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Steve Grand


Berlin featuring Terri Nunn

The Cliks

Alex Newell

Irene Soderberg

Double Duchess

Wade “Unique” Adams from Glee

Arro Verse

Hi Fashion

Max Leon

Doug Strahm

Brody Ray Runge

DJ/Producer John LePage


O F F I C I A L P R I D E E V E N T S - Details Wednesday, October 30


LGBT Center Concert 5:30 p.m. Friday, November 1st Palm Springs Pride Golf Classic 8:00 a.m. Stonewall Equality Concert 6:00 p.m. Uptown Design District Chill-out 6 p.m. Standing on Ceremony, The Gay Marriage Plays 8:00 p.m. Broadway in Drag Pageant 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 2nd

Order Tickets Online at

13th Annual Front Runners & Walkers Run/Walk 8:00 a.m. Complimentary Same-sex Wedding Ceremonies 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pride Festival Day 1 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

PalmSprings.Pride and

OUT PSP Block Party 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Arenas Road Block Party ’13 presented by American Express

6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Standing on Ceremony, The Gay Marriage Plays 8:00 p.m. The Official Ladies’ Party of Palm Springs Pride 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Wang’s in the Desert Pride Dance Party 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Sunday, November 3rd

Parade VIP Party presented by American Express 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Pride Parade 10:00 a.m. Pride Festival Day 2 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) “DAYTIME desert REALNESS” 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sunday High Tea presented by American Express 2:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


>> OCTOBER 2013 <<





MARRIED 20 JUST Johnny Chaillot, Greg Louganis


BEAR CONVERGENCE 22 INTERNATIONAL President’s Day Weekend YOURSELF 24 EXPRESS Interview With Jincey Lumpkin MOTHER HAS BREAST CANCER 28 MY How The Disease Affects Us All YOUR STATUS 30 KNOW Ross Mathews Joins OraQuick GOALS 33 KEEPING The Long Beach Waverunners YOUR TRANSITION 34 DOCUMENTING Your Personal Gender History DESIRES 40 FORBIDDEN Examining Love And Spirituality




32 THE LAW Revenge Porn 36 THE MONEY Marriage & Finances 38 THE FAMILY RaiseAChild.US 39 THE EPIDEMIC Hospital Errors 42 THE EVENT My 12-Step Store


44 THE CALENDAR Events, Groups

33 4 T H E F I GH T | O CT O B ER 2013



46 THE FINAL FIGHT Saints & Sinners


>> OCTOBER 2013 <<

l In this month’s issue Paulo Murillo interviews Johnny Chaillot, Greg Louganis’ newly wedded husband, on his new life on the red carpet, the engagement, challenges in planning a wedding, and finding true love after 50 (“Just Married,” page 20). “Greg and I met in 2010, but we were both in relationships at the time,” reveals Chaillot. “We both became single and we actually reconnected on I know that dating sites still have that weird stigma, but face it, all of us have been on those sites. I knew who he was, but I did not make the first move, I was like ‘I am not going to contact Greg Louganis,’ but he said hello to me first and that’s what got things going,” confides Chaillot. On finding true love after 50—Chaillot says: “It’s comfortable... my favorite times with Greg are just being at home eating a bowl of rice and watching a Harry Potter movie. It’s the quiet times that are really precious to me and we manage to fit them in...” “I believe honesty is the root of real intimacy,” states Jincey Lumpkin, this issue’s cover model (“Express Yourself,” page 24). Lumpkin, founder of the lesbian adult entertainment brand “Juicy Pink Box” and a sex columnist for The Huffington Post, says that “a good piece of advice that I’ve learned in my own life is not to collapse your life into your lover’s. Keep your own friends and don’t always break plans. Have your own hobbies. Do your shit...” “I have had a big problem with the ‘urge to merge,’ confides Lumpkin. “I want to feel so, so close to my lovers, and in close bonding, I have often sacrificed myself. A habitual pattern of this behavior leads to feeling too close, too merged, and then, often times, I’ve felt just less attracted to the other person. I also felt that I lost myself.” Beyond navigating the emotional aspects of your love life—keep your mind on finances as well, especially if you plan on getting married. While “the essence of marriage is love... it is actually a contract enforceable by law,” explains Wealth Advisor and Certified Financial Planner Grant Gochin. “Included in the contract is the right and duty to be open and honest with each other about all financial matters affecting both of you, and also to act in both partners’ best interests,” writes Gochin. “California is a community property state, and so unless a couple create a prenuptial contract, the act of marriage in California marks the beginning of a formal legal contract between two people, intact as one economic unit,” Gochin explains. “The contract spells out the economic rights they have during the marriage, or at the termination of the marriage by death or divorce. Approximately 50 percent of heterosexual marriages end in divorce, and we should eventually expect the same for the LGBT community.” Read Gochin’s column (“Marriage & Finances,” page 36) to learn about some of the financial issues to consider when planning to get married.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Stanford Altamirano MANAGING EDITOR Mark Ariel ART DIRECTOR Nadeen Torio MARKETING CONSULTANTS John Michael Gamban Paul Vallejo Jake Kale Cassandra Clark SOCIAL MEDIA Tim Kreslake WEBMASTER Nadeen Torio

GET THE FIGHT AT HOME Sent Via First Class Mail 12 Issues: $36 6 Issues: $24 Mail check or money order to: Third Step, LLC 611 S. Catalina St. Suite 307 Los Angeles, CA 90005 PUBLISHER Third Step, Inc. DISTRIBUTION Pride In Media The Fight Magazine is published monthly by Third Step, LLC. 611 South Catalina Street, Suite 307 Los Angeles, CA 90005 Telephone (323) 297-4001 Fax (213) 281-9648 Email

THE FIGHT MAGAZINE LEGAL CAVEATS By listing in The Fight Magazine, advertisers acknowledge that they do business in the spirit of cooperation, fairness and service, maintaining a high level of integrity and responsibility. Providers of products or services are fully and solely responsible for providing same as advertised. The Fight Magazine assumes no liability for improper or negligent business practices by advertisers. Advertisers and their agencies assume responsibility and liability for the content of their advertisements in The Fight Magazine. Publisher assumes no liability for safe-keeping or return of unsolicited art, manuscripts or other materials. The Fight Magazine reserves the right to edit all material for clarity, length and content. All contents © 2013 Third Step LLC. All rights reserved. Content may be reproduced with permission. The Fight Magazine assumes no liability for any claims or representations contained anywhere in this magazine and reserves the right to cancel or refuse advertising at publisher’s discretion.


6 T H E F I GH T | O CT O B ER 2013 For Display Advertising, please call (323) 297-4001

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THECONTRIBUTORS ZINNIA JONES Zinnia Jones is an atheist activist, writer, and video blogger focusing on the impact of religious belief, political follies, and LGBTQ rights. Since 2008 her videos have been viewed over 7 million times. You can reach her on Twitter @Zjemptv. Her YouTube channel is at GRANT GOCHIN Grant Gochin is a Wealth Advisor and Certified Financial Planner professional located in Encino. Grant is married (to a man) and he and his husband have one son. He can be reached at (818) 827-3410 or via email at:

>> OCTOBER 2013 <<

PAULO MURILLO West Hollywood resident Paulo Murillo has been writing for gay media for over twelve years. He got his start writing a bi-weekly column called “Luv Ya, Mean It” for FAB! Newspaper. Visit his website at thehissfit. com, or friend him on Facebook. ANN ROSTOW Ann Rostow writes news analysis columns for THE FIGHT and other gay publications across the country. For weekly LGBT News updates, visit her blog at: Ann can be reached at:

DAVID HAKIMFAR Los Angeles based Attorney David Hakimfar received his law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. While there, he made the Honor Roll and National Dean’s List. Currently David Hakimfar is a Trial Attorney and Senior Partner of Hakimfar Law, PLC. He can be reached at: 1-888-789-PRIDE (7743). ROB SMITH Rob Smith is an author, lecturer, writer, and LGBT activist. His first book “Closets, Combat, and Coming Out: Coming of Age as a Gay Man in the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Army” will be released in February. He can be found at

presidents’ day weekend 2014

Hosted at the renaissance palm springs Hotel


Tags & HoTel ReseRvaTions aT

Benefiting AIDS Assistance Program & The Center Food Bank of Palm Springs.

8 T H E F I GH T | O CT O B ER 2013


I AM KEENLY Dear Editor, This is the first time I am writing a letter to the editor—which is strange, because I used to work in local gay media, here in Southern California. Well, maybe not so strange as I was on the inside, involved in the production of a local publication. While I am no longer in the field, I am keenly interested in what types of LGBT publications are out there. I have to admit that when THE FIGHT first appeared a few years ago, I was skeptical. Don’t get me wrong—I liked the magazine from the first issue. While I thought it was admirable for you to tackle addiction and recovery in your very first issue—you see, I wrote at the start that I have been following you—I still thought to myself that the idea of a publication that focused on “life” more than “lifestyle” would not go over well in a community that sometimes seems to focus on the frivolous. Also the lack of escorts and bathhouses within your advertising pages made me think that THE FIGHT would hang up its boxing gloves within the first year. I was wrong, and I am happy to admit my mistake. What THE FIGHT has succeeded in doing, without alienating its main target audience, is to incorporate the sometimes overlooked other three letters outside of the “G” in the LGBT, and to instill a sense of community without being preachy, and without fetishising demographics that do not coincide with what many in the media consider “mainstream gay.” Zinnia Jones’ essays on the transgender community, Ann Rostow’s humorous lesbian musings and, in your current issue, the interview with the conflicted bisexual man (“True Lies,” THE FIGHT, Issue 32) all go to show that it is possible to create an interesting and dynamic publication that incorporates all of us. And last but not least—to put out a print publication on thick glossy stock—when others frantically scrambled—seeking ways to reduce their printing costs—was certainly a gamble that seems to have paid off. I have seen old copies of THE FIGHT on coffee tables of folks who, like me, do not rush to throw away the publication. In fact—I have every issue you have put out. Keep up the good work. Keep up THE FIGHT! Name Withheld, via the internet

> WRITE TO THE EDITOR Email: Fax: (213) 281-9648. Letters may be shortened due to space requirements. 10 T H E F IGH T | O CT O B ER 2013

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EAT CARBS “The most offensive thing about this @BarillaUS controversy is that he actually thinks gay guys eat carbs.” —Equality Matters’ Carlos Maza’s tweet on Barilla Pasta’s chairman’s statement last month, explaining the company “won’t include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family. If gays don’t like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta.”



“While I was making this movie, I totally fell in love with Dan.” —Actor Dane DeHaan on Daniel Radcliffe. The two star in the upcomDANE DEHAAN (L), ing theatrical DANIEL RADCLIFFE release of “Kill Your Darlings,” on the early days of the Beat Generation, where they share their first on-screen kiss.

“It was a very different time and a very different era. When I was growing up...I knew who I wasn’t, but I didn’t know who I was, I really didn’t. I had a lot of fears about TIM being gay GUNN and what that meant ... I already presented my family with a lot of disappointments and I didn’t feel that I wanted to present them with yet this.” —”Project Runway” guru Tim Gunn to Larry King on why he never came out to his parents.



I KNOW TONS “I know tons of celebrities that are in the closet right now but it’s up to them to decide if they want to come out and I will support whatever decision they make.” —Gay former ‘N Syncer Lance Bass, when asked last month if he would ever lie for a celebrity friend who’s still in the closet.


I CAN’T LEAVE “I’ve got to go... As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them... I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ve got to go. “ —Elton John on his upcoming concert in Russia, scheduled for December 6. An antigay Russian parents organization has asked President Vladimir Putin to stop the concert, stating that allowing John to perform “makes a mockery of our recently enacted law against the public propaganda of gay ideas.” 1 2 T H E F IGH T | O CT O B ER 2013

“They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn.” —The senator JOHN from Arizona MCCAIN and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain in a commentary piece to Russian website, in response to one Russian president Vladimir Putin wrote recently for The New York Times.

WAS SUPER SWEET “I thought he was super cute, and I had a total crush on him... And we started dating and he would come over and we would, like, make out. And then I would start to get depressed...”[I] eventually told him I thought it was about my sexuality, and he was super sweet about it.” —Sara Gilbert (rebel daughter Darlene Connor on “Roseanne”) on coming out to her then co-star and on-screen—and for a short time off-screen—love interest Johnny Galecki (who now plays Leonard Hofstadter on “The Big Bang Theory”).

O CTO B ER 2013 | TH E F I GH T 13


TOWN OUSTS MAYOR OVER LGBT PRIDE > The Porterville, California City Council that rescinded its mayor’s LGBT Pride Month proclamation in July has now removed the mayor and her second-in-command from office. The Council voted 3-2 last month to remove council member Virginia Gurrola from her ceremonial position as mayor, in addition to booting vice mayor Peter McCracken from his post in City Hall, reports The Advocate at www. VIRGINIA GURROLA Gurrola said she wasn’t surprised by the vote, as she’s faced intense criticism over her issuing a proclamation designating June as LGBT Pride Month in Porterville. That proclamation was rescinded in July by a 3-2 vote of the City Council.

BID TO REPEAL TRANSGENDER LAW > An effort to overturn a new law allowing transgender students to choose which school restrooms they use and whether to play boys or girls sports got a boost last month when a major player in the passage of California’s now-defunct same-sex marriage ban threw its support behind the campaign, reports The Associated Press. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) announced it was working with another conservative group, the Capitol Resource Institute, to repeal the law at the ballot box. The marriage group provided early fundraising and organizing for the 2008 ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriages, known as Proposition 8. Opponents of the transgender student law have until Nov. 8 to gather the signatures of 504,760 registered voters to place a referendum on the November 2014 ballot that would nullify the statute. California became the first state to spell out the rights of transgender K-12 students in state law when Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB1266. The statute requires public schools to allow students to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities based on selfperception of gender instead of birth gender or transition status.

STUDENTS RALLY BEHIND TRANS PROFESSOR > Students in the unofficial gay-straight alliance at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA, rallied last month to express support for a transgender theology professor who was asked to leave his job after 15 years with the evangelical institution. Adam Ackley, a professor of systematic theology at APU, had been teaching at the school for more than a decade, living as a married woman. In late September, Ackley told administrators that he’s a transgender man and revealed that he is going through a divorce. Ackley was then asked to resign form his post. Members of APU’s GSA, Haven, wore shirts and carried banners that read “We Stand With Adam” as they gathered on the quad before and after the daily chapel service last month. 1 4 T H E F IGH T | O CT O B ER 2013

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WEHO HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL l The West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval takes place on Thursday, October 31st from 6pm-11pm. The event draws over 200,000 people to the city with costumes along Santa Monica Blvd.— from Doheny Drive to La Cienega Boulevard. The night comes to a standstill as the Halloween Costume Contest crowns the Honorary “Queen of the Carnaval.” For more info visit: or call the Halloween Carnival Hotline at (323) 848-6503. PHOTO COURTESY OF ONE NATIONAL GAY & LESBIAN ARCHIVES

l The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center will honor NBA Player Jason Collins, Netflix and Xiaogang Wei, founder of China’s first AIDS Walk, at the Vanguard Awards Gala on Nov. 9, at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. The Center’s new Vanguard Awards recognize individuals and corporations that are at the vanguard of the LGBT JASON COLLINS movement and making a difference in the lives of LGBT people in the Los Angeles area, throughout our nation and around the globe. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to or call TAI Events at 310-996-1188.

LGBT-SPECIFIC LESSON PLANS l ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, the oldest largest repository of LGBT materials in the world, announced the organization has partnered with the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center’s Project SPIN to develop LGBT-specific lesson plans that will be integrated into the history curriculum of L.A. County high schools in the near future, reports The Advocate. The groundbreaking development is a result of the California FAIR Education Act, which passed in 2011 and updated education guidelines in the state to ensure that the contributions of LGBT people would be included in history and social studies lessons in public schools.

1 6 T H E F I GH T | O CT O BER 2013

l A 22-year-old transgender woman was killed in Hollywood last month in a hitand-run incident. The Los Angeles Police Department is still searching for the driver of a gray or white Ford Thunderbird that was involved in the fatal crash, reports The Advocate at Friends and police suspect that Unique McKenzie slipped and fell into the street in front of a bus stop in the 6700 block of Santa Monica Blvd., around 3:20 a.m. on Saturday, September 28. Friends who were near McKenzie at the time of the accident said the driver didn’t even slow down.


TRUNKS BAR OWNER BILL HOLLAND PASSES AWAY l Palm Springs resident Bill Holland, 77, owner of West Hollywood’s popular Trunks bar, has passed away, reports wehoville. com. Born September 25, 1936 to William and Gertrude Holland in Williamsburg, Virginia, Holland was a veteran of the US Army. He is survived by his life partner Joe Silva. Visitation was held at Wiefels Chapel in Palm Springs on Thursday, October 3, 2013.



l The first LGBT Night Out at Dodger Stadium took place last month, for a home game against the Colorado Rockies. “We welcome all fans to Dodger Stadium throughout each season,” Dodgers chief marketing officer Lon Rosen said in a statement. “We are especially proud to welcome and recognize the LGBT community of Los Angeles, an integral part of the city and of the Dodgers community.” The event included a performance by The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, and Friday Night Fireworks with music by DJ Manny Lehman. n

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PALM SPRINGS PRIDE CELEBRATION MARK YOU CALENDAR. NOVEMBER 2-3, 2013. GRAND MARSHALS: ROSS MATHEWS, SOCHI PRIDE 2014 AND JOE JERVIS. BY VICTOR MELAMED THE GREATER PALM SPRINGS PRIDE board of directors announced “It’s Time’ will be the theme for the annual Palm Springs Pride Celebration scheduled for November 2 and 3, 2013. A nod to the past, the theme also represents new hope, new beginnings, and future progress toward equality. The theme sets the tone for the 27th annual celebration and will be a call for the community to step off the sidewalk and into the street and march for equality in the annual Pride parade. The parade is scheduled for 10:00 am, Sunday, November 3rd, along Palm Canyon Drive through the heart of Downtown Palm Springs. “Hello Ross” host, best-selling author and all around funny man Ross Mathews will be the parade’s Celebrity Grand Marshal. Additionally, Greater Palm Springs Pride announced that Sochi Pride

“IT’S TIME” WILL BE THE THEME FOR THIS YEAR’S PRIDE. A NOD TO THE PAST, THE THEME ALSO REPRESENTS NEW HOPE, NEW BEGINNINGS, AND FUTURE PROGRESS TOWARD EQUALITY. 2014 has been named the Grand Marshal of the 27th annual Pride Parade. Sochi Pride was selected to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBT community in Russia and raise awareness of the increasing anti-gay atmosphere of discrimination and harassment of the LGBT community in the Russian Federation. The National Grand Marshal for the 27th annual Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade is Joe Jervis, the author of the popular,

award winning LGBT news and culture blog Joe.My.God. Jervis has been delivering his unique brand of activism for the global LGBT community for nine years. The Pride Festival takes place at Palm Springs Stadium, Sunrise Park (across from the Palm Springs Library) located at Sunrise Way & Baristo, on Saturday & Sunday, November 2 & 3, 11am-6pm. This unique two-day pride festival is held at the former spring training home of the California Angels and Chicago White Sox. On pride weekend, thousands will take to the field with the baseball diamond serving as the gathering spot for friends and a celebration of diversity and unity. Complete with gay-owned and LGBT friendly companies, the festival includes live entertainment, music, dancing, food vendors, and booths staffed by local organizations. n For more info visit:

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Fall is upon us and the clock is ticking for what could be the biggest gay wedding since the fall of Prop 8. THE FIGHT interviewed Chaillot while he was in the middle of some serious wedding planning with less than two weeks before the big walk down the aisle (the date was kept a secret). Chaillot shares some intimate details about his new life on the red carpet, the engagement, challenges in planning a wedding, and finding true love after 50.


WHEN AND WHERE DID YOU AND GREG MEET? Greg and I met in 2010, but we were both in relationships at the time. We both became single and we actually reconnected on I know that dating sites still have that weird stigma, but face it, all of us have been on those sites. I knew who he was, but I did not make the first move, I was like “I am not going to contact Greg Louganis,” but he said hello to me first and that’s what got things going.


Chaillot in the fall during a June 17 interview with People Magazine this year. “I finally met my soul mate,” he told People, less than two weeks before Prop 8 was overturned by the Supreme Court. “The more I fall in love with Johnny, the more I fall in love with myself. This is what the universe had in store for both of us.”

TELL US ABOUT THE ENGAGEMENT. WHO ASKED WHOM? Greg asked me on April the 8th. We had already been together a year. He made his mother’s Greek Moussaka and he just asked me in his home in Malibu. And I said yes. DID HE ASK YOU ON BENDED KNEE? No, he sat beside me on the couch. He had a little box in his hand and he said, “I really want to make this official.” He gave me a ring that looks like-it’s like a Harry Potter magic ring. It’s really beautiful; it has moonstones and garnets. He designed it himself. Greg loves Harry Potter, so he really wanted something that looked like a magic ring and it does look magical.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW HE WAS THE ONE? We were sure after a year. We definitely knew. We’re both in our early 50s. We’re both settled in our careers and we’re firmly established in what we want to do. We both kissed a few frogs and I think God was just preparing us for each other and that’s why it’s happening now.


GROWING UP, DID YOU HAVE FANTASIES ABOUT A DREAM WEDDING? Yeah, but I was always the bride [laughs]. No, I never-when I was growing up, weddings were just a big party, but I never thought that I would really get married. No. It never really crossed my mind after I came out. It wasn’t a possibility growing up in Louisiana.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACED PLANNING A WEDDING? The biggest challenge was timing. Most of my family and friends are in Louisiana, so it was a matter of picking the right date. Once we

picked it, we stuck with it and everything else fell into place. I try not to worry too much, but there’s food, there’s flowers, there’s cakes, there’s dogs, there’s presents for everyone, there’s a wedding party, it’s picking the restaurant, hotels and drivers and oh my God.

go to, Greg is working and he works really hard.


WHAT’S IT LIKE FINDING TRUE LOVE AFTER 50? It’s comfortable. The travel and all the media stuff is fun but my favorite times with Greg are just being at home eating a bowl of rice and watching a Harry Potter movie. It’s the quiet times that are really precious to me and we manage to fit them in. There is good chance that all of us will get to experience this ... I think marrying the person that you love-it doesn’t matter where, when or how. I get to marry Greg and that’s all that matters. He just happens to be who he is. n

WHAT’S IT LIKE WALKING A RED CARPET AS GREG’S ARM CANDY? It’s fun. I know where it lies in importance, but it is certainly fun. Those red carpet moments are Greg working. That’s his job and that’s the one thing that was told early on to me, that the traveling and the events that we

WHERE WILL YOU BE SPENDING YOUR HONEYMOON? We want to go to Africa, but we don’t know when we’ll be able to go. We’ll find time to do that.

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CONVERGENCE THE PREMIER WINTER EVENT FOR BEARS & ADMIRERS, FILLED WITH POOL PARTIES, DANCE EVENTS AND SURPRISE GUEST ENTERTAINERS, DEBUTS IN PALM SPRINGS, FEBRUARY 13-17, 2014. BY VICTOR MELAMED ON PRESIDENT’S DAY WEEKEND this coming February, Palm Springs launches a new event, “International Bear Convergence.” Lead Promoter Steve (Stevo) Harris and his biz partner Chris Vance are betting they have a winner. Great weather, the perfect setting, a very supportive city and already a half sold out mega hotel is going to make this one of the largest Bear events in the US, according to the promoters. “I have been planning and promoting events for over 30 years on both the East and West coast and as a former “Bear Magazine” publisher, I still have many alliances with corporate sponsors that are very excited to support an event such as IBC in such a prime destination as Palm Springs,” reveals Harris in an interview with THE FIGHT. “Chris works directly with procuring talent for the parties, event branding and art direction and I concentrate on sponsors and marketing. It works great for us.” 2 2 T H E F I GH T | O CT O BER 2013

“We thought Presidents’ Day Weekend was the perfect time of year to hold this event in Palm Springs as the climate here is the warmest and most stable from all the states in the US,” says Harris. “The hotel’s pool area has a capacity of almost 4,000 attendees and the pool is always heated to a comfortable 86 degrees. The warm days, cool nights and the backdrop STEVE (STEVO) HARRIS

of the San Jacinto Mountains are the perfect backdrop for a Bear event. And of course, Palm Springs is the gay friendliest city in the world. All the shops, bars and restaurants are all within blocks from the host hotel. No car is needed. Even the airport is only blocks away. How perfect is that?” “We want to make this weekend an experience for everyone who attends,” states Harris. “We are working very closely with the hotel and the city of Palm Springs to make sure that the Bears have an incredible time here. The DJs were carefully picked from around the globe to provide a party experience like no other Bear event in the world, and we offer our event in a city where our attendees can take advantage of a 6000 ft tram experience, fine dining, great nightlife, casinos and some of the best shopping in the world, and again, all within walking distance of the hotel. The hotel will even sell pizza during the evening events and after hours to keep the bears well fed!” DJs performing at the event, reveals Harris, include John LePage, Doug Jackson, David Knapp and Paul Coals from London. Additionally, four Southern California crowd favorites including DJ Candy, Ryan Jones, Chub Jim and Easy Tiger. “It will be an epic four-day Bear event that’s filled with pool parties, dance events and surprise guest entertainers, including musclebear comedian Peter Bisuito who will host IBC,” states Harris. n For more info on the upcoming “International Bear Convergence” visit:



Cover Feature >> OCTOBER 2013 <<

BY MARK ARIEL LAWYER, PORNOGRAPHIC PRODUCER and sex columnist, Jincey Lumpkin, Esq., 34, has been called the “lesbian Hugh Hefner.” Named one of the 100 most influential gay people by Out Magazine, Lumpkin is the founder and “Chief Sexy Officer” of the lesbian adult entertainment brand “Juicy Pink Box.” Lumpkin, recently married, writes for The Huffington Post on a variety of topics, including the process of trying to get pregnant, sexual harassment and masturbation. In an interview with THE FIGHT Lumpkin talks about coming out, leaving her law firm and delving into lesbian porn and what brings lesbians and gay men together. GROWING UP IN A SMALL TOWN IN GEORGIA, WHAT WAS THE COMING OUT PROCESS LIKE FOR YOU? HARD!! When I look back, it was a bit slow and painful. I had always had attraction to girls, even from the age of 10 or so, but because I had never really seen a gay person, I didn’t think my feelings were normal. I truly thought I was the only girl in the world who wanted to kiss my friends. It took years and years before I learned that being gay is normal, and even longer to accept that I, myself, am gay. My mom took it very, very hard. However, I never gave up on her, and I kept pushing her to love me as I am. Finally, 8 years after coming out, I can honestly say that she loves me the way I am. YOU RECEIVED YOUR LAW DEGREE IN 2006. WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO ENTER THIS FIELD? My dad was a very successful lawyer, probably among the top 5 personal injury lawyers in Georgia. Even though in my heart I always wanted to be in entertainment, I was scared, because the path to success seemed so impossible. Going into law felt easier to me. You study, you graduate, and you get a job. The problem was that I quickly realized that I would never be fulfilled with a legal career. WHAT LED UP TO THE FOUNDATION OF JUICY PINK BOX? My big mouth! See, after law school, when I moved to NYC, I was working in a law firm, and I was put on a big case with about 30 other attorneys, mostly straight dudes. I’m a very open and chatty person. I’m an extrovert, and I feel really happy and replenished when I talk to people about my life and their lives. At that time (2007-2008), I was single and sleeping around a lot. When my office bros found out that I am a lesbian, they were dying to know lots of details. I told them everything, and they said, “Yo, Jincey, you gotta write a blog about this stuff. If we wanna know, other people will wanna know.” The blog became very popular very quickly, and I knew


that there was a business opportunity. I found an investor, started my business, and in less than 8 months, I left my law career and launched full-time into my entrepreneurial path. YOU HAVE BEEN QUOTED AS REGARDING YOURSELF AS A “SEX-POSITIVE” FEMINIST. CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THAT? Hell yeah! First, let me explain what I think feminism is. I think it means that, regardless of gender, we all deserve the best in life, and we deserve to be treated as equals and with respect. For centuries and centuries, women have gotten the shit end of the stick in regard to legal rights, earning income, and even in how we are allowed to express ourselves sexually. Sex-positivity is the idea that sex is a normal part of life, and so long as there is informed consent (and legality), we should not regard sexuality as abnormal or immoral. Next, how do these two things combine? Well, I believe that women have a right to be as sexually expressive as they choose to be, and I feel that we should not be called “sluts” for it. So often, women who like sex say, “You know, I’m like a man. I need to have sex a lot.” No! No! No! The desire to have sex does not belong solely to men. I feel that a woman should be able to walk out in the street wearing as little or as much clothing as she chooses, and not one person should say, “Oh, look at that virtuous woman,” or “what a whore.” Sex is sex. Let’s STOP equating the amount of sex or the expression of sexuality and giving a value judgment. IS IT A MISCONCEPTION, IN YOUR OPINION, THE BELIEF THAT WOMEN ARE LESS AROUSED BY PORN THAN MEN? OF COURSE! Again, it goes along with this idea of denying female sexuality. Women are supposed to be both sexy and chaste. We want to look at titties, but, God forbid, not at the nipples. Nipples feed babies! Do you see how ridiculous and para-

doxical this is? It’s like, listen, if the women in the movies are getting off, what in the world makes a person think that woman watching wouldn’t also get off. The slut stigma and all its myriad permutations make me nuts. HOW DOES A COUPLE IN A LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP KEEP THE FIRE ALIVE—THE PASSION—IN THEIR INTIMACY? I believe honesty is the root of real intimacy. But, I’ve been reading some very interesting books on the subject lately. I just finished “Mating in Captivity” by Esther Perel. She asserts a theory, based on her work and research as a therapist, that good intimacy doesn’t always mean good sex. Talking doesn’t always lead to fucking. Instead, she encourages truth and intimacy, but also maintaining a separate self of self. I have had a big problem with the “urge to merge.” I want to feel so, so close to my lovers, and in close bonding, I have often sacrificed myself. A habitual pattern of this behavior leads to feeling too close, too merged, and then, often times, I’ve felt just less attracted to the other person. I also felt that I lost myself. So, I think a good piece of advice that I’ve learned in my own life is not to collapse your life into your lover’s. Keep your own friends and don’t always break plans. Have your own hobbies. Do your shit. Go out and get drunk with your friends, and then come home and fuck your partner! LASTLY, LESBIANS AND GAY MEN— WHAT BRINGS US TOGETHER, AND WHAT, IF ANYTHING, SEPARATES US? It’s funny, because, in my experience, it tends to be lesbians who are more standoffish and judgmental about gay guys. Most of the gay boys I know are ALWAYS asking me, “Hey, where are all the lesbians?” They actually make an active effort to seek out friendships with lesbians. I’m involved in some philanthropic work, and I’ve been so impressed with the guys and how much they step up to the plate and want to reach out to us—and create a safe space for us. Granted, I don’t want to make generalizations, because I have seen a lot of love in the queer community, where people who identify as queer—be they, gay men, gay women, genderqueer or trans—they love to hang out together and shoot the shit. They laugh at the differences and bond over similarities. I think we have to stop saying, “Why can’t we get along?” and just sit down for drinks at the same table. Reach out and touch someone, if you will. n O CTO B ER 2013 | TH E F I GH T 25




> There’s a lot to discuss this month, but first, I am sad to say that our latest LGBT boycott will require me to actually give up one of my favorite brands. Thus far, my loyal adherence to our community’s official corporate snubs has been relatively painless. Romanian wine? Off the shopping list. Coors beer? I could never really tell the difference between Coors and the others, and indeed, my Coors boycott was so ingrained for so many years that I have trouble drinking the stuff even now when it has been sold to a friendly group and we are encouraged to buy it. What else? I had never been to a Chick Fil-A in my life and so continue to avoid the franchise with the one exception of the kiss-in at our local branch. Never liked Domino’s to begin with. As for Exxon, I must confess that I have made a few exceptions when forced to choose between political correctness and stranding my car in the middle of, let’s say, western Kansas. Now, however, I can no longer bring myself to buy Barilla pasta. The other day, President Guido Barilla himself told the press he would never market his product to the LGBT community, and observed that gays “can always eat another brand of pasta” if we don’t agree with his views on the traditional family. After an outraged reaction from around the world, Barilla tried to backtrack, but it’s just too late. Pick another pasta? I always go out of my way to buy Barilla, but not anymore. Never again! Bring on DeCecci, Bertolli, Garofalo, even Chef Boyardee. The nice thing, by the way, is that these and other pasta companies are all competing for our business with gay ads.

JERSEY LICIOUS > Guess what! Marriage could be legal in New Jersey by the time you read this magazine. That is, of course, if you’re reading it after October 21, in which case we must ask what the hell took you so long to pick up this issue of THE FIGHT? In late September, a New Jersey court ordered marriages to begin on the 21st and Governor Christie was true to form in asking the court to put that ruling on hold while the state supreme court reviews the case. Will imposing a stay be automatic as it has been after similar lower court decisions? Not necessarily. Not these days. We’ll find out shortly. Even if the court stays its deadline, the state supreme court is expected to deal with marriage equality with alacrity, so you can start planning your New Jersey nuptials for next year at the earliest. Why marry in Malibu when you can tie the knot in Hoboken?


You can start planning your New Jersey nuptials for next year at the earliest. Why marry in Malibu when you can tie the knot in Hoboken? this is a federal case, and West Virginia reports to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, where I think we have a slight edge in Democratic appointments.

> In addition to the New Jersey case, the supreme court of New Mexico


is in hurry up mode on the Land of Enchantment’s equality lawsuit. Forget Hoboken, how about a destination wedding in Albuquerque at one of those Breaking Bad landmarks? A ceremony on Walt’s driveway followed by a reception at the chicken place or the car wash. Better yet, have the whole affair in that spot in the desert where the money was buried. There are a few other state marriage cases, in Pennsylvania and Illinois for example, but the real action has switched to the federal courts, where our legal eagles are filing Prop 8-type lawsuits arguing that antigay state amendments violate the U.S. Constitution. Our latest federal suit was filed by Lambda Legal in West Virginia of all places. I know you’re thinking “West Virginia? Say what?” But remember

marriage cases at this point, but the ones to watch are the two claims against Hawaii and Nevada that are both pending before the Ninth Circuit. We lost both in lower courts, and our appeals were delayed during the High Court’s deliberations earlier this year. Now, the combined cases are back on track and should be briefed by the


2 6 T H E F IGH T | O CT O B ER 2013

> There are scads of other federal

end of next month. Let’s give the Ninth Circuit a few months to schedule and hear oral arguments, and a few more months to deliberate. In theory, we should have an appellate ruling on marriage by next summer. Remember that the Ninth Circuit has already sort of ruled in our favor in the Prop 8 case. That said, the decision was cramped to say the least. Still, our position is promising and the big question is this: If the Ninth Circuit delivers a more coherent gay marriage victory next year, will the High Court accept review? Or will they simply allow marriage equality to sweep throughout the western states that fall under the Ninth Circuit and sit on their hands until another circuit rules? If the High Court decides

>> OCTOBER 2013 <<

to dither, one of these other federal lawsuits will rise to prominence. At any rate, it feels as if the High Court will have to take the gay version of Loving v Virginia before the decade’s end. If that seems like a long time to you, look back to what you were doing in the year 2006. It was just yesterday.

FREE SPEECH HAS A PRICETAG > I have to thank newshound Lisa Keen (who runs a great LGBT news service) for the heads up on an interesting case that may or not arrive on the High Court docket this session. I was astonished that this case is still around since it stems from an incident long in the past, when Crystal Dixon, an HR director at the University of Toledo, took to the op-ed pages of her local paper to decry the false comparison between gay and black civil rights. You know how everyone bleats about “free speech” the minute someone else objects to their latest diatribe? Well, Dixon, who was fired for her opinions, was no exception. Indeed, Dixon has the right to proclaim any opinion she likes, and the government or the state cannot stop her. But they can certainly fire her if her opinions clash with her job performance. So can a private employer for that matter. In this case, the university had a non-discrimination ordinance and some other gay friendly policies, and the powers that be decided it was inappropriate for a top hiring executive to make

public antigay statements. Dixon sued, but she’s lost at the lower court levels and is now trying to get the High Court to take her case. I’m not sure they will. But it will be interesting if they do. If you work for the IRS, you can be fired for announcing that the income tax is unconstitutional. If you work for a butcher, you cannot claim your religious views prevent you from touching a cow. If Crystal hates gays so much, she can go work for Barilla Pasta. No one’s forcing her to work for a public university pledged to fight bias. And no one forced her write an op-ed for that matter. Now, she wants to have her cake and eat it too.

I’LL TAKE THE SUGAR DATES > I have never understood that

cake expression. Why can’t you just eat half the cake and save the other half? Wouldn’t that be having your cake and eating it too? Wikipedia has provided the translations for this core idea as expressed in foreign proverbs. From Switzerland: “You can’t have the five cent coin and the Swiss bread roll.” From the Persian: “You can’t have the donkey and the sugar dates.” From the Portuguese: “You can’t have the sun shining on the threshing floor while it rains on the turnips.” From the Danish: “You can’t both blow and have flour in your mouth.” And my favorite, from France: “You can’t have the butter and a smile on the face of the girl who makes the butter.” I have the same problem with the French version as the American. Why can’t you have the butter and the smile? n

O CTO B ER 2013 | TH E F I GH T 27


My Mother Has

BREAST CANCER ABOUT 1 IN 8 U.S. WOMEN WILL DEVELOP INVASIVE BREAST CANCER OVER THE COURSE OF HER LIFETIME. BY MARK ARIEL THIS MONTH, October, is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer. Breast cancer affects us all, whether it is male breast cancer (see sidebar on this page) or a female member of your family. In my family, we have been dealing with my mother’s battle with the disease, for the past four years. My mother has HER2-positive breast cancer. This is a type of cancer that tests positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer. However, treatments that specifically target HER2 have been shown to be effective. My mother is currently being treated with a drug called Trastuzumab, also known as Herceptin. Trastuzumab targets HER2, kills these cancer cells and decreases the risk of recurrence. At the moment my mother has not experienced any serious side effects. She continues to go to yoga classes a few times a week, remains active and has explored various complementary therapies. 2 8 T H E F IGH T | O CT O B ER 2013

“Before my cancer diagnosis I was quite skeptical of alternative therapies. It’s not that I had anything against complementary medicine, I just didn’t think these type of treatments were really effective,” my mother says. Today she has a different perspective. “I do not know if hypnotherapy or energy healing can cure the disease, but I do see they have had a positive effect on me.” My mother experienced the mind body connection during a recent hypnotherapy session. “The hypnotherapist put me into a deep, calm, and totally relaxed state of mind and emphasized all of the positive things about my life—I have a loving husband, loving children, I have basically been a healthy person my entire life. It was a very pleasant experience.” My mother listens to a hypnotherapy cd provided by the therapist, every evening. It has been helpful, she says, in getting a restful night’s sleep. In addition to other complementary treatments, such as

energy healing and massage sessions, my mother has found yoga enhances her quality of life. Yoga incorporates a program of precise postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, and has been proven to alleviate stress, lower blood pressure and help manage fatigue. “For me, yoga makes a clear physical and mental difference. I always feel happier at the end of a yoga class, than when I started,” my mother says. Lastly my mother has the following “take home” message: “Depending on your age, and your life situation, you can decide on how far you want to go as far as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. However, no matter what your decisions are, my advice is to stay as active as possible. Find physical things you enjoy—yoga, pilates, working out at the gym, whatever works for you. Go outside of yourself, look into hypnotherapy, acupuncture, or energy healing. Cancer is a journey, and it’s not always a death sentence. “Live life.” n



bout 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2013. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. Signs and symptoms of male breast cancer can include: • A painless lump or thickening in your breast tissue • Changes to the skin covering your breast, such as dimpling, puckering, redness or scaling • Changes to your nipple, such as redness or scaling, or a nipple that begins to turn inward • Discharge from your nipple Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you.




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TELEVISION HOST and best-selling author Ross Mathews has teamed up with OraSure—makers of the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test—to kick off The “Life. As We Know It” campaign in conjunction with National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The campaign takes a bold new strategic approach to reaching consumers most at risk for HIV through the creation and sharing of relevant content designed to engage consumers in a discussion about topics related to love, sex, relationships and sexual health. Mathews debuted on television as a correspondent for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in 2001. Mathews then became a regular panelist and occasional guest host on E!’s talk show “Chelsea Lately,” and remains a fixture on E! News and E! Network’s live red carpet awards show coverage. Mathews recently added best-selling author to his resume with his first book, Man Up: Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence, released in May. He currently stars in and produces his own weekly talk show, “Hello Ross!” for E! Televison. “Hello Ross!” is the new weekly fan destination where the intersections of celebrity gossip and pop culture collide, hosted by the world’s biggest super fan himself, Mathews. “I think it is important for everyone to know their status,” said Mathews in an interview with THE FIGHT. “Before OraQuick you would have to wait a week or more for your results, but all that has changed now. With the OraQuick at-home test, there is no needle or blood. You just swab the inside of your mouth, wait 20 minutes, and you will get your status.” To ensure optimal support for individuals using the at-home test, OraQuick offers live support and comprehensive referral services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, through a tollfree support center and consumer website at The OraQuick Support Center is staffed with bi-lingual (English/Spanish) representatives who are available by telephone at 866-436-6527 to answer questions about HIV/AIDS and using and interpreting the test. They also provide referrals to follow-up and care, and can take orders for the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test. Additionally, the product website provides access to resources and referral to follow-up counseling, confirmatory testing and medical care. n

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REVENGE PORN WHEN YOUR EX PULLS A CYBER HEX. NEW LAW MAKES IT A CRIME TO POST SEXUALLY EXPLICIT PICTURES OR VIDEO ONLINE OF ANOTHER PERSON WITHOUT HIS OR HER PERMISSION. BY DAVID HAKIMFAR l California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 255, or the “Revenge Porn” bill, on October 1, 2013. The law makes it a crime to post sexually explicit pictures or video online of another person without his or her permission with the intention of causing emotional distress or publicly humiliating the subject. In recent years, incidents of “revenge porn” (also known as “cyber revenge”) have grown more common with the explosion of technology and social networking sites. This has made it easier for disgruntled ex-lovers to exact public revenge for a failed relationship. Numerous websites that allow people to post such content have been launched. Some sites have even gone so far as to charge victims money to have the offending pictures taken down. And there is little that can be done legally to take action against the operators. A victim can sue the perpetrators in civil court for damages-a costly and time-consuming proposition-but it appears that website operators are protected from liability. Section 230 of 3 2 T H E F IGH T | O CT O B ER 2013

the Communications Decency Act states that websites and Internet service providers cannot be treated as a publisher for information posted by another content provider. Legislation was inspired in part by the suicide of 15-yearold Audrie Potts. The Northern California teen took her life in September 2012 after pictures allegedly taken by three teenage boys were posted online of the boys allegedly committing

“People who post or text pictures that are meant to be private as a way to seek revenge are reprehensible. Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted...”

sexual assault while Audrie was unconscious. The boys were arrested in April 2013 and charged with her assault. Audrie’s parents have since filed a civil suit against the boys. A teenage girl who was allegedly present for the assault was also named in the suit. “People who post or text pictures that are meant to be private as a way to seek revenge are reprehensible,” said State Senator Anthony Cannella, the author of the original California bill. “Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted. This is a common sense bill that clamps down on those who exploit intimacy and trust for revenge or personal gain.” Critics contend the bill doesn’t go far enough, as it only covers photos and videos taken by others, and not “selfies” (or images taken by the subject). A study by the non-profit organization Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) suggests that up to 80% of all victims of cyber revenge contain photos taken by the victim. The CCRI was founded by Holly Jacobs, a Florida woman who was herself the victim of revenge porn. The organization seeks to raise awareness about the nature and prevalence of online harassment and to promote state and federal legislation regarding online harassment and abuse. Senator Canella has stated his intention to work on addressing the legislation’s limitations next year. Similar bills are under consideration in other states as well. This year, Florida failed to pass a similar law due to First Amendment concerns that would have made the act a felony. At this time, New Jersey is the only other state that has such a law in place. n David Hakimfar is a Tral Attorney and Senior Partner of Hakimfar Law, PLC, and a member-attorney of Pride Legal. He can be reached at 213- 265-9252.

KEEPING GOALS THE LONG BEACH WAVERUNNERS ARE DEDICATED TO THE PROCESS OF MAKING IT TO GAY GAMES 2014—BUT THEY NEED YOUR HELP. BY VICTOR MELAMED LONG BEACH WAVERUNNERS, founded in Long Beach, is an inclusive soccer community featuring LGBT players and their straight allies. Founded in 2007 by Hans Laursen and Heriberto “Eddie” Velazquez, in 2009, the Long Beach Waverunners FC began competition with the Latin American Football Club in north Long Beach. The team came in runners up in the league championship in a 4-5 decision decided in double overtime by goalie kicks. The Waverunners debuted on the international scene in 2011, at the Outgames in Vancouver, Canada, placing 5th of 13 and an upgrade to Division I. In 2013, the Waverunners became the ongoing host team for the Sin City Soccer Shootout in Las Vegas, Nevada, an annual tournament every January on MLK weekend. “During the season (8-10 months), we practice once a week and play one

game on the weekend,” says Head Coach Tommy McCall, in an interview with THE FIGHT. “In the off-season, we gather for weekend practices and/or pick-up games a few times a month.” “Three or four times a year we travel for gay-sponsored tournaments,” reveals McCall. “Past tournaments include San Francisco, Vancouver and Amsterdam, not to mention the tournament we run in Las Vegas. Tournament participation is not mandatory but it is a fun time for all who go!” “We are very social with each other and often get together for formal and informal events, whether they are team-related or not.” Committed to the goal of taking the team to Gay Games next year, the Waverunners have embarked on various fundraising efforts. “The Gay Games is a worldwide, multi-sport event held every 4 years, just like the Olympics,”

explains Hans Laursen. “It will be held in mid-August, 2014 in Cleveland/Akron, Ohio. Cleveland is a progressive midwestern city. Its county of Cuyahoga provided Barack Obama’s entire margin of victory in the state of Ohio in 2012. There will be over 20,000 athletes, support staff, and supporters in attendance—more than enough to paint the town pink.” “We have joined forces with the Mineshaft Bar in Long Beach, who has graciously decided to sponsor the team but there is only so much a local bar can help us with,” reveals Laursen. “Our team is dedicated to the process of making it to Gay Games 2014—but we need your help.” n To donate to the Waverunners go to: For more info on the Waverunners visit their web site at:

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Anonymous asked: Wouldn’t most trans people not want to keep records of their transition? I mean, isn’t that like proving “you’re not really a woman, see, here’s an old picture of you” by reliving your transition? If I was trans I would think I wouldn’t want to be reminded that I was once a male. Personally, speaking solely about my own experiences and feelings, I don’t agree with this at all. Yes, some or many trans people prefer that their gender history remain firmly in the past. There are a lot of us who just want to get it done and move on without it being brought up, and without being reminded of it. Most of the time, I too would prefer it not be an issue. It’s not something that needs to come up when I’m buying groceries, meeting other parents when out with the kids, and so on. It can be obnoxious when

DOCUMENTING N O I T I S N A R T R U YO ST OR Y, MY PE RS ON Al GE Nd ER HI , dOESN’T wHETHER SEEN OR uNSEEN . INvAlIdATE MY wOMANHOOd BY ZINNIA JONES I keep a personal Tumblr for noTes on my daily experiences while transitioning, as well as timeline photos documenting my physical development. Recently, an anonymous reader asked why I would keep such a history. This is my reply. 0 0 T H E F IGH T | S E PT E M B E R 2 0 1 3

others try to bring it up in irrelevant contexts. And, yeah, I know a lot of trans people who are pretty averse to seeing their own pretransition photos, or anyone’s - it’s not something they want to be reminded of. But the presence or absence of photos and records won’t change the reality of my history. The fact is that, for 23 years of my life, I did have a body

>> OCTOBER 2013 <<

with male-typical features, and I still have a few of them even after transitioning. Being reminded that I “was once a male?” I call that “looking down.” Photos and records pale in significance next to the experience of living in this body. I’ve been in it my whole life, through all of its different stages. Trying to erase photos seems futile - more than just photos, I have memories, experiences, feelings. Whether there’s an old photo of me out there or not... I still remember who I was. So having to see old pictures of myself is quite a minor concern - either way, I’ll still have the memories of being that person, which are much more vivid, thorough, and full of emotion than a simple photo. And I don’t want to Sharing our experienceS, forget who I was. That phase of my life is an enorand finding pointS of mous part of my history. It Similarity in our own constitutes the majority of liveS, iS incredibly my existence up until now. important for tranS Yes, there were difficult people. Knowing what times, and things I’ve done to expect, and that my best to forget and move Someone elSe out there on from. haS been through it, But I don’t feel my life up and feelS much of the until now is disposable. This Same thingS you do, iS wasn’t some bad dream a thing of comfort in that I only recently woke up what can otherwiSe be from. It was real, and I can’t deny that. As hard as it a very uncertain and might have been, it was not difficult time. devoid of any value. I was still a human being. I was making the most of my life, just as I am now. And even in those times, there was much worth remembering. I also have to recognize that, during that time, I did genuinely believe I was male. It may have been an incorrect belief, it may have stemmed from my confusion of the absence of a strongly female identity with the presence of a male identity... but I did believe it. That’s also a fact of my history, and something that can hardly be erased by deleting a photo. There were many years when I thought of myself as male, presented as male, and didn’t pursue a better option or even realize there was a realistic alternative. That was just who I was at the time. I don’t see any need to shy away from that, or deny it. More importantly, my personal gender history, whether seen or unseen, doesn’t invalidate my womanhood. It’s completely understandable why many of us keep this to ourselves and don’t tell most people. We still live in a society where “trans woman” is taken to mean “not really a woman” or “actually a man.” We don’t want that knowledge of our history to get in the way of us being seen as who we are now. We don’t want our genders to come with an asterisk attached. We don’t want it to be the first thing people see us as, when they think about us. But that’s their problem - not mine. Being trans and having a history as “a guy,” and being a woman, should not be incompatible. Being trans doesn’t mean you’re not a woman. I have friends, co-workers, family, my partner, my children, so many people in my life who know that I’m trans, and are still capable of recognizing my womanhood. For them, my transness doesn’t get in the way of my womanhood. It doesn’t preclude my existence as a woman, or diminish it in any way. So what excuse does anyone else have to deny what I am?

Further, I find transitioning to be fascinating from an experiential, philosophical, and scientific perspective. This isn’t something that most people will go through in their lives. It’s also something I’m only going to experience once, and I feel it’s important to make note of every little moment. It’s rare, and fleeting, and extraordinary. Keep in mind that medical transition, as we now know it, is barely a century old, if that. We’re still at the very beginnings of transition treatment. And there’s often no other way to learn about the current process in detail except by experiencing it firsthand. Most available research has to do with hormone levels and surgery results and complications of treatment. But there’s much less information about the day-to-day mental changes that trans people can experience, or the specifics of how our breasts develop, or simply what it will feel like. For that reason, I believe documenting my transition can serve as a useful resource for other trans women. When I was first considering whether to start treatment, and then decided I would, I still had very little idea what I was getting into. Yes, there are the broad strokes: you’ll grow breasts, your sex drive will change, you’ll probably feel better... But that didn’t really answer the question of what it would be like. And now that I’ve been through this myself, I realize that such vague information is like being shown only a single frame of an entire movie. How will my breasts develop? How fast? What will they look like and feel like? How will my sex drive change? How will I adjust to that? Will I like it? How are my moods going to change? Is it really such a big change? Will I be the same person? When it comes to these specific questions, there’s still

so little information available. And I believe trans people deserve better. To that end, I’ve tried to explain and describe and capture these things in as much detail and depth as possible, just so the world can have some better sense of what this whole experience is like. Sharing our experiences, and finding points of similarity in our own lives, is incredibly important for trans people. Knowing what to expect, and that someone else out there has been through it, and feels much of the same things you do, is a thing of comfort in what can otherwise be a very uncertain and difficult time. Most of all, I love that this is happening to me. For me, transitioning has been an experience that’s so extraordinary and affirming and life-changing, I’m thankful every day that this is possible and that it could happen in my life. It’s damn near a miracle that something like this can be done, and all I can do is stare in awe. I love seeing my body change more and more every day, growing into something that feels like home, even if I’ve never been here before. I love being able to feel things more intensely and deeply than I ever could before, and finally looking out on the world with true happiness, unburdened by any chemical imbalance dragging me down. I love seeing my face turn into something new and unknown and beautiful. I can finally love myself. When I look back at what I was, I don’t feel it dragging me back. Instead, I see just how far I’ve come. All of this is possible because of the body I once had, the seed for something amazing to grow. All of this is possible because of the person I once was, the one with the courage to survive and figure this out and make it real. I can’t forget that, and I wouldn’t want to. n Read more commentary by Zinnia Jones at: O CTO B ER 2013 | TH E F I GH T 35


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partner is entitled to an equal share. If one partner buys a house after marriage, the house, no matter how titled, likely belongs equally to both. Of course these are generalities, and locking down the details is a planning process. There are no tax consequences for sharing income or assets; you are now bound in the joys of love, taxes, debt, and money. It’s one wholesome, sharing package.

INHERITANCE Your married spouse is now entitled to inherit your assetsunless of course you formally dictate otherwise-and half of your accumulated monies, under most circumstances, already belongs to them. Marriage isn’t just a decision about love; there are cold, hard calculations to be made, and in many cases, marriage involves a planning and decision-making process about financial benefits versus responsibilities. Your retirement account contributions after marriage? Only your married spouse may inherit those, unless he agrees (with a notarized agreement) to allow you to leave it to someone else. You no longer own your own labors and savings; your marriage contract just shared that with your spouse. Any assets you wish to leave to your parents, siblings, children, or friends may be taxable, but the share that goes to your married spouse passes to him tax-free, because you are now one economic tax unit.

MARRIAGE & FINANCES THE ACT OF MARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA MARKS THE BEGINNING OF A FORMAL LEGAL CONTRACT BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE, INTACT AS ONE ECONOMIC UNIT. BY GRANT GOCHIN l Couples marry for love, but is it as simple as that? DOMA showed us that under federal law, marriage has over 1,000 meanings. When we marry, we establish a legal and financial contract with our spouse that has over 1,000 meanings. The essence of marriage is love, but it is actually a contract enforceable by law. Included in the contract is the right and duty to be open and honest with each other about all financial matters affecting both of you, and also to act in both partners’ best interests. California is a community property state, and so unless a couple create a pre-nuptial contract, the act of marriage in California marks the beginning of a formal legal contract between two people, intact as one economic unit. The contract spells out the economic rights they have during the marriage, or at the termination of the marriage by death or divorce. Approximately 50 percent of heterosexual marriages end in divorce, and we should eventually expect the same for the LGBT community. In general, here are some of the issues to consider when planning a marriage.

PROPERTY Earnings after marriage are community property, which means that if one partner earns substantially more than the other, the lower-earning 3 6 T H E F IGH T | O CT O B ER 2013

TAX FILINGS Your tax filings are now either married filing joint or married filing separate, and the IRS is delighted, because there is a marriage tax penalty. Your love at the altar may now have a tax bill attached. A 2004 government study showed that marriage equality would actually increase federal tax revenues

by $400-$700 million per year (i.e., the bigots were actually willing to tax themselves more in order to deny equality to us). Depending on how long you have been married, your spouse is entitled to a share of your Social Security benefits, and if your married spouse runs up credit cards or other debt, guess what-you are responsible for half! Conflicts over money are the primary cause of dissent in a marriage. Having fought so hard to win equality, we need to enter our marriages with open eyes, knowing our duties and responsibilities, and the financial meaning of marriage. This knowledge and understanding is a basic aspect of the financial planning process; you owe it to yourself and your spouse to have a full and complete understanding of the marriage contract you are entering, or amend it before you take the leap. n Grant Gochin is a Wealth Advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at 16200 Ventura Blvd #415, Encino, CA 91436 Ph: (818) 827-3410. Grant is married (to a man) and he and his husband have one son. Questions and suggestions for future articles should be sent to him at Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/ SIPC The Fight Magazine is not affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. RJFS does not provide tax advice or tax preparation. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with a qualified professional. Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the forgoing material is accurate or complete.

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WHAT MAKES A FAMILY? “AT FIRST, I WASN’T SO SURE ABOUT HAVING TWO MOMS... I GET IT NOW... WE ARE A FAMILY, JUST LIKE ANYBODY ELSE.” BY ORLY LYONNE l In partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, RaiseAChild.US has created a three-minute video for social workers to show to foster children who may be matched with gay and lesbian parents.

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It is designed to create opportunities for dialogue with social workers and facilitate transitions into LGBT-led homes. RaiseAChild.US is a national nonprofit organization that encourages the LGBT community to build families through fostering and adoption. The video, entitled, “What Makes A Family?” introduces children from three fost-adopt families in Los Angeles. The kids describe their day-to-day lives full of sports activities, playing with pets, family dinners, and of course homework. At the end, the children introduce their parents, all of whom are LGBT. “When we asked RaiseAChild. US to create this video for us, we were looking for a tool that our social workers could use to talk to our kids about being placed with an LGBT family,” said Sari Grant, Recruitment Administrator at Los

Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. “Our goal is to help the social workers and kids dispel any myths they might have about living with LGBT parents and answer questions as to what their placement might look like.” “We don’t want any child missing an opportunity to be placed with a safe and loving family due to misconceptions,” Grant adds. “This video provides a window for the foster youth to see that life with LGBT parents can be a really good option for them.” “At first, I wasn’t so sure about having two moms,” says Carlos, a 14-year-old boy featured in the video. He continues, “I get it now... We are a family, just like anybody else.” n For more information, visit RaiseAChild.US.


REDUCING HOSPITAL MISTAKES ERRORS ARISE WHEN HIV PATIENTS ARE ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL FOR OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS. BY VICTOR MELAMED l When people with HIV are hospitalized for conditions unrelated to the virus, mistakes are often made involving their complicated antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens, according to a new study by the Cleveland Clinic, reports Those errors, however, are more than twice as likely to be corrected when patients are seen by infectious diseases (ID) physicians. The study presented at IDWeek 2013 in San Francisco, highlights one of the many indirect challenges faced by those living with HIV. Most HIV patients are treated in their communities by physicians with HIV expertise who help them manage their complicated drug regimens. However, problems often occur when they are admitted to the hospital for other health problems, such as heart problems or surgery, since hospital doctors don’t usually manage HIV patients and their complex therapy. According to the study, outpatient-to-inpatient integration of health records, as well as ID physicians, are becoming increasingly critical to quality care. The new study has shown that errors negatively impacting patients’ treatment are more likely to be corrected, or hopefully avoided, if an ID physician sees HIV patients when they are hospitalized. In the Cleveland Clinic study, errors were corrected in 68% of patients who saw an ID specialist compared to 32% of those who did not. The study also found that those errors can be reduced by employing a variety of interventions, including education, modification of the electronic drug file (used to guide the accurate prescribing of medications), and a daily medication profile review by a pharmacist specializing in HIV. “Most HIV care has shifted from inpatient to outpatient, so hospital providers aren’t as familiar with complicated ART regimens—and as a result, medication errors are common,” said Elizabeth A. Neuner, PharmD, an ID clinical pharmacist at Cleveland Clinic and lead author of the study. “By enacting a multidisciplinary plan including pharmacists and physicians to prevent errors from happening or correcting them if they did, we were able to significantly reduce errors in ART medications.” Michael A. Horberg, MD, who moderated the press briefing in San Francisco, stressed the need to “get it right the first time,” where integration of health records can deter medication errors once an HIV-positive patient is admitted. n O CTO B ER 2013 | T H E F I GH T 39

FORBIDDEN DESIRES A PROFOUNDLY MOVING EXAMINATION OF LOVE AND SPIRITUALITY. BY VICTOR MELAMED FILM MOVEMENT (www. will open IN THE NAME OF, esteemed Polish director ´ Szumowska’s Małgoska (2011’s “Elles”) powerful and beautifully realized love story, on Friday, October 30th in New York and Los Angeles and platform nationally throughout November and December.

IN THE NAME OF portrays the life of a homosexual priest in rural, Poland on a journey of self-discovery that challenges the very foundation of his Catholic faith and sworn mission. Winner of The Teddy Award at its world premiere at the Berlin Int’l Film Festival, IN THE NAME OF is a profoundly moving examination of love and spirituality. The film revolves around Małgoska ´ Szumowska’s Adam, a Catholic priest who visually powerful film, discovered his calling as a charged with striking servant of God at the relatively late age of 21. He now lives in imagery from Christ’s Passion, dares to broach a village in rural Poland where he works with teenagers with the still taboo topic of behavioral problems who fight homosexuality in the and yell abuse. He declines priesthood. the advances of a young blonde named Ewa, saying he is already spoken for. However, celibacy is not the only reason for his rejection. Adam knows that he desires men and that his embrace of the priesthood has been a flight from his own sexuality. When he meets Lukasz, the strange and taciturn son of a simple rural family, Adam’s selfimposed abstinence becomes a heavy burden. Małgoska ´ Szumowska’s visually powerful film, charged with striking imagery from Christ’s Passion, dares to broach the still taboo topic of homosexuality in the priesthood. Confronted with his ‘forbidden’ desires, her protagonist experiences both moments of bliss and utter despair. A film about confused emotions, repression and loneliness—and the possibility of perhaps finding oneself after all. Launched in 2003, Film Movement is a full-service North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films, based in New York City. Film Movement has released more than 250 feature films and shorts from 50 countries on six continents, including top prize winners from Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, Tribeca and other prestigious festivals. For more information, visit n 4 0 T H E F I GH T | O CT O BER 2013

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> SAN GABRIEL VALLEY PRIDE, INC. organized “Pride Is!” the 12th annual LGBT Pride Festival last month in Pasadena’s Memorial Park. Unlike the larger urban Pride celebrations, San Gabriel Valley Pride is small and intimate as well as free to the public. Festival-goers were able to enjoy a Culinary & Spa experience from Celebrity Cruises, and a Classic Car & Motorcycle Show that lined Holly St. Other events included a free Drag Bingo with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an erotic Art Show from the Tom of Finland Foundation and the LA Band of Brothers, and a wine tasting sponsored by Barefoot Wines, and more! Go to to learn more about this smaller, more intimate type of LGBT Pride celebration.

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>> OCTOBER 2013 <<


> MY 12 STEP STORE in West Hollywood held their 2nd Annual Speaker Water Awards to celebrate their 10th year anniversary of love and service in time for Recovery Month in September. Five members in the fellowship of recovery were honored with Speaker Water Awards for their support of the store and for their services in the community. The event also served as a fund raiser to raise moneys for local recovery houses. Profits from the event went to Friendly House, McIntire House and The Van Ness Recovery House. My 12 Step Store is a boutique-style recovery book and gift store dealing with all forms of addiction, alcohol, drugs, sex, love, food, meth, or co-dependency to name a few. The store also runs an online store that ships worldwide. For more information, visit n

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information call (323) 848-6534. Mad science experiments, arts and crafts, face-painting, costume-contests, magic show, game booths, and lots of treats available for tots to 12 year olds. Special zone for “Lil Monsters” for children under 5. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31

WEST HOLLYWOOD HALLOWEEN COSTUME CARNAVAL Santa Monica Blvd between Doheny and La Cienega, West Hollywood, 6pm-11pm. For more information call (323) 848-6503 or visit Join the celebration as Santa Monica Boulevard comes alive with food, entertainment, and the most creative costumes on the planet! SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2


AIDS WALK LOS ANGELES West Hollywood. Enter at Melrose Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard, 8:30am. For more info: Since 1985, AIDS Walk Los Angeles has drawn over a half-million participants who have collectively raised nearly $75 million. The event serves as a model of grassroots fundraising and community activism for organizations across the United States. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18

UPRIGHT CABARET AT GLEH Triangle Square, 1602 Ivar Avenue, Hollywood. For more info visit: Every third Friday through Nov. 15, Upright Cabaret comes to Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing. Party past your prime (and maybe your bedtime) as hot recording artists belt the best of Broadway and decades worth of divas-all your gay favorites, aged to perfection. This evening features David Burnham. ADDICTIONS & EATING DISORDER WEEKEND RECOVERY PLANNING A New Journey, 2121 Cloverfield Boulevard, Suite 131, Santa Monica, 4:30pm-5:30pm, free. For more info call 800-634-1733 or visit: Friday nights can be a challenge for those in recovery. Join this support group at ANJ in Santa Monica to discuss weekend plans and how to stay focused during the weekend. Every Friday evening. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19

HALLOWEEN DRAGON LIGHTS EXTRAVAGANZA Bodies by Brian and Yoga Oneness Studio, 3019 Pico Blvd, Suite 1, Santa Monica, from 7pm-10pm. For more info visit: Beast maker Alberto Reyes returns for a second showing of his fantastical dragons in time for Halloween. Reyes has been creating various mystical creatures and costumes for over 20 years. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26

HALLOWEEN YOUTH CARNIVAL West Hollywood Park, 2pm-5pm, free. For more

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PALM SPRINGS PRIDE FESTIVAL Palm Springs Stadium, Sunrise Park (across from the Palm Springs Library) located at Sunrise Way & Baristo, on Saturday & Sunday, November 2 & 3, 11am-6pm. For more info visit: Live entertainment, music, dancing, food vendors, booths staffed by local organizations, and more. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3

PALM SPRINGS PRIDE PARADE Along Palm Canyon Drive through the heart of Downtown Palm Springs, 10am. For more info visit: March for equality in Palm Spring’s annual Pride parade. “Hello Ross” host and best-selling author Ross Mathews will be the parade’s Celebrity Grand Marshal. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8

BENT-CON Los Angeles Burbank Marriott Convention Center and Hotel, November 8-10. For more info visit: A forum to showcase and celebrate existing, new and emerging LGBT and our Allies talent in the fields of comics, graphic novels, cartooning, animation, gaming, sci-fi/fantasy/horror writers, film-makers, actors, directors, producers and other-related creative mediums. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15

UPRIGHT CABARET AT GLEH Triangle Square, 1602 Ivar Avenue, Hollywood. For more info visit: Upright Cabaret comes to Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing. Party past your prime (and maybe your bedtime) as hot recording artists belt the best of Broadway and decades worth of divas-all your gay favorites, aged to perfection. This evening features Danny Gurwin. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16

LAPD LGBT JOB FAIR & HIRING SEMINAR Ahmanson Recruit Training Center, 5651 Manchester Blvd., Los Angeles, 9am. For more info visit: or call (866) 444-LAPD. Come meet LAPD officers, recruiters and mentors and see what it takes to become a Los Angeles Police Officer. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to take the first step to this rewarding career by taking the written exam.

GROUPS ASIAN/PACIFIC GAYS AND FRIENDS GAY ASIAN PACIFIC SUPPORT NETWORK LOS ANGELES GAY AVIATION CLUB Pilots, Flights Attendants, Mechanics. CLUB NUR Gay Middle Eastern. GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF LOS ANGELES THANK GAYS IT’S FRIDAY STANDUP COMEDY Every Friday, 8:30 p.m. MJ’s Bar, 2810 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles. (323) 650-1503 GAY & LESBIAN SALSA Every Monday, 8 p.m. Little Temple Bar, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., Silverlake, 90029. gaysalsanight@yahoo. com or GAY TRAFFIC SCHOOL Third Tuesday and Wednesday of every month, 6-10 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles 90038. 1-800-Gay-4-You or POP LUCK CLUB Second Sunday of every month, 11 a.m. Locations vary. Los Angeles based organization for Gay Dads, Prospective Dads, and their families. PROSTATE CANCER SUPPORT GROUP 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, at the Gay & Lesbian Center. RSVP to or call (323) 860-7340. GREAT AUTOS OF YESTERYEAR The largest LGBT classic car club on the West Coast. LOS ANGELES PRIME TIMERS Social group for older mature gay men and admirers. LOS ANGELES GAY BRIDGE CLUB LOS ANGELES GAY/LESBIAN SCIENTISTS LOS ANGELES GAY FOR GOOD Gays making a commitment to volunteer for social welfare and environmental service projects. LOS ANGELES GAY NATURISM California Men Enjoying Naturism. BI-OSPHERE P.O.V. Every 2nd Wednesday, 8-9:30 p.m., The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7302. M-F between 6-9 p.m. Topic-driven discussion for women and men who identify as, or are exploring bisexuality. MEN’S SPEAKEASY Every Tuesday at 8 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7302. Fun, alternative space for gay and bisexual men to meet and make new friends. LGBT BOOK CLUB First Wednesday of each month, 7:30-9:30 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7302, M-F between 6-9 p.m. USC LAMBDA LGBT ALUMNI ASSOCIATION LOS ANGELES BLACK PRIDE GREATER PASADENA AID FUND POSITIVE IMAGES WORKSHOP Every Monday, from 7-9 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. If you’re looking for

> EMAIL YOUR EVENT OR GROUP TO ways to deal with HIV, the Live Life Better Workshop can help you learn coping skills, build a support system, and work toward your health goals. An RSVP is required. For more information or to reserve your place, call (323) 860-7321. The e-mail contact is TRANSGENDER PERCEPTIONS Every Friday, 8 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7302. M-F between 6-9 p.m. Social networking group offers a safe and welcoming opportunity for people of any age and gender identity to learn from others and to share experiences. GET CENTERED Meditation Class. Every Saturday, 10-11 a.m., $10. Gay & Lesbian Center, 1625 N Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7300. SENIORS SERVICES Ongoing, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7359. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT Ongoing, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, 1625 N Schrader Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-5806. MPOWERMENT WEEKLY WORKSHOPS Tuesdays and fridays, 6 p.m. APLA, 3550 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 300, Los Angeles. More info: Donta Morrison, tel: (213) 2011561. For young gay men of color—ages 18 thru 24—looking for a safe place to hang out. “Each week offers a great opportunity to vent, laugh, make friends, and simply celebrate who you are.” SUPPORT FOR HIV-POSITIVE WOMEN Second and fourth wednesdays, 7 p.m. The David Geffen Center, 611 south Kingsley Dr., Los Angeles. More info: call Women At Risk at (310) 204-1046. SOCAL SOCIAL CLUB For more info: Southern California’s social & business network for lgbt professionals. 12 STEP GROUPS CRYSTAL METH ANONYMOUS Saturdays, 9:10-10:10 a.m. DEBTORS ANONYMOUS Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. MARIJUANA ANONYMOUS Wednesdays, 8:15-9:45 p.m. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m. SEXUAL COMPULSIVES ANONYMOUS Mondays, 8-9 p.m. Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m. Thursdays, 8:15-9:15 p.m. Saturdays, 12:15-1:45 p.m. WOMEN’S NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS Saturdays, Noon-1 p.m. SPORTS LOS ANGELES LESBIAN SOFTBALL LOS ANGELES LESBIAN TACKLE FOOTBALL LOS ANGELES LESBIAN RUGBY WOMEN’S SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GOLF LOS ANGELES LESBIAN POKER LOS ANGELES WOMEN ON A ROLL Luncheons, Comedy Nights, and Conversation Groups.

>> OCTOBER 2013 << V.O.I.L.A. Volleyball. GREAT OUTDOORS The largest gay outdoor recreational organization in Southern California. www. GAY AND LESBIAN SIERRANS Camping, Outdoors, Hiking Angeles. CHEER LA Cheerleading.

HOLLYWOOD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 6817 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028 HOLY SPIRIT, 4201 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029 UNITED UNIVERSITY CHURCH, 817 West 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90089


DIGNITY CENTER, 126 South Avenue 64, Los Angeles, CA 90042

DIFFERENT SPOKES Cycling Rides start in various locations in the greater Los Angeles area.

HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH-HLYWD, 6720 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BLADES Ice Hockey. LOS ANGELES FRONTRUNNERS Running and walking club. WEST HOLLYWOOD SOCCER CLUB Comfortable, supportive environment for learning and playing the world’s most popular game. LOS ANGELES GAY SCUBA CLUB LOS ANGELES GAY ROCK CLIMBING WEST HOLLYWOOD AQUATICS Swim and Water Polo Teams.



LOS ANGELES GAY FLAG FOOTBALL There’s also lesbian tackle football.

METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH, 4953 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027


BETH CHAYIM CHADASHIM SYNAGOGUE, 6090 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

LOS ANGELES POOL LEAGUE Friendly Billiard teams. 540, South Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90020

All groups meet at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7302 M-F between 6-9 p.m.


KOL AMI REFORM SYNAGOGUE, 1200 North La Brea Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90038

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS Mondays, 6:10-7:10 p.m.

SAGA LA Gay Ski & Snowboard Club.


WEST HOLLYWOOD PRESBYTERIAN, 7350 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046 MOUNT HOLLYWOOD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, 4607 Prospect Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027 IMMANUEL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 3300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010 ST. MATTHEW’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood, CA 91602 CHRIST CHAPEL OF THE VALLEY, 11050 Hartsook St., North Hollywood, CA 91601 ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 958 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403 ST. MONICA CATHOLIC COMMUNITY, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403 WEHO CHURCH, 916 N. Formosa Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046 ST. VICTOR’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 8634 Holloway Dr. West Hollywood, CA 90069 ST. LUKE LUTHERAN, 5312 Comercio Way, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

For Breaking Daily LGBT News Visit

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>> OCTOBER 2013 <<

SAINTS AND SINNERS MATTHEW SHEPARD MAY NOT HAVE BEEN THE PERFECT GAY POSTERBOY WE THOUGHT HE WAS. SO WHAT? BY ROB SMITH l A few weeks ago I got into a particularly nasty Facebook argument with a writer who I respected and—at least—thought was a friend. We were debating journalist Steven Jimenez’s new book “The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About The Murder of Matthew Shepard” that makes startling claims including, among other things, that Shepard was HIV+, struggled with an addiction to crystal meth, and may have been having an affair with one of his murderers. [Ed. Note: Matthew Shepard was a 21 year old gay student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered in October 1998.] Many in the gay media (including my “friend”) have been frothing at the mouth in anger at the mere mention of any of this stuff, even going as far as to lump the author in with Obama “birthers” and the like. After replying to a bitterly sarcastic Facebook status about the book with a simple question as to why this person was so adamant on shutting the entire conversation down, within fifteen minutes I was personally attacked and my journalistic integrity was called into question. After ending the conversation, I started thinking about why the thought of Matthew Shepard being, well, an imperfect human being, seems to incense some people in the gay community. I’m not here to defend Jiminez’s work. At the time of this writing—the book has just been released and I haven’t yet had a chance to read it, but the firestorm around it makes me wonder about what we really strive for and what our goals are as a community.

I sometimes feel that the LGBT community is stuck in a place right now that blacks fought long and hard to get out of in the 60’s, which is the desire to make every single public figure we present to the world as the most shining and perfect example of who we are. The now iconic imagery of Matthew Shepard creates what is, for all intents and purposes, a “perfect” victim for a very large segment of the gay community. It must be said that the fact that he was a young and handsome white male at the time of his death—in a community that places these categories above most else—was a huge factor in his deification, but the virulent rejection of the mere mention of any hint of complexity in his life speaks to something very disturbing within our community. Let’s face it: we are a community that is wonderful and loving and strong and fierce and fabulous and a whole host of other things, but we are also a community with many, many problems. The HIV epidemic is one of them. Drug addiction is another. From there, you can go down the laundry list of eating disorders, smoking rates, depres4 6 T H E F IGH T | O CT O B ER 2013

sion rates and others, do the research, and find out that most of these problems occur within our community at much higher rates than in other communities. I sometimes feel that the LGBT community is stuck in a place right now that blacks fought long and hard to get out of in the 60’s, which is the desire to make every single public figure we present to the world as the most shining and perfect example of who we are. We must all be fit and well-dressed and beautiful and live in an amazing apartment in a major metropolitan city, or else we don’t matter. We cry foul when a gay character on television is a villain. We complain when one half of that popular fictional TV gay couple is “too feminine,” or when those leather daddies proudly march in a gay pride parade, or when a person who was murdered for being gay and turned into an icon may have been just another normal gay guy who was struggling with issues that aren’t uncommon within our community.

Where does the fear in acknowledging even the possibility that any of this can be true come from? Is it that by facing Matthew Shepard’s (alleged) demons we’re forced to look at some of our own? I can say with certainty that every single person who’s reading this article, as well as the writer, has made a mistake or two while trying to figure out our way through a world that misunderstands and can be hateful toward us on a regular basis. Whether these claims about Matthew Shepard are true or not is almost irrelevant. If every single tabloid ready revelation in Jimenez’s book ended up being true, what difference would it make? Would it make Matthew Shepard’s death matter any less? Would it negate all the good that The Matthew Shepard Foundation has done and all the lives it has saved? Absolutely not. Matthew Shepard wasn’t a saint, nor was he a sinner. He was a human being. We have got to learn how to accept the complexity of his humanity, because in doing so we learn how to accept our own. n

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