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Utah’s News & Entertainment Magazine for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community | FREE

salt lake May 10, 2012 Issue 206

HOME&GARDEN Pride Awards Announced

Center Launches Anti-Bullying Line

Unite Salt Lake City Festival

Rufus’ Ramblings


BEETHOVEN CYCLE CONCLUDES MAY 25–26, 2012 | 8 PM | ABRAVANEL HALL The CyCle ends aT The beginning. Beethoven wrote his first Symphony around the turn of the 19th

century and though it owes something to his predecessors, namely Haydn, it also contains the seeds of his future mastery of the form. This final Masterworks program of the 2011-12 season also features the massive scale and dazzling orchestration of the Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss. Both works highlight the virtuosity of the Utah Symphony and bring Maestro Fischer’s exciting season-long journey to a quiet, dreamlike close. For TiCkeTs Call 801-355-arTs (2787) or visiT TexT ‘symphony’ To 53535 For speCial deals senT To your phone!

June 16-17, 2012


Every weekend, you’ll find clubs, galleries and chef-owned cafés throughout the neighborhoods of Denver. On June 16th and 17th, you’ll also find PrideFest. Connect with new and old friends, listen to live music, dance, and join the parade through the Mile High City. Learn the truths, take the dares, and plan your Pride getaway at VISITDENVER.COM/GLBT



MAY 10, 2012

EEOC ruling: Discrimination based on gender identity is illegal An employer who discriminates on the basis of gender identity or expression is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination, according to a recent ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Transgender and gender-queer people are protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the commission ruling stated. The opinion could dramatically alter the legal landscape for transgender workers across the nation, including in Utah. However, this ruling does not apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is still legal in many states, including many parts of Utah. The EEOC concluded that “intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination ‘based on ... sex’ and such discrimination ... violates Title VII.” The EEOC is the federal agency that interprets and enforces federal employment discrimination law, and the decision marks the first time it has offered clear guidance on this issue. The ruling came as a result of a discrimination complaint filed by the Transgender Law Center on behalf of Mia Macy, a transgender woman who was denied a job as a ballistics technician at the Walnut Creek, Calif. laboratory of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Macy, a veteran and former police detective, initially applied for the position as male and was told that she was guaranteed the job. She was exceptionally qualified for the position, having a military and law enforcement background and being one of the few people in the country who had already been trained on ATF’s ballistics computer system. After disclosing her gender transition during the hiring process, Macy


publisher Michael Aaron editor Seth Bracken arts & entertainment

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was told that funding for that position had been suddenly cut. She later learned that someone else had been hired for the job. “As a veteran and a police detective, I’ve worked my whole career to uphold the values of fairness and equality. Although the discrimination I experienced was painful both personally and financially, and led to the loss of my family’s home to foreclosure, I’m proud to be a part of this groundbreaking decision confirming that our nation’s employment discrimination laws protect all Americans, including transgender peo-

Tennessee lawmaker scraps ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill The sponsor of Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill dropped his push to ban the discussion of homosexuality in schools. Republican Rep. Joey Hensley said he is shelving the bill for this legislative session based on the opposition of “some people who didn’t want to vote on it.” He also said he received a promise from the Tennessee Department of Education that the department would send all elementary and junior high schools a letter banning teachers from discussing homosexuality. The bill cleared the Senate last year and won approval from the House Education Committee with an 8-7 vote this year. The bill was on a clear path to the House floor where it was expected to pass. However, Hensley said the nickname of the bill was ill-placed and it contributed to the unease of some lawmakers who were to vote on the measure. He said the bill would be refiled next year if there was any indication of “alternative lifestyles” being promoted in Tennessee schools.

“With that assurance and the opposition of some people who didn’t want to vote on it, I’ve decided simply not to bring it up,” Hensley told the Knoxville News Sentinel. Last month, the bill’s co-sponsor Republican Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst made headlines when he compared homosexuality to bestiality while advocating for the bill. “There is no need to talk about Billy wanting to marry a goat,” he said.

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ple,” Macy said in the hearing. “I’m grateful for the help of Transgender Law Center, which believed in me from the start and helped guide me through this process. No one should be denied a job just for being who they are.” Transgender Law Center’s Legal Director Ilona Turner explained, “It’s incredibly significant that the Commission has finally put its stamp of approval on the commonsense understanding that discrimination against transgender people is a form of sex discrimination. That’s true whether it’s understood as discrimination because of the person’s gender identity, or because they have changed their sex, or because they don’t conform to other people’s stereotypes of how men and women ought to be.”



Quips & Quotes ❝❝We select people not

based upon their ethnicity or their sexual preference or their gender. But upon their capability. He was a capable individual. We’re sorry to have him go and actually a whole series of the senior people on my team and my supporters called him and encouraged him to stay. But he expressed a desire to move on and I wish him the very best.” —Mitt Romney on the resignation of his openly gay spokesman Richard Grenell

❝❝There will always be people

who bully me for being gay, but I don’t care. It doesn’t affect me and it never has. That’s probably why they keep doing it. As a person who is all about love and peace, I know that you can’t be fully or truly happy until you are confident in who you are.” —Tennessee student Zac Mitchell as quoted his high school yearbook

❝❝I believe that everyone must

stand up for what is right, whenever possible, wherever possible. That is why I am joining you in opposing Amendment One in North Carolina. Amendment One unfairly targets women, children and families, gay and straight, who fall outside of the narrow definition of family articulated by those who drafted the legislation. It is our duty to join the fight on behalf of both the gay and lesbian North Carolinians who were the original targets of the amendment and the tens of thousands of straight male and female North Carolinians who will be collateral damage if the amendment passes next Tuesday.” —Chelsea Clinton

❝❝The sodomites are the real

bullies. They want to force us to accept their abdominal behavior as if it were normal. If you refuse to ‘tolerate’ such deviancy they shower you with love-speech.” —Christian activist Dave Daubenmire



MAY 10, 2012


Biden getting comfortable with gay marriage Vice President Joe Biden touted, on Meet the Press, the Obama administration’s support of queer rights, and voiced his own support and comfort with gay couples marrying. However, he fell short of saying that if elected to a second term President Barack Obama would endorse a marriageequality platform. “The good news is that as more and more Americans become to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out is what all marriages, at their root, are about. Whether they’re marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals,” Biden said in the interview. Obama’s position on gay marriage has cycled over the years. He endorsed gay marriage during a 1996 run for the Illinois Senate, but then opposed it when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2004 and for president in 2008. Last summer Obama said his views on gay marriage were “evolving” but has avoided the subject since. Biden pointed out Obama’s work on overturning the discriminatory military policy banning openly gay and lesbian soldiers from serving in the armed forces and his implemented policy requiring hospitals that receive federal funding to allow same-sex partner visitations. In the 2008 race during a debate with Sarah Palin, Biden said that neither “Barack Obama nor I support redefining, from a civil side, what constitutes marriage. We do not support that.” Biden softened that stance with a heartfelt, apparently unrehearsed comment.


Colorado House committee approves civil-unions bill

“Look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy,’’ Biden said. “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying [one] another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And, quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.” After the remarks, some gay rights activists felt the vice president’s remarks amounted to unequivocal support of samesex marriage. But Biden’s office said his remarks should be seen only as an assertion that gay couples deserve the same rights as heterosexual couples.

A Colorado House committee dominated by Republicans approved a civil-unions bill just a year after the same committee rejected the measure. The bill, which cleared the committee with a 6-5 vote, would offer legal protections similar to those of marriage to gay Colorado couples. The bill faces two more committee votes before landing on the House floor for approval. But bill sponsors remain optimistic that they have enough support and momentum to have the bill clear the House and land on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk by the end of the month. The measure has already passed the Senate and Hickenlooper has promised to sign the bill. Colorado would join more than a dozen other states with similar bills and protections. “My hope just shot through the roof. I feel like I’m sitting in the middle of an amazing place in history,” Cristina Aguilar, a gay-rights activist from Denver, told The Associated Press. Rep. Mark Ferrandino, the openly gay Democrat and sponsor of the bill, said before the vote that he wanted equal rights and protections for himself and other gay and lesbian couples. He asked that the Republican chairman overseeing the House Judiciary Committee grant gays and lesbi-

sanctity of marriage

child, and she was detained for two days in an immigration jail in Eloy, Ariz., hours away from her young daughter on her birthday. She is the latest victim of profiling under a new law that Wife of U.S. solider held in immigration prison would allow police to question the citizenship A visit to the local grocery store to pick up status of anyone stopped for any violation. plastic plates for her 3-year-old daughter’s ‘Bachelor’ host may need to take some advice birthday party turned into a 48-hour nightmare Host of the hit TV series The Bachelor, Chris for a deployed U.S. Army soldier’s wife. Araceli Harrison, is joining the ranks of the men as seen Mercado Sanchez, 22, was stopped for a on the reality series and is going be a bachelor, minor traffic violation and was threatened with again. The 40-year-old television personality deportation. She admitted that she has been in said he and his wife are ending their 18-year the country illegally since she was a very young marriage, and that the choice is mutual. He has

ans equal protection in the law. Republican Rep. B.J. Nikkel was the deciding swing vote and she voted against the bill last year. She said her change of heart came after hearing the crowd of gay couples who shared painful stories of the impact that the inequality in the law had on them and their families. “I was looking over the crowd and thinking, ‘These are all folks that deserve to be treated equally,’” Nikkel said. Opponents contended that civil unions harm traditional marriage and that voters expressed their position when they banned same-sex marriage in 2006 with a ballot initiative. Byron Babione, a representative from the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative group, said civil unions are “marriage without the name.” However, gay couples asked for the committee to vote in favor of the bill to support families who may not fit the traditional mold. “I ask you to vote tonight in favor of all of your constituents,” said Jason Cobb, a Denver attorney who is raising a son with another man. “We’re more than a political issue. We’re your family, we’re your neighbors, your sons, your daughters, your grandchildren. I ask you to vote for family tonight.” hosted the ABC dating series since 2002.

Polish rage A Polish man is under investigation for allegedly purchasing grenades, automatic rifles and pistols for friends when he asked to have six people burned alive who he thought caused his marriage to dissolve. Zenon Gregorczyk, 49, allegedly said that the six unidentified targets poisoned his wife’s opinion of him, leading to divorce. An informant turned him in to authorities after he tried to buy an AK-47 and other weapons, according to the federal complaint. Because nothing says, “I miss you,” quite like an AK-47.

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MAY 10, 2012

Pink Party

one’s kids,” said Flint, a mother herself. “There are a lot of us who care, and we would do anything to help you.” Jim Rollins, a straight father and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, everyone is loved. “I, in high school — I’m definitely guilty of using derogatory terms,” said one man. “I wouldn’t be caught dead doing that now. It’s because I love you, and it’s because I care.” After the speakers, hundreds of candles were lit and religious leaders offered prayers for love, peace, healing and change. As the

event concluded, over 250 candles were aflame, filling the amphitheater with light. “This is only the beginning. The community response has been overwhelming that we must protect our children from bullying and homophobia. We must continue to press for the changes needed to ensure safety so that every child can grow to adulthood. The community demands no less and we will continue to hold forums, panels and rallies to organize this energy for positive change,” said Marian Edmonds, OUTreach executive director.

Center launches anti-bullying hotline

ny the hotline. These resources will link to national anti-bullying websites as well as local resources for at-risk youth. The online pages will also link to current Utah bullying policies. Another important resource will also outline steps you can take if you are a bystander in a bullying situation.

A support line for those who have been bullied was launched by the Utah Pride Center as part of its Step Up and Speak Out campaign. The No Bully Hotline will serve as a resource for youth, parents and teachers and those who are part of the queer and allied community. Those who need advice on bullying issues may call 801-580-7680 or email The No Bully Hotline will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a trained staff member or volunteer of the Utah Pride Center. While no single factor puts a youth at risk of being bullied or bullying others, queer youth and those perceived as queer are at an increased risk of being bullied. There is no statewide system or policy to prevent or deal with bullying and the implementation of discipline and action is left to individual districts and communities. The hotline is designed to help victims have a witness or confidant for support and guidance. The Step Up and Speak Out Campaign is part of an effort to provide information, resources and education for Utah’s queer youth, young adults and those working to provide safe and affirming environments for them. “Recent news about LGBT youth being bullied in northern Utah is the impetus for our launch. This hotline may provide a new vehicle for young people to reveal a problem and tell us they’re in crisis,” said Valerie Larabee, the Center’s executive director, in a press release. “Telling someone is often the most difficult thing. It’s a great way for them to do it without any confrontation.” Even if youth are not bullied, they are impacted by bullying. Many times, when



Ogden rallies against bullying More than 100 people gathered in Ogden for a community gathering after the suicide of a young gay man for a candlelight vigil and to discuss the harms of bullying. Ogden OUTreach, a queer resource center, hosted the event with speakers from around the Wasatch Front. Kendall Wilcox, a former Brigham Young University professor and the producer of a recent ‘It Gets Better’ video by gay Mormons, told the crowd about his conversations with youth and adults who struggle to earn their family’s support. Bonnie Flint, a teacher in Davis County, said her district received an email from a gay student who said he was being bullied and called names in the locker room. “I don’t think this should happen to any-


they see bullying, they may not know what to do to stop it, Larabee said. They may not feel safe intervening in the moment, but there are many other steps they can take. In phase two of this effort, Utah Pride will provide online resources to accompa-

OUTreach is at, 801-686-4528

Team Hardwood slam dunks national Coady Classic Every Saturday morning at 10 a.m., more than a dozen people of all ages, skill level and orientation show up at the Murray Boys & Girls Club for Team Hardwood practice. The queer-inclusive basketball team has been streaking the courts at tournaments around the globe since 2005. All ages and playing abilities are invited to join and the team asks only that participants help chip in $2 for the court rental fee and that they bring dark and light T-shirts to change into for scrimmages. Team Hardwood is floating high off a recent Coady Classic division championship in Chicago at the end of April. With a full team making the trek to the Windy City to represent Utah, the roster is made up of anyone who wants to play and can make the travel, said Stewart Ralphs, a team spokesperson. “Most of the tournaments we go to, we’re pretty competitive,” he said. “Utah always has a good showing and we get to a lot of the tournaments.” Team Hardwood is a member of the National Gay Basketball Association, and in

addition to competing in the Gay Games, the team sends delegations to most of the quarterly tournaments held around the nation. From Seattle, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, Team Hardwood crisscrosses the country competing with some of the best teams in the league. Hardwood also hosted a competition in Salt Lake City in 2006, which was viewed as an enormous success, he said. “We have something for everyone. There are people of all age groups and skill levels that play and practice with us,” Ralphs said. “It’s a fun environment and we want to make everyone feel welcome.” While still building up enough people to create a league in Salt Lake with multiple local teams, Team Hardwood will continue to attend all the national tournaments possible, he said. For more information, email Ralphs at or go to the Murray Boys & Girls Club, 244 E. Myrtle St., on Saturdays, 10 a.m.

Join the Kimpton Hotel chain and the Utah AIDS Foundation for the inaugural Pink Party. Similar to the Red Party held each December, this event the perfect precursor to Pride, with all proceeds going to the UAF. WHEN: May 31, 5:30 p.m. WHERE: Hotel Monaco, 15 W. 200 South INFO:

Sex 20x20 Sex 20x20, presented by the Utah AIDS Foundation, is a rush of images and ideas that will elevate your sex life! Presenters will arouse the senses with a presentation of 20 images and ideas, with each image being shown for only 20 seconds. You will be left talking and getting it on like never before! You’ll also leave with amazing tips and knowledge on how to be a bad boy in bed, tips for a successful threesome and making sex more adventurous. There will also be plenty to say about self-compassion, relationships and spring fashion. WHEN: May 23, 8 p.m. WHERE: JAM, 751 N. 300 West INFO:

Southern Utah Equality Celebration After a sold-out success last year, the 2nd Annual Southern Utah Equality Celebration is expanding to host 400 guests. Nearly doubling in size, the fundraising dinner will include a live performance and awards ceremony. Guests are encouraged to wear a costume to accent the event’s theme, Equality Evolution. The event will honor local queer-rights activists Diane Bernard and George Stoddard, along with the University of Utah St. George HIV Clinic staff. The evening will include a silent auction, live music and a dramatic performance. WHEN: May 19, 5:30 p.m. WHERE: Coyote Gulch Art Village, Ivins COST: $75 INFO:

Gay Day at the Zoo Enjoy the warm weather and exotic animals at the zoo on the most fabulous day of the year. The Escape is hosting Utah’s only Gay Day at the Zoo. It’s a blast! It’s a laid back setting and very easy to make new friends. Wear red to show support and identity with the community. WHEN: May 19 WHERE: Hogle Zoo, 2600 Sunnyside Ave. TICKETS: $12.75 at the gate


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MAY 10, 2012

Openly gay Republican lands spot in Utah presidential primary This June, presidential candidate Mitt Romney may be the presumed winner in Utah, but there are other candidates on the ballot for Republican voters to consider. Openly gay GOP candidate Fred Karger is one of five candidates for conservative Utahns to push for during the June 26 primary. Karger has kept up his campaign in the Republican Fred Karger Party while advocating for marriage equality and prochoice stances. And while never landing a spot in a major Republican debate, he did defeat Texas Rep. Ron Paul in the Puerto Rican primary. Karger has been a longtime member of the Republican Party and has served as aide and adviser to Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. “People need a more reasonable, moderate option than Romney and that’s why I am staying in the race, to give them that chance,” Karger said. “I am one of three major contenders left in the race and we’re going to stick it out.” Securing a spot on the ballot was simple compared to other states — an OK from the state’s Republican Party chairman Thomas Wright and the entrance fee. After Log

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Deadline to register for GOP primary approaching With the presidential election heating up, local races are often overlooked; primary races even more so. On June 26, Republican will be pitted against Republican and Democrat against Democrat. Utah’s primary system is unique, and to vote in a Republican poll, voters must be registered as Republicans. To register as a Republican, voters can visit and fill out the form, then mail it in by May 25 or drop it off at the County Clerk’s office by May 29. Unaffiliated voters also cannot vote in the Republican primary. The Utah Democratic Party allows registered voters in all parties to vote in its primary election and Republican voters can vote in both elections. This year, there is a high-profile Senate race between Sen. Orrin Hatch on the Republican side and the Democratic representative for Congressional District 1 will be chosen between Ryan Combe and Donna McAleer. On the Republican side, openly gay candidate Melvin Nimer is running against the former campaign manager for Gov. Gary Herbert. Also, the Republican race between West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder and former Salt Lake City Councilman Mark Crockett will decide who is running against Democrat, Ben McAdams.

Cabin Republican and Salt Lake County Council candidate Melvin Nimer spoke with Wright, it was automatically given the go ahead, Nimer said. “I just spoke with him and he immediately agreed to it,” Nimer said. “I think that’s a good example of how far we have come as a caucus in the party. Ten years ago that would have been unheard of.” Karger’s platform extends beyond sexuality and queer rights. He said he is prochoice, a supporter of immigration reform and supports full marriage equality, which even President Barack Obama does not support, Karger pointed out. Karger is also an advocate of immediately ending the war in Afghanistan. “From the establishment all around I’ve received a lukewarm response to my candidacy,” Karger said. “But the everyday people have responded so well. Really, it’s been an incredible response.” Karger has also pushed for the Mormon Church to avoid involvement in politics. After California’s Proposition 8 was approved by voters, Karger used his organization, Californians Against Hate, to investigate the Mormon Church’s and the National Organization for Marriage’s campaigns to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage law. The Mormon Church was found guilty of 13 counts Sen. Ben McAdams, Utah Pride Center Exof late reporting and was fined $5,539. ecutive Director Valerie Larabee and politiFor more information about his campaign, go cal cartoonist Pat Bagley are recipients of to the Utah Pride Festival’s top awards. Larabee is being awarded the Dr. Kristen Ries Comnizers. The festival’s theme is One Step Tomunity Service ward Unity, Humanity and Peace, he said. Award, which is giv“We want to make sure that everyone en to someone who remembers this isn’t just a local music fesembodies the comtival, but a chance to get to know some new passion, leadership organizations and people,” Hacker said. and courage attrib“We really want to make this a place where Sen. Ben McAdams uted to the award’s everyone feels welcome and involved.” namesake, Dr. Ries, Nonprofit organizations, such the Huwho has long demman Rights Campaign, the Utah AIDS onstrated her endFoundation, Equality Utah, the Utah Pride less determination Center and the Royal Court of the Golden to support those livSpike Empire are all participating. ing with, and affect“We want people who are just looking for ed by, HIV and AIDS. something fun to do on a Saturday afternoon Larabee was chosen to have some great things to look at, some for the award by a great music to listen to, and something more; panel of past award recipients. a real way to get involved,” he said. Valerie Larabee Larabee’s success For more information, go to at the helm of Utah’s queer community or find Unite SLC on Facebook. center flows from a rich and diverse set of life and work experiences, including her service in the United States Air Force under the defunct “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. “So much of what I have done since my service in the military is to fight, to make sure that no one has to live like I did,” Lara-

Festival seeks to unite Salt Lake

The first annual Unite Salt Lake City Festival will bring together musicians, drag queens, nonprofit organizations and much more for a step toward equality and dignity in Utah. The event will be held May 12, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., at Liberty Park, 900 S. 700 East. Local bands, such as the Fabby awardwinning Suicycles, Redemption, Folk Hogan, Riverhead and Cheap & Nasty, will perform, along with many, many more. Local artists will display their works and local food vendors will have treats available for purchase. Local drag superstars Systeen Chapelle, Chyna, Kendra, Kyra, Midori and Vivica Starr will also be performing. The festival is free and designed as a place for nonprofits and charities to mix with locals who may not have known about their programs and how to become involved, said Jeff Hacker, a festival co-orga-


“This is a great opportunity for another member of the LGBT community to set an example and help us overcome the misperception and sometimes fear and anger toward our community,” Nimer said in a press release. To find a polling station, or for more information, go to Here is a list of the primary election bids up for a vote on June 26.

REPUBLICAN U.S. Senate: Orrin Hatch, Dan Liljenquist Salt Lake County Mayor: Mike Winder, Mark Crockett Attorney General: Sean Reyes, John Swallow Salt Lake County Council at Large: Joe Demma, Melvin Nimer House District 31 (West Valley City): Ryan Jenkins, Fred Johnson Senate District 24 (Monroe): Patrick Painter, Ralph Okerlund Senate District 28 (Cedar City): Vickers, Casey Anderson

DEMOCRAT Congressional District 1: Ryan Combe, Donna McAleer House District 33 (Salt Lake City): Neal Hendrickson, Liz Muniz Senate District 8 (Cottonwood Heights): Ty McCartney, Josie Valdez

Pride award recipients announced

bee said, in a press release. Over the past seven years, Larabee has steered the Pride Center toward a secure future of supporting the queer community around the state. The Pride Center now offers comprehensive HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs, queer elder programs and mental health services and is involved in a statewide effort to educate youth service providers on family acceptance. McAdams is being awarded the Pete Suazo Political Action Award for his fierce support of Utah’s queer community. As a sponsor and supporter of laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity, McAdams embodies the tenacity, courage and compassion of past recipients of the award. He is currently the Democratic candidate for Salt Lake County mayor. California native Pat Bagley is the second recipient of the Pride Festival’s Local Hero Award for exceptional service, support and dedication to the queer community. Bagley is a longtime ally of Utah’s queer community who consistently shapes the news with humorous and poignant political cartoons. He has his work published in The Salt Lake Tribune, where he has served as the paper’s political cartoonist since the 1970s. He has also written or contributed to more than 20 books.

Awards will be given at the Grand Marshal Reception on Friday, June 1.


MAY 10, 2012



snaps & slaps

SLAP: Russian propaganda A renowned Russian activist was the first person to be fined under St. Petersburg’s new ban on “gay propaganda.” Nikolai Alexeyev was convicted under the new anti-gay law that bans public support of homosexuality. The court ruled that he had promoted homosexuality in front of minors when he held a sign that read “Homosexuality is not a perversion.” The judge reviewed statements from several people who said they feared the sign might have harmed their children. Alexeyev denied any wrongdoing in court and said, “I do not know what it means to promote homosexuality, and I do not admit my guilt.” He said his protest was to show that gays and lesbians have the same rights as other people.

SNAP: Ex-gay conference canceled

from the editor Will Democrats back marriage equality?


By Seth Bracken

LTHOUGH RECENT POLLING indicates that gay marriage is one of the least important issues for Americans this election cycle, there’s going to be plenty of gay-rights issues on the ballot come November. In addition to the several states voting to legalize or ban gay marriage, there’s growing movement for the Democratic Party to officially endorse marriage equality as a party platform. More than a dozen state representatives to the Democratic Party are calling on the party to endorse gay marriage and so are dozens of city mayors and other party leaders. Park City’s own Mayor Dana Williams has come out squarely on the side of marriage equality. But is it enough momentum? Vice President Joe Biden told NBC’s Meet the Press that he’s “absolutely comfortable” with gay couples receiving all the same civil rights and liberties as heterosexual couples and that marriage should be about love, not politics. “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying

women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties,” Biden said in the interview. However, Biden was quick to acknowledge that it was not his place or role to leg-

The line in the sand is already drawn, and team marriage equality is winning islate or make social policy. A spokesperson for President Barack Obama insisted that Biden did not break ranks with the president who does not support marriage equality but has said his views on the issue are “evolving.” Poll after poll indicate rising support

nationally for marriage equality, and it appears that gay couples in Maine, Maryland and Washington will have the chance to say “I do” by next year. Coupled with the looming victory in the Proposition 8 case and allowing gay marriage in California, for many Americans, the line in the sand is already drawn, and team marriage equality is winning. So why won’t the president and the Democratic Party jump on the winning bandwagon? One of the deciding factors in the case challenging Prop. 8 that is likely to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court is whether or not the judges feel the U.S. citizenship is ready for gay marriage. While this may not be fair and the decision should probably be made on legal merits alone, with a monumental case that could lead to the legalization of gay marriage around the nation, the justices will consider the social implications of their decree. Steps such as having a major political party and the current president of the United States voicing public support for marriage equality could potentially sway the court’s vote and be the deciding factor in pushing justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas toward making the right decision. The sooner the Democrats and the president get behind marriage equality, the less embarrassing it will be for them in the history books. Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron put it quite simply when he said, “If marriage is good for heterosexuals, it is good for gay couples too.”  Q

The so-called “ex-gay” industry is being attacked on all fronts. This year alone, the head of its most famous group announced that not one gay person has ever been “cured.” Next, the researcher who authored the most cited “ex-gay” study recanted his findings and apologized profusely to the gay community. Now, Exodus International, the largest “ex-gay” organization in the country is cancelling the annual conference due to lack of attendance. The conference was scheduled for later this month, but attendance has been dropping from its ceiling of 1,000 attendees. This year, only a couple of hundred people expressed interest in attending.

SNAP: Missouri lawmaker comes out After deciding not to run for re-election, Missouri General Assembly member Zach Wyatt said he wanted to do something meaningful before retiring. After news broke about a bill pushed by Republicans that would restrict discussion of sexual orientation in schools, the “don’t say gay” bill — Wyatt knew how to make his mark. Wyatt spoke out against the bill and said, “Today I ask you to stand with me as a proud Republican, a proud veteran and a proud gay man who wants to protect all kids.”

QSaltLake welcomes your letters to the editor. Please send your letter of 300 words or less to We reserve the right to edit for length or libel if a letter is chosen for publication.





MAY 10, 2012

the straight line

Election 2012: Here we go again By Bob Henline

T SEEMS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY I was beating my favorite dead horse, but here we are again with an election just around the corner. The 2012 ticket is set; Mitt Romney has locked up the Republican nomination and will be squaring off against President Barack Obama in November. Utah’s political observers have speculated that voter turnout will be as much as 12 percent higher than in 2008 due to Romney presence at the top of the ticket. Most seem to agree that it will make this a difficult year for Utah Democrats, even though historically higher voter turnout tends to favor Democrats, especially lower down the ballot. I honestly don’t know from where this 12 percent estimate is being derived, but it does seem to be the number being tossed about by the “experts.” What I do know is this: For Democrats to succeed in Utah, especially in statewide races, we’re going to need to see much more than a 12 percent increase in voter turnout. The Republicans have run roughshod over this state for decades, dominating the Legislature, the county commissions, the state constitutional offices and virtually everything outside of Salt Lake City. They manage to do this, quite frankly, because Democrats haven’t managed to organize and energize voters enough to impact the elections. This year we have a slate of great candidates, from Scott Howell (U.S. Senate) and Peter Cooke (governor) at the statewide level down to Ben McAdams (Salt Lake County mayor) and Sam Granato (Salt Lake County Council) and legislative candidates like Josie Valdez, Jeff Bell, Liz Muniz and Billie Larson, just to name a few. These are people that are willing to offer themselves up in the fight for a more rational and moderate Utah. They are candidates going out on a limb against serious odds to try to make changes to the ridiculous way our state has been managed for the past several years. Do you like the fact that there are no statewide protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation? Do you like our government spending $13 million to buy off the losing bidder of a “perfectly legitimate” contract award and then persecuting an innocent woman over it? Do you want more of our tax money wasted paying contract

attorneys to sue the federal government, with the price of victory being that our natural heritage is then auctioned off to Halliburton while our children are crammed into overstuffed classrooms and educated at the lowest common denominator? We have serious issues to solve in this country. We have an economy that is barely starting to recover after eight years of relentless assault by deregulated greed. We have an educational system on the verge of collapse. We have corporations that have been allowed to rape and pillage their way through our land, leaving in their wake unbreathable air and toxic water. And then we have Republicans, who are more interested in preventing women’s access to birth control and health care than they are in fixing the real problems. They would rather scream and shout about God, guns, gays and gynecology than roll up their sleeves and get to work on fixing things. Orrin Hatch has been in office for 36 years, and has spent the last four doing nothing but playing procedural games, attempting to block any action in the Senate that doesn’t lead to more financial benefits for his wealthy benefactors. Yet we continue to elect him. Why? There’s a very old saying, “the definition of insanity is continually doing the same thing and expecting different results.” That’s where we are Utah, we continue to elect the same people (some with different names and different faces, but they’re all the same) and yet we expect that somehow something will change. Let me clue you into something: until we change, it won’t. It’s time for us to come together and support our candidates that are working for change in this state. They are going to need us to volunteer, they are going to need us to donate money, and they absolutely are going to need us to get off of our couches and go vote. Take five minutes and make sure you’re registered. If going to the polls is too much, then fill out the Permanent Vote By Mail form. They will mail your ballot to you, all you need to do is fill it out and send it back. In closing, don’t even think of giving me any of that “my vote doesn’t matter” nonsense. We’ve had races in Utah decided by as little as 38 votes! Every vote counts, and the one you don’t cast is the one that allows things to continue on the current path.  Q

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MAY 10, 2012

lambda lore The last emperor in crisis


By Ben Williams

DEPOSED EMPEROR; a mysterious sister; alleged affairs with a Utah state Senator and Mormon apostle; death by AIDS. God, I love living in Utah. Who said history is boring? On May 5, 1979, at the fourth coronation held in the old Kettle Drum Salt Palace, Carole Martindale and Weldon Young stepped down as reigning monarchs of the Imperial Court of the Wasatch Empire of Utah. As the newly elected monarchs took their positions as empress and emperor, no one could have foreseen that they would set in motion the dissolution of the Imperial Court and the formation of the Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire. The 1979 spring campaign for the offices of empress and emperor was one of the most heated and controversial campaigns in the history of the Utah court. Running for emperor was 26-year-old Gordon William Steele, an incredibly handsome “pretty boy” and complicated man. Steele was the youngest of five children and cousin of the renowned Utah artist Anton Rasmussen. As a child he was puny, “what doctors called a failure to thrive.” He was eventually sent to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for Human Growth Hormone treatments and although always quite thin, he did grow to be about 5 feet 9 inches. His family always knew he was somehow different. He lived a difficult and sometimes brutal life in Utah, fearful of not being loved by his family and others.

not as I do

In high school Steele was constantly bullied but he did have an older brother who would beat up his tormentors. In his early 20s Steele “found” himself and went from being “the puny, bullied, little kid” into someone who felt desired and powerful. He turned into an entire different personality and changed drastically from the way he had been as a youth. He became cocky and arrogant. Youth and beauty will do that. Steele also had a photographic memory, and his IQ was in the high 150s. However, as his sister commented, “People who are extremely intelligent — also skate along the edge of mental [illness].” Steele was brilliant but certainly was not beyond stretching the truth when it suited him. As a young man, Steele appeared to have a narcissistic need to be recognized in the burgeoning gay community. He loved the attention he received. About 1976 he was married in the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Community Church a man named Curtis who he claimed was the son of a former governor of Utah. He boasted that his paramours were prominent closeted men, one being a Utah State senator and another an LDS General Authority. His sister in law however stated, “The only “affair” that I ever heard of from Steele was that one of the LDS “apostles” used to hire him and another guy for pleasure, but that’s not an affair, is it? He never revealed the ‘apostle’s’ name.”

diversity. The neo-Nazis are joining ranks with the conservaNeo-Nazis support traditional tive religious groups to stop marriage equality in the Tar Heel marriage state. While North Carolinians battle Conservatives attacking over a proposed state constichicken noodle soup tutional amendment to define After joining other conservative marriage as a union between groups in a completely unsucone man and one woman, cessful protest of J.C. Penny Co., groups and individuals are the American Family Association weighing in. The latest to side is protesting Campbell Soup. with the conservative anti-gay The infamous company is marriage activists is the Neosponsoring the Philadelphia’s Nazi and white supremacist Equality Forum, which greatly ofsite World-Wide White Pride. fends the delicate sensibilities The group says in a blog post of the religious groups. Asking that the proposed amendparents to find another chicken ment would help protect the noodle soup for their children Caucasian race. However, it when feeling ill, the AFA is does not elaborate on the fighting the ever-losing battle. specifics of how two men saying, “I do,” would affect racial How can the supposed voice

for American families boycott chicken noodle soup?

School board member faces possible recall After calling the superintendent a bitch and Trayvon Martin a faggot, Los Angeles school board member Skyy Fisher (yes, that is his real name and no, he is not a drag queen) is facing a potential ousting from voters. While he was speaking on his friend’s podcast, Fisher went on a long, profanity-laced rant about local officials and the victim of a possible hate crime. Fisher, who claims to be a leader for young people, has avoided commenting on the scandal except to say he didn’t know he was being recorded for that part of the conversation.

In April 1979, Steele was determined to become Emperor of the Imperial Court, which at the time, was the most influential organization in Utah’s gay community. Court campaigns can be messy and depending on the personalities can also be dirty. Beyond campaigning at the local gay nightclubs, Steele went so far as to purchase full-size billboards throughout Salt Lake City to promote his candidacy. Where he got the money for such an expensive campaign was a question no one seemed to know the answer. As the campaign heated up, Steele’s straight family and friends came out to support him and claimed that his opposition did a “real smear job” on him like a “bunch of women with PMS.” While Steele may have been trying to be “inclusive” in campaigning outside the gay community, with “outside” funds, it alarmed some and frightened others. At the time several gay men had been murdered, including the unsolved murder of gay activist Tony Adams. Many felt it was safer now to be on the “down low” what with Anita Bryant’s anti-gay national crusade and the conservative backlash which was stripping away civil-rights gains made earlier in the decade. The truth is that Steele’s personality just rubbed people the wrong way, his self promotion and some said arrogance and inflexibility was off-putting. His sister in law recalled, “One thing is for sure, he was full of himself, but seemed they all were, I think they had to be.” The campaign for empress was just as heated. Lawrence (Larry) Kasper, also known as Lois Lane, campaigned against Marty Pollock, also known as Marita Gayle, for the title. Pollock wanted to be the chief executive of the organization because he felt that it was going in the wrong direction and wanted to shift course. Both Kasper and he were founding members of the Court. When the ballots were counted, Steele and Kasper were declared the winners. To Pollock’s great disappointment, he learned that he had lost to Kasper by one vote. Steele’s opposition protested his win, claiming the ballot box was stuffed, and according to Steele’s supporters “they continued to try to smear him even after the election.” A sister-in-law commented, “My thought was they were sore losers.” While Steele’s canvassing outside the gay community paid off, however since then, a campaign rule has been added to the court’s bylaws that there would be no campaigning outside of the gay community and gay-owned businesses due to “unfair practices.” Steele and Larry Kasper, aka Lois Lane, were both 26 years old when they were crowned the fourth Emperor and Empress of a divided Imperial Court of the Wasatch Empire of Utah. Immediately after that celebratory night of Coronation everything went south for the reigning monarchs.



While technically, Empress Lois Lane was president of the charitable organization and Steele was vice president, the Emperor began to usurp the Empress’ prerogatives and authority. He also held grudges against his detractors who saw him as a “total control freak.” In the summer of 1979, the Princess Royale and Prince Royale Ball (PR Ball for short) was held. Fred Sexton, aka Dusty LeManns, and Joe Conti were installed as the fourth Princess Royale and Prince Royale. Little did they know that before their reign was through, they would be elevated to the positions of Empress and Emperor of the Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire. A month later in August 1979, Empress Lois Lane resigned. She stated that her reasons for her resigning was her inability to work with the Steele. However, Lois Lane was a bit of a “prima donna” herself and could be petulant about not getting her own way also. When Kasper resigned, he went to Pollock’s apartment feeling guilty about his own chicanery in the 1979 election. He confessed that three of his votes came from underage party boys who had illegally voted for him. The revelation that Pollock had actually won by two votes, made him furious and said that Kasper was lucky to leave his apartment alive. As the court members recovered from the shock of losing its empress, they soon realized that the organization was becoming dysfunctional. The board felt that Steele was over reaching his prerogatives by using unauthorized funds to promote his pet projects. He ignored them and went all over the West Coast attending Court functions as emperor of which he was proud to be. As Steele’s reign continued, more and more court members became disgruntled. He grew increasingly stubborn and would not take advice nor listened to the complaints of others. What was finally a tipping point was when Steele appointed his sister “Candi Steele” as Empress. This Candi Steele was a large, husky, strongwilled, formidable lesbian; and she and her unpopular gay brother set out to remake the Imperial Court in an image contrary to what the founders had intended. They simply dismissed people’s concerns about how money was being spent as personality conflicts and not real issues. The court dissidents knew legally there was no procedure in the court’s bylaws to remove a monarch from office, even for malfeasance. However, the board of trustees came up with a secret plan — independence from the Imperial Court. This was decided upon only as the last option if the Emperor and Empress did not acquiesce to the demands of the majority for reform. The lessons of history were lost on these autocratic monarchs sealing their fate.  Q

For the rest of the story, look for the next Lambda Lore column on May 24.

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Don R. Austin, LCSW



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By D’Anne Witkowski

’VE BEEN READING ABOUT KENNETH Weishuhn, a 14-year-old boy who recently took his life after reportedly enduring death threats after coming out as gay at school. Especially heartbreaking was that, according to The Huffington Post, Weishuhn had a Pinterest page with a “When I get married” section featuring “photos of vintage menswear, candle centerpieces and wedding cake toppers depicting two grooms.” In other words, the kid really did think he had a future. And yet, now he doesn’t. And neither do the many other LGBT kids who have killed themselves because they felt that death was a better option than this painful, cruel world. Which is why I feel angry when I heard Heather Wilson, a New Mexico Republican running for U.S. Senate, shrug off bullying and deride Senator Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) attempt to do something about it. Franken’s Student Non-Discrimination Act, SB 555, would establish, according to Franken’s website, “a comprehensive federal prohibition against discrimination and bullying in public schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity.” In an April 12 debate, Wilson stated her opposition to the bill and demonstrated a lack of regard for LGBT youth, showing she doesn’t seem to be aware of, or care about, the rash of LGBT suicides. She began by saying she can hardly imagine a bill that she and Franken might agree on, but that this certainly isn’t one of them. She continued, “[SB 555] is an act that would criminalize harassment or bullying in schools of children who are gay or who are, uh — it criminalizes bullying.” In the video you can see how hard it was for Wilson to even say “gay.” She

stumbled around the word like a pair of roller skates on a staircase. Perhaps she has a hard time with the idea that children could be gay at all. That a child, especially a young one, could “know” his or her sexual orientation feels, to some, kind of icky. A 7-year-old who declares he loves and wants to kiss Justin Bieber freaks people out. But if that boy says the same thing about Selena Gomez, no problem. There’s no difference to the level of sexuality in either statement. The level of stigma, however, is vastly different. Wilson said that SB 555 is “misplaced.” “With respect to this particular agenda we have to recognize as parents that children tease each other because you’re short or you’re tall or you’re a redhead or because you’re ugly or because you’re smart or because you’re dumb or all kinds of differences, and as parents we have to deal with that and strengthen our children to be comfortable with themselves and also to show empathy and acceptance toward others,” she said. She’s right in that the best way to stop bullying is to raise kids to be confident in who they are and caring toward others. But texting death threats to a gay kid or making his life a living hell through constant harassment are not the same thing as being teased because you wear glasses. Sure, you could argue that even if Weishuhn’s school had some kind of anti-bullying policy that he may still have killed himself. But by making LGBT anti-discrimination an official policy then it shows that a school or a state or even a federal government is saying, “We acknowledge this is happening, we want it to stop, and we’re not fucking around.” It sends a message to these kids that they matter; that someone not only knows they are alive, but wants them to stay that way.  Q

She stumbled around the word ‘gay’ like a pair of roller skates on a staircase

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MAY 10, 2012

thinking out loud Our civil rights paradox By Abby Dees

’VE OFTEN THOUGHT I SHOULD write a column called “Weird Things Lawyers Do,” to explain to normal people why attorneys, like me, spend so much time arguing meaningless points. If you read any of the Prop 8 federal trial transcripts you may have noticed that a lot of the trial was spent arguing whether LGBT people had political power. It was a classic case of lawyers bringing everything to a standstill to fight like feral cats about something totally off topic. But that question does, in fact, matter a lot. The reason why the issue of LGBT political power is so important in any LGBT-discrimination case is this: Discrimination lawsuits are usually the remedy of last resort, so the courts want to make sure that there’s a very good reason for them to step in. One of the ways they look at this is by asking how much political power the targeted group has to fight for its rights on its own. When you have a majority of people voting for something like Prop 8 based on their firmly held (if completely delusional) beliefs, the court doesn’t want to up-end the voter’s will without first finding out if that’s really the only way for the targeted group to adequately defend itself. Think back to high school civics and all that stuff about checks and balances. The court is supposed to check the overreach of legislators or even voters, but they can’t go overboard and thereby undermine the democratic process. Therefore, to challenge the tyranny of the majority in court, we have to prove we’re politically powerless first. We’re in an odd situation now. We’ve made so much progress that now we have HRC schmoozing with the president, gay marriage in maybe eight states by next year, a gay cable channel and “girlfriend” jeans for men. Can we really say that we have no political power? Isn’t that the point of all this awareness work, to increase our clout as a community? The campaign against Prop 8 generated millions of dollars and we had people like George Clooney and Brad Pitt on our side. On either side, it was perhaps

the largest ballot-initiative campaign in any state ever. So it makes me cringe a little that we have to act all victim-like in court to fight for our civil rights. And yet we do. I struggled watching this play out, knowing as an attorney that there were good reasons to claim this powerlessness, but still feeling like an important fact was missing. It didn’t make sense to me that as we got closer to equality as a community, the courts would be less inclined to support our equality. I finally figured it out this month at a conference of LGBT law and policy wonks who came together just to look at this issue. First of all, if you haven’t already noticed, the other side really likes to turn the oppression narrative around on us. As I discussed in my last column, they are spending big money to disseminate the idea that we are bullying them into silence. Poor homophobes are suffering no less than full PTSD from retaliation by very mean and powerful gay people. A panelist at the conference I attended read examples of this harassment from witness declarations: Gay people gave Prop 8 supporters dirty looks at the local country club, sons wrote disapproving letters to parents expressing sadness at their support for the measure. Haircurling stuff. I’d like to call bullshit on this silly rhetoric and remind people, again, what kind of damage homophobia still does to our community, especially our young members, despite any political gains we’ve made. Second, as law professor Kenji Yashino explained, this whole “political power” thing is a catch-22. Courts won’t give the time of day if you’re truly politically powerless. Off the top of my head, I would guess that homeless people haven’t exactly hit pay dirt in court, for example. In other words, to win, you need enough political power to hire the people and the consultants to demonstrate that you don’t have enough political power to do that. Yep, lawyers are weird.  Q

Can we really say that we have no political power?

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MAY 10, 2012




home and garden

8 tips for a budget home makeover

By Seth Bracken


REATING A UNIQUE SPACE THAT mirrors your own fabulous and inimitable taste doesn’t have to be an expensive or grueling undertaking. The absolute freedom of designing and decorating a room, or an entire home, to help you feel comfortable after a long day’s work is priceless. But just because you might be decorating and designing on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t really have what you want and need. To help us out, Cody Derrick and Andrea Beecher at Cityhome COLLECTIVE helped us with some of the beyond-obvious budget tips to make each space in your home as outstanding as you are.


and visit local vintage shops. Don’t waste your money on pieces that you don’t absolutely love. If you have to ask yourself if different pieces will go together and match, you’re doing it wrong. Just buy what you love and worry about making it fit later. Don’t be afraid to be eclectic.




Maybe it’s a dining room table. Maybe it’s a rug, a piece of art or beautiful bed spread. Just start with one piece that really inspires you and move from there. This might be the one piece that you spend a little more money on, but it’s the key to holding the room together. It’s your own, personal inspiration.


When you’re working on your living room, bedroom, kitchen or any other space, first ask yourself, how do I need to feel? What purpose do I want in this space? Do I want this space to be perfect for cocktail parties and barbeques? Or do I want this space to host movie screenings?


Keep all your large ticket items — couches, counter tops, floors, cabinets, etc. — a neutral gray or white. Use other tools, such as art work, throw pillows, flowers and rugs to match current trends or your changing personal taste. Replacing some pillows and a rug is much cheaper than buying all-new furniture, and it can feel like a complete home makeover.


Find the best local and vintage stores near you. You’ll love the relationships you can develop with employees and the lack of advertising budgets and chain stores can help keep prices low.





Keep your walls and ceiling a neutral white or gray and accent with artwork, drapes and textured lighting. Also, use natural materials; woods, metals and concrete to remain neutral. When you realize you’re in love with blue, it’s tempting to paint a large accent wall in good old baby blue — don’t. Instead, find a vase, flower or other affordable and simple objects to satisfy your craving. Bright colors and textured patterns are the new pink.



Don’t assume that you need a television or large entertainment system. Choose instead to make it a cocktail space or a meditation area. Only purchase the items that you love and that fill the needs you have for each space.


This may seem a bit obvious, but you’ll save money in the long run if you don’t rush to fill a room and make it look like a show room. Collect pieces over time as you travel



Repainting or re-upholstering old furniture instead of buying all-new can help you stay in budget. Also, consider having furniture made for you by local artisans.



MAY 10, 2012




CityHome COLLECTIVE is locally owned and operated and reflects the diversity of the city. Openly gay founder Cody Derrick started the company with the desire to help people meet their needs with each individual room, space and home. The real estate company will help customers on their way from start to finish — from conception and sale to design and decoration. Rather than hiring separate firms, Cityhome COLLECTIVE can help you see the potential of each space. “Our motto that we really try to live up to is ‘Love where you live,’” Derrick said. “Whether you’re looking for help decorating a single room or you want to find a home that better suits your needs, we can help. There’s no project too big or too small.” Finding the inspiration for design comes from practically everywhere said Andrea Beecher, a

Cityhome COLLECTIVE designer. With a strong background in fashion and an extensive resume, Beecher’s talent is surpassed only by her ability to relate to her clients and her drive to create that perfect space. When considering a purchase, Beecher and other designers will work with you to envision everything the home could be, not just what it currently looks like. “We’ll consider everything from basic design to complete remodels,” she said. “While you’re in the buying process we can tell you when a wall needs to come down. It can be such a timesaving and money-saving tactic.” The innovative company is pushing boundaries in design and can help customers find and create the spaces they need to really excel in life. “I think that when you’re not utilizing your space correctly, you’re not going to live up to your full potential,” Derrick said. “Design really is everything.” From a kitchen remodel consultation to decorating a small office, to buying or selling a home, Cityhome COLLECTIVE is the perfect local and queer-friendly option. For more information and to check out the portfolio of services, go to or call 801-718-5555.  Q

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MAY 10, 2012




home & garden doesn’t want another toaster.

Cactus & Tropicals is gnome to sustainable, unique gardening


T’S NOT JUST THE SELECTION of exotic and organic plants and vegetables available at locally owned Cactus & Tropicals that sets it apart from the competition. It’s not just the extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff to help customers with every yard and garden need that makes it so fabulous. It’s not just the convenient location and impeccably designed space

that make it a queer favorite. Cactus & Tropicals was started in 1975 by Lorraine Miller, a philanthropic lesbian and a contributing member in the fight for equality for years. Cactus & Tropicals is so much more than a traditional garden store. In addition to supporting a local and queer-friendly location, shoppers can visit the store to soak in tropical greenhouse with innovative fountains, pottery and designs to make any home or garden healthier and happier. Weddings and other events and garden and lawn services are also available through the store. “We try to stay as sustainable as possible and have a wide array of xeriscape and minimal upkeep plants available,” said Kathy Harbin, the store’s general manager. “We’ve been involved in sustainability long before it became more popular. We also avoid using chemicals whenever possible.” While garden trends may not be as fickle as fashion or interior design, low-watering plants arranged in pots and in gardens are growing trends. There is an enormous selection of lowmaintenance plants at Cactus & Tropicals and they are all-season plants that can sustain all kinds of Utah weather. Some even can grow in plates that can be used to decorate the side of a house. “We have a complete-service location that is



MAY 10, 2012

really focused on being different and having that selection of products you can’t find somewhere else,” Harbin said. “Our employees are so creative, it’s really amazing, and they can help you with all the gardening tips and information you’ll need.” While those with a particularly green thumb may take the opportunity to create their own stunning creations with the plants found in the gardens, there are pre-potted creations to help those still learning to master the green arts. Each



creation is unique and no other replica will be created — no one has to know who created it! “It’s all about that personal service. That welcoming environment while providing all the products and services you’ll need to make your home and yard the best it can be,” Harbin said.

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home & garden

Farmers Markets around Utah Ashley Valley Farmers Market

Harvest Market at Rockhill Creamery Farm

Ogden Farmers Market

Thanksgiving Point Farmers Market

Old Dinosaur Gardens on Main Street, Vernal Saturdays, 8 a.m.–noon Opening day: April 15

563 S. State St., Richmond Saturdays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Opening day: June

3003 N. Thanksgiving Way Fridays, 3–7 p.m. Opening day: August

Downtown Clearfield Farmers Market

Hee Haw Farms Farmers Market

Downtown Ogden Municipal Gardens, 343 S. 25th St. Saturdays, 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Opening day: July Paradise Town Square Park, 9000 S. 100 West Wednesdays, 6–8:30 p.m. Opening day: June 2

200 North Main St. Thursdays, 4–8 p.m. Opening day: July 5

The Pleasant Grove Promenade

Lawn in front of the Clearfield Aquatic Center 825 S. State St. Wednesdays, 4–7:30 p.m. Opening day: April 17

Hee Haw Farms entrance 95 S. 2000 West, Pleasant Grove Fridays, 3–8 p.m. Opening day: July

Paradise Market

Downtown Farmers Market at Ancestor Square

High Desert Growers Farmers Market

Park City Farmers Market at The Canyons

Tuacahn Saturday Market

Main Street and 100 East, Price Saturdays, 9 a.m.–noon Opening Day: July

Resort Parking Lot (Off Hwy. 224) Wednesdays, noon–6 p.m. Opening day: June 6

1100 Tuacahn Dr., Ivins Saturdays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Opening day: March 3

Kanab Farmer’s Market

Park Silly Sunday Market

Utah Botanical Center Farmers Market

Main Street, Park City Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Opening day: June 10

920 S. 50 West, Kaysville Thursdays, 5–8 p.m. Opening day: July 12

Main Street and St. George Boulevard, St. George Saturdays, 8 a.m.–noon Opening day: May 14

Duchesne Farmers Market Wallace Park, 100 W. Main St. Saturdays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Opening day: July

Gardner’s Village Farmers Market 1100 W. 7800 South Saturdays, 9 a.m. Opening day: June 2

78 S. 100 East, Kanab Saturdays, 9–11 a.m. Opening Day: June 2

Lehi Farmers Market & Boutique 988 W. State St., Lehi Saturdays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Opening day: August 4

Moab Farmers Market Swanny City Park, 100 W. Park Dr. Saturdays, 8 a.m.–noon Opening day: May 5

Morgan Valley Farmers and Artist Market 30 N. State St. Saturdays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Opening day: August 11

Murray Park Farmers Market Murray City Park, 150 E. 5200 South Saturdays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Opening day: July 28

People’s Market Jordan Park 1000 S. 900 West, Salt Lake City Sundays, 10 3 p.m. Opening day: June

SLC Downtown Farmers Market

Wayne County Utah Farmers Market Robber’s Roost Bookstore, 185 W. Main St., Torrey Saturdays, 4–6:30 p.m. Opening day: May 21

Pioneer Park, 300 S. 300 West Saturdays, 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Tuesdays, 4–8:30 p.m. Opening day: Saturday, June 9 Opening day: Tuesday, August 7

West Jordan Farmers Market

South Jordan Farmer’s Market

6351 S. 900 East Sundays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Opening day: June 3

South Jordan Towne Center, 10610 S. Redwood Rd. Saturdays, 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Opening day: Aug. 4 Sugar House Farmers Market Monument Plaza 1100 E. 2100 South Fridays, 4–8 p.m. Opening day: July 13

7975 Redwood Rd. Tuesdays, 3–7 p.m. Opening day: Aug. 9

Wheeler Farm Farmers Market

Zion Canyon Farmers Market Bit & Spur Restaurant lawn, 1212 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale Saturdays, 9 a.m.–noon Opening day: April 28 Our farmer boy from the cover of last year’s issue got more raves than any other cover we’ve done, so we brought him back again for this spread. No, we can’t get you in touch with him. Sorry. And he’s not holding his cock. That’s a hen.




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MAY 10, 2012



Q exclusive

Royal Court taps into its sixth sense By Seth Bracken


HE ROYAL COURT OF THE Golden Spike Empire will be crowning two new reigning monarchs on May 27, 5 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel in Salt Lake City. The theme of the event is The Sixth Sense: Revisiting the Coronations of Reigns 6, 16 and 26. The weekend will be inundated with the Court’s royalty — past, present and future. The RCGSE is the state’s oldest LGBT-run charity and has been actively raising funds for more than 35 years. This will be the 37th emperor and empress in the state. The group helps raise awareness on issues affecting the queer community of Utah and helps raise funds for other groups, including different AIDS and cancer funds. The RCGSE is run by volunteer royalty who are crowned in the annual fundraising event. For more information and a complete schedule of events, go to This year’s candidates have been involved with the court for years and are raring to help out the community even more. Meet Champagne Starr, the candidate for empress, and Nick Watts, the candidate for emperor.

Champagne Starr How long have you been involved in the RCGSE?  I have been with the court for five years. What is your favorite event or project you’ve been involved with in the RCGSE?  The RCGSE hosts so many events that it’s hard to pull out just one; mostly it’s the positive feeling I get when I am serving the community. What services does the RCGSE provide?  The RCGSE supports people in need, specifically through the scholarship program, peoples concern fund, AIDS fund and other funds set up and distributed to people in need. Why should people participate and get involved with the RCGSE?  People should participate to give back to the community, and to have fun and make new friends. Any last words for the QSaltLake readers?  The RCGSE does a lot of good for a lot of people and I am excited to be your candidate for empress! Please vote for me, voting will be May 19th from noon-midnight at the Red Lion Hotel.

RCGSE: A true royal legacy

By Mikki Whitworth


HEN ACADEMICS TALK ABOUT discrimination, they claim the greatest difference between race, sex and sexual orientation is legacy. People who grow up as any minority other than LGBT know they have a built-in support system that has walked in their shoes with their families. The Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire works to maintain a legacy that it provides through its annual Coronation, which they hold each Memorial Day weekend. To fully understand the nature of the Court and Coronation, I spoke with Emperor I, Pepper Prespentt, Emperor XXXVI, Michael Bennion and candidate for Emperor XXXVII, Nick Watts.

Who is the court for?

According to Pepper, the Court is for her community. Michael and Nick echo her sentiments. But who is “her community?” This is one area where all of them seem to squirm just a little when trying to define categories until they come to a conclusion that “everyone” is the community they serve. There is no doubt for these three people that service and giving back are vital to why they chose to become leaders in the Court. The public faces of the Court are the drag queens, but behind the scenes, there are gay

men, lesbians, transgender folks and heterosexuals. From the beginning of Salt Lake City’s Court, they have embraced a diverse community. Discrimination is not tolerated by the Court. Gender and sexual orientation are not defining factors either. Women have been emperors and princes. Actually, the first female emperor in the International Court System was Pepper. The third empress of the Court, Carole Martindale was heterosexual. Both Carole and Pepper exemplify the character of the organization.

Nick Watts How long have you been involved in the RCGSE?  I have been attending RCGSE events for about 10 years now. I have been a member of the RCGSE for a year and a half. I served as Mr. Gay Utah XXIX. I am currently serving as Grand Duke to Emperor XXXVI. I have other various titles and I am also a current sitting member of the board of directors. What is your favorite event or project you’ve been involved with in the RCGSE?  My favorite event so far has been Snow Ball. The money raised from this annual event goes to our People with AIDS Christmas fund. It’s our second largest event, Coronation being the first. What services does the RCGSE provide?  For me, the RCGSE is a family. We take care of others that are in need. We hold functions and raise and a scholarship fund. Unlike the general fund, the other funds are focusing on helping individuals and come from fundraising performances.

Why should people participate and get involved with the RCGSE?  The RCGSE is Utah’s longest-standing LGBT nonprofit organization. We are an integral part of this community and it is so rewarding to know that my service pays off by helping someone in need. We hold various functions from drag shows to food drives. There is an event for everyone! Any last words for the QSaltLake readers?  This year’s Coronation weekend is a can’t miss! There will be some amazing entertainment provided by our in-town and out-of-town guests. I hope to see you all at Coronation 37 and I hope that I get your vote at the Red Lion Hotel on May 19th between noon and midnight.  Q

Want to see more?

XVI and XXVI. Tickets are on sale now at all Court events, during voting and at the door and cost $40. Pepper, Michael and Nick invite you to join them to meet your extended Court family.  Q

On May 27, the Court holds Coronation XXXVII in the Red Lion Hotel Ballroom. The doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6. This year’s theme celebrates the past by highlighting Reigns VI,

Mikki Whitworth is a junior at Westminster College pursuing a degree in English with a creative writing emphasis. She is a disabled veteran.

Not Your Mother’s Thrift Store

Why spend $10 to join the court? Each member receives a monthly newsletter announcing Court events. It is an opportunity to meet new people who want to have fun and help people at the same time. The three emperors each refers to the group as a family. Pepper invites everyone to join the Court family. As any family, they sometimes squabble, but in the end they are able to help others in need. Membership fees become part of the Court’s general fund. The general fund pays for the expenses necessary to keep the organization running such as a post office box, storage unit and insurance. Monarchs are expected to travel to other courts’ coronations during their reigns and the general fund pays for this requirement. The Court also has funds to assist people with AIDS or cancer, a fund for emergency assistance

money for our various funds and that money goes to an organization or someone in need.

(But Bring Her Along)



801 819 7884


MAY 10, 2012





Living Olivia (or Her Land Down Under) By Tony Hobday

This will be the title of my first musical that’s based on the life of Olivia Newton-John: Living Olivia (or Her Land Down Under). It’s going be a smash, not only because a lot of gay boys love the iconic songstress, but the title would entice lesbians to drop their oil pans and barbeque tongs, catapult into their monster Dodge Rams and barrel their way to the theater. Of course, other than securing Portia de Rossi to play the leading lady, I

elementary and who stole all the attention

would have to offer $1 Natties and a dozen inter- away from my best friend (really, my future missions — damn, the theater is a cruel mistress! husband), Dick. I know, I know, how cliche.


THURSDAY — Based upon the 1980 cult-classic

flick XANADU, starring the fabulous Olivia NewtonJohn, this stage musical focuses on a Greek muse, Clio, who descends from Mt. Olympus to Venice Beach, Calif. in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest creation of his life — a roller disco. Hello!! How delightfully gay is that? Oops ... should I not say gay? How delightfully flamboyant is that? 7:30pm, through May 26, Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State St. Tickets $10–24, 801-957-3322 or

UPCOMING EVENTS Jun. 13 Melissa Etheridge Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre

Jun. 22 kd lang Peppermill Concert Hall, Wendover

Jul. 2 The B52s Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre

Jul. 5 Foster The People Saltair

Jul. 15 Brandi Carlile Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre

Aug. 4-5 “8” The Play (a reading) Rose Wagner Center

Sep. 7 Olivia Newton-John Sandy Amphitheater

QQ Spy Hop Productions presents its annual benefit show, ­CONNECTION, highlighting the unique talents of up-and-coming youth across the media-industry spectrum. The evening will include live performances, food and drinks and a live auction that allows students to “pitch” their programs live on stage, from Loud & Clear Youth radio and Spy Hop Records, to the Multimedia Apprenticeship and PitchNic film programs. In fact,audience members can bid to have producer credits on the four films pitched by the directors. Special keynote speaker will be Utah native and goofy Modern Family dad, Ty Burrell.

8pm, Jeanne Wagner Theatre, Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. Broadway. Tickets $25, 801-355-ARTS or

QQ OK, so we’ve moved on from Occupy Salt Lake City to UNITE SALT LAKE CITY — it’s “one step toward humanity, unity and peace.” With over 7,000 Facebookers invited and 382 confirmed guests (as of May 3, 1:34 p.m.), this could be a funtubular (just trying out a new term) time. Entertainment includes The Suicycles (2012 Fabby award winners), Redemption, Folk Hogan and many more. The event is co-sponsored by Equality Utah, Metro Bar, Area 51 and the Utah AIDS Foundation. 11am–9:30pm, Liberty Park, 700 East between 900 and 1300 South. Free, for more info, uniteslc.


THURSDAY — The two-

day TASTEMAKERS event brings progressive food & 6:30–9:30pm, Gallivan Center (upstairs), 239 S. Main St. Tickets $40-50 wine tasting from Utah’s (must be 21 or older), 801-532-7500 or best restaurants under an exclusive dining pavilion and in several FRIDAY — Holy didgeridoo! Dutch artist Constant restaurants within walking distance: Caffé Dullaart will perform FOUND BY, featuring imperMolise, J. Wongs, Naked Fish, Ruth’s Chris, sonations of Olivia Newton-John echoed through Squatters (located next to the pavilion) cult classics of today and yesteryear, cacophonic and others. Beer and wine are available for piano pressure, Salt Lake’s “King Kong,” a teenage purchase, not included in the ticket price. travelogue, the grandparents of a boogeyman, and more. This 5–10pm, through Friday, pavilion located at 147 W. one-night show closes Dullaart’s exhibit Onomatopoeia. Broadway. Tickets $30, 801-485-5100 or saltlake-

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7–9pm, UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple. Free, 801-328-3201 or

SATURDAY — Plan-B Theatre Company pres-

ents the 9th annual SLAM, in which five plays are foreplayed, conceived and born in just 24 hours. Oh lord, Matthew Ivan Bennett must have the stamina of an Arabian horse. Along with Matt, the other playwrights are Elaine Jarvik, Julie Jensen, Jenifer Nii and Eric Samuelsen. The cast includes Kirt Bateman, Topher Rasmussen and Colleen Lewis (whom was a classmate of mine in


FRIDAY — The Salt Lake

City Arts Council prouldy presents the annual LIVING TRADITIONS FESTIVAL, a celebration of traditional folk and ethnic arts. The festival brings together local ethnic artists, dancers, musicians and community groups to celebrate the diversity

and cultural traditions of our communities. Featured guests are Ana Tijoux, Bettye LeVette, Mexican Institue of Sound and Charlie Musselwhite.

Times vary, through Sunday, Salt Lake City & County Bldg., 451 S. Washington Square. Free, 801-5965000 or

QQ Since its inception, Ballet West’s ­INNOVATIONS has become a platform for some of America’s most up-and-coming choreographers. This year’s show will spotlight new works by Ballet West artists, an expanded version of Principal Artist Michael Bearden’s Descent, and the return of Susan Shields’ vibrant Grand Synthesis. 7:30pm, through May 26, Jeanne Wagner Theatre, Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. Broadway. Tickets $45, 801-355-ARTS or


SATURDAY — Enjoy the

warm weather and exotic animals at the zoo! The Gay Escape, a social group devoted to providing a safe and friendly setting to meet other gay men in Utah, is hosting GAY DAY AT HOGLE ZOO. Wear red, ride the train (conductor), spank the monkeys (just don’t get caught), eat cotton candy (or churros, they’re a bit more phallic) and visit Nature’s Nightmares (Kevin Guzik’s massage table and Gene Geiber’s feet).

11am, Hogle Zoo, 2600 Sunnyside Ave. Tickets $12.75 at the gate,

QQ Speaking of Gene’s nightmarish feet, they’ll be tickling the baskets of many, many boys at Try-Angles monthly UNDERWEAR NIGHT. This

Fabby award-winning event draws a throng of thongs, and it’s always a riot. Great music, great crowd, great drinks and great schlongs always make for a great gay ol’ time.

10pm, Club Try-Angles, 251 W. 900 South. Free, 801364-3203 or



MAY 10, 2012


save the date

July 26–29

September 28–29

Utah Bear Jamboree

Moab Pride Festival

May 19

Park City Arts Festival

October 5–7

Gay Days Anaheim


Gay Day at Hogle Zoo August 3–5

August 5

May 24–28


QSaltLake Lagoon Day

October 6

May 31

August 5

Hotel Monaco Pink Party

SAGE Garden Party

Pink Dot Utah

June 1–3

August 10–11

October 7

Women’s Redrock Music Fest

Natl Coming Out Day Brunch

Utah Pride Festival June 9

Salt Lake Men’s Choir Summer Concert August 10–12 November 12

TransAction Gender

June 9

August 18

HRC Gala Dinner

Pocatello Pride


June 21–24

August 26

December 1 July 20–23

Pionude Day Campout July 13–15

Pride Center Golf Classic September 15

Walk for Life/Bike for Life

World AIDS Day December 7–9





Plan-B’s Award-Winning Production Gets a 10th Anniversary Re-Boot At Park City’s Egyptian Theatre

JUNE 8-17

Salt Lake Men’s Choir

Damn These Heels Film Festival

September 27

EU Allies Dinner

Christmas Concert


“no other local group can approach SB when it comes to dancing unselfconsciously and joyfully on the narrow rope that divides high l culture from mass spectacle”


• RT bus pass from SLC to Las Vegas • 3 Nights Hotel • Shuttle From Hotel to Speedway

Utah Rebellion

Utah Arts Festival

Package Includes:

LAS VEGAS 2 0 1 2


Of Meat & Marrow June 8, 9, 15, 16 & 17 Rose Wagner Blackbox Tickets 801-355-ARTS • Info



MAY 10, 2012




Love, Rufus

Crooner talks new pop album, gay evolution and Gaga diss By Chris Azzopardi


HERE ARE BAD ROMANCES, and then there’s the kind that Rufus Wainwright had during the making of his latest album, Out of the Game. The troubadour got smitten with super-producer Mark Ronson,

who added a pop bend to Wainwright’s classical leanings. Love at first sight? Just about. “One day we finally hung out at this party — at the U.N. of all places — and we were just completely enamored of each other,” Wainwright says. “Needless to say, we went into the studio and struck up not only a great musical relationship but a great friendship ... and, at least from my end, a huge crush.” And the singer doesn’t just give his love away: He recently slammed Lady Gaga for being “predictable and boring,” setting off a media — and gay mafia — frenzy. In our interview, Wainwright talked about those comments, the eyes that comforted him during his mother’s death and the evolution of his gayness. How did this “love affair” between you and Mark Ronson begin?  I had heard the legend of Mark Ronson for many years. In fact, we had done shows together in the past, but because he’s a DJ he was always on much later than I was, so we never really crossed paths. Then, word got out that I wanted to work with him and word got out that he wanted to work with me, and we were both very excited. Is there a sex tape?  There’s not a sex tape. There’s an audio sex tape that we will make at some point and get to you. (Laughs) Your classical and theatrical sensibilities are still present on the album, but what was it like to meet Mark, because of his pop leanings, in the middle?  As much as he’s involved and immersed and knowledgeable of the pop world, for really over most of the 20th century, I am, by the same token, involved in opera and classical music. We could both appreciate each other’s dedication to our respective musical genres, and that kind of ignited this exchange between us. I didn’t feel like I had to relate to what he was telling me and he didn’t feel the same with me, either; we just had to enjoy what we had to give, and there was no pressure in that respect. Does songwriting come easier to you now than it did at the beginning of your career?  It doesn’t seem to have abated much over the years. I don’t know if that’s a personal decision or kind of a natural function. I mean, I do seem to hurl myself into these situations where I have to write songs or I have to learn new material or come up with something, so physically, it’s a job that has to get done. But it always gets done somehow. I PHOTOS: DECCA RECORDS

don’t want to get too descriptive of it, because then it might disappear. (Laughs) During “Sometimes You Need,” you refer to the effect of movie stars on our lives and on your life. Who did you have in mind?  I’m being very specific, actually. There’s a friend of mine, Quinn Tivey, and he’s Elizabeth Taylor’s grandson. I had just met him, and he’s a lovely guy and he has his grandmother’s eyes — those amazing violet, black Irish eyes, or at least they look black Irish to me. At the time, my mother was very ill (she died in early 2010), and I went to L.A. to see him, and there was just something about staring into those eyes that I found incredibly soothing and distracting in the face of this horrific experience. What’s the last movie that changed your life?  I was a big fan of Melancholia. I loved that movie. I really got it. You know, I didn’t necessarily get Lars von Trier’s last movie, the one with the bloody penis in it (2009’s Antichrist). Tell me about the track “Montauk.”  It’s a postcard, shall we say, to my daughter Viva, welcoming her to her future home and hoping that she enjoys it. Superman has Krypton and Rufus has Montauk — that’s where I go to reboot. And it also works as a commentary on gay parenting.  Yes. Arguably that could be the first big major song about having two dads on a mainstream level. You’re getting married to longtime partner Jörn Weisbrodt in August. But what finally sold you on the idea of marriage?  I’m still ... I’m not on the fence about it, of course; it’s happening, but I do think we’re still in the process of defining what gay marriage is, and it’ll take some time. But you can really only define it by doing it, you know? (Laughs) So I don’t think anything is set in stone about what it means or how it’s going to go down, but I do think we need to move forward and figure that out. For you, what’s the most important part of the ceremony?  I don’t know. I am in the process of picking who I want to marry me, meaning, do we want the priest, do we want the sheriff ... or do we want the pope? (Laughs) I don’t think we’re going to get the pope. So that’s where I am right

now, figuring out who’s actually going to do the ceremony, and that’s bringing up some questions for me. I’m kind of shying away from the religious end of it at the moment. Back in the day your idead of gay was this old-school personification, kind of like Oscar Wilde. How has your idea of gayness evolved?  I still love that Oscar Wilde persona and I haven’t put that to bed yet in certain ways, but I also think that my belief in maturity is more of a Hindu theory, where over the years you become all of these different people and by the end, you’re sort of this cast of characters. I learned a lot from those bohemian days and respect it tremendously, but nonetheless, I want to survive and go on to the next level and experience other things. It’s more of just adding things to the recipe. You used to have a thing for cigarettes and chocolate milk. What are your current cravings?  My boyfriend just got a job in Toronto and I have this thing now for maple syrup. I just tip it into my mouth and guzzle it straight from the bottle. Since this album is being called “your most pop album,” what contemporary pop do you listen to? We know it’s not Gaga.  (Laughs) I really appreciate what Arcade Fire has been able to accomplish, especially with all of their success last year. It was really fantastic to watch. Also, Adele is tearing everything up and really paving the way for both me and other artists who want to be a little different from the norm. I think it’s a good time. Would you take back your comments on Gaga?  I don’t dislike her. There’s just not a single song (that I like) there. I can’t hum one of her tunes. And her whole, “You’re like me” thing? How can you say that with a piece of cheese on your head? I certainly had an appreciation for Madonna, but Madonna wasn’t like that. She wasn’t all, “You’re like me.” She was, “You’ll never be like me.” Won’t it make it awkward should you and Gaga attend the same gay benefit?  Perhaps if she sings one of my songs, that would rectify it. (Laughs)  Q



MAY 10, 2012


Q doku

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logically without guessing. Enter which digits 1can through 9 intologically the Each Sudoku puzzle has a unique solution be reached without blank guessing. Enter digits 1 through 9 intoone theofblank spaces. Every row must contain eachspaces. digit, asEvery must row must contain one of each digit, as must each column and each 3x3 each column and five eachseparate, 3x3 square. Qdoku is actually five square. Qdoku is actually but connected, Sudoku puzzles.

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Bearracuda has heart


TRAP IT ON AND HOLD tight because the biggest, furriest, sexiest party for bears and their admirers is coming to Salt Lake City. Bearracuda is a traveling event that hosts some of the largest bear parties in the world. Since its humble beginnings in San Francisco in 2006, Bearracuda has grown to mammoth proportion. After visiting 28 cities, Bearracuda is stopping in Salt Lake May 18, at JAM, 751 N. 300 West, for a second year of fun. If the trend continues from the 2009 Bearracuda in Salt Lake, this promises to be one of the biggest parties of the year. “The second time we visit a city is always bigger,” said company founder Matt Bearracuda. “We had a great time and we’re really excited to come back to Salt Lake.” Sexy and talented traveling bear disc jockey extraordinaire Matt Consola will be the guest host for the evening. There’s just no better place

to be to catch all the masculine, butch and hairy men in Utah than Bearracuda. “When people ask me what we are about, I tell them it’s a big dance party that really welcomes everybody; guys in their 20s to their 60s, tall guys, short guys, fat guys and most of the clientele has facial hair,” Matt Bearracuda said. “This isn’t a traditional club dance. It’s much more friendly and a ton of fun.” Matt Bearracuda said he started the company because he saw a need for a frequent event for bears and their admirers in San Francisco. “I knew the bears wanted to dance. There were other events, but nothing like this,” he said. Six years and nearly dozens of cities later, the event has a worldwide reputation and recently expanded to Europe, where the reputation of the party preceded it, he said.

For more information, go to

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MAY 10, 2012


What’s He Doing with Her?

45 Willa Cather character 48 “___It Be Loverly” 50 Tiny bit 51 Giant quarterback ACROSS Manning   1 With 5- and 10-Across, 52 End of the objection Andrew’s mom on 59 Ballet bends Desperate Housewives 60 Hosp. worker  5 See 1-Across 61 “Otherwise ...” 10 See 1-Across 63 Female lead in The 14 Feels poorly Rocky Horror Picture 15 The Remains of the Day Show director James 64 Randy’s skating partner 16 Petri dish medium 65 Be a ham in Hamlet 17 Wraps around drag 66 Moves the ball between queens your legs 18 Poet Vivien 67 U-turn from NNW 19 Wear down 68 Be aware of 20 Not straight DOWN 22 Uses one’s head 24 Start of the objection of  1 Small rum cake 1-Across when Andrew  2 Rivera’s rivers  3 Carrier to Tel Aviv got engaged to a  4 A Room of One’s Own, woman e.g. 28 Trifling amount 31 Cult members that drop  5 Whiz  6 “Ciao, Caesar” trou?  7 No to Rimbaud 32 Great serve from  8 Eminem’s mentor Dr. Navratilova ___ 35 Marine eagle  9 Some canines 37 Used brooms 10 Holmes of Wonder Boys 38 Stuck-up sort 11 Opposed to, to Jethrene 39 Old coins of Lorca’s Bodine land 12 Letter from the teacher 41 Stick in a rubber? 13 LBJ or JFK 43 More of the objection 44 More of the objection 21 Name in Nantes

23 Lots of mins. 25 Spreadsheet lines 26 Hydrocarbon ending 27 RuPaul swings them 28 “So long!” 29 Husband of 1-Across 30 Not edited for TV 32 Paid for a hand 33 “Suzanne” composer Leonard 34 Reviewer Roger 36 Current currency of Sitges and Ibiza 38 Israel’s first king 40 They’re down in the mouth 42 They may be sold in a bear market 46 “How Dry ___” 47 Grownups 48 Member, in slang 49 Arsenic and ___ Lace 52 Alda of The West Wing 53 Actress Foch 54 Bottomless 55 Where women might sweat together 56 All ___ (1984 Tomlin film) 57 Party to 58 Rug rats 59 Duds in the bedroom 62 Where drivers go swinging PUZZLE SOLUTIONS ARE ON PAGE 28










MAY 10, 2012

New ‘Kyle’s Bed & Breakfast’ book released

how Brad responds to this. Again, how readers reacted to Brad’s handling of Jeff’s “news” is telling. A lot of readers thought he was being harsh and ignorant, and others thought it was pretty honest. Thankfully, he does seem to learn something here.

HE LONG-AWAITED SECOND collection of the addictive syndicated comic strip Kyle’s Bed & Breakfast has arrived. This volume finds the boys of the harbor-town B&B up to their collective ears in romance, drama, intrigue, insanity, laughter and the occasional heartbreak … sometimes all in the same episode. Artist Greg Fox premiered Kyle’s in 1998 and published his first volume in 2004.

Kyle finds love in this book.  Ah, yes, at long last! I think he had a pretty crappy run with men in the first book, so it’s really about time. And his new boyfriend, Breyer, is pretty awesome. In his own, screwed-up way, that is!


This is your second collection of Kyle’s B&B. Have the characters matured since Greg Fox the first book?  Well, the book starts up right where the last one left off, so I don’t know that they’ve really matured to any considerable degree. They’ve certainly learned some “life lessons” through what went on in the first book, but … I think they all still have a tendency to get themselves into remarkably screwed up and whacky situations. Most of the characters also have a penchant for speaking their minds without thinking first, which usually leads to trouble. Much to the delight, I’m sure, of many readers! There’s one of the hidden lessons in Kyle’s B&B … . it’s not always a wise thing to speak your mind! <laughs> Do you need to have read the first book to enjoy this new book?  No, not at all. I’ve always written the comic strip so that new readers can jump in at any point, and get swept up into the story. And at the beginning of this book, I did include a “Who’s Who” section, to introduce all of the characters in the comic strip. But you probably don’t even need that. You can start reading the episodes, and meet the characters as the story progresses. Do readers seem to have a favorite character in the strip?  I think there are “camps” of readers who rally for each character. I guess some of the characters seem to be more popular than others. People really seem to like Kyle a lot. And then Brad, the baseball player, is a very polarizing character. People seem to either love him or hate him. I suppose a lot of people don’t like the fact he’s still in the closet in his professional life. But then, I get a lot of e-mails from people who can relate to that. Oh, and people really seem to love Jeff Olsen, who’s not really a main character, but one of those supporting characters who comes in & out of the strip periodically. Not sure what is it about him people love so much … that hairy chest? The Southern accent? Jeff Olsen, without giving too much away, has a very life-changing experience in this book.  Yes, and I think what is interesting is


during this; I stayed on schedule, like always … a new episode every 2 weeks, (except for one episode … the week she passed away, I did take off). In some ways, doing the comic strip helped keep me sane during what was a pretty trying time, when she was going through her illness. I set up a drawing board in the basement of her house, and was able to be there with her for a good amount of time over those months, which I’m really grateful for. But after she had passed, and after using most of following year to just … .regroup, I started focusing on putting the next Kyle’s B&B book together. And now, finally, it’s here! One other good thing to note here is that I have already produced enough episodes of the comic strip for Book 3, so it won’t be nearly as long of a wait until that one is published!

You also included a multi-episode story in this book that’s never been published before.  Yeah, I did that in the first book, too. I think it’s important to put a little something in each book that’s never appeared anywhere else. With all these ongoing stories of romance and love gone bad, do you think of this comic strip as a soap opera?  Not exactly. I think of it more as a comedy-drama. I think soaps are fine, it’s just … there’s not a lot of humor in them. I really try to mix it up. Some Kyle’s B&B episodes are more humorous, and some very serious. I think the best ones have elements of both. I was watching reruns of an old show called “Thirtysomething” recently and thought, “Yes, that’s it, that’s precisely what I’m trying to do in the comic strip”, which is bring a deft blend of humor and drama, with intelligent, snappy conversation. The episodes in this book are in black & white, yet the current episodes of the comic strip are in color. When, and why, did you make the changeover to color?  It was something I’d been wanting to do for a while. I really liked the look of the strip in black & white, but … .there were a lot of times I imagined how a particular episode would look in color. And then, I was getting increasing pressure from publishers. A number of the publications that run the strip were asking for it in color, and it got to a point where I had to say, “OK, I need to do this.” It just happened to work out that where the black & white episodes end and the color episodes began was the point where I wanted to end this current book, so the next book, book 3, will begin with the color episodes. It’s really nice seeing this book, though … it makes me a little wistful for the strip in black & white. I miss that look. I also miss not having to do 8 hours of coloring work on each episode, too! Is that how long it takes to color one episode? 8 hours?  It can take that long. It varies by episode. I think the average time to color an episode is about 6 to 8 hours. And how long to draw it before you start coloring?  Also varies, but … .anywhere from 12 to 16 hours. I usually split up the drawing part over 3 days, while I’m simultaneously coloring the following episode at the same time. Is there any one character who is your favorite to draw? And any character who is your least favorite?  Um, I like drawing all of them. I don’t think there are any I dislike drawing. There are some that take longer, though. Usually it has to do with their hair. Kyle takes a long time … any character with that sort of dark, wavy hair involves a lot of brush and pen work. Breyer’s


hair is the quickest, I think … that sort of jetblack GI Joe close-cropped hair. So easy! Oh, but Kristian … . his hair is pretty quick to draw, but … .coloring it involves a lot of effort. He’s got these honey blond, sun-streaked dreadlocks. I love how it ends up looking, but it does take some time. As Loreal would say, though … .”he’s worth it!”. The first Kyle’s B&B book, which was released in 2004, was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for “Best Humor Book” of the year. Any reason why it took until now for the second book to be published?  Well, the original plan was that I’d begin putting the second book together in 2007, for a 2008 release. Unfortunately, 2007 was when my Mom’s illness began, (she passed away about a year and a half later), and that pretty much took precedence over doing a new book at that time. I knew from my experience with the first book that the level of production involved, followed by the intense promotion upon publication … the touring and publicity and interviews and all that … it’s a major commitment of time and energy, and it goes on for over a year. I just couldn’t do that; I needed to be with my Mom at that time. The good thing was, I didn’t stop doing the comic strip at any point

Any reason why Kyle’s B&B is done in full page installments, as opposed to doing it in a traditional, 3- or 4-panel strip format?  I like to think of the way I do it as a “Sunday page” format. With 9 or 10 panels, you’re sort of getting the equivalent of 3 strips instead of just one. This way just works better for me, writing-wise. You know, I used to write comic strips in that short, 3- or 4-panel style. My high school and college strips, and also my first real professional comic strip, “Manic Music,” were all 4-panel strips. But I’m not crazy about that writing style, that bam-bam-bam-punchline format. I like being able to spend some time with the characters, have some more dialogue unfold. It’s more intimate, and involving, and I think the reader tends to get more invested in the story this way. I just enjoy it more. And somehow, the strip seems … heartwarming because of it, if that makes any sense. So many of those short comic strips involve really sarcastic, “put down” humor. I’m not a big fan of that. I want to tell warm, uplifting stories. Yes, I want them to be funny, too … but not cynical. I hope I’ve accomplished that.

“Kyle’s Bed & Breakfast: A Second Bowl of Serial,” by Greg Fox ISBN # 9780615627052. Available at for $18.95 k­




Theme: A quote by gay columnist Dan Savage, in an apology for offending some high school student journalists.



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MAY 10, 2012



she culture

Occupy 2012 By Annalisa Millo

Y NOW WE’VE ALL HEARD of the movement Occupy Wall Street. Many have been skeptical from the beginning, and now with its seeming decay, many are asking, “Is Occupy still relevant?” We’ll get to that later, but here’s a little-known tidbit about the origin of the Occupy movement starting with Utahn and environmental activist Tim DeChristopher. Another Utahn, Derek Snarr, alleges that he was a member of the original 150 who helped build the foundation for the Occupy movement. Snarr stated: “Prior to the launch of Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring uprisings were happening, and we saw the ‘occupation’ of the Capitol in Madison. Revolution was in the air. In March of 2011, during Tim’s trial we had front page news for days at a time, when we occupied the courthouse steps during the entire week of the trial. We used the word ‘occupy’ in headlines that made it to the top spot on Reddit and were read by people around the world. We speculate that prior to this happening, the word ‘occupy’ wasn’t in the public mindset in the context of activists maintaining a space for a sustained period of time. In April of 2011, at PowerShift in Washington, D.C. — Tim gave this speech, identifying the failures of the climate movement, and calling for a sustained movement, rather than protests that happen for a day or two, and then stop. He talked about the difference between making a statement and taking a stand. In July of 2011, Tim published a piece in Grist, in which he called on the climate movement to learn from past movements and from Republicans in being more stubborn. He called for people to join an “occupation” of Washington, D.C. starting in October, which several of us (and others) had been a part of planning. At that time, that was being called the October 2011 Movement. It is now considered a part of the larger Occupy movement. Shortly after Tim was sent to prison, AdBusters put out announcements for “Occupy Wall Street.” Ash Anderson, our co-director, immediately called them and said ‘Hey, we’ve been calling for something just like this for a long time, this is bold and awesome and I wanna help out.’ He then spent an immeasurable amount of time influencing the planning of Occupy Wall Street to incorporate components of our core principles, commit to principles of non-violence, and understand the importance of sustaining the movement after it initially gets shut down. So, whether or not AdBusters, who gets credit for coining the phrase ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ was influenced by Tim and Peaceful Uprising prior to Ash’s influence is speculative, but it can be confirmed.

Prior to Occupy Wall Street kicking off, however, his influence was definitely felt, and very strongly.” So those are the origins, now onto the current status and the future of Occupy. I’d like to introduce Chris, who asked me not to use his last name. Chris runs the main Occupy Salt Lake City Twitter feed @OccupySaltLake, and had a few things to say. One of his main points regarding the queer community’s involvement with Occupy, and activism in general, was simply, “We could always use more involvement across the board. You take a look at the whole 99-percent strategy, that’s everybody. There are these wedge issues that get introduced to elevate or demean other people, and that’s what prevents everybody from being united. And yet the queer community has taken a beating over that. I marched in the Prop 8 [demonstration], hell, I even showed up in the University of Utah’s newspaper. Me, as a white male, I can feel better about myself just for that fact, which is bullshit.” He went on to address the fact that there are still 53 Occupy camps being maintained across the country, Salt Lake City included. The problem with that is he stated that because of the fact they’re still there, it’s more so a display of power than anything; it’s losing its novelty, losing its significance, and therefore, the Occupy camps, and the Occupy movement itself, are losing relevance. However, there are many instances that imply the contrary. May 1 marked May Day, for example, the Occupy movement’s big push to establish its presence in 2012. Its main intention was a general strike: no work, no school, no purchases for those who wished to participate; the purpose to show the world how it functions without the 99 percent. Rallies were held worldwide with abundant attendees, again with Salt Lake City included. The May Day events in Salt Lake City started with a gathering at the City and County Building, then we marched in State Street at rush hour, we blocked as much traffic as possible with basically a police escort (four or five squad cars surrounding us that I saw), to finally convene at the Utah State Capitol for a rally with speakers and a musical performance. I’d like to throw in a plug for the Salt Lake City Police Department, which has been bounds more tolerant and accommodating to our local Occupiers than many cities across the country. Many Occupiers thank Chief Chris Burbank for that. I spoke to one such police officer after the rally; we discussed just that, and decided people need to stop yelling “Fuck the police” because these guys are on our side for the most part. We’re all fighting the same fight here. Members of the DREAM Team happened to at-



tend the local rally and march, their cross-county tour arrived in Salt Lake City for the May Day events. Their tour and eventual documentary hopes to raise awareness of immigrant issues in order to help the DREAM Act pass. Other speakers at the rally included Greg Lucero with The Revolutionary Students Union, Occupiers Justin Kramer and Victor Puertas, and other speakers representing Industrial Workers of the World, and United For Social Justice. The rally was a part of a three-day event that included various workshops and teach-ins. This year’s local rally proved an excellent turnout of a couple hundred people if I had to guess, though it’s a relative drop from last year’s reported turnout of roughly 1,000 people. Still, not bad for Salt Lake City. It’s nice to see a thriving activist community here. Jesse Fruhwirth is often featured on KRCL’s RadioActive, and acted as somewhat of a spokesperson for Occupy Salt Lake City while they had their camp in Pioneer Park. He, Chris, and I all participated in the May Day rally this year, and Fruhwirth had some insight: “What the Occupy movement is bringing back

issues, but also keep an eye open to act in solidarity whenever possible, a lot more will be accomplished than if everybody just focuses on their micro-managed issue.” I asked him what his thoughts were on the future relevancy of Occupy, to which he responded, “It depends on what ‘Occupy’ we’re talking about. If we’re talking about the word, or the way things are analyzed in the mainstream media as a brand, Occupy has definitely suffered. But in terms of what the Occupy movement has already done, in terms of inspiring people, in terms of having people awakened to new ways of expressing their politics, in terms of people coming to a whole new power analysis of our system, and an openness to revolution, that is a seed that is planted. And whether you call it Occupy or not, it doesn’t matter, it’s had a huge impact. I’ll admit, I think it’s slowed down in recent months, but I have a lot of hope for the future that more and more people are becoming open to systemic change.” There is a fair amount of speculation regarding Occupy, but one thing can be mostly agreed upon by everyone, and that is that it has certain-

to the left is an identification with class struggle, for very good reasons, don’t get me wrong. We’ve been very compartmentalized into a pro-women’s movement, pro-queer movement, pro-workers movement, pro-immigrants movement, pro-African-American movement and while all those things are important, we shouldn’t only have those. We also need to have a recognition of class struggle, why, and where this scarcity that creates oppression stems from. And that’s from capitalism, that’s from wealth consolidation, that’s from the 1 percent! So, I think it’s really important, and I think it’s really cool to see a lot of people say that over the last several months, that, you know, ‘We came to Occupy because we thought veganism was the answer,’ or ‘We came to Occupy because we thought that when queers are equal it would be the answer.’ But people are beginning to realize the commonalities in everybody’s struggle.” My response was, “There’s a bigger issue than all of these, it’s systemic. We need to change the whole system itself.” “Right, and the solution can only be found in solidarity. If all those groups focus on their

ly spawned a discussion among the nation and the world concerning the socioeconomic class divide, and it has been the catalyst for many to question the whole system. How to go about getting involved? I’m not sure if I can answer that, but if you observe or experience injustice, absolutely say something about it, but discussion is not enough. Most are used to politicking via social media, but guess what — talk is lazy, online petitions are lazy, there must be a transition from talk into action. There must be less talking and more doing for any progress to be made. As Chris, Jesse and I covered, there are many issues that various groups are addressing — class issues, education variance, women’s issues, queer and equality issues, racial and immigrant issues, and so forth. But what it comes down to is that we’re all fighting the same battle, The 99 percent concept represents that, and all of these are wedge issues that stem from the broken system itself. If nothing else, the Occupy movement has pointed out that there is a problem with the system, and that it needs to be fixed. If you agree, let’s do something about it.  Q



MAY 10, 2012


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MAY 10, 2012


Do you want to feel better?

DARRYL WOODS Q scopes Psychic

Be very careful, Aquarius! by Jack Fertig

The Sun conjoins Jupiter in Taurus offering a bright spot in the economy, both global and your own. Venus is in close aspect boosting that optimism, but Eris is also in aspect so real gains require hard work.


TAURUS (April 20–May 20) Be very careful of sports injuries! Otherwise, be daring. Say what’s on your mind. Personally and professionally you’re looking fabulous. Hard work is sure to be rewarded. You could even luck out on the lotto on the 13th.


GEMINI (May 21–June 20) The less you say, the more people will listen. Busy as your brain is, the stars promise a closed trap and an open mind will bring you lots of new information, insight and respect from others.


picture. You’ll get a clearer overview of where and how those details work best. Explore new ideas, tastes and feelings. Celebrating the sensual will prove practical.


LIBRA (September 23–October 22) Your ruler Venus usually confers graceful manners. Now she’s pushing you to get slutty. You’ll have time to explore your sensual, adventurous side. Consider ground rules, good sense and protection. If partnered, talk with your mate about how to focus that passion.


SCORPIO (October 23–November 21) Brutal honesty with your friends will not only clear away lugs you’re better off without, but it can also alienate folks you should value personally or professionally. If you want brutal honesty, start on yourself and your current direction in life.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22–Dec. 20) Your own charms and good work will get you ahead at work, but your partner could prove the secret weapon in helping you cement connections that will help promote you. Your competitive streak is coming out. Keep it light and playful.



CANCER (June 21–July 22) Your energy and ambition are cranking up, maybe a little too hard. Keep your eyes open for opportunities, but look ahead and exercise judgment. Gossip and friendly chatter are tempting distractions. Keep your mind focused on the prize.


CAPRICORN (December 21–January 19) A critique of your work may feel devastating. Set your feelings aside and learn what you can from that. There’s always room for improvement and the lessons here can be just what you need to push forward.


AQUARIUS (January 20–February 18) Family arguments can reveal a lot and might even prove to be blessings in disguise. Sexual adventures–or otherwise acting like a teenage boy–can go wrong. Be very careful. Remember you have nothing to prove!

LEO (July 23–August 22) All eyes and ears are focused on you. Make the most of this opportunity. How you turn a sudden (financial?) shock into an opportunity could impress everyone around. Think quickly, show spontaneous foresight, and recruit help as you need it.

PISCES (February 19–March 19) Open communications with those close to you can prove very lucrative, or at least help you focus on what really matters. Keep your ears open and let family and friends know what you want.


Jack Fertig, a professional astrologer since 1977, is available at 415-864-8302, starjack. com and

puzzle solutions

Cryptogram: My remarks can only be read as an attack on all Christians if you believe that all Christians are hypocrites.

VIRGO (August 23–September 22) You’re the queen of exacting details, but let that go and look at the larger


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ARIES (March 20–April 19) Your efforts at solving problems at work will be mired in obstruction for a while yet. Work off the frustration with moderate exercise. Remember you’re the one being edgy and impatient; be nice to colleagues! The good news: Money is coming your way!

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MAY 10, 2012




the dating diet Love to love you, baby By Anthony Paull

’M OVER FACEBOOK EVEN THOUGH I’m that pathetic person who needs to check his page once, twice, or ten times a day. I guess one could say I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I want to shoot my load all over it but don’t want to stick around to see the ugly afterbirth. Thank God I’m on the pill. It keeps me child-free. Still, my rambunctious friend Gabe insists that I use condoms. Just to be safe. “You don’t want a baby or an STD,” he tells me. “They take up so much time. Believe me, I should know. Once you have an STD, it has to come first. Your life takes a backseat.” “True. But I don’t think it’s fair to compare babies to STDs.” “Why not? They’re both so ‘me, me, me.’” Poor Gabe. He’s upset because he has a new strain of some designer STD he’s too busy to learn about, or pronounce. The scientific name escapes him. He says it’s the toothy step cousin of the clap. It’s a bitch to cure but he’s on an antibiotic strong enough to kill Cher’s career, so that should get rid of it at some point. “I’m not having sex until it’s gone,” he tells me. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from living in



a hi-tech world, chatting it up with men from across the U.S. His latest conquest is some guy named Jackson he met on a phone app. In a matter of two weeks their relationship has gone from zero to crazy Lifetime TV shit. Gabe says Jackson is perfect. He’s not going to mess this up, no sir, not even if Jackson lives on the other side of the state and is going through a divorce. Gabe thinks the divorce makes Jackson seem hard and rugged. Next month, Gabe hopes Jackson will move in with him. “Isn’t it a bit soon?” I ask. “Not really. My rash should clear up by then.” Silence. Silence. “But do you really know this guy?” “Sure. I’ve known him two weeks,” he says. “Isn’t that enough? What is time anyway? Time is but a cloud, causing us distance.” His lame attempt at poetry pokes my brain. “Is that you or the antibiotic talking?” “It’s me.” “The real you? Or the romanticized version that you project to Jackson over the phone?” Perturbed, he ends the conversation, refusing to talk to me for the next two days. He thinks

I’m trivializing his desire to fall in love. What’s wrong with going out there and taking a chance? I should be supportive seeing as he’s dealing with an STD that’s turned his balls red. “For your information, I showed the little cocktail cherries to Jackson,” he says, phoning me. “You what???” “I put my ball sac on Skype. I don’t want to keep secrets from Jackson. That way he’ll know the real me.” “O…k.” “Sometimes love’s ugly,” he says. “I need my boyfriend to see that.” “He’s your boyfriend now?” “If he passes the test.” The test comes in the form of Gabe presenting his baggage before the relationship has a chance to fly. He thinks it’s for the best. That way there will be no surprises when Jackson arrives. Gabe begins by opening up about his ‘mommy’ issues. He tells Jackson she comes to his condo once a week to help him clean because he can’t stand the sight of a mop or a broom, not since he slept with a janitor in high school. It brings up too many issues of his first love. “I mean, sure, technically it was statutory rape, but it was hot,” he tells Jackson. He also informs him that he was bulimic last month. but

he beat the habit when he stopped eating. Well, he still eats sometimes. He’s vegan or whatever you call it when you mask an eating disorder. His diet consists of tomato-based products. Oh, and he has an ingrown hair on his ass. He thinks Jackson needs to know that so he’ll understand why there will be no sex until he gets it sorted out along with the STD thing. Jackson takes the news with a smile until the topic of bulimia triggers his own issues. It appears Jackson has a history of bulimia too. Oh, and since we’re being honest, he’s also a recovering alcoholic who started drinking again due to his divorce. That triggers more problems because Gabe is a total lush who’s trying to give up the bar scene so he can spend more time finding new friends at Whole Foods who eat organic tomatoes. The trouble is that Jackson doesn’t think he can afford to eat organic foods because he has a baby and has to pay child support. So they break up before Jackson moves here. “Because you eat organic?” I question. “No, because he has a baby. And he says that has to come first.” “So?” “So. Hello! I have an STD. That comes first! Get your priorities right.”  Q

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