogden area youth who are coming to terms with or questioning their sexual orientation. Loosely-structured social events, opportunities to talk about feelings, and educational material in a welcoming atmosphere are all part of the organization, although it does not provide professional counseling. $20,000 of the first year’s operating fund came in the form of a grant from the Unitarian Universalist Fund for Social Responsibility, and an additional $5,000 from private donors. The church hopes that OUTreach will eventually have its own facility and funding sources.
Annual Sunstone Symposium Highlights Gay, Lesbian Issues Along with its usual panels on Mormon doctrine, scripture and history, the 2005 Sunstone Salt Lake Symposium sponsored a number of panels on gay and lesbian church members. This year’s sessions featured critiques of LDS publications aimed at gays and lesbians, a panel discussion of the pamphlet “For the Strength of Gay Youth,” and a film titled “Go Forward,” which explored one gay Mormon’s quest to live celibately, in accordance with current LDS teaching on homosexuality.
8,500 Pairs of Shoes Displayed at Campaign to End AIDS Rally 8,500 shoes lined Library Square Oct. 22 representing the number of people who die of AIDS every day. The shoes were part of a Pair Up 2 Fight AIDS rally that welcomed a caravan of Oregon AIDS activists with the Campaign to End AIDS on their way to a rally in Washington, D.C. Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon called the shoe display “a sobering reminder of AIDS.”
Jere Says Good-Bye Salt Lake Metro editor Jere Keys moved on to a sexy new job with the Sundance Film Festival. Jere still finds time to squeeze in some writing for Metro when he’s not rubbing elbows with stars.
Provo School District Grapples With Gay/Straight Alliance Club Anderson Extends Partner Benefits to Same-Sex Couples Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson extended healthcare benefits to the unmarried partners of city employees, straight and gay, making Salt Lake City the first Utah city to do so. To receive the benefits, couples must be in committed, long-term relationships with joint ownership of certain types of property, such as a mortgage. “It [partner benefits] allows us as a society to move forward with greater dignity and awareness,” Anderson said.
California Supreme Court Makes Landmark Decision for Gay Parents The California Supreme Court became the first in the nation to grant full parenting rights and obligations to gays and lesbians who have children. In one case, the court ruled unanimously that a lesbian mother cannot avoid paying child support for her partner’s biological children who were conceived when the pair lived together. That ruling puts lesbian couples on a par with unmarried couples whose relationships end. In a second case, the justices stated that a Marin County woman who provided eggs to a partner who was then artificially inseminated is legally the children’s second mother. A third case upheld the parental rights of a woman whose partner became pregnant through artificial insemination while the two lived together.
17th Walk for Life Moves to September For the first time since 1992, the Utah AIDS Foundation held its annual 10K Walk for Life in September, a move designed to overcome declining participation. The Walk raised tens of thousands of dollars for Utah AIDS Foundation programs such as the food bank, HIV testing and social support groups. It coincided with the 9th and 9th Street Festival, a free event including artists booths and live performances.
University of Utah Holds Pride
Schwarzenegger Vetoes California Same-Sex Marriage Bill California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed California’s same-sex marriage bill, saying that he felt the bill would have reversed a 2000 ballot measure that said marriage should only be between a man and a woman. The bill was the first in the country that legalized gay marriage using the power of the legislature without a court order. Polls indicated that about 50 percent of Californians favored the bill, while 50 percent were against it.
Cologne, Germany, Announced as Host for 2010 Gay Games Cologne, Germany beat out Paris and Johannesburg to become the 2010 host for Gay Games VIII. The announcement was made in Chicago, host of the summer 2006 Gay Games. The week-long Gay Games brings tens of thousands of athletes, artists and their family and friends to the host city, which generates substantial economic benefit.
Sarah Bettens Holds Concert for Keri Jones’ Legal Fees Sarah Bettens, former lead singer of K’s Choice played a show at the Paper Moon with a percentage of ticket sales going toward Keri Jones’ legal defense. Jones is fighting for custody of her daughter, Gracie. Gracie’s biological mother is Jones’ former partner, Cheryl Barlow, who conceived her through artificial insemination during their relationship. After Jones and Barlow broke up, Barlow did not want Jones involve with Gracie. Jones sued and has incurred $80,000 in legal fees fighting the case, which is still before the Utah Supreme Court.
Utah’s GLSEN Chapter to Start Up Again The Center announced that it hopes to revive Utah’s long-defunct chapter of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an organization that was instrumental in several cases involving gay and lesbian students during the 1990s. The new GLSEN’s goals are to stabilize Gay Straight Alliances in high schools and get school staff involved with them. The GLSEN also hopes to expand on the 14 Gay Straight Alliances currently operating in Utah schools.
Salt Lake Ranked as Gay Friendly Place to Live Writer Gregory A. Kompes included Salt Lake City in his new book 50 Fabulous Gay Friendly Places to Live, which also includes such famous queer hot spots as San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. Kompes reported that out gay senator Scott McCoy and Salt Lake City’s successful Utah Pride Festival contributed to his decision to include the city.
Texas Says Yes to Gay Marriage Ban; Maine Says No Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, making their state the 19th to take that step. The ban was supported by about 76 percent of voters. In more uplifting news for the gay community, Maine voters rejected a conservative-backed proposal to repeal the state’s gay-rights law. The measure was placed on the ballot by a church-backed conservative coalition. More than 55 percent of voters opposed repeal of the law.
Hedwig Returns The bitch was back! Plan-B revived its sold-out run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, featuring the original cast including Aaron Swenson in the title role as the East German diva. Beer in the lobby made the masses happy ... and have to pee in the middle of the show. Opening night brought a trailer trash buffet with style including ... one-inch botched corn dogs.
DECEMBER 22, 2005 ■ SALT LAKE METRO ■ 11
The University of Utah held its fifth annual Pride week with the theme “Breaking Through…” Highlights included the LGBT Resource Center PRIDE Gala Dinner, Queer Comedy 101, the Pseudo Drag queen Dash Invitational and the Queer Spelling Bee. Two educational events addressed issues of queer identity and understanding — “Ending Gender Stereotypes: a New Path to Full Equality” and. “Breaking Through the Queer Entity: What It Is to Be Gay.”
Provo High School senior Kaisha Medford made national headlines when she applied to create a Gay-Straight Alliance Club at her school, which is in conservative Utah Valley. The club was given approval and began meeting Oct. 13. Medford said she started the club after talking to many gay and lesbian students and found that a lot of harassment was occurring at the school.
From the Editor Measuring 2005
Executive Editor Michael Aaron
by Michael Aaron email@example.com
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SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
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Taking 68 Cars off the Streets is Not the Answer to Salt Lake’s Cab Problems It is obvious that few, if any, of those sitting on the Salt Lake City Council spend too much time in the back seat of a taxicab. The council’s vote earlier this month to strip 68 cabs from the fleet servicing the city is misguided and short-sighted, if only because it will increase the time that someone who has been drinking must wait for a cab at two o’clock in the morning. As more and more peope get the message to “cab-it” home after a night on the town, response times for cabs can reach a half hour with today’s fleet of 268 licenses. A 25 percent reduction will exacerbate that situation dramatically. But it’s not only the alcohol-saturated riders that will now have longer wait times. It’s the Sundance travelers at the
airport curb; it’s the elderly person trying to get to a doctor appointment — or worse, to the emergency room because an ambulance is $700 vs. a cab ride’s $25. We agree that some changes must be made. Cabs are older, on average, in Salt Lake City than most similarly-sized cities. Cab drivers make less in Salt Lake than they should. Not enough cabs are able to take credit cards as in other cities. Illegal practices by out-of-town cab companies go largely unchallenged. But the answer is not to make a bad situation worse. Reverse the cab reduction measure and set a limit on how old a car must be before it is sent to pasture. The change will take longer, but those saved by keeping a drunk driver off the street will be grateful.
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Every newspaper and magazine in the free world does a year in review this time of year and Salt Lake Metro is no different. It was fascinating to reread the stories of 2005 — they all seem like events of a decade ago. Ah … those were the days. Why, I remember when little Beaver … never mind. It’s also the time of year I, like many, reflect on how I spent the last 525,600 minutes, as a gay-popular movie (in theaters now) puts it. Well, let’s see … I spent 175,200 minutes sleeping and 187,200 minutes working. I would have loved to reverse those numbers. I spent 27,375 minutes eating and 4,680 minutes having sex. I’d REALLY have loved to reverse those numbers. More interesting to me was that I spent 41,550 minutes singing. Since that is my new-found religion, I added up what the good church-going person would spend praying in church and found that I sing about seven times more than they pray. I’m one pious fag! I had some minutes that each seemed like hours that I wouldn’t wish on anyone — six minutes at gunpoint and 540 minutes with one of my two dogs as it was dying. I spent about 240 minutes yesterday morning pulling up carpet in the basement that flooded overnight. I spent about 60 minutes this year dealing with my first car wreck in 26 years of driving. Good thing Jeeps are made of real metal. Then there are the minutes I wish I had spent. I began a relationship this year and I wish I had spent more of my minutes doing things like spontaneous dates and road trips and favors. I wish I had spent more time watching arts performances, having dinner with friends, attending important community events and reading. I wish I’d been able to spend more time in Southern Utah after Pride at Zion just soaking in the grandeur of Zion and Bryce. I wish I’d taken Highway 12 home. It’s not even close to being a direct route, but if you haven’t driven it — do it before you die. And speaking of that, I checked off two more things on my “Do Before I Die” list. I performed onstage in a community theatre production (Salt Lake Men’s Choir’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat — I was the Baker, the only character that dies) and I sang a solo in a concert to (mostly) non-drunk people. Okay, it was a duet with my partner, Christian, but there were moments I sang alone. Should I put half a check? Perhaps the important thing is that I’m still here after all these minutes. 2005 didn’t throw anything at me that made me leap off of Moroni’s horn. I still have my house. Metro is still publishing. I can still walk. I have a warm (and very cute) body to curl up with — one that doesn’t shed. Well, doesn’t shed too much. And I have a growing number of friends that I get to see quite often. All-in-all, it appears I spent 524,754 minutes doing what I wanted to do and only 846 I’d trade in for just about anything. I guess that’s not so bad. But I still hope that 2006 is a better year. Otherwise, Tony — make me a reservation at the nearest asylum. May you spend each of the next 525,600 minutes in a way that makes you happy, healthy and fulfilled.
M. Snow Salt Lake City
Solmonese is president of the Human Rights Campaign.
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DECEMBER 22, 2005 ■ SALT LAKE METRO ■ 13
The success at Ford this week is a winning story of equality triumphing over extremism. But this is a two-part tale that spans the decades. The first part of the Ford saga is what happened over the last two weeks. At the beginning of December the media started reporting that the right-wing extremist group American Family Association was backing off from a threatened boycott of Ford, implying that the company had caved to their pressure, agreeing to remove Land Rover and Jaguar advertising from gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender–themed publications. A coalition of national and Michiganbased LGBT groups reacted swiftly and with unity, urging Ford to respond and reaffirm its commitment to fairness. About 50,000 Human Rights Campaign advocates sent emails to Ford asking the same. As things progressed we were getting conflicting reports from Ford officials, and it became clear that we needed to sit down with Ford officials face-to-face. So on Monday of this week I, along with my colleague Matt Foreman from the Task Force, joined other leaders at a Washington, D.C., meeting with Ford. We were unequivocal: They had let suspicions about a deal with extremists fester, and their reputation as a fair-minded corporation was on the line. Ford responded swiftly and aggressively. The company on Thursday announced it was not only reinstating its Land Rover and Jaguar advertising, but also in 2006, Ford will feature an ad campaign in LGBT publications that markets all of its subsidiary brands. This victory wasn’t simply about advertising: It sent a much larger message that fairness and equality are bedrock principles
Human Rights Campaign
By Joe Solmonese
Fairness at Ford and Beyond
that should never be compromised. And that’s the second part of this story. And it’s about you. Twenty-five years ago when the Human Rights Campaign’s first lobbyists were setting up shop in Washington, D.C., the doors of fairness at U.S. corporations were dead bolted. Now the workplace is the one place where people with no openly gay friends or family members sit across from gay coworkers. Put simply, the workplace is where our differences meet and fear melts away. Just look at the facts: In 1980 no company offered domestic partner benefits. Today more than 8,000 offer them. As recently as 2002 only 13 major U.S. companies scored 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Today 103 companies have perfect scores. That means they offer health-care to employee partners, prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and offer comprehensive diversity training, among other policies. Progress doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s the accountant who has his partner’s photo on his desk. It’s because of the vice president who is teaching her colleagues about gender identity as they transition on the job. It’s because of the straight doctor with a lesbian sister who jumps in a conversation when she hears a derogatory gay joke. The story isn’t over. We’re only halfway through a great American tale that’s rich in its cast of characters and consistently touches on the theme of fairness and equality. We have to keep doing our part, and the Human Rights Campaign’s new Buyer’s Guide is one tool that can help (www.hrc. org/buyersguide). And make sure that your friends and family support products from companies that support equality. On the path ahead there may be setbacks, but things are going our way. With fairminded consumers and companies like Ford and other leaders, this story is sure to have a happy ending.
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Editor, Thank you for your recent article on Brokeback Mountain. I definitely loved seeing an in-depth view of this film as I truly believe it to have the potential to be a landmark movie if it is a success.that will in no small part be
Editor, I love Salt Lake City for many reasons — but being a “gay-friendly place to live” is not on of them [“Salt Lake Ranked as Gay Friendly Place to Live,” Dec. 8]. When too many political hacks make it their life’s work to put fags in their place — somewhere else — and too many people agree with them enough to vote them into office, “gay-friendly” this area is not. I agree that great strides have been made to increase awareness of gay and lesbian issus in this city, but all-too-often that awareness has done little more than polarize the community than help it heal. Give us another 20 years. Utah is, after all, that far behind.
Ranking is Rank
Salt Lake City
Editor, Freedom of speech, expression and association are all-important rights to every citizen of this country and to all people who decided to make this country their home. Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, cannot choose which individuals or groups can exercise their right, because he is “concerned about gay clubs” and because he thinks “it’s just wrong.” It’s immoral to exclude people based on that belief. Sen. Buttars is known as an advocate for parental rights. He should understand then that he is overriding other parents’ rights to raise their children based on their beliefs. It’s immoral to think you are a better parent than somebody else who gave permission 0to his or her child to join a gay-straight alliance club. It’s immoral to use his senatorial position to push his personal beliefs on others and not to take into consideration the constitutionality of his actions.
due to the patronage of LGBT audiences everywhere. We as a community should applaud mainstream Hollywood which is ever so timid to try anything out of the ordinary for making such a film in hopes that many more such projects with big directors and big stars will be made so that this film will prove to be the norm rather than the exception. Thank you.
AberRant Happy Happy Joy Joy by Laurie Mecham firstname.lastname@example.org
SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
This is the last issue of the year! That means that I am supposed to do one of two things: (A) summarize the events of the past year or (second,) talk about my resolutions for the upcoming year. Instead, I will make a list of things that make me happy. No doubt some of these things also make you happy, or they will
when I tell you about them. My children. I once told a friend that I thought a lovely gift would be sending Emily to live with him for a week, because I find her company so endlessly delightful. Jack is not only damn smart, but he’s wicked clever. Either of the two fruits of my loins makes me laugh and laugh, but together they provide guaranteed good times. After the departure of a rather demanding ex, the—I’m going to use the word—spirit of our home soared. Emily told a friend, “If two of us are up in the morning at the same time, there will be singing. If all three of us are up, there will be dancing as well.” AND IT’S ABSOLUTELY TRUE. We sing and dance in sublime silliness, and it is my favorite thing in the world.
My wife. Don’t worry; she puts her daughter before me, so it’s OK that I listed her second. We have an understanding: in case of fire, she saves the kid first, then me. Years ago I was sitting across from my psychiatrist, who was once again wondering why I stayed in the relationship that was making me so miserable, and she said, “I look forward to the day when you have someone who cherishes you simply for who you are.” (This is the part where I start bawling.) I have that, and that makes me very happy. Plus, if I were allowed, I would tell you that she’s a hottie in the sack. Now I’m not going to worry about putting things in any kind of order, because that’s too damn tedious, plus I have that f#@*!! deadline. Stacy’s cinnamon sugar baked pita chips. It’s about taste and texture. When the store stopped carrying them for a while, I ordered them by the case from the producer. They leave a lot of rock sugar crumbs in the bed, but there’s nothing to be done about that. Dooce.com, blog by ex-Mo, ex- L.A., ex-BYU young mother / wife / dog owner. I almost hate to tell you, because you’ll start reading her and you’ll see how funny she is and with what ease (plus you’ll know when I plagiarize from her). But hey, it’s Christmas, I’m feeling generous. Before she gets wind of this, however, let me just steal a few words directly from her blog: (Note: “They” = U of U students interviewing her.) “They brought pizza and I asked them what I could fix them to drink and they both said, “Water,” and my stomach sank to the floor. For a moment I thought, have I invited two Mormons over to my house who are going to call the police when they leave because I’m going to drink in the same house as my innocent baby girl? YOU NEVER KNOW. This IS Utah after all, and up until recently a dog and a cat were forbidden by law to live in the same house. Plus there’s that whole law that makes it illegal for a man to stick his penis in another man’s ass. And I’ve been breaking THAT law for years now.” See? What’s not to love?
Reading. I tend to get busy doing projects and good works and the occasional retail therapy trip. My wife asked me what I wanted to do for myself one day and it took me several minutes to remember, but I love to read a book that either makes me laugh again and again, like David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day, or something that I can just devour like popcorn without getting all caught up in having to remember details, for example, titles that I won’t list in case you judge me by the covers of my books. Smelling the Christmas tree. Notice I did not say decorating, watering, or taking down the Christmas tree… just smelling it. I like looking at it too, but not as much as smelling it. Nitrous oxide at the dentist. Nothing like a little N2O vacation. I’m considering the purchase of a tank as a family gift for us this year. That way we can enjoy it without all the Novocain and drilling and the smell of burning teeth. Having a clean house. There is no way you could know this about me, since you will never see me in that situation, but it does make me happy. Spending time with friends. This will come as a surprise to them, at least those who still remember that we are friends, since my time seems to be eaten alive with the projects and good works mentioned above, but I really do love the laughs and conversation with people who love me, and OK fine, I’ll make ONE New Year’s resolution: I’ll try to make sure I spend more time with you, friends! I’m really sorry! I love you and like you a whole lot! My name is Laurie, do you remember? Hello? Emmett’s Irish Cream in my coffee. It not only makes me happy, but as a bonus, it makes me fat! And if I drink enough of that combo, it stands to reason that it could also make me drunk and wired, and everybody loves a hyperactive drunk. Happy New Year! Happy New Year! Happy New Year!
Laurie Mecham is also made happy by fan mail. Fan mail with financial contributions, yeaahhh!
Ruby Ridge Living bound in book form. If I had known I would have been WAY more careful writing them (instead of waiting three days after every deadline to fire up the old laptop)! Now I am burdened with the thought that years from by Ruby Ridge, now my medication-induced rants might be email@example.com unearthed and become scripture like a really Happy Holidays, gay Book of Mormon, or a “Dianetics” for rePumpkins! That’s right ally, really gay Scientologists. I’m not sure if I said ‘Happy Holia future generation is ready for a world-wide days’ and not ‘Merry religion worshipping a sexually-conflicted Christmas’ just to piss off the religious right messiah figure in a polyester dress and who are convinced that we liberals are takfluorescent hair extensions. Actually I don’t ing the Christ out of Christmas. Well yes Mr. think this generation is, now that I think Falwell and Mr. Dobson we are … and don’t carefully about it. get comfortable because Oh don’t get me wrong, I, Ruby Ridge, SpongeBob I’m flattered, cherubs, SquarePants and a busbut we all know it could load of pastel bunnies I am burdened with only end in disaster. Can’t are gunning for Easter you see the denominathe thought that too! You know I’m pretty tional schisms forming sure Christ threw up his years from now over different interpretableeding hands and fled tion of my words? Zealots my medicationChristmas somewhere from the Orthodox around the third Osmond induced rants might Church of Ruby will Christmas Special. I know crusade against followbe unearthed and it seriously made me ers of the more liberal consider converting to become scripture St. Ruby’s (don’t laugh Judaism — but I digress. … I’m a Saint already, like a really gay Have you been listendammit!) Order of Glitter ing to the whole ChristBook of Mormon and Heels. There will be less Christmas drama on contentious doctrinal talk radio and Fox News? issues like “can Priests O’Reilly and Hannity are be ordained if they are having shit-fits about Christmas semantics. celibate?” Scholars will ponder over my use So they are telling their listeners to boycott of Randy Harmon as a Christ figure, and Target and Sears because they have the ironically my thigh-high flame boots, Nerf audacity to use “Happy Holidays” in their football boobies and leopard-print bra will print advertising. Get a grip, girls! It’s not become revered religious relics. People, I am like there isn’t anything else newsworthy to just not ready for that type of responsibility! report on and debate like … oh I don’t know So muffins, whatever your faith tradition is … a WAR or something! (or isn’t) have a festive Halloween/ThanksI don’t know about you, peaches, but giving/Winter Solstice/Chanukah/ChristI have had a lovely Christmas Season. It mas/Kwanzaa and Super Bowl season! Big started when my editor Michael Aaron anKiss and love for the New Year. — Ruby nounced he had put together a Ruby Ridge Ruby Ridge is one of the more opinionated memLiving compilation of my columns, which bers of the Utah Cyber Sluts, a camp drag group was both flattering and terrifying at the that raises funds and supports local charities. Her same time. Uuummm, here’s the thing kids opinions are her own and fluctuate wildly due to — I never thought my columns would have irritability and watching way too many people any type of a shelf life. I just assumed they walking their dogs on busy streets without leashes. would be read once and tossed and I had Having Animal Planet on your basic cable doesn’t pretty much made my peace with that. I had turn you into an informed dog whisperer, and a leash doesn’t make your dog a political prisoner. no idea that they would be saved let alone
Buckle them up dangit!
DECEMBER 22, 2005 ■ SALT LAKE METRO ■ 15
FIRST NIGHT See Jan. 31
THE GAY AGENDA by Eric Tierney firstname.lastname@example.org
women, many of them lesbians and/or from working class backgrounds.
7pm, The Center, 361 N 300 West. Admission is free. Information at 539-8800.
“Feminism” has become a dirty word in our culture, conjuring images of unshaven women eating testicles and burning their bras. Of course, this is remotely what feminism is really about. To get to the real meat of the matter, we suggest attending the Center’s latest Queer Reader event: a discussion of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. The book offers fascinating perspectives from Latin, Asian, African and Native American
23FRIDAY If you can’t stomach Jim Carrey and that quaint Rankin-Bass animation has lost its charm for you, we suggest getting your holiday fix of Dr. Seussdom in Park City, where the Egyptian Theatre Company is presenting Seussical: the Musical. All your favorites will be there: Horton, the Lorax, the Cat in the Hat. But this time, they’ve got jazz hands!
WINNER of the PULITZER PRIZE for DRAMA And the TONY AWARD for BEST PLAY “This show deserves every prize there is.” The Wall Street Journal
7:30pm, continues Wednesday through Sunday through Dec. 31, with Saturday matinees at 2pm, Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main Street, Park City. Tickets $16-$32 at 435-649-9371 or egyptiantheatrecompany.org.
24SATURDAY Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life was a box office failure, but has since come to
be a Christmas icon unrivaled in its pervasion of American culture: its been novelized, musicalized, parodied, imitated and, in its latest incarnation, turned into a dance show! Odyssey Dance Theatre presents a dance-based adaptation of the classic tale. Every time a bell rings, an angel pirouettes. 2pm, Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E President’s Circle, University of Utah. Tickets $15-$35 at 581-7211 or kingsburyhall.org
25SUNDAY Merry Christmas from Salt Lake Metro!
26MONDAY Daisy Johnson is not your everyday artist, and her current show, at Don Brady’s Drive Through Gallery, is not your everyday art exhibit — witness the title: Cherry Frog a la Mode. The outdoor experience almost defies description, but here are a few key words: ice cream, frogs, roller skates. Take some friends and some kids and find out for yourself. Through January 15, Don Brady Gallery, 2100 E 1300 South. Information at 484-2004.
DOUG WRIGHT BY
SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
“Brilliant” The New Yorker
New World Border is a provocative, disturbing, and entirely engaging documentary film focusing on the rise of human rights abuses along the US-Mexican border since the implementation of border walls. Ronald Takaki, author of A Different Mirror, perhaps the most influential book on race ever written, has called it a must-see documentary. Who are you to disagree? Come check it out when The Center presents a free screening. 6pm, The Center, 361 N 300 West. Admission is free. Information at 539-8800.
Opens Jan. 3
Limited Seating For Tickets call 363-SLAC or 355-ARTS The Salt Lake Acting Company www.saltlakeactingcompany.org
The Lavender Tribe, a group dedicated to helping Utah’s GLBT community find spiritual meaning and growth, has its monthly meeting tonight. The unexamined life, you will recall, is not worth living. Come on and give your spirit a quick mirror-check. 7:30pm-9pm, The Center, 361 N 300 West. Admission is free. Information at 539-8800.
30FRIDAY What are the Agenda’s two favorite social activities? Talking politics and drinking! We are thrilled to announce that an organization has been formed which combines these two time-honored pastimes and simultaneously removes the stigmas
of both getting nicely sauced and identifying as a Liberal Democrat: say hello to Drinking Liberally! Come join fellow Progressives as we collectively call for both national healthcare and another round. 6pm, Desert Edge Brewery, 600 S 700 East. Information at 917-548-8472.
31SATURDAY It’s time again for First Night Salt Lake, the annual bacchanalian frenzy that overtakes downtown Salt Lake every New Year’s Eve. Fireworks, music, food, art, and members of the Dominant Religion gone batty on too much Stephen’s Hot Cocoa. 6pm-1am, Downtown Salt Lake City. Admission buttons are $8 in advance, $10 at the event. Buttons available at Albertson’s, Gateway’s Concierge Desk, and the ZCMI Center Mall Customer Service Desk. Information at firstnightslc.org. But the Agenda’s pick for best way to spend New Year’s? Rocking with the Debbie Graham Band. The one and only Graham will perform tonight at Mo Diggity’s New Year’s party, which also features a raffle and champagne at midnight. 8pm, MoDiggity’s, a private club for members, 3424 S State Street. Tickets $10 for members, $15 non members.
1SUNDAY Happy New Year from Salt Lake Metro. Go have Brunch, for that is the way of our people.
4WEDNESDAY Did you know that the Center has a Writing Group? By George, it does! Here’s your opportunity to commune with fellow gay and lesbian writers in pursuit of literary truths—share your work, critique that of others, and learn techniques for improving your writing. Goodness knows that Agenda can use all the help it can get—so sharpen up a few number two pencils and meet us there! 7pm-9pm, The Center, 361 N 300 West. Admission is free. Information at 539-8800.
I AM MY OWN WIFE
by Eric Tierney email@example.com
The New Year brings two gay-oriented theatre projects to Salt Lake City when the Salt Lake Acting Company and Wasatch Theatre Company open shows this January. The two pieces offer diverse and incredibly rich perspectives on the lives and loves of gay men. SLAC’s offering, I Am My Own Wife, which opens Jan. 3, is a monumental one man show in which a single actor plays forty characters. The play tells the true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a transgender woman who was born to an oppressive father (whom she later claimed to have murdered), lived through the Nazi and East German Communist regimes and ultimately came to be seen as a national hero in reunified Germany thanks to her efforts to preserve Wilhemine-Era antique furniture. Along the way, she ran a secret gay nightclub in her basement, collaborated with the Stasi, Communist East Germany’s Secret Police, and established a private museum. The play, originally directed by Moises Kaufman, who created The Laramie Project, premiered off-Broadway in 2003 and later transferred to Broadway, where it won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. SLAC’s production marks the regional premiere of the piece and stars David Spencer. Spencer, a longtime fixture of the Utah theatre scene, has had some practice with this sort of role before, having played in The Mystery of Irma Vep and as Sylvia St. Croix in Ruthless!, both at Park City’s Egyptian Theatre. He seems undaunted at the prospect of creating forty distinct personalities over the course of a two-hour evening: “You just take them one at a time. You determine what their function is in the play, then all the technical stuff: how they stand, where their energy is, what they sound like. Then suddenly, one day, you find that you’ve got it all down.” While the play runs the gamut of human emotion from humor to passion to
grief to transcendence, Spencer stresses that the central issue in the play is identity. This, he believes, is what makes the play resonate with gay audiences. “When [playwright] Doug Wright met Charlotte, he wanted to put her on a pedestal, to kind of deify her. Ultimately, he came to see that she was only human, only herself, but that made her all the more remarkable,” he says. The play delves into these questions of self in earnest: throughout the many trials she endures, the one constant in von Mahlsberg’s life, and what makes her fascinating to Wright, (who is himself a character in the piece), is her self-loyalty. The play celebrates the authentic self in all its triumphs and disgraces. Terrence McNally’s landmark play Love! Valour! Compassion!, opening Jan. 12 and produced by Wasatch Theatre Company, is another celebration of life and all its ups and downs. The play, which was awarded the Tony for Best Play in 1995, follows a group of eight friends over a series of weekends one summer at a lake-house in upstate New York. The men in the play represent a rich cross-section of gay life: Perry and Arthur, together for fourteen years, are approaching middle-age and are facing the prospects of lost youth and lost chances. Gregory is a famous choreographer coming to grips with his aging body, the end of his professional life, and the betrayal of his young lover, Bobby. Bobby is torn between his love for Gregory and his lust for Ramon, a young dancer with enormous sex appeal who causes trouble in every relationship he encounters. John and James, twin brothers played by one actor, are polar opposites: John is an embittered emotional and professional failure who covers his pain with cruelty, while his charming brother James is the picture of compassion and unconditional love. James, dying rapidly of AIDS, finds himself connecting closely with Buzz, a flamboyant musical-theatre freak and the play’s comedic heart. Under his exuberant exterior, however, Buzz, who is also suffering with AIDS, is confronting the terrifying prospect of dying alone and unloved. McNally is a master playwright whose other works include Master Class, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune and The Lisbon Traviata as well as the musicals Ragtime and Kiss of the Spider Woman. LVC has been called his masterwork, an enormously complex play full of vivid
characters, remarkable dialogue and a delicate, innovative structure that combines the natural and the surreal, combining elements such as naturalistic scenes around the dinner table with the image of eight men, clad in bubble-wrap tutus, performing the Pas de Cygnes from Swan Lake. The piece is alternately hilarious, touching, sexy, angry, and poignant. Director Jerry Rapier, who is also Producing Director of Plan-B Theatre Company, was thrilled to take on the project not only because he believes that the play is extraordinarily powerful and that audiences—gay and straight alike—are bound to fall in love with the close-knit group of characters on the stage, but also because he perceives a profound need for more gay-oriented theatre in Salt Lake. “I really hope that gay men and women turn out for this show,” he says. “The more people come when we do these shows, the more of them there will be.” Although the show does not open until mid-January, its advertising—which includes a disclaimer that the play features nudity and adult content—has already generated a lot of buzz. Indeed, special permission for the production had to be secured from the state Attorney General’s office. Although the show contains a lot of nudity, Rapier is quick to note that none of it is overtly sexual in nature. “The nudity is really very innocent,” he says. “It’s not about sex. These men are friends, and it speaks to the solidity of their relationships that they can be naked with one another—sun-bathing, swimming—without a sexual aspect. We don’t want to send the message that the nudity is there for titillation.” With two of the best-received plays of the last ten years bowing simultaneously on Salt Lake stages, 2006 promises to be a banner year for theatre in the city. And with January alone featuring two quality productions created by the best in local talent to choose from, it may turn out to be a banner year for gay theatre-goers as well. I AM MY OWN WIFE: Opens January 3rd, continues Wednesdays through Sundays through January 29, Chapel Theatre at Salt Lake Acting Company, 168 West 500 North. Tickets $30 at 363-SLAC or saltlakeactingcompany.org.
LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! Opens January 12, contnues Thursday through Sunday through January 22, Studio Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. Broadway. Tickets $12 at 355-2787 or arttix.org.
DECEMBER 22, 2005 ■ SALT LAKE METRO ■ 17
LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION!
Tutus and Transsexuals
Gay and Lesbian Films Abound at Sundance
an Echo Park district of Los Angeles that’s becoming gentrified largely by gays. Written and Directed by Richard Glatzer (Fluffer, Grief) and Wash Westmoreland (Gay Republicans, Totally Gay)
The Sundance Film Festival has released its slate of films competing in this year’s event, which runs Jan. 19–29 in Park City. To purchase individual tickets to films in the festival, you must first pre-register online at festival.sundance.org before Jan. 5, 2006 for a fee of $5.00. After the close of pre-registration, you will receive an e-mail Jan. 6 with your purchase date and time which are randomly assigned by a computer, as well as the website and phone number to use when purchasing your tickets. Ticket purchase will take place the week of Jan. 10. Several of this year’s films, as always, have gay or lesbian themes. To help you choose which films to look for, we have compiled the following list with the help of Queer Lounge and festival staff:
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
PREMIERES A selection of the latest work from established American and international directors and world premieres of highly anticipated films. “Friends With Money” A drama about three married women, their husbands, and their lone single friend. Written and Directed by Nicole Holofcener, writer for Sex and the City and Six Feet Under. CAST: Jennifer Aniston, Scott Caan, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand
“Kinky Boots” A man finds an unlikely ally in Lola, a brassy cabaret singer, in his effort to save his father’s shoe factory. Inspired by the true story of a traditional English men’s footwear factory in Northamptonshire which turned to production of kinky boots for transvestites in order to save the ailing family business and safeguard the jobs of the local community. Directed by Julian Jarrold and written by Geoff Dean and Tim Firth. CAST: Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sarah-Jones Potts, Jemima Rooper, Nick Frost, Linda Bassett
“The Night Listener” In the midst of his crumbling relationship, a gay radio show host (Robin Williams) begins speaking to his biggest fan, a young boy, via the telephone. When questions about the boy’s identity arise, the host’s life is thrown into chaos. Williams accepted a paltry $100,000 to play the role. Directed by Patrick Stettner and written by Armistead Maupin and Terry Anderson. CAST: Robin Williams, Toni Collette, Bobby Cannavale, Joe Morton, Rory Culkin, Sandra Oh
“This Film Is Not Yet Rated” A breakthrough investigation into Hollywood’s best-kept secret: the MPAA film ratings system and its profound impact on American culture. Directed by Kirby Dick.
INDEPENDENT FILM COMPETITION: DOCUMENTARY “Small Town Gay Bar” A voyage to the deep South to tell a tale of the struggle for community and expression in the face of ignorance, hypocrisy and oppression. Directed by Malcolm Ingram. “Wordplay” An in-depth look at The New York Times crossword puzzle and its editor Will Shortz, and the wonderfully unique and loyal fan base he has built and nurtured during his 12-year tenure at the paper. Directed by Patrick Creadon.
INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM COMPETITION: DRAMATIC “Puccini for Beginners” On the rebound from her latest lesbian relationship, a New York writer finds herself in two surprisingly complicated love affairs in this only-in-New-York screwball comedy. Directed and written by Maria Maggenti CAST: Justin Kirk, Gretchen Mol, Elizabeth Reaser
“Quinceañera” Two disaffected Latinos coming of age in
“Songbirds” Documentary by Brian Hill. “Unfolding Florence: The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst” A Colorful Life is a Docu/Drama based on the colorful life of flamboyant design pioneer Florence Broadhurst. Directed by Gillian Armstrong, Written by Katherine Thompson. (Australia.)
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION “The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros” Young Maxi’s unquestioned devotion to his family of small-time criminals in a Manila slum is undermined when he is befriended by a principled young policeman. Directed by Auraeus Solito, written by Michiko Yamamoto. (Philippines.)
SPECTRUM The Spectrum program presents 24 out-ofcompetition dramatic and documentary works by some of the most promising new independent filmmakers from the U.S. and abroad. Spectrum films are eligible for the Audience Award at the festival. “All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise” A documentary on the maiden cruise of R Family Vacations, the travel company founded by Rosie and Kelli O’Donnell, which specializes in gay family vacations. Setting sail on July 11, 2004, the trip took 500 families from New York to the Bahamas. “Beyond Beats and Rhymes: Masculinity in Hip Hop” Bryon Hurt hopes his documentary will expose and take apart the structures of violence, hyper-aggression, and misogyny present in much of today’s hip hop. Byron stresses the need to educate boys and men in the African-American community, in particular, about what it means to be male in our society. Encouraging such discussion, he believes, has the possibility to spark important social change.
SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
“Forgiving the Franklins” A conservative, God fearing Southern family is spiritually changed by an auto accident, but who they become puts them at odds with the highly conservative values around them.
“Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man” If you’ve never listened to Leonard Cohen, you will be struck by something ineffable, sensual, and deeply truthful in his music and person. Queer crooner Rufus Wainright is among several performers of Cohen’s repertoire woven through the film. “Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner” Covers three years of the life of one of our greatest living playwrights, Pulitzer and Tony Award-winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America) from 9/11 to the 2004 presidential election, capturing the fierce moral responsibility that pervades this passionate artist’s work.
FRONTIER The Festival’s Frontier section presents five films that represent new directions in filmmaking and Frontier Live, a live cinematic performance program. Utilizing experimental and innovative aesthetic approaches, work in the Frontier category challenges and provokes. Some Frontier films at Sundance Film Festival presented in the past include: Tarnation and The Joy of Life. “Wild Tigers I have Known” A lyrical telling of the coming of age of a 13-year-old boy who learns to cope with his newfound sexuality and his unrequited love for the cool kid in school.
SUNDANCE COLLECTION “Mala Noche” by Gus Van Sant
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT An eclectic mix of horror, over-the-top comedies, surreal tales, explicit animation, and bizarre stories that defy categorization. “Destricted” A spicy compilation of shorts by celebrated visual artists who are reinvigorating erotic film.
SHORTS PROGRAM Shown before features or combined in feature-length presentations, shorts program has become a prime source for discovering filmmaking’s newest voices. “Bugcrush,” “Fantôme Afrique,” “First Date,” “Hello, Thanks,” “Hold Up,” “Lot 63, Grave C,” “Mind Over Matter,” “Range,” “Rape for Who I Am,” “Smudge,” “Through the Ice,” “True North,” “Untitled,” and “What I Love About Dying.”
MUSIC CAFE Rufus Wainright will perform at the Music Cafe Friday, Jan. 20 at 6pm and Saturday, Jan. 21 at 4:3pm.
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Community Resources BISEXUAL BI MEN of Utah. Social and support group for bi/ gay men of Utah. groups.yahoo.com/group/BiGay-Men-Utah
FOOD/WINE GAY WINETASTINGS. qVinum is a fabulous group of wine lovers. qVinum.com
FRATERNAL ROYAL COURT of the Golden Spike Empire. Support your community! rcgse.org
HEALTH PEOPLE WITH AIDS Coalition of Utah 484-2205 www.pwacu.org
MEN’S SOCIAL UTAH MALE NATURISTS Naked lunches, outings and camping trips in a sex-free environment. umen.org
POLITICAL AMERICAN CIVIL Liberties Union. Fighting for individual freedoms since 1958. acluutah.org CODE PINK, a women-initiated peace, social justice movement. codepinkalert.com
SAME-GENDER MARRIAGE is a Feminist Issue: NOW’s mission is to promote equality for ALL women. utahnow.org
GAY RMS Social group for return missionaries of the LDS Church. Regular parties and group activities. gayRMs.com
AFFIRMATION: GAY and Lesbian Mormons. Sunday meetings 534-8693 members.aol.com/wasatchweb
QUEER UTAH Aquatic Club invites swimmers and water polo players of ANY skill level. QuacQuac.org.
UTAH STONEWALL Shooting Sports. Gender- and sexual-minority firearm advocates in Utah. stonewallshootingsportsutah.org
UTAH QUEER Events. Submit group events and see what’s happening in your community.
ENGENDERED SPECIES A social/support group resources for transgender people. 320-0551.
JOIN SLMETRO Yahoo group for breaking news and free or reduced arts and event tickets. groups.
WOMEN’S SOCIAL SINGLE LESBIAN? Meet other single lesbians for friendship and social events groups.yahoo.com/
NEW IN TOWN? Interested in meeting new friends? Join sWerve.
UTAH GAY Rodeo Association. PO Box 511255 SLC, UT 84151 ugra.net
DECEMBER 22, 2005 ■ SALT LAKE METRO ■ 19
CONVERGYS EMPLOYEES Would you like to meet your GLBT co-workers?
UTAH AIDS Foundation. Helping with the complex issues of HIV/AIDS.
Cafe Madrid by Vanessa Chang, firstname.lastname@example.org
2080 E. 3900 South, SLC, (801) 273-0837 Monday thru Saturday 5:30–close
to downtown. Washer/Dryer. $400/mo includes util. Call Walter at 537-7827. ROOM FOR RENT in gay male household. FOR RENT Great roommates. All LUXURY REMODEL: utilities included in 2 Bdr/1 Bath apt in rent. $260/month with 4-plex near Memory $260 deposit. Call JD Grove. Hdwd floors, w/ at 641-3405. d, all new appliances, covered parking, walk FOR SALE to downtown. $825/ MISC. ANTIQUES mo. + dep. Heat and Sewing machines, water incl. Call 364poster beds, etc. Call Walter 537-7827 8894.
TIRED OF THE BAR LIFE? Pride Counseling is offering a Gay Men’s Therapy/Support Group. Gay men often find that their options to socialize limited to clubs and bars. Most insurance companies billed, sliding fee scale. For information please call Jerry Buie LCSW at 595-0666.
SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
ARE YOU HIV+? HELP WANTED ROOMMATES Pride CounselWANTED ing has restartPRIDE COUNSELING is looking for an MSM TO SHARE my home. ed a Therapy/SupOutreach Worker on a Master suite w/bath, port Group for men part time basis. Please walk-in closet, deck, who are HIV infax letter of intent and & A/C. Pvt. living & dining rooms, wood fected and seeking resume to 801-5950669. Applicant must stove, & W/D. $500/ support from othmonth includes utls. have professional ers in similar situaCall 801-209-8757. boundaries and good tions. For informaLARGE ROOM in writing skills. tion please call Jerry IMMEDIATE NEED for cozy home. Private yard. Off street parkcell phone sales peoBuie LCSW at 595ple. Great for students ing. Smokers OK. Easy 0666 freeway access. Close or second job. Hours are 3pm–9pm and all day Saturday. $9/hr plus commision. Call Steve Whittaker, 4634828
PERSONALS WHERE ARE you Steven Gallegos? I have been looking for you off and on for about 13 yrs. After moving to SLC, people began coming up to me and initiating conversation about things of which I had no knowledge. They would look at me real funny. After awhile I began to realize there were two of us. I feel a real urgency to meet you. I’m a believer in fate but I already have a husband from Spain and am not looking for a replacement. I can be reached at 801641-3405. I’m sending this off with a prayer that you are still in SLC and that we might meet. All my life I’ve been told we all have an “astro twin”. I just find it bizarre that this is happening so close to home. It may do us both a lot of good to have an astro brother. If anyone sees this and has a friend with this name, please inform him.
Let’s start things off with a disclaimer: I know very little about wine. I won’t pretend to know anything other than what tastes good and what sometimes pairs well with the food I’m eating. There have been many restaurant dinners where the wine lists were as easy to read as the Dead Sea Scrolls and if I encountered any sort of wine snobbery from the service or the resident sommelier, my appetite decreased dramatically. So whenever I get the chance to dine with someone who actually knows a thing or two about wine, I go for it. My Salt Lake Metro partner in crime, Beau and his lovely wife joined me for dinner recently at Café Madrid. From our cozy table we dished about eating in this fair city, relished many plates of tapas, and talked vino. I’ll leave the wine particulars to Beau. He has a knack for plain-speak we wine-acolytes can understand. When I say unpretentious, I mean it. None of this condescending “I’ll dumb down wine for you.” I hate to use a cliché. But the only way to describe the restaurant is “charming.” From its size (a compact dining room of few booths and even fewer tables), to the Modigliani-like artwork on the walls (by the owner’s brother, J.C. Pino) to the lyrical nature of the menu (Spanish is sexy), it’s a pocket of a restaurant that a lot of diners consider their secret. For the indecisive, tapas are a godsend. Instead of agonizing over which entrée to get, you have several little plates. If you’re dining in a group, I think it’s the only way to really feast. Conversation propels the meal. Time is measured in bites. And the food propels the conversation. With glasses of delicate Serra Estella we dug into “the first round.” Beau’s selection of a Spanish white was slightly effervescent and versatile enough for everything from the cured meats in the entremeses (a plate of Serrano ham, chorizo sausage, and manchego cheese) to the seafood based pudding de pescado (a sort of pate) and the tosta sardinas (buttery and mild sardine crostini paired with more manchego). I was ready for the next round of tapas. The teasing (and tasty) few bits on an empty stomach and the bubbles in the wine made me more keenly aware of my hunger—and the noise. Café Madrid can
Di ing Guide Dining de Bangkok Thai
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Café Med 420 E. 3300 S. / 493-0100 HOURS: SU-TH 11AM-9PM F-SA 11AM-10PM CUISINE: MEDITERRANEAN PRICE: $ CARDS: TC AE D MC V
Persian, Greek, Italian, Turkish and Vegetarian in a warm, relaxing atmosphere.
Coffee Garden 898 S 900 E / 355-3425 HOURS: SU-TH 6AM-11PM F-SA 6AM-12AM CUISINE: COFFEEHOUSE PRICE: ¢ CARDS: AE D MC V
SLC’s buzzing java shop with a diverse crowd.
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32 beers, including Utah’s best selection of microbrews.
Michelangelo Ristorante 2156 S, HIGHLAND DR./ 466-0961
michelangeloristorante.com TU-SA 11:30AM-1:30PM 5:45-9PM CUISINE: ITALIAN PRICE: $$ CARDS: AE D MC V HOURS:
Begun by childhood friends Paulo Celeste and Marco Gabrielli of Tuscany.
be wonderfully cozy and intimate. But take the volume just one level higher in a packed dining room and it’s cacophony. At one point of the meal, the speakers blared so loudly, Beau asked for the volume to be turned down. I can’t really tell if it did. Maybe I was slurring my words, but I had to repeat a lot of my sentences to converse. By the second round, we discovered that the kitchen was adept with seafood. Calamari is a ubiquitous item that I use as a measuring stick for various restaurants. If the place does it well, I’ll eat there again. There was great crunch on the calamari rings. Slightly toothsome, but by no means rubbery. A pleasant surprise was octopus (say it with me, pulpo gallega). How many times I’ve experienced overcooked octopus, I can’t say. But it’s no wonder why folks don’t like it. It’s not fun chewing on rubber bands. So how stoked was I to bite into something so meltingly tender? Even the tentacles were soft. Clams in an oddly velvety salsa verde were light, lemon spiked, and fun to slurp out of their saucy shells. The third round brought about a slower pace—the dining room started to empty out and our bellies were reaching capacity. But Beau’s wife had a soft spot for the sausage with an intense and tangy fig sauce. The seedy crunch of dried figs was a nice counterpoint to the savory meat. Those of you who enjoy the “sweet-and-sour” principle of food will definitely pick this as a favorite. And I thought Beau’s choice of the Domino de Tares was a great pairing. Svelte roasted piquillo peppers held seafood stuffing. Sitting in a paprika-spiked sauce, it was a subtle but varied taste—sweet pepper, smoky sauce, with shellfish and white fish to lend slight heft. The only real letdown of the evening was the revuelto setas. You wouldn’t figure something as simple as scrambled eggs with mushrooms would feature on the menu. It’s common practice to savor meaty fungi with soft curds of scrambled eggs. But the version that night was a little tepid and lacking any real character. Utterly stuffed, we couldn’t even think about dessert. Though Café Madrid has a concise list with bizcocho borracho (tiramisù with a Spanish accent) and lemon custard with walnuts and honey that I find irresistibly intense—like grown-up sour candy. But it would have to wait for another time. Like the entrées, whose braised shank merits you’ll have to explore on your own time. But with food like this, it’s worth repeat visits. Especially with new (and wine savvy) friends. Nick-N-Willy’s Pizza
4538 S, HIGHLAND DR./ 273-8282
SU-TH 11AM-10PM F-SA 11AM-12PM CUISINE: PIZZA PRICE: $ CARDS: AE D MC V HOURS:
Dine in or take-out. Call ahead and we’ll have it ready. Albertsons Shopping Ctr.
Orbit Cafe 540 W. 200 S. / 322-3808 orbitslc.com HOURS: SU-TH 11AM-10PM F-SA 11AM-3AM CUISINE: AMERICAN ECLECTIC PRICE: $ CARDS: TC AE D MC V
Open late nights on Fridays and Saturdays with DJs and a special menu.
Salt Lake Pizza & Pasta 1063 E. 2100 S. / 484-1804
saltlakepizzaandpasta.com HOURS: CUISINE: PRICE:
M-SA 11AM-11PM SU 11AM-10PM ITALIAN $ CARDS: TC AE D MC V
Voted as Utah’s Best Pizza two years in a row! Great beer selection. Sugarhouse.
Sage’s Cafe 470 E. 300 S. / 322-3790
sagescafe.com W-F 11:30AM-2:30PM, W-TH 5-9:30PM FRI 5-10PM SAT 9AM-10PM SUN 9AM-9PM CUISINE: VEGETARIAN/ORGANIC PRICE: $ CARDS: TC AE D MC V HOURS:
Committed to providing the freshest, healthiest cuisine possible, without compromising.
The Original 1751 S 1100 EAST / 483-2971 HOURS: M-SA 11AM–7PM CUISINE: SANDWICHES PRICE: $ CARDS: TC AE D DC MC V
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Red,White Bubbly Celebrate Today by Beau Jarvis email@example.com
The word “Champagne” conjures up images of celebration and special occasions. Has it always been this way? Well, yes actually. From 898 to 1825 the kings of France were crowned in Rheims, the major city in the French region of Champagne. Locally-made wine flowed freely at these events. However, it wasn’t until the end of the 17th Century that this wine became bubbly. The advent of glass bottles combined with the cool climate in Champagne resulted in a “wine of stars,” as Dom Perignon purportedly described. How did this happen? It was all very much unintentional and completely natural. Wine stored in the cellars of Champagne began to ferment in the autumn. The quick arrival of winter in this northern region temporarily halted the fermentation process. A portion of unfermented, natural sugar remained in the wine (quick chemistry lesson: Yeasts feast on sugar in grape juice, converting the sugar to alcohol and then belch out carbon dioxide). As spring arrived and temperatures rose, fermentation commenced again. Carbon dioxide gas, the natural by-product of fermentation, was produced and captured inside the newlyinvented glass bottles. Et voila! Sparkling wine, as we know it, was born. Fine Champagne (i.e. sparkling wine from the region of Champagne) is the embodiment of elegance. It pairs superbly with practically every food on a menu. Of course, most of us aren’t able to regularly buy a bottle of luxurious Krug Grande Cuvée, priced at one Benjamin and a Ulysses. Fortunately
there are a number of sparkling wines that can be had for around $10. This makes it possible to celebrate with bubbly almost as often as we’d like. These value-priced sparklers are not as elegant and rich as Champagne, but they are nice, tasty wines that can lend a touch of class to Wednesday evening’s fridge raid. Believe it or not, the Spanish company Freixenet makes more sparkling wine than any of its Gallic neighbors to the northeast. Spanish bubbly is called Cava. Cava literally means “cellar,” which is where Spanish sparkling wine is made and aged using the metodo classico (Champagne method). Cava is generally very dry and lacks the yeasty/biscuit-like character that Champagne groupies love. However, it tastes great and its ultra-zest makes for a food-friendly wine. (Being around 10 bucks doesn’t hurt either.) If you are a Cava virgin I suggest you start with either Segura Viudas Brut Reserva ($8.95) or Aria Brut ($10.95). Both are very zesty, very crisp and very yummy. Italians call their sparkling wine Prosecco. It’s named after the Prosecco grape, which was traditionally the primary ingredient in Italian bubbly. Currently, numerous grape varieties are used in the production of Prosecco. The Italians make much of their bubbly using the ominous-sounding “tank method.” Instead of fermenting and producing bubbles in individual bottles, Prosecco is fermented in a large tank. The bubbly is then bottled under pressure to maintain its bubble-producing carbon dioxide gas. Generally speaking, Prosecco is quite crisp and racy. Its aroma zigzags around scents of green apple, citrus and mineral. A sip of Prosecco yields a fresh bite that tickles the salivary glands. After one sip your mouth usually begins to water. Of course this makes it a perfect partner for any food
that can accommodate increased flavor volume. From popcorn to scungilli pomodoro, Prosecco adds another flavor dimension. Who wouldn’t want a glass with dinner? Prosecco isn’t quite the value that Cava often represents. However, many Proseccophiles maintain that it is a more unique bubbly. You be the judge. Zardetto Prosecco Brut ($14.95) is a fine representative Italian bubbly. Another to try is Rotari Brut Arte Italiana ($14.50), which is actually made by the Champagne method. “Arte Italiana” seems to possess both Prosecco and Champagne characteristics, making it a must-try. Still feeling a little guilty about opening a bottle of bubbly — even value-priced bubbly — on Thursday evening for no apparent reason? Allow me to provide you with some reasons to celebrate on any day of the week: • Celebrate who you are. • Celebrate your friends. • Celebrate your family. • Celebrate your lover. • Celebrate your pets. • Celebrate that tomorrow is Friday. • Celebrate the smile on your face. Add bubbly to lunch or dinner a few
times a month. You don’t need a special occasion. Create an occasion and share it with a friend. Then, sit back and see how much better life can be with a few bubbles. Cheers! Beau Jarvis is a sommelier and wine educator. He operates basicjuice.com, a wine review and info website. He also runs basicjuice.blogs.com
DECEMBER 22, 2005 ■ SALT LAKE METRO ■ 21
Now Playing THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA
Four siblings discover a passage to the magical kingdom of Narnia tucked in the back of a closet. Perpetual winter grips the land ruled by the cruel White Witch (Tilda Swinton), but the children’s visit, coupled with lion king Aslan’s return, holds promise that spring might now arrive. Special effects and hard-charging action scenes trump storytelling in this heavy-handed adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ classic allegory. Swinton is perfect as the ice-hearted enchantress, a shining jewel in a movie that is otherwise mired in mediocrity. The book makes an awkward transformation to screen, providing many unintentional laughs along the way. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, for example, may be charming on the page, but rendered as talking animated animals on film, they are simply ridiculous. Grade: C / Kinsey Scale: 1 Swinton was a close collaborator of the late queer director Derek Jarman and has appeared in many gay-themed films. Co-star Jim Broadbent appeared in ‘The Crying Game,’ while animal characters are voiced by out actor Rupert Everett and ‘Kinsey’ star Liam Neeson.
In a seedy Chicago hotel room, assault and robbery interrupt adman Charles Schine’s (Clive Owen) extramarital affair with financial adviser Lucinda Harris (Jennifer Aniston). But the couple’s ordeal is only beginning as their assailant, Philippe Laroche (Vincent Cassel), begins a campaign of terror and blackmail. This crime thriller looks sleek, but runs off the rails almost immediately. Perennial girl-next-door Aniston is miscast as a bewitching seductress; Owen’s performance is so perfunctory that he seems to be constantly stifling a yawn; and Cassel is simply cartoonish. The story is a slapdash affair, full of unlikely developments, including a “surprise” twist that a 5-year-old could anticipate. Mikael Hafstrom’s direction is inept, especially in a brutal climax that plays out as unintentional comedy. Grade: C- / Kinsey Scale: 1 Aniston starred in queer-themed romantic comedy ‘The Object of My Affection,’ Owen starred in ‘Bent’ and Cassel in ‘Irreversible.’ Co-star Melissa George appeared in ‘Mulholland Drive,’ and co-star Giancarlo Esposito had a role in ‘Pinero.’
THE FAMILY STONE Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) is going home for the holidays with her fiance, Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney). She’s an uptight city gal with a severe bun and a cell phone that never stops ringing. The Stones, however, are well-to-do bohemian jerks who have forgotten how to be gracious to their houseguests. The movie consists of them exhibiting a bizarre behavioral combo of grooviness and evil, while Meredith comes unglued by it all. No one acts like a recognizable human being, as uncivil Christmas barbs turn to slapstick. Some third-act heart-warmth and tear-tugging cliches are thrown in to salvage the mess, but by then it’s way too late, and the movie has ruined Christmas — for the audience. Grade: C- / Kinsey Scale: 3 A queer deaf son and his boyfriend are thrown into the mix; their job is to be onedimensionally gay and adorable. Mulroney appeared in ‘Longtime Companion,’ while Sarah Jessica Parker starred in the gay-favorite series ‘Sex and the City.’ Gay director Thomas Bezucha also directed the far better 2001 movie ‘Big Eden.’
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) spreads evil in wizard-in-training Harry
Potter’s (Daniel Radcliffe) nightmares, dreams that may be prophetic. The 14-year-old has little time to consider the matter when he is chosen to compete in the TriWizard Tournament, an enchanted, Olympic-style contest that is fraught with danger. This adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s fourth Potter novel is also the darkest, as director Mike Newell sets an ominous tone from the opening scenes. It is an epic adventure that offers a full immersion into the wizards’ world, with impressive effects, fabulous settings, fantastic creatures, and a brave, heartbreakingly vulnerable hero in young Harry. Grade: B / Kinsey Scale: 1 Many of the film’s stars have appeared in gay films or queer roles. Screenwriter Steve Kloves scripted ‘Wonder Boys.’
JUST FRIENDS In high school, Chris Brander (Ryan Reynolds) was a fat nerd, tormented by jocks. The popular guys were also cruel to Chris’ best friend, Jamie (Amy Smart), for whom he secretly pined. Fast forward 10 years, and Chris is a buff hot-guy with a successful musicindustry career. When circumstances force him home for Christmas, he reunites with Jamie to try to woo her at last, but he has turned into the kind of jerk she knows all too well. Grade: C+ / Kinsey Scale: 1 There are several instances where Chris is called gay or “homo” by his taunting younger brother. One scene includes a gay couple sharing an affectionate kiss at a weepie movie.
KING KONG Movie director Carl Denham (Jack Black) travels to a remote South Seas island on location to finish the picture he’s making. There he and his crew discover a giant gorilla, some murderous natives and carnivorous dinosaurs. The big, hairy beast takes a liking to Denham’s lead actress, Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), and Denham takes a liking to the idea of selling tickets to see the enormous simian he names “Kong,” the consequences only unknown to the youngest viewers of this thoroughly entertaining remake. The three-hour running time may seem off-putting at first, but ‘Lord of the Rings’ director Peter Jackson packs every minute with momentum and, once on the island, fantastic digitally enhanced adventure. The amazing animated creatures will keep you riveted, and the sad-eyed, love-struck Kong will break your heart. Grade: A- / Kinsey Scale: 1 Naomi Watts starred as a bisexual actress in ‘Mulholland Drive.’
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
SALT LAKE METRO ■ DECEMBER 22, 2005
In the years before World War II, Sayuri (Ziyi Zhang) is taken from poverty to work as a servant in a geisha house. She
grows up there, is taught the life and rules of being a geisha, and eventually becomes the most celebrated and beautiful of them all. She has an intense rivalry with diva-geisha Hatsumomo (Gong Li), but her real downfall might be the forbidden love she feels for a man known as The Chairman (Ken Watanabe). This very old-fashioned movie aims right for the lush “Oriental” middle, which some audiences might find offensive — the dialogue in particular is stilted and strange, full of Hollywood ideas about how Asians speak broken English. But if looking at pretty people in pretty settings — and there is that in abundance — is all you need to be entertained, then this by-thenumbers melodrama will hit the spot. Grade: B- / Kinsey Scale: 1 Gay director Rob Marshall directed ‘Chicago.’
THE PRODUCERS Faded producer Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) and accountant Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) cook up a recipe for creating a huge Broadway flop so that they can embezzle the excess financing. They secure the rights to ‘Springtime for Hitler,’ a musical valentine to the Fuhrer, and hire tasteless director Roger De Bris (Gary Beach) and his tacky assistant Carmen Ghia (Roger Bart) to stage it. Mel Brooks’ award-winning, recordshattering Broadway musical comedy makes a mostly successful transition to the screen. Not all of the songs work within the context of a movie, and Uma Thurman is miscast as ingenue Ulla. But the rest of the cast in this gorgeous production is in top form; there are plenty of laughs, and best of all, Susan Stroman’s direction emphasizes her glorious choreography. Grade: B / Kinsey Scale: 3 Lane and Beach are both openly gay. Ironically, Lane plays one of the few non-gays in the movie, which boasts a number of queer supporting characters, all stereotypical (but then, all the film’s characters are stereotypes of one sort or another). Broderick, Bart, and Thurman have appeared in queer-themed projects.
RENT This rock musical follows the intertwined lives of a group of early 1990s New York bohemians. Filmmaker Mark (Anthony Rapp), musician Roger (Adam Pascal), dancer Mimi (Rosario Dawson), and their artist friends struggle with poverty, artistic repression, addiction, and AIDS, while protecting each other from falling through the cracks of urban life. It’s an admirable picture of friendsas-family, but, culturally speaking, this adaptation of the hit Broadway show is already outdated. Today’s Manhattan has lost the grit it once had, and the “underground” lifestyle
the musical celebrates has become mainstream thanks to the Internet. Only the earnestly felt themes of love and friendship survive Chris Columbus’ TV-movie-quality direction; and while those things may be all anyone needs to survive, they’re not enough to make the film feel truly alive. Grade: C+ / Kinsey Scale: 5 Actor Anthony Rapp, as heterosexual character Mark, is openly gay, and the story is full of queer characters and content.
SYRIANA From Academy Award-winning writer/ director Stephen Gaghan comes this deliberately-paced thriller set against the corruption and intrigue of the oil industry. There are multiple storylines, the central and most emotionally resonant ones involving CIA operative Bob Barnes (George Clooney), who finally learns the unsettling truth about his life’s work, and a sellout energy analyst (Matt Damon) who grapples with profiting from his own son’s accidental death. There’s more: corporate lawyers facing moral quagmires, ruthless CEOs, and downtrodden Pakistani teens turning to fundamentalist Islam. The dense layers of storytelling can get tediously heavy at times, and audiences may wonder what the point is beyond knowing that big business is evil. Still, strongly moving performances from Damon and Clooney keep this ponderous political beast from feeling too much like a depressing civics lesson. Grade: B / Kinsey Scale: 1 Clooney produced the gay-themed film ‘Far from Heaven.’ Damon starred in the queer-themed ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley,’ while co-star Jeffrey Wright played gay in ‘Angels in America,’ and co-star William Hurt won an Oscar for playing gay in ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’
WALK THE LINE Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) was country music’s original outlaw, so why does this biopic go down so smoothly? Perhaps because it comes posthumously when goodwill toward his memory is strong. Still, it’s full of real-life moments, solid performances (especially from Reese Witherspoon as June Carter), and energy to spare. The story of Cash’s rise and fall and rise again, from black-sheep son to swaggering, renegade country star to amphetamine addict to born-again Christian brims with life and humor. The rough edges have been sanded down to make the man who sang, “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die,” a little more cuddly than he actually was. Grade: B+ / Kinsey Scale: 1 Witherspoon has a large gay following, thanks to ‘Legally Blonde’ and other films. Shelby Lynne, the Grammy-winning country artist who plays Cash’s mother, has a very devoted lesbian fan base.
DECEMBER 22, 2005 ■ SALT LAKE METRO ■ 23
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