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Meet The True Team


Walk To Fight Suicide Columbus Walk October 7, 2018 Alum Creek State Park - Beach

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Chief Executive Officer Publisher

Executive Assistant Columnist

Curtis Davis

Jeff Skinner

Editorial Director

Sales Manager Contributing Writer

Emily Hirzel, Mike Miller, Scott Fullerton, Daniel Tirabassi, Kaylee Duff

Christopher Leaming

Creative Design

Kaylee Duff

Contributing Writers Daniel Tirabassi, JM Rayburn, Michael Toland, Hank Trout

Contributing Photographers

Design2Pro True Q loves feedback from our readers! Email us at with any questions, comments or concerns.


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True Q Magazine and True Media Group are proud members of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

SEPTEMBER 2018  |  1


September 2018

3 Letter from the Editor A word from True Q’s Editor

4 September Events What’s going on in Ohio this month

5 Out in the Media Reviews of the latest books, movies, shows, music and more

6-8 Ohio Has Pride The Buckeye State hosted a recordbreaking number of Pride events in 2018

10-11 Meet the True Team Get to know to staff behind True Q Magazine and True Media Group

12 Drag Talk With female impersonator Jennifer Lynn Ali Jennifer Lynn Ali at Stonewall Columbus Pride 2018. Read more on page 12.

ONETRUEVOICEONLINE.COM ON THE COVER: Highlighting the Pride in all of Ohio’s 88 counties True Q Magazine is published monthly by True Media Group. True Q Magazine issues are FREE at distribution locations throughout the state of Ohio, or available as a subscription for direct delivery online at Copyright © 2018 True Media Group All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without expressed written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. All rights in letters, manuscripts, photographs, drawings, illustrations and artwork sent to True Q Magazine will be treated as assigned for publication and copyright purposes and are subject to True Q Magazine and True Media Group terms and conditions. All models are at least 18 years of age. All photographs included are posed for by professional models or willing participants in True Q Magazine except as otherwise noted. Neither said photographs nor accompanying editorial is indicative of sexual orientation or gender expression, unless specifically noted. The publisher of the magazine does not assume responsibility for statements by advertisers. ALL CONTENT AND RELATED MEDIA ARE COPYRIGHTED © 2018 BY TRUE Q MAGAZINE. All rights reserved. 2  |  SEPTEMBER 2018



Letter From The Editor Welcome to the very first issue of True Q Magazine!

The past couple of months have been an absolute whirlwind for me, both personally and professionally. Graduating college, moving to a new city, getting engaged, starting at True Media… It’s been just change after change. But I’ve learned that change can be really, really exciting! I remember the day Curtis came into my office and told me he’d decided to go through with launching True Q. The re-launch of the new website ( had gone well, and he was approached by several people asking if we were going to do a magazine. So here we are. True Q is going to focus on all 88 counties in Ohio, while also providing national and world news, entertainment, events and other special topics and unique features. In past election cycles — especially in 2016 — we saw where the rural areas of Ohio slipped through the cracks and were left behind. As someone who grew up gay in a small, rural Ohio town, I can attest to how hard and isolating that experience can be. Having someone or something to turn to, like a magazine and the community it creates, can make that so much easier.

Photo by Emily Hirzel.

Now we’re here to reach the far corners of the state, to connect and bring together all of Ohio’s LGBTQ+ and allied communities.

It is such an honor to carry on Quorum’s mission and legacy, and being able to expand that throughout all of the state has been extremely humbling.

The “Q” in True Q’s name is in honor of Quorum Columbus, an LGBTQ+ magazine that served central Ohio for several years until its end in 2015. True Media was originally formed when Curtis acquired the rights to Quorum and TrueFM Online (which is now True Media’s 24/7 online music stream and podcast studio).

We — the whole True Team and myself — are excited for all the years of community, growth, education and fun to come with you. Thanks for joining us on this ride.

Love, Kaylee Duff, Editor


SEPTEMBER 2018  |  3


September Events What’s going on in Ohio this month? Here’s a selection of great community events going on throughout the state in September. CENTRAL SEPTEMBER 6 Voices of LGBTQ Resilience: Trauma in the LGBTQ Community Columbus The LGBTQ+ community faces a disproportionate amount of trauma stemming from a high incidence of traumatic experiences, including hate crimes, interpersonal violence and discrimination. Service providers, healthcare workers and community members all have an important role to play in addressing these disproportionate rates. During this training, participants will get a chance to learn about the unique face of trauma in the LGBTQ community, discuss applying traumainformed concepts to work with the LGBTQ community and explore tools and strategies for addressing trauma. RSVP and learn more at

SOUTHWEST SEPTEMBER 7 Pride Night at Kings Island Kings Island Cincinnati Pride and Kings Island are back at it again with Pride Night! This fun night of Pride celebration includes entertainment, community and charity, as ticket proceeds benefit the GLBTQ Center of Greater Cincinnati. There’s group discounts available, so bring a friend and enjoy a celebration of Pride while helping a great cause. Learn more at

Black Swamp Arts Festival 2016. Photo by Emily Hirzel.



SEPTEMBER 7-9 Black Swamp Arts Festival Bowling Green

SEPTEMBER 22 Flaming River Convention Cleveland

This three-day arts festival in beautiful downtown Bowling Green features fine arts and musicians. With more than 150 booths lining Main Street and three separate performance stages, there’s something for everyone! There’s family-friendly scheduling, after-hours shows at local venues and art as far as the eye can see. Learn more at

Flaming River Arts is hosting the Midwest’s very first queer geek convention! They’re bringing an LGBTQ+ safe space to the queer community, with a convention of comics, podcasts, books, art and more. There’s going to be vendors, workshops, drag, cosplay and friendship — all while celebrating queer geeks, combating bigotry and increasing visibility for marginalized identities within geek culture. Learn more at

SOUTHEAST SEPTEMBER 22, Hocking River Clean Up, Logan

River Clean Up. Photo by FOHR. 4  |  SEPTEMBER 2018

The Friends of Hocking River (FOHR) is sponsoring its 38th river clean up! There is zero doubt that these river sweeps are key when it comes to maintaining a clean river. Many clean ups average up to 100 tires and fill a 20 yard dumpster. Participating is free, and each participant is provided a canoe and tools (while supplies last) and transportation to their designated clean up location. There are even locations for volunteers who wish to help, but don’t want to be in the water. FOHR hosts two river sweeps a year, once in the summer and once in the fall; this summer’s sweep was postponed due to high water and flooding, so it’s a good bet there is a lot to remove. Registration for the river sweep begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of, at the Hocking Valley Canoe Livery. Learn more at TRUE Q MAGAZINE


Out In The Media The True Team review some of their favorites! Nanette, Hannah Gadsby By Christopher Leaming

Orange is the New Black, season 6 By Daniel Tirabassi

In the sixth and most recent season of the Netflix hit Orange is the New Black, the Litchfield girls find themselves in a new home. Maximum security tests friendships made before the move, while the girls navigate through the inmate bureaucracy run by two sisters with a vendetta against each other. Some of our old favorites, including Piper, Alex, Red, Gloria, Daya and Suzanne, are still the focus of the show — but new faces fill the places of those that did not return. Ruby Rose does not return as Stella, so a character named Daddy is introduced as the new stud in the blocks. Many felt that the previous season, based solely around the riot, lost some of the show’s charm. This seems to have been corrected by this season’s focus on jobs, contraband and power moves that made the previous seasons worth watching. This season also introduces a new hierarchy that leads viewers on a guessing game of who will be loyal to whom and breaks down seemingly stable alliances. These breakdowns create the same unstable feeling that made the show’s first season such a success. The creators appear to be hearing what fans believe makes the show great, and have turned season six into one that viewers will want to watch.

I was first introduced to this Netflix special by a Facebook post my friend published, where he gave it a rave review. I knew nothing about Hannah Gadsby nor had I seen any of her work before watching this, so I had no previous expectations. After watching the whole Nanette special, I didn’t like it... I loved it! Not only is she very funny, she is a phenomenal storyteller. Hannah touches on issues such as gender equality, growing up in a small town and mental health issues. Each joke she tells has a purpose and you can easily catch onto them. She has a way of sometimes demanding your undivided attention, and the special even turned very serious at some points. I think that is why I liked it so much. She isn’t up there for an hour just making fun of different groups of people or events. She’s using her platform to bring awareness to issues that are important to her. I felt her passion. Growing up gay, which is one of the themes in the show, I was able to relate to so many of the stories she tells. At the end of the special, I was in literal tears because the final message she told was that powerful.

Leah on the Offbeat, Becky Albertalli 368 pp. Balzer + Bray. $17.99. By Kaylee Duff

Published in April 2018, #1 NYT Bestseller Leah is a solidly good book. The story takes place after the events in Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed debut Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which was recently adapted into a major motion picture as Love, Simon. The beauty of this young adult novel stems directly out of its relatability. Leah’s character is simultaneously cynical and charming, and you can’t help but laugh and cringe along with her. The book is full of quality representation, especially bisexual female representation, which is refreshing. It isn’t every day that you can go into a bookstore and pick up a book for teens about two girls falling in love — especially not girls who are fat, poor or mixed. Leah offers commentary on all of that and more. Albertalli does it all with humor, wit and grace. A heartwarming and funny coming-of-age novel, Leah on the Offbeat is perfect for readers of all ages and sexualities. TRUE Q MAGAZINE

SEPTEMBER 2018  |  5


Ohio Has Pride! Yes, We Do! Ohio hosted more than 17 Pride events around the state this summer.

By Kaylee Duff This summer was Ohio’s biggest Pride season yet! Pride parades and festivals have undergone such an incredible transformation over the years — from only ocurring in major cities like New York City or Chicago to including small picnics in rural towns. Ohio’s Prides provide many in the LGBTQ+ community the chance to gather and celebrate who they are.

Zanesville LGBTQ Pride Night 2018. Photo by Mike Miller.

Dayton PRIDE May 31 – June 3

Zanesville LGBTQ Pride Night June 11

Dayton’s PRIDE events started with The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin: The Gay Pride Weekend Kickoff at the Dayton Public Library. The parade and festival were Saturday in downtown Dayton. This year’s festival included family-friendly entertainment, a car show and Spikes and Heels: A Greater Dayton Pride Kickball Tournament.

This event was a Monday night full of Pride in Zanesville! They hosted a variety show with organizations tabling, guest speakers and drag entertainers at Weasel Boy Brewing.

Findlay Pride Picnic June 2

Pride in the CLE 2018. Photo by Scott Fullerton.

Spectrum of Findlay hosted their annual pride picnic at Riverside Park. Attendees brought side-dishes and desserts to eat alongside provided entrees. This family-friendly event will also include prizes, raffles, music, games and kids’ activities.

Lancaster Pride June 2

Stonewall Columbus Pride June 15 – 17 Ohio’s state capital’s Pride started on Friday with the Big Gay Dance Party. LGBTQ+ Ohioans welcomed VP Pence to town with a dance party/protest, making national news! The Pride festival was held at Bicentennial and Genoa Park all weekend. The Parade took place on Saturday morning, followed by entertainment and fun at the Festival. This year’s Pride had an all-star line-up of performers, including Chris Weaver (from The Voice 2017) as Nedra Belle with Stephanie’s Child and Martha Wash.

This comm(UNITY) event had fun activities that lasted all afternoon! The Pride Walk was followed by a drag race, hot dog eating contest, line dancing and even more entertainment. Following the festival, there were nighttime drag shows.

Athens Pride Fest June 4 – 10

Pride in the CLE 2018. Photo by Scott Fullerton.

Pride in the CLE May 31 – June 3 This year, Cleveland consolidated their two Prides into one huge event. The parade and festival was held at Cleveland’s Public Square. Headlining the entertainment at the festival was a show-stopping performance by singersongwriter Pepper Mashay! 6  |  SEPTEMBER 2018

This week-long Pride Fest started with SafeZone LGBTQ Solidarity and Queer Accomplicehood at the Athens Public Library. There were educational, entertainment and social opportunities for people of all ages throughout the week. Saturday was Athens’ first Pride parade ever, with more festival events the following day.

Big Gay Dance Party. Photo by Kaylee Duff.

Newark Ohio Pride June 9 In their very first Pride event, Newark hosted a festival in the Canal Market District. It was a family-friendly event with food, entertainment and vendors. The night continued at Thirty One West with live music, drag, comedy and burlesque.

Big Gay Dance Party. Photo by Kaylee Duff. TRUE Q MAGAZINE


Stonewall Columbus Pride 2018. Photo by Emily Hirzel.

Springfield Pride 2018. Photo by Mike Miller.

Springfield Pride June 30 This year’s festival was held at the City Hall Plaza in downtown Springfield. This family-friendly event was full of fun, with entertainment, food trucks and booths hosted by local vendors and organizations.

Youngstown Pride Festival 2018. Photo by Daniel Tirabassi.

Youngstown Pride Festival July 21 This year marked 10 years of Pride in Youngstown! The parade was followed by a festival that lasted late into the night. The festival featured vendors, local non-profits, live bands, a family area, a beer tent, free HIV testing and a drag show!

Stonewall Columbus Pride 2018. Photo by Emily Hirzel.

Columbus Community Pride Festival June 16 This was a day-long festival at Mayme Moore Park that centered queer and trans people of color and those at the intersections of oppression. It featured performances and visual art by queer and trans artists of color, a community resource fair, outdoor activities for children (and the young at heart), POC-owned food trucks and so much more!

Sandusky Pride Festival June 21 – 24 This year was Sandusky’s inaugural Pride event, held at the Jackson Street parking lot! There was lots of fun, including a kids area, education, food, artisan vendors, DJs and entertainment. Jim Obergefell, a native of Sandusky and champion of the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision in 2015, spoke on Thursday.

Yellow Springs Pride 2018. Photo by Mike Miller.

Yellow Springs Pride June 30 This was a community-building event with live music and featured speakers. There was music and a beer garden at the Bryan Center. The Pride Parade went through downtown Yellow Springs, which was then followed by more festivities.

Mansfield Pride Festival 2018. Photo by Mike Miller.

Mansfield Pride Festival 2018. Photo by Mike Miller. Cincinnati Pride 2018. Photo by Mike Miller.

Cincinnati Pride June 23 Celebrating 45 years of Pride, this year’s festival in Cincinnati was the biggest one yet! The parade was followed by the festival at Sawyer Point, featuring headlining musicians and drag queens. There was food, drinks, vendors and entertainment that filled the community with celebration! TRUE Q MAGAZINE

Mansfield Pride Festival August 4 Their 4th annual Pride was a family-friendly event had entertainment such as drag performers, bands and solo acts. There was also a kid zone and beer tent with food and entertainment. SEPTEMBER 2018  |  7


Toledo Pride 2018. Photo by Mike Miller.

Akron Pride Festival 2018. Photo by Mike Miller.

Toledo Pride August 17 – 18

Akron Pride Festival August 25

The weekend started with You Will Do Better In Drag — a drag fundraiser for local charities. The Pride parade went down Adams Street in downtown Toledo on Saturday. The festival took place afterwards, featuring local performers, organizations, food and more. This was one of Toledo’s biggest Prides to date!

Akron’s Pride was an open celebration of music, entertainment and information focused on promoting equality and inclusion of ALL people. The March for Equality went from Highland Square to the festival in Hardesty Park. Food trucks, vendors, a children’s area, local talent and national acts filled the park with Pride.

Toledo Pride 2018. Photo by Mike Miller.

Akron Pride Festival 2018. Photo by Mike Miller.




The Development Board of Nationwide Children’s Hospital hosts:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 Columbus Commons | 5 - 9 p.m.

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: Vote for your favorite!


HERE! Want to connect with the LGBTQ+ community in Ohio and beyond? Advertise with True Q Magazine, and be part of Ohio's #onetruevoice. For more information, contact us at or 614.468.0700. TRUE Q MAGAZINE

SEPTEMBER 2018  |  9


Meet The True Team Learn a little bit more about the amazing staff of True Media Group, who have made all of this (and more) possible! CURTIS DAVIS Curtis Davis is the owner and CEO of True Media Group and Publisher of True Q Magazine. He grew up in eastern Ohio. He came to Columbus in 1992 to work on a project in Franklin Park and fell in love with the city. Curtis is very community focused and has served on multiple non-profit boards over the years. He is currently the Business at Large Commissioner/Zoning Chair for the South Side Area Commission for the City of Columbus, Ohio. His focus has been on those agencies that support the youth of the community. Curtis also helped co-launch the Diversity Chamber of Central Ohio, the first LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce.

KAYLEE DUFF Kaylee Duff is the Editorial Director of True Media. She coordinates, writes and edits the local and statewide content for True Q Magazine and OneTrueVoiceOnline, as well as manages a team of Contributing Writers. She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in May. She relocated to the Columbus area with her fiancée, Emily. Kaylee has had short stories and poems published in several literary journals, and is working on her first novel. In her free time, she likes to perform with an independent winterguard, spend time with her family and explore her new surroundings.

JEFF SKINNER Jeff Skinner is True Media’s Executive Assistant to the CEO. He graduated from Marion Harding High School in 2012, and moved to Columbus in 2014. In his free time, Jeff likes to create looks for his alter-ego, Jennifer Lynn Ali, and is very active in Ohio’s drag scene. Jeff also enjoys traveling and spending time with his nephew. You can learn more about Jeff in the Drag Talk column on page 12.

CHRISTOPHER LEAMING Christopher Leaming has been with True Media since the beginning of July. He serves the company as their Sales Manager, specifically with advertising. He has lived in Columbus for eight years and has been happily with his partner Michael for three years. He is a huge OSU fan and enjoys exploring new things to do in Downtown Columbus. Christopher is very excited to be working with True Q Magazine and with the mission of making a difference in the Ohio LGBTQ+ community.

10  |  SEPTEMBER 2018



ALLISON WILLFORD Allison Willford joined True Media to grow and develop video production. She is an enthusiastic professional with experience in video production, editing, creative design, marketing and management. Her career goals are centered around working with companies and organizations to support business mission, vision and growth. Allison graduated from Bowling Green State University and has lived in Columbus since 2006. She has a passion for leadership and community engagement, and is currently serving as the Merion Village Association president. Her volunteerism involves work with children services and other organizations that support children and youth. She is a dedicated partner, foster parent and real estate agent, who enjoys the outdoors (especially kayaking), her four-legged children and spending time with her family.

JONATHAN KOSAKOWSKI Jonathan has lived in Columbus since 2003. He is the IT/Webmaster Guru for True Media Group. He is the proud father of a nine year old Blue Weimaraner named Addyson. Jonathan is a graduate of DeVry University, with a degree in Network and Communications Management. He is also a franchisee of White Horse Vapor and CEO of Kosakowski Designs. When he has free time, he enjoys traveling, pyrotechnics and flying his drone.

DANIEL TIRABASSI Daniel Tirabassi is a Contributing Writer for True Q Magazine and OneTrueVoice Online. Daniel is currently attending Kent State University, where he is majoring in the Human Service focus of Criminal Justice and minoring in LGBTQ Studies. He is also the Gender and Sexuality Director of BCC Full Spectrum Community Outreach, an LGBTQIA resource center in Youngstown, Ohio. His passion for the LGBTQ+ community comes from his journey through transition. His goal in life is to make the process of transitioning easier for the next generation. He also wants to better the lives of the entire LGBTQ community.

DEB ROBERTS Deb Roberts, a friend of the family, is the Events Administrator for True Media. With a background of 8 years working in radio, 22 years owning and marketing her own business, and 28 years of being the ChairChick of the Doo Dah Parade, Mz. Doo Dah knows how to scour the net for events and happenings and knows the importance of Event Calendars. If you have an event to add to our calendar, drop your link at

MIKE MILLER Mike Miller grew up in Columbus. He loves to travel to different places, and is heavily involved with the LGBTQ+ community. His first pride was in 2005, and in 2006, he started volunteering for Stonewall Columbus. Since then, he volunteers and carries the Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade Banner. He attends Pride events around the state and neighboring states, engaging with the community and taking photos for True Media.


SEPTEMBER 2018  |  11


Drag Talk With Jennifer Lynn emotional because I knew I was different, but I was so afraid to come out and say that I was different. I continued to think about my life and my future — and that day was the day I decided it was time for me to be honest with myself and others. So I came out as Gay. Going into high school, I was open and honest about being Gay. A lot of my classmates didn’t understand, and some of them judged me and didn’t want to be around me. I can recall one of my classmates saying, “Don’t talk to me; you’re gay.” That really hurt me. But I didn’t let that bring me down. Instead, I made sure I was visible and energetic. I was involved with musical theatre, and even got to do hair and makeup for the musicals I wasn’t in. By the time I graduated, I had so many friends I had the largest prom picture in school! Miss Southbend 2018 promo picture.

By Jeff Skinner As I sit here and think about my first Drag Talk column, I find myself thinking about it being Tuesday. Tuesdays on social media are often known as #TransformationTuesday, where you share photos of you from the past and the present. You talk about your growth. So here’s a bit of an intro to me, through my transformation and growth.

After high school, I started working at a Goodwill. I worked there for 4 years, first as a cashier and later as manager. When I moved to Columbus, that’s when I started to get into drag. I used to buy a lot of my outfits from Goodwill. After living in Columbus for a year, I decided I wanted to try something new. I started working at an all-male gym, also known as a “bathhouse.” Working there was very interesting. They were actually the first place to

give me my own drag show. I like to joke with my friends and say I have something in common with Bette Midler: We both started our careers at bathhouses! At the beginning of my drag career, I liked doing open stage shows and doing contests. I absolutely fell in love with pageantry. I started volunteering for pageants. I got to help behind the scenes at Miss Gay Ohio USofA, Miss Ohio Gay Pride, and Miss Gay Ohio America, my favorite pageant system. I even got to volunteer at Miss Gay America! I was so in love with the America system that I competed for them in 2017. I placed sixth at Miss Ohio America. I needed to get more practice competing, so I went for Miss Southbend. I walked in and saw the competition, but I couldn’t let that scare me. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. And I did it! I won Miss Southbend. My reign as Miss Southbend started in January. Now, I am more than halfway through my reign and every second has been amazing. Being a female impersonator has truly changed my life for the better. I have a voice and I inspire others to do what they love.

Laughter & Love, Jennifer Lynn Ali

I was born Jeffrey Skinner in Athens, Ohio. My mom and I moved to Marion, Ohio when I was eight, where I went to Marion City Schools. I was known as a shy quiet boy in grade school and sometimes that caused others to bully me. My dad always repeated that old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” and that was definitely a motto I used. Flash forward to the summer before I started high school. I was riding my bike with my headphones in, listening to music. I got

High school prom photo! 12  |  SEPTEMBER 2018

July 1999. Getting my glamor shot at the local Walmart.

October 2001. Being rotten with my brother while visiting our grandmother.

At the Skinner’s family reunion, age 19. Me, my dad and my brother John (left to right).

Family photo at Lindsey’s wedding. Me, my step-mom Barb, my stepbrother-in-law Bo, my step-sister Lindsey and my dad (left to right). TRUE Q MAGAZINE


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True Q Magazine September 2018