PREZISTA® is always taken with and at the same time as ritonavir (Norvir ®), in combination with other HIV medicines for the treatment of HIV infection in adults. PREZISTA® should also be taken with food. • The use of other medicines active against HIV in combination with PREZISTA®/ritonavir (Norvir ®) may increase your ability to fight HIV. Your healthcare professional will work with you to find the right combination of HIV medicines • It is important that you remain under the care of your healthcare professional during treatment with PREZISTA® PREZISTA® does not cure HIV infection or AIDS and you may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. You should remain under the care of a doctor when using PREZISTA.® Please read Important Safety Information below, and talk to your healthcare professional to learn if PREZISTA® is right for you.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about PREZISTA®? • PREZISTA® can interact with other medicines and cause serious side effects. See “Who should not take PREZISTA®?” • PREZISTA® may cause liver problems. Some people taking PREZISTA,® together with Norvir ® (ritonavir), have developed liver problems which may be life-threatening. Your healthcare professional should do blood tests before and during your combination treatment with PREZISTA.® If you have chronic hepatitis B or C infection, your healthcare professional should check your blood tests more often because you have an increased chance of developing liver problems • Tell your healthcare professional if you have any of these signs and symptoms of liver problems: dark (tea-colored) urine, yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, pale-colored stools (bowel movements), nausea, vomiting, pain or tenderness on your right side below your ribs, or loss of appetite • PREZISTA® may cause a severe or life-threatening skin reaction or rash. Sometimes these skin reactions and skin rashes can become severe and require treatment in a hospital. You should call your healthcare professional immediately if you develop a rash. However, stop taking PREZISTA® and ritonavir combination treatment and call your healthcare professional immediately if you develop any skin changes with these symptoms: fever, tiredness, muscle or joint pain, blisters or skin lesions, mouth sores or ulcers, red or inflamed eyes, like “pink eye.” Rash occurred more often in patients taking PREZISTA® and raltegravir together than with either drug separately, but was generally mild Who should not take PREZISTA®? • Do not take PREZISTA® if you are taking the following medicines: alfuzosin (Uroxatral®), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E.45,® Embolex,® Migranal®), ergonovine, ergotamine (Cafergot,® Ergomar ®), methylergonovine, cisapride (Propulsid®), pimozide (Orap®), oral midazolam, triazolam (Halcion®), the herbal supplement St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), lovastatin (Mevacor,® Altoprev,® Advicor ®), simvastatin (Zocor,® Simcor,® Vytorin®), rifampin (Rifadin,® Rifater,®
Rifamate,® Rimactane®), sildenafil (Revatio®) when used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, indinavir (Crixivan®), lopinavir/ ritonavir (Kaletra®), saquinavir (Invirase®), boceprevir (Victrelis™), or telaprevir (Incivek™) • Before taking PREZISTA,® tell your healthcare professional if you are taking sildenafil (Viagra,® Revatio®), vardenafil (Levitra,® Staxyn®), tadalafil (Cialis,® Adcirca®), atorvastatin (Lipitor®), rosuvastatin (Crestor®), pravastatin (Pravachol®), or colchicine (Colcrys,® Col-Probenecid®). Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking estrogen-based contraceptives (birth control). PREZISTA® might reduce the effectiveness of estrogen-based contraceptives. You must take additional precautions for birth control, such as condoms This is not a complete list of medicines. Be sure to tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you are taking or plan to take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. What should I tell my doctor before I take PREZISTA®? • Before taking PREZISTA,® tell your healthcare professional if you have any medical conditions, including liver problems (including hepatitis B or C), allergy to sulfa medicines, diabetes, or hemophilia • Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding — The effects of PREZISTA® on pregnant women or their unborn babies are not known. You and your healthcare professional will need to decide if taking PREZISTA® is right for you — Do not breastfeed. It is not known if PREZISTA® can be passed to your baby in your breast milk and whether it could harm your baby. Also, mothers with HIV should not breastfeed because HIV can be passed to your baby in the breast milk What are the possible side effects of PREZISTA®? • High blood sugar, diabetes or worsening of diabetes, and increased bleeding in people with hemophilia have been reported in patients taking protease inhibitor medicines, including PREZISTA® • Changes in body fat have been seen in some patients taking HIV medicines, including PREZISTA.® The cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known at this time • Changes in your immune system can happen when you start taking HIV medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden • The most common side effects related to taking PREZISTA® include diarrhea, nausea, rash, headache, stomach pain, and vomiting. This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you experience these or other side effects, talk to your healthcare professional. Do not stop taking PREZISTA® or any other medicines without first talking to your healthcare professional You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please refer to the ritonavir (Norvir®) Product Information (PI and PPI) for additional information on precautionary measures. Please read accompanying Patient Information for PREZISTA® and discuss any questions you have with your doctor.
PREZISTA® (darunavir) is a prescription medicine. It is one treatment option in the class of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) medicines known as protease inhibitors.
PREZISTA ^ EXPERIENCE
Once-Daily PREZISTA® (darunavir) isn’t just an HIV treatment. It’s an HIV treatment experience as unique as you. That’s why you should ask your healthcare professional if the PREZISTA® Experience is right for you. Once-Daily PREZISTA® taken with ritonavir and in combination with other HIV medications can help lower your viral load and keep your HIV under control over the long term. In a clinical study* of almost 4 years (192 weeks), 7 out of 10 adults who had never taken HIV medications before maintained undetectable† viral loads with PREZISTA® plus ritonavir and Truvada.® Ask your healthcare professional about the PREZISTA® Experience. And be sure to visit DiscoverPREZISTA.com for tools and helpful information to find out if the PREZISTA® Experience might be right for you.
Please read the Important Safety Information and Patient Information on adjacent pages.
Snap a quick pic of our logo to show your doctor and get the conversation started. *A randomized open label Phase 3 trial comparing PREZISTA®/ritonavir 800/100 mg once daily (n=343) vs. Kaletra®/ritonavir 800/200 mg/day (n=346). †Undetectable was defined as a viral load of less than 50 copies per mL. Registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP © Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP 2013 02/13 K28PRZ121037
IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION PREZISTA (pre-ZIS-ta) (darunavir) Oral Suspension PREZISTA (pre-ZIS-ta) (darunavir) Tablets Read this Patient Information before you start taking PREZISTA and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment. Also read the Patient Information leaflet for NORVIRÂŽ (ritonavir). What is the most important information I should know about PREZISTA? t PREZISTA can interact with other medicines and cause serious side effects. It is important to know the medicines that should not be taken with PREZISTA. See the section â€œWho should not take PREZISTA?â€? t PREZISTA may cause liver problems. Some people taking PREZISTA in combination with NORVIRÂŽ (ritonavir) have developed liver problems which may be life-threatening. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests before and during your combination treatment with PREZISTA. If you have chronic hepatitis B or C infection, your healthcare provider should check your blood tests more often because you have an increased chance of developing liver problems. t 5FMMZPVSIFBMUIDBSFQSPWJEFSJGZPVIBWFBOZPGUIFCFMPXTJHOTBOE symptoms of liver problems. t %BSL UFBDPMPSFE VSJOF t ZFMMPXJOHPGZPVSTLJOPSXIJUFTPGZPVSFZFT t QBMFDPMPSFETUPPMT CPXFMNPWFNFOUT
t OBVTFB t WPNJUJOH t QBJOPSUFOEFSOFTTPOZPVSSJHIUTJEFCFMPXZPVSSJCT t MPTTPGBQQFUJUF PREZISTA may cause severe or life-threatening skin reactions or rash. Sometimes these skin reactions and skin rashes can become severe and require treatment in a hospital. You should call your healthcare provider immediately if you develop a rash. However, stop taking PREZISTA and ritonavir combination treatment and call your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any skin changes with symptoms below: t GFWFS t UJSFEOFTT t NVTDMFPSKPJOUQBJO t CMJTUFSTPSTLJOMFTJPOT t NPVUITPSFTPSVMDFST t SFEPSJOGMBNFEFZFT MJLFiQJOLFZFw DPOKVODUJWJUJT
Rash occurred more often in people taking PREZISTA and raltegravir together than with either drug separately, but was generally mild. See â€œWhat are the possible side effects of PREZISTA?â€? for more information about side effects. What is PREZISTA? PREZISTA is a prescription anti-HIV medicine used with ritonavir and other anti-HIV medicines to treat adults with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection. PREZISTA is a type of anti-HIV medicine called a QSPUFBTFJOIJCJUPS)*7JTUIFWJSVTUIBUDBVTFT"*%4 "DRVJSFE*NNVOF %FGJDJFODZ4ZOESPNF When used with other HIV medicines, PREZISTA may help to reduce UIF BNPVOU PG )*7 JO ZPVS CMPPE DBMMFE iWJSBM MPBEw 13&;*45" NBZ BMTPIFMQUPJODSFBTFUIFOVNCFSPGXIJUFCMPPEDFMMTDBMMFE$% 5 DFMM which help fight off other infections. Reducing the amount of HIV and JODSFBTJOH UIF $% 5 DFMM DPVOU NBZ JNQSPWF ZPVS JNNVOF TZTUFN This may reduce your risk of death or infections that can happen when your immune system is weak (opportunistic infections). 13&;*45"EPFTOPUDVSF)*7JOGFDUJPOPS"*%4BOEZPVNBZDPOUJOVFUP experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. You should remain under the care of a doctor when using PREZISTA. Avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 infection. t %POPUTIBSFOFFEMFTPSPUIFSJOKFDUJPOFRVJQNFOU t %POPUTIBSFQFSTPOBMJUFNTUIBUDBOIBWFCMPPEPSCPEZGMVJETPO them, like toothbrushes and razor blades.
t % P OPU IBWF BOZ LJOE PG TFY XJUIPVU QSPUFDUJPO Always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions on how to prevent passing HIV to other people. Who should not take PREZISTA? %POPUUBLF13&;*45"with any of the following medicines: t alfuzosin (UroxatralÂŽ) t EJIZESPFSHPUBNJOF %)&ÂŽ, EmbolexÂŽ, MigranalÂŽ), ergonovine, ergotamine (CafergotÂŽ, ErgomarÂŽ) methylergonovine t cisapride t pimozide (OrapÂŽ) t oral midazolam, triazolam (HalcionÂŽ) t the herbal supplement St. Johnâ€™s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) t the cholesterol lowering medicines lovastatin (MevacorÂŽ, AltoprevÂŽ, AdvicorÂŽ) or simvastatin (ZocorÂŽ, SimcorÂŽ, VytorinÂŽ) t rifampin (RifadinÂŽ, RifaterÂŽ, RifamateÂŽ, RimactaneÂŽ) t sildenafil (RevatioÂŽ) only when used for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Serious problems can happen if you take any of these medicines with PREZISTA. What should I tell my doctor before I take PREZISTA? PREZISTA may not be right for you. Before taking PREZISTA, tell your healthcare provider if you: t IBWFMJWFSQSPCMFNT JODMVEJOHIFQBUJUJT#PSIFQBUJUJT$ t BSFBMMFSHJDUPTVMGBNFEJDJOFT t IBWFIJHICMPPETVHBS EJBCFUFT
t IBWFIFNPQIJMJB t BSF QSFHOBOU PS QMBOOJOH UP CFDPNF QSFHOBOU *U JT OPU LOPXO JG PREZISTA will harm your unborn baby. Pregnancy Registry: You and your healthcare provider will need to decide if taking PREZISTA is right for you. If you take PREZISTA while you are pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about how you can be included in the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of the registry is follow the health of you and your baby. t BSF CSFBTUGFFEJOH PS QMBO UP CSFBTUGFFE %P OPU CSFBTUGFFE We do not know if PREZISTA can be passed to your baby in your breast milk and whether it could harm your baby. Also, mothers with HIV-1 should not breastfeed because HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in the breast milk. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Using PREZISTA and certain other medicines may affect each other causing serious side effects. PREZISTA may affect the way other medicines work and other medicines may affect how PREZISTA works. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take: t PUIFSNFEJDJOFUPUSFBU)*7 t FTUSPHFOCBTFE DPOUSBDFQUJWFT CJSUI DPOUSPM 13&;*45" NJHIU reduce the effectiveness of estrogen-based contraceptives. You must take additional precautions for birth control such as a condom. t NFEJDJOFGPSZPVSIFBSUTVDIBTCFQSJEJM MJEPDBJOF 9ZMPDBJOF7JTDPVTÂŽ), quinidine (NuedextaÂŽ), amiodarone (PaceroneÂŽ, CardaroneÂŽ), digoxin (LanoxinÂŽ), flecainide (TambocorÂŽ), propafenone (RythmolÂŽ) t XBSGBSJO $PVNBEJOÂŽ, JantovenÂŽ) t NFEJDJOFGPSTFJ[VSFTTVDIBTDBSCBNB[FQJOF $BSCBUSPMÂŽ, EquetroÂŽ, TegretolÂŽ, EpitolÂŽ QIFOPCBSCJUBM QIFOZUPJO %JMBOUJOÂŽ, PhenytekÂŽ) t NFEJDJOF GPS EFQSFTTJPO TVDI BT USB[BEPOF BOE EFTJQSBNJOF (NorpraminÂŽ) t DMBSJUISPNZDJO 1SFWQBDÂŽ, BiaxinÂŽ) t NFEJDJOF GPS GVOHBM JOGFDUJPOT TVDI BT LFUPDPOB[PMF /J[PSBMÂŽ), itraconazole (SporanoxÂŽ, OnmelÂŽ), voriconazole (VFendÂŽ) t DPMDIJDJOF $PMDSZTÂŽ, Col-ProbenecidÂŽ) t SJGBCVUJO .ZDPCVUJOÂŽ) t NFEJDJOFVTFEUPUSFBUCMPPEQSFTTVSF BIFBSUBUUBDL IFBSUGBJMVSF PSUP lower pressure in the eye such as metoprolol (LopressorÂŽ 5PQSPM9-ÂŽ), timolol (CosoptÂŽ, BetimolÂŽ, TimopticÂŽ, IsatololÂŽ, CombiganÂŽ) t NJEB[PMBNBENJOJTUFSFECZJOKFDUJPO t NFEJDJOF GPS IFBSU EJTFBTF TVDI BT GFMPEJQJOF 1MFOEJMÂŽ), nifedipine (ProcardiaÂŽ, Adalat CCÂŽ, Afeditab CRÂŽ), nicardipine (CardeneÂŽ) t TUFSPJET TVDI BT EFYBNFUIBTPOF GMVUJDBTPOF "EWBJS %JTLVTÂŽ, VeramystÂŽ, FloventÂŽ, FlonaseÂŽ) t CPTFOUBO 5SBDMFFSÂŽ) t medicine to treat chronic hepatitis C such as boceprevir (VictrelisTM), telaprevir (IncivekTM)
IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION t N FEJDJOF GPS DIPMFTUFSPM TVDI BT QSBWBTUBUJO 1SBWBDIPMÂŽ), atorvastatin (LipitorÂŽ), rosuvastatin (CrestorÂŽ) t NFEJDJOF UP QSFWFOU PSHBO USBOTQMBOU GBJMVSF TVDI BT DZDMPTQPSJOF (GengrafÂŽ, SandimmuneÂŽ, NeoralÂŽ), tacrolimus (PrografÂŽ), sirolimus (RapamuneÂŽ) t TBMNFUFSPM "EWBJSÂŽ, SereventÂŽ) t NFEJDJOFGPSOBSDPUJDXJUIESBXBMTVDIBTNFUIBEPOF .FUIBEPTFÂŽ, %PMPQIJOF )ZESPDIMPSJEF CVQSFOPSQIJOF #VUSBOTÂŽ, BuprenexÂŽ, SubutexÂŽ), buprenorphine/naloxone (SuboxoneÂŽ) t NFEJDJOF UP USFBU TDIJ[PQISFOJB TVDI BT SJTQFSJEPOF 3JTQFSEBMÂŽ), thioridazine t NFEJDJOF UP USFBU FSFDUJMF EZTGVODUJPO PS QVMNPOBSZ IZQFSUFOTJPO such as sildenafil (ViagraÂŽ, RevatioÂŽ), vardenafil (LevitraÂŽ, StaxynÂŽ), tadalafil (CialisÂŽ, AdcircaÂŽ) t NFEJDJOF UP USFBU BOYJFUZ EFQSFTTJPO PS QBOJD EJTPSEFS TVDI BT sertraline (ZoloftÂŽ), paroxetine (PaxilÂŽ, PexevaÂŽ) t medicine to treat malaria such as artemether/lumefantrine (CoartemÂŽ) This is not a complete list of medicines that you should tell your healthcare provider that you are taking. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if your medicine is one that is listed above. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your EPDUPS PS QIBSNBDJTU XIFO ZPV HFU B OFX NFEJDJOF %P OPU TUBSU BOZ new medicines while you are taking PREZISTA without first talking with your healthcare provider. How should I take PREZISTA? t 5BLF13&;*45"FWFSZEBZFYBDUMZBTQSFTDSJCFECZZPVSIFBMUIDBSF provider. t :PVNVTUUBLFSJUPOBWJS /037*3ÂŽ) at the same time as PREZISTA. t %P OPU DIBOHF ZPVS EPTF PG 13&;*45" PS TUPQ USFBUNFOU XJUIPVU talking to your healthcare provider first. t 5BLF13&;*45"BOESJUPOBWJS /037*3ÂŽ) with food. t 4XBMMPX13&;*45"UBCMFUTXIPMFXJUIBESJOL*GZPVIBWFEJGGJDVMUZ swallowing PREZISTA tablets, PREZISTA oral suspension is also available. Your health care provider will help decide whether PREZISTA tablets or oral suspension is right for you. t 13&;*45" PSBM TVTQFOTJPO TIPVME CF HJWFO XJUI UIF TVQQMJFE PSBM dosing syringe. Shake the suspension well before each use. See the Instructions for Use that come with PREZISTA oral suspension for information about the right way to prepare and take a dose. t *G ZPVS QSFTDSJCFE EPTF PG 13&;*45" PSBM TVTQFOTJPO JT NPSF UIBO 6 mL, you will need to divide the dose. Follow the instructions given to you by your healthcare provider or pharmacist about how to divide the dose. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure. t *GZPVUBLFUPPNVDI13&;*45" DBMMZPVSIFBMUIDBSFQSPWJEFSPSHP to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. What should I do if I miss a dose? People who take PREZISTA one time a day: t *G ZPV NJTT B EPTF PG 13&;*45" CZ MFTT UIBO IPVST UBLF ZPVS missed dose of PREZISTA right away. Then take your next dose of PREZISTA at your regularly scheduled time. t *GZPVNJTTBEPTFPG13&;*45"CZNPSFUIBOIPVST XBJUBOEUIFO take the next dose of PREZISTA at your regularly scheduled time. People who take PREZISTA two times a day t *G ZPV NJTT B EPTF PG 13&;*45" CZ MFTT UIBO IPVST UBLF ZPVS missed dose of PREZISTA right away. Then take your next dose of PREZISTA at your regularly scheduled time. t *GZPVNJTTBEPTFPG13&;*45"CZNPSFUIBOIPVST XBJUBOEUIFO take the next dose of PREZISTA at your regularly scheduled time. *GBEPTFPG13&;*45"JTTLJQQFE EPOPUEPVCMFUIFOFYUEPTF%POPUUBLF more or less than your prescribed dose of PREZISTA at any one time. What are the possible side effects of PREZISTA? PREZISTA can cause side effects including: t 4FF â€œWhat is the most important information I should know about PREZISTA?â€? t %JBCFUFT BOE IJHI CMPPE TVHBS IZQFSHMZDFNJB Some people who take protease inhibitors including PREZISTA can get high blood sugar, develop diabetes, or your diabetes can get worse. Tell your healthcare provider if you notice an increase in thirst or urinate often while taking PREZISTA. t Changes in body fat. These changes can happen in people who take antiretroviral therapy. The changes may include an increased BNPVOU PG GBU JO UIF VQQFS CBDL BOE OFDL iCVGGBMP IVNQw CSFBTU and around the back, chest, and stomach area. Loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face may also happen. The exact cause and longterm health effects of these conditions are not known.
t Changes in your immune system (Immune Reconstitution Syndrome) can happen when you start taking HIV medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Call your healthcare provider right away if you start having new symptoms after starting your HIV medicine. t Increased bleeding for hemophiliacs. Some people with hemophilia have increased bleeding with protease inhibitors including PREZISTA. The most common side effects of PREZISTA include: t EJBSSIFB t IFBEBDIF t OBVTFB t BCEPNJOBMQBJO t SBTI t WPNJUJOH Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of PREZISTA. For more information, ask your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report TJEFFGGFDUTUPUIF'%"BU'%" How should I store PREZISTA? t 4UPSF 13&;*45" PSBM TVTQFOTJPO BOE UBCMFUT BU SPPN UFNQFSBUVSF <ÂĄ' ÂĄ$ > t %POPUSFGSJHFSBUFPSGSFF[F13&;*45"PSBMTVTQFOTJPO t ,FFQ13&;*45"BXBZGSPNIJHIIFBU t 13&;*45"PSBMTVTQFOTJPOTIPVMECFTUPSFEJOUIFPSJHJOBMDPOUBJOFS Keep PREZISTA and all medicines out of the reach of children. General information about PREZISTA Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those MJTUFE JO B 1BUJFOU *OGPSNBUJPO MFBGMFU %P OPU VTF 13&;*45" GPS B DPOEJUJPO GPS XIJDI JU XBT OPU QSFTDSJCFE %P OPU HJWF 13&;*45" UP other people even if they have the same condition you have. It may harm them. This leaflet summarizes the most important information about PREZISTA. If you would like more information, talk to your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about PREZISTA that is written for health professionals. 'PSNPSFJOGPSNBUJPO DBMM What are the ingredients in PREZISTA? Active ingredient: darunavir Inactive ingredients: PREZISTA Oral Suspension: hydroxypropyl cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylparaben sodium, citric acid monohydrate, sucralose, masking flavor, strawberry cream flavor, IZESPDIMPSJDBDJE GPSQ)BEKVTUNFOU QVSJGJFEXBUFS PREZISTA 75 mg and 150 mg Tablets: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose. The film DPBUJOH DPOUBJOT 01"%3:ÂŽ 8IJUF QPMZFUIZMFOF HMZDPM QPMZWJOZM alcohol-partially hydrolyzed, talc, titanium dioxide). PREZISTA 400 mg and 600 mg Tablets: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose. The film DPBUJOH DPOUBJOT 01"%3:ÂŽ 0SBOHF '%$ :FMMPX /PĂ¸ QPMZFUIZMFOF HMZDPM QPMZWJOZMBMDPIPMQBSUJBMMZIZESPMZ[FE UBMD UJUBOJVNEJPYJEF PREZISTA 800 mg Tablets: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose. The film DPBUJOHDPOUBJOT01"%3:ÂŽ%BSL3FE JSPOPYJEFSFE QPMZFUIZMFOFHMZDPM QPMZWJOZMBMDPIPMQBSUJBMMZIZESPMZ[FE UBMD UJUBOJVNEJPYJEF 5IJT1BUJFOU*OGPSNBUJPOIBTCFFOBQQSPWFECZUIF64'PPEBOE%SVH Administration. Product of Ireland Manufactured by: PREZISTA Oral Suspension PREZISTA Tablets Janssen Pharmaceutica, N.V. Janssen Ortho LLC, #FFSTF #FMHJVN (VSBCP 13 Manufactured for: +BOTTFO5IFSBQFVUJDT %JWJTJPOPG+BOTTFO1SPEVDUT -1 5JUVTWJMMF/+ 3FWJTFE%FDFNCFS NORVIRÂŽ is a registered trademark of its respective owner. PREZISTAÂŽ is a registered trademark of Janssen Pharmaceuticals ÂŞ+BOTTFO1IBSNBDFVUJDBMT *OD
>> HAPPY NEW YEAR <<
COVER STORIES AND FEATURES WITH US 19 BEAR International Bear Convergence
BEST FRIENDS 20 PUTIN’S Elton John Says Nyet
PRIDE 21 HOLY Israel’s Gay Holocaust Memorial JUDGE 22 GOOD Judge Reinhardt Comes Through IN MIND 24 BEAR Rick Copp Interviews Chad Sanders ROOM FOR DADDY 30 MAKE LGLA’s David McFarlane YOUR HEART OUT 36 EATING Food Addiction: A New Journey PARTS 40 PRIVATE Katie Couric’s Mishap
42 OUT LGBT ATHLETES
Proud Sport Professionals
ON THE COVER COVER MODEL: CHAD SANDERS. COVER PHOTO, MAIN TOC PHOTO AND FEATURE PHOTOS BY: ANTHONY DURAN. PHOTO EDITOR: JEFF KING. LOCATION: EAGLE LA www.eaglela.com. DEPARTMENTS 13 THE LETTERS If You Truly 14 THE TALK “But I Love You” 17 THE STATE Trans Bill Repeal 18 THE CITY WeHo’s Rainbow Flag 28 THE ROSTOW REPORT The Small Screen 32 THE MONEY Marriage And Taxes 34 THE BOOK Smith, Daniels 38 THE LAW Not About The Cake 49 THE EPIDEMIC The More You Know
44 THE CALENDAR Events, Groups
36 6 T H E F I GH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
46 THE FINAL FIGHT Gay Racism
>> IN THIS ISSUE <<
l “I grew up in kind of a hippie household in the 70s and it was completely normal for me to come out of my room and find people crashed out on our living room floor,” actor Chad Sanders tells veteran TV and film scriptwriter Rick Copp (“Bear In Mind,” page 24). “When I was about 14 my parents suddenly found Jesus,” reveals Sanders. “My dad was an alcoholic and suddenly quit drinking and became a born again Southern Baptist. Both my parents were addictive personalities and their new addiction became Wednesday night Bible Studies and church every Sunday. So my childhood went from one extreme to the other.” Sanders, who plays Detective Chad Winters, on the popular the web series “Where The Bears Are,” tells Copp that now, as he has gotten older, he is “more comfortable looking more like my Dad and feeling so much better about myself...” “That’s what I think the Bear Community means,” says Sanders. “I have more confidence, not trying to look a certain way or be a part of a certain group...” “My involvement in ‘Where The Bears Are’ has allowed me to meet so many beautiful men, kind men, all of whom are very accepting and hospitable,” states Sanders. Also in this issue: David McFarlane, Co-President of the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (LGLA), talks to Mark Ariel about heterosexual marriage, coming out later in life and kids. “I was married to my wonderful ex-wife Susan for nearly 10 years and we had 4 amazing children together—3 sons and 1 daughter,” reveals McFarlane. “That time was, of course, fraught with self-deception and self-loathing. In part it was my generation’s struggle in breaking through so many barriers in societal and personal life—but after a young life of having sex with both women and men I figured I was bisexual and I need to ‘choose’ one or the other in order to have a ‘normal’ life. I was wrong. I was/am gay. And when I planned to end my life because of the mess I had created—and I couldn’t actually kill myself—I realized I REALLY wanted to live and if I was going to live it would be honestly as a gay man. I also realized that one day my kids would know that I lived a lie if I didn’t come out—and all my lessons to them about honesty and self-character would be betrayed.” For more on McFarlane’s fascinating life story check out “Make Room For Daddy,” on page 30. Last, but not least, this issue marks our 3rd year anniversary. I would like to say to our loyal readership, our staff, our partners, our sponsors and our advertisers—thank you for believing in us as much as we believe in you.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Stanford Altamirano MANAGING EDITOR Mark Ariel ART DIRECTOR Nadeen Torio MARKETING CONSULTANTS Paul Vallejo Timothy Walker Donny Aldo SOCIAL MEDIA Paulo Murillo 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 info@TheFightMag.com
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 © 2014 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.
STANFORD ALTAMIRANO Editor-In-Chief
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FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 9
>> OUR WRITERS <<
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 www.zinniajones.com.
VICTOR MELAMED Victor Melamed began his career in journalism writing for the now-defunct Israeli gay magazine “Magaim.” He is currently working on a novel based on a true story about a love affair between two men on opposite sites of the Middle East conflict.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
ORLY LYONNE Orly Lyonne is a freelance journalist, focusing on issues related to LGBT equality, culture and art. Her passions include skydiving, community theater and vegan restaurants. Orly can be reached at email@example.com.
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: annrostow.blogspot.com. Ann can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 0 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
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 www.robsmithonline.com. RICK COPP Rick Copp is a veteran TV and Film Scriptwriter with many credits including “The Golden Girls,” “The Brady Bunch Movie,” “Wings,” “Teen Titans” and “Scooby Doo.” He also is a best selling mystery novelist whose latest book “Death Of A Chocoholic,” written under the pen name Lee Hollis, was recently ranked #24 on the Barnes and Noble Mass Market Paperback Best Seller List.
THELETTERS >> FROM OUR READERS <<
IF YOU TRULY Dear Editor, As much as your interviewer did his utmost to present Jason Dottley in the best possible light (“Love Story,” THE FIGHT, Issue 35) I couldn’t shake the feeling that this guy used Del Shores, his husband of nearly 10 years, just to further his career. He says that one of his “aha moments” after his divorce was that “large age differences do matter.” I totally disagree. In fact, I recall reading years ago a survey on straight and gay couples, that found that age differences— up to 20 years—actually made the relationship stronger. If you truly love someone age is not an issue. —J. Stauffer, via the internet
THINKING LOOSELY Dear Editor, I found it intriguing that you included the letter entitled “Let’s Not Forget” in your January, 2014 issue (THE FIGHT, Issue 35). This anonymous person quotes Leviticus 20:13 and, as with so many before, they misunderstood this law. It is the all or nothing, good vs. evil, black and white thinking (and I use that word thinking loosely) that guides these many, many people of all stripes. This law from Leviticus states, “If a man lies with a man, as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.” I happen to be gay and I happen to believe in this and other Biblical laws and I strive to live by them, swimming against the God-less tide of these many pagans who talk a lot about God, but who do so little. I do not lie with a man, as with a woman. I lie with a man as with a man. When I engage in oral sex with a man this is something I cannot do with a woman. While there are similarities in engaging in oral sex with a woman, I don’t believe that the person performing oral sex in a male-to-male relationship is necessarily playing the woman’s role. —Richard S. Levik, via the internet
> WRITE TO THE EDITOR Email: email@example.com Fax: (213) 281-9648. Letters may be shortened due to space requirements. JANUAR FEB R UAR Y 2014 Y 2014 | TH | ET H FE I GH F ITGH13 T 13
THETALK > > W H AT T H E Y ’ R E S AY I N G < <
JUAN PABLO GALAVIS
PANCHOLY (R), CORVAIA
JUST GOT ENGAGED “It only took 9 years but it’s official! Just got engaged at the Taj Mahal to @Ryan_Corvaia! YEEEESSSS!” —Actor Maulik Pancholy, on twitter, announcing that he and his boyfriend of nine years, Ryan Corvaia, got engaged. They shared a photo of themselves in front of the Taj Mahal in India. IAN MATOS
EXAMPLE FOR KIDS “I don’t think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV.” —ABC’s newest Bachelor, Juan Pablo Galavis, on why there should never be a gay version of the dating show.
BUT I LOVE YOU “I might not agree with your lifestyle, but I love you.” —Sherri Shepherd, a co-host of “The View,” claiming she’s not homophobic SHERRI SHEPHERD just because she believes homosexuality is a sin and LGBT people are going to hell.
ADVANCE THE DISCUSSION
LIVE MY SEXUALITY “From a young age, I knew I was gay, but it was here that I got to live my sexuality.” —Brazilian Diver Ian Matos, now living in Rio de Janeiro, coming out as a gay man in an interview with the Portuguese-language newspaper Correio. Matos said that he was inspired to be open about his identity after British Olympic diver Tom Daley announced in December he was dating a man, who was later revealed to be Oscar-winning “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. 1 4 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
“[I hope my coming out will] advance the discussion of homosexuality among professional athletes.” —Retired German Pro Soccer Player THOMAS Thomas HITZLSPERGER Hitzlsperger coming out in an interview with German magazine Die Zeit. The Munich-born player has represented the German national team in more than 50 appearances, and has played for toptier clubs in England, Germany, and Italy.
CONFIDENCE TO TALK “I wouldn’t be talking about this if it was not for all the support I have got from my friends, family and my partner... Crucially if it was not for LIAM the great supDAVIS port I’ve had from past teammates and my current club. Gainsborough have been brilliant and the way they have treated me has really given me the confidence to talk more about this and feel comfortable playing my football.” —Liam Davis, 23, a midfielder for the midtier U.K. football club Gainsborough Trinity, announcing that he’s a proud, partnered gay man in an interview with the Lincolnshire Echo newspaper, last month.
SHOULDN’T BE DISSIMILAR “I hate that ... [a] writer still has to worry about just coming out and asking that question—not because it makes our jobs harder, but because in 2014, mentioning being gay, bi, or trans shouldn’t be dissimilar to telling a reporter you’ve gone NEAL BROVERMAN vegan, your grandmother is Indonesian, or you enjoy ‘Wrecking Ball.’” —The Advocate’s Neal Broverman, in an oped on recent media profile pieces on soon-to-be MSNBC host, Ronan Farrow, son of actress Mia Farrow, which have, for the most part, avoided discussion on his love life. “Relationship status is central to one’s identity, and for a profile to not go there means someone—the writer or the subject—is avoiding something,” states Broverman. “It also means we’re not that far removed from puff pieces on, say, Jodie Foster or Neil Patrick Harris that touch on everything in their lives except who shares their bed.”
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TRANS BILL REPEAL EFFORT MOVES FORWARD
“Everyone should have the opportunity to become a parent. I am honored to have been involved in that process with the many LGBT couples, who have come to our center.”
- Shahin Ghadir MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Southern California Reproductive Center
MASEN DAVIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER: “GIVEN HOW CLOSE THIS IS RIGHT NOW, WE ARE CONFIDENT THIS WILL STAY OFF THE BALLOT.”
> A referendum initiative to repeal a new law protecting transgender students in California survived the first round of a statewide verification process, the California Secretary of State’s office confirmed to media outlets last month. Officials in the state’s 58 counties will now conduct a full review to verify each of the 619,244 signatures submitted by groups looking to put the question of repealing the new law, which added protections for public schools students against anti-transgender discrimination, before California voters this November, reports BuzzFeed. In order for the repeal to appear on the ballot, the full count must find at least 504,760 valid signatures - and faces an uphill battle in that count. County officials have 30 days to count the signatures with results due Feb. 24, according to a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Debra Bowen. The law, Assembly Bill 1266, took effect Jan. 1 and ensures transgender public school students are able to participate in sports and other activities and use school facilities based on their gender identity. Opponents of the referendum say it moves forward with an “incredibly narrow” margin. And just last month, some predicted the referendum effort wouldn’t survive the random sampling process, let alone a full count. “Given how close this is right now, we are confident this will stay off the ballot,” said Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, of the results. “We were hopeful that we would see a different result... but we are heartened by the fact that trans youth will continue to have the same protections today that they did yesterday.” The law has already had a significant impact on policies at school districts throughout the state, according to Davis. “School districts across the state have already enacted new polices to protect trans students because of this law and the attention that has been drawn to it,” Davis said. “This is not about co-ed bathrooms, this is about making sure educators can support every student. We will continue to support school districts who wish to implement good, commonsense polices to support all students, including trans youth.” n
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FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 17
BY PAULO MURILLO
WEHO TO RECONSIDER RAINBOW FLAG l West Hollywood City Council agreed to consider the re-hanging of the rainbow flag that has flown over city hall for the past 7 months. The flag went up on the public facility in celebration of Pride Month in June and remained up to celebrate the defeat of Prop 8 and DOMA. Council members voted unanimously for the flag’s removal at a city council meeting on November 18, stating that it was unfair to 60 percent of residents who are heterosexual. The flag was removed on January 8 —and a backlash ensued. Gay resident and business owner Larry Block of Block Party retail store felt the removal of the flag was a sign that WeHo was being stripped of its gay identity. It looks like the symbol of the LGBT struggle for equality will fly over city hall once more in the shape of the city flag. The rainbow flag has prevailed.
STOLI PARTNERS WITH LA GAY CENTER l Stoli Group USA and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center have announced a threeyear partnership to fight inequality by investing in the development of LGBT leaders domestically and around the globe. Under the partnership, Stoli will donate $300,000 to support the Center’s Leadership LAB (Learn, Act, Build): a program that helps current and future LGBT leaders and allies throughout the country and around the world to develop critical leadership skills.
LGBT INCLUDED IN OC VIETNAMESE PARADE l Westminster City Council voted to include gay and lesbian residents in Orange County’s Vietnamese new year’s parade, which will take place on February 1. The 51-36 vote came a year after LGBT groups were barred from the Tet parade in Westminster. The Partnership of Viet Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations marched in past parades when they were city-run, but were barred after a community federation took over in 2013.
ANTI-GAY CHURCH PROTEST l Fresh from protesting outside the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills last month, seven members of the loony, anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church brought their message to El Segundo High School, saying the nation was “hurtling toward destruction” and the students needed some teaching, reports Los Angeles Daily News at www.dailynews.com. Carrying signs protesting same-sex marriage and homosexuality, the Topeka, Kansas group best known for picketing the funerals of slain U.S. soldiers and Marines, demonstrated for about 20 minutes.
GREAT HALL DEMOLITION POSTPONED l The West Hollywood City Council motioned to postpone a decision on the demolition of Plummer Park’s Great Hall/Long Hall at a council meeting on January 21. WeHo residents and friends of Protect Plummer Park rejoiced in response to this most recent development. Protestors feared the worst when they showed up at the West Hollywood Library before the meeting began bearing signs to “Save Plummer Park.” A proposal on the agenda approved a $120,000 contract with Interior Demolition Inc. to demolish the building 20 days after the demolition was approved. The floor is now open to discussions of moving the building and saving its historical significance. Great Hall/Long Hall was built 80 years ago. 1 8 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
BIG GAY ICE CREAM SHOP l New York’s Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is aiming for the waistlines of Angelenos with plans to open a shop on 9th Street around the newly opened Ace Hotel on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. Owners Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff had two successful pop-up shops in Los Angeles in previous years. The West Coast will now get their fill of the Salty Pimp chocolate-dipped ice cream cones, Rainbow Paletas, Ginger-Curry milkshakes and much more. Quint and Petroff have two stores in Manhattan. For more, visit biggayicecream.com. n
“PACK THE BATHING SUIT, THE FUN OUTFITS, AN APPETITE AND THE SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP. THERE ARE 1500 MEN WAITING TO MEET YOU!”
BEAR WITH US
ERASURE’S ANDY BELL WILL BE HEADLINING AT THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL BEAR CONVERGENCE, FEB. 13-17, IN PALM SPRINGS. BY VICTOR MELAMED THE FIRST EVER INTERNATIONAL BEAR CONVERGENCE is right around the corner, and according to the Event Producer Stevo Harris, “Palm Springs is preparing for what we all believe will be one of it’s largest men’s annual events in our city.” “We sold over a thousand passes,” reveals Harris, “and we know there will be so many guys just coming and purchasing day passes... The vibe
in Palm Springs is growing and we are counting the days.” The event has sparked the interest of bears and bear lovers throughout the world - with the host hotel, the Renaissance Palm Springs, already almost sold out. Erasure’s Andy Bell will be the headline act at the event performing at The California Grand Ballroom on Sunday February 16th as part of the weekend’s grand finale. In addition to Bell for entertainment, Djs on board so far include Dj David Knapp, DJ John LePage, Dj Candy vs Ryan Jones, Dj Doug Jackson and Dj Chub Jim.
“I can promise an event like none other and a real vacation for four days,” says Harris. “The hotel is just spectacular and what we have planned in pool parties and dances will keep everyone busy. Just meeting the guys from all over the world who are attending will take up plenty of time. They are coming from as far as Australia, Japan and Germany. Almost 26 countries represented! And most of all, the backdrop of our beautiful city: Palm Springs! Our city is ready to welcome everyone with open arms and plenty of great food to devour!” “Our sponsors, our volunteers headed by the wonderful Scott Ruiz are working to make everything perfect,” says Harris. “Pack the bathing suit, the fun outfits, an appetite and the spirit of friendship. There are 1500 men waiting to meet you! We look forward to meeting everyone!” n For more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com.
FEB R UAR Y 2014 | THE F I GH T 19
PUTIN: SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE GAY RUSSIAN PRESIDENT DISMISSES CLAIMS OF HOMOPHOBIA, SAYING THAT ELTON JOHN’S RECENT VISIT IS PROOF THAT RUSSIANS DO NOT DISCRIMINATE. BY ORLY LYONNE ELTON JOHN spoke out again last month against Russia’s ban on so-called “homosexual propaganda” and dismissed Vladimir Putin’s recent claims that he is welcoming to gays. John’s response came days after the Russian President claimed he had gay friends and praised the “personal achievements” of gay celebrities like John whom he called “extraordinary.” In a statement to the press, John said: “What I heard reinforced all the media stories that have been circling since the propaganda bill became federal law: that vicious homophobia has been legitimized by this legislation and given extremists the cover to abuse people’s basic human rights.” The law has come under fire from human rights activists as Russia prepares to host the Winter Olympics this month.
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ELTON JOHN: “... VICIOUS HOMOPHOBIA HAS BEEN LEGITIMIZED BY THIS LEGISLATION AND GIVEN EXTREMISTS THE COVER TO ABUSE PEOPLE’S BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS.” During a visit to Moscow in December, John performed a concert at which he condemned the law, and said he was keen to gain a first-hand understanding of its effect on the LGBT community. He added that he would welcome the chance to introduce Putin to gay Russians. Russia’s law bans the dissemination of “gay propaganda” among minors, and has become a focal point of criticism by the West and human rights activists who say the discriminatory law represents a crackdown on rights and freedoms under Putin. Putin has addressed the
controversy around the law with journalists several times in the past weeks ahead of this month’s Winter Olympic Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, a showcase that Russia hopes will burnish its image abroad. He invoked John as proof that Russians do not discriminate against gays. “Millions of our people sincerely love him despite his orientation,” Putin told foreign journalists on last month. Putin also said that he had gay acquaintances and told the BBC that he would “definitely” talk with gay celebrities like John and actor Ian McKellen. n
JOURNALIST ITAY HOD
YAIR MEYUHAS, VIA FACEBOOK
Holy Pride PROTEST IN TEL AVIV AGAINST ANTI-GAY VIOLENCE; ISRAEL UNVEILS FIRST LGBT HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL. BY VICTOR MELAMED MORE THAN A THOUSAND PEOPLE marched in the streets of Tel Aviv last month to protest against transphobia and anti-LGBT violence in Israel, reports Dan Littauer at LGBTQ Nation (www.lgbtqnation.com). The protest, labeled “Taking Back the Night,” was organized by Israel’s transgender advocacy group Gila, in response to recent attacks on gay and transgender citizens. Earlier last month, reports Littauer, a transgender woman was brutally attacked with a pepper spray and an electric stun gun in TelAviv by a group of border officers. More recently, a group attacked and beat several gay men in south Tel Aviv. The events, reports Littauer, galvanized over a thousand people to attended the protest from across Israel’s LGBT community, carrying banners with slogans such as: “Nobody decides whether I’m a man or woman!” and “We can’t live with transphobia in the streets!” In related news, Israel unveiled a memorial last month honoring gays and lesbians persecuted by the Nazis, the first specific recognition in Israel for non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Tucked away in a Tel Aviv park, a concrete, triangle-shaped plaque details the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people under Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. It resembles the pink triangles Nazis forced gays to wear in concentration camps during World War II and states in English, Hebrew and German: “In memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.” The landmark, reports The Associated Press, joins similar memorials in Amsterdam, Berlin, San Francisco and Sydney dedicated to gay victims of the Holocaust. “I think in Israel today it is very important to show that a human being is a human being is a human being,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said at the dedication ceremony, where a rainbow flag waved alongside Israel’s blue-and-white flag. “It shows that we are not only caring for ourselves but for everybody who suffered. These are our values—to see everyone as a human being.” n
400 South Beverly Drive, Ste 316 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 Office: 310.286.1300 Fax: 310.286.1330 www.theinstituteforsexualhealth.com FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 21
JUDGE STEPHEN REINHARDT
JUDGE REINHARDT HAS DELIVERED THE GOODS... HE IS NOT CALLED THE LIBERAL LION OF THE NINTH CIRCUIT FOR NOTHING. day when we had two or three major cases at any one time. Now, well, I am doing my best. As I write, however, the most important legal news is an obvious pick. No, it’s not the federal opinion legalizing marriage in Utah. It’s not the federal marriage ruling in our favor out of Oklahoma. Indeed, it’s not even a marriage ruling at all. It’s a decision out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, written by our old friend Stephen Reinhardt, author of the weird Prop 8 opinion that was subsequently voided by the High Court on a technicality.
BURDEN OF PROOF
Good Judge ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT GAY RIGHTS RULINGS IN HISTORY TO DATE. BY ANN ROSTOW OUR LEGAL FIGHT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY has exploded into dozens of state and federal cases, far too many for even the most organized LGBT reporter to track. As for me, I have been accustomed to juggling all our big lawsuits in my head, an easy trick back in the 2 2 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
In this case, Reinhardt and his two (Democratically appointed) panelists, ruled that gay men and women cannot be summarily dropped from a jury because of sexual orientation. The High Court has already made it clear in two separate opinions that lawyers may not exclude jury candidates due to race or gender. Now, sexual orientation is added to the list on the left coast. Well, that’s nice. But for many of us, it’s like the gays in the military debate. We don’t want to be excluded from anything on principle. But we’re not exactly doing back flips in order to join the army or spend a couple of weeks reporting for jury duty. But forget jury duty. The significance of the opinion lies in the reasoning. Here,
Reinhardt rules that courts examining cases of gay bias must put the burden of proof on the alleged offender, applying heightened legal scrutiny to the circumstances at issue. His decision rewrites the legal handbook to our advantage throughout the western United States. If it stands, and is not reviewed and overturned by the full Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court, we will win the marriage case against Nevada now pending in the Ninth Circuit. Almost automatically.
A DRY SALTINE And now, let’s talk briefly about the importance of legal reasoning. It’s normal to see a headline and skip the details. “Court Rules for Gay Couples.” Yay!!!! On to the sports page where we can pore over the minute details of Kansas basketball. But the real news is always in the details. Victory is important. But did Kansas win in a blowout? Or did their star player break a kneecap while the team fumbled its way to a one-point edge? What does the future hold? A couple of years ago as I mentioned, Judge Reinholdt wrote the opinion that struck California’s Prop 8 on appeal from Judge Walker’s court. And yet, our legal allies were baffled. The opinion never really grappled with the underlying question of marriage equality. Nor did it deal with the level of scrutiny that should be applied to equal protection cases involving sexual orientation. Arguably, it did not even leave a mark on gay rights jurisprudence. Instead, Reinhardt wrote that a state may not remove constitu-
tional rights from a specific group of people, a guideline that could apply just as easily to dog walkers as gay people, and one which had nothing to do with marriage. We had been hoping for a big juicy gay rights precedent from a federal appellate court, and we got a dry saltine. Analysts thought Reinhardt might have written this nondescript opinion in order to keep the case from exploding in our gay faces at a higher court. But whatever his motive, his ruling managed to kill Prop 8 without advancing the ball in our direction.
OUR VICTORY Now Judge Reinhardt has delivered the goods. But he has done so in a context that hardly ripples the waters in the mainstreams of society. Jury duty? Who cares! Marriage? Now, despite our progress that’s still a difficult subject to say the least. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Judge Reinhardt is a strategist at heart, looking ahead to the repercussions of his opinions and the end game of a civil rights movement that he clearly supports. He is not called the liberal lion of the Ninth Circuit for nothing. Judge Reinhardt did something more. Instead of wading through the usual analysis that governs a debate on heightened scrutiny, Reinhardt examined Justice Kennedy’s opaque opinion in Windsor, and determined that even though Kennedy did not come right out and announce that sexual orientation deserved special consideration by the courts (an announcement that would have generated shockwaves throughout the legal system) Kennedy’s approach to last June’s DOMA case none-
theless implied that heightened scrutiny was in effect. If other courts pick up on Reinhardt’s reasoning, our victory against the Defense of Marriage Act would carry over to any and all cases of gay bias that reach the federal courts. Did I mention that we now have dozens of federal marriage cases in the pipeline? That said, Justice Kennedy has always managed to rule in our favor without actually spelling out the type of hard legal reasoning that would force future courts to follow suit. At first blush, it looked as if Lawrence v Texas would do for gay rights what Roe v Wade did for abortion rights. But indeed it proved fairly easy for conservative courts to sidestep Lawrence, as they did with Kennedy’s other gay rights decision, Romer v Evans.
When Kennedy delivered yet another vaguely reasoned gay rights decision last summer, I personally was afraid that once again the opinion was going to be up for grabs. Liberal courts would use Windsor to uphold our rights. Conservative courts would note that no special scrutiny was ordered, and nowhere did Kennedy dictate how states would define marriage. And yet, this hasn’t been the case. Courts in Ohio, Utah, Oklahoma and elsewhere have gone out of their way to interpret Windsor as broadly as possible. Now, the Ninth Circuit joins the party, delivering what might be one of the most significant gay rights rulings in history to date. Justice Kennedy may have hedged his bets with his semantic legerdemain all these years. But when you hold his rulings up to the light, the story they tell is becoming explicit. n
FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 23
>> COVER FEATURE <<
“THE BEAR MOVEMENT STARTED WITH LARGER, HAIRY GUYS AND THEN THE MUSCLE BEARS CAME IN AND THEN THE CUBS AND THE OTTERS, AND EVEN HIPSTERS WANT TO BE A PART OF IT. NOW IT’S MORE OF A STATE OF MIND RATHER THAN A GAY CLIQUE.” ing the question, “Just how am I going to get Chad out of his clothes in this episode?” But as I came to find out, Mr. Sanders isn’t quite comfortable playing his break out, sex-on-a-stick, character Detective Chad Winters, especially when it comes to all those salacious sex scenes that have helped the show score over 7 million hits in less than two years. There were other eye opening surprises to discover about Chad as we sat down at a Silver Lake coffee shop recently to dish about his past and the show.
BEAR IN MIND VETERAN TV AND FILM SCRIPTWRITER
RICK COPP INTERVIEWS CHAD SANDERS, ONE OF THE LEAD ACTORS IN THE WEB SERIES “WHERE THE BEARS ARE.” BY RICK COPP | PHOTOS BY ANTHONY DURAN HOW COULD I POSSIBLY RESIST the opportunity to interview my co-star and drinking buddy Chad Sanders for THE FIGHT’s Special Bear Issue? As one of the writers of the web series “Where The Bears Are,” I am in the enviable position of sitting in front of my computer late at night ponder2 4 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
HOW ON EARTH DID A BACKWOODS COUNTRY BOY FROM TULLAHOMA, TENNESSEE BECOME THIS HAIRY-CHESTED SEX SYMBOL FOR THE BEAR COMMUNITY? Totally by accident. Joe Dietl, the producer of “Where The Bears Are,” was looking for guys to audition for the show and asked a mutual friend if he knew of anyone. My buddy had seen my work playing a straight guy in a horror film short, and he suggested I come in and read for Hot Toddy. My boyfriend at the time who was an acting coach read the script and told me I wasn’t right for the Hot Toddy role and talked me into rehearsing the Detective Winters part. When I came in, I was excited and nervous because I had been told one of the guys had been a writer on “The Golden Girls,” which was and still is one of my favorite shows.
>> COVER FEATURE <<
THAT WOULD BE... Yes! You! I read for Hot Toddy and then you guys asked me if I would be interested in reading for Detective Winters and gave me a few minutes to look it over, but I didn’t need any extra time because I had been preparing for a whole day! I did everything my ex told me to do, got some laughs, and then you guys told me on the spot that the part was mine. SPEAKING OF “THE GOLDEN GIRLS,” WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE? Hmmmmm, I think all of them at different times and different episodes were my favorite. Bea Arthur had the strength and sarcasm. She was the stable one of the group and boy her timing is unmatched by any comedian. Ben, I think has a lot of her characteristics as Nelson on the show. I crack up watching him. I love Blanche as well because her promiscuous side is something I can really relate to, hehe, Just kidding! Well kinda. I’d like to believe that we have a bit of all four of the Golden Girls inside of us, which adds up to one beautiful gay man.
shooting I shaved my entire body for another acting gig so when I showed up on the set and took my clothes off everybody was kind of shocked! I didn’t really know any better! I didn’t think I was a bear. Then when I figured out that the audience likes a guy who is
and I’ve been a member of all of them. Which translated means, I’ll sleep with anybody! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more comfortable looking more like my Dad and feeling so much better about myself, and that’s what I think the Bear Community means. I have more confidence, not trying to look a certain way or be a part of a certain group. The Bear Movement started with larger, hairy guys and then the muscle bears came in and then the cubs and the otters, and even hipsters want to be a part of it. Now it’s more of a state of mind rather than a gay clique. And my involvement in WTBA has allowed me to meet so many beautiful men, kind men, all of whom are very accepting and hospitable. YOU HAVE A VERY COLORFUL UPBRINGING. CARE TO SHARE? I grew up in kind of a hippie household in the 70s and it was completely normal for me to come out of my room and find people crashed out on our living room floor. I remember this one girl with really long hair to her waist, like early Cher hair, and I was obsessed with brushing it for her. I just loved hair. Only later did my obsession switch to men’s body hair! Anyway, when I was about 14 my parents suddenly found Jesus. My dad was an alcoholic and suddenly quit drinking and became a born again Southern Baptist. Both my parents were addictive personalities and their new addiction became Wednesday night Bible Studies and church every Sunday. So my childhood went from one extreme to the other.
OUR SHOW “WHERE THE BEARS ARE” HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS “THE GOLDEN GIRLS” WITH BIG, HAIRY GAY MEN. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE BEAR? AND THINK VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE ANSWERING. I love all of you guys! Individually you’re all wonderful but when you’re together you’re superb. I adore everyone in the cast. It’s such an easy job. Now if I was to choose who I love to hang out and party with, like we did in Austin, Texas last Labor Day for a Bear Weekend, it would be Rick Copp! GOOD ANSWER! WHO IS THE SEXIEST BEAR IN ENTERTAINMENT, IN YOUR HUMBLE OPINION? I have had a HUGE crush on James Gandolfini ever since I saw the Quentin Tarantino movie “True Romance.” And “The Sopranos” of course is another one of my favorite TV shows. When he died, I was crushed. But man, he is the epitome of a sexy bear. Big, hairy, smart, and with a heart of gold. I’m also a big Burt Reynolds fan. God, the things I fantasized about him as a child. AND NOW YOU’RE A COVER BEAR FOR THE FIGHT! HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN? Who knows? I never considered myself a bear until I was cast in the show. During the first season of WTBA I was 155 pounds and right before
naturally hairy I adjusted for season two. I also had gained a little weight. There is nothing like fans loving you for being a little heavier! SO BEFORE YOUR SUCCESS IN WTBA, WERE YOU A TWINK? In the nineties, I was a part of the gay circuit parties and everyone shaved and had to look a certain way. That’s basically what I came out into. And then from there I tried everything! There are dozens of cliques in the gay community
WHEN WERE YOU FIRST CLUED IN YOU MIGHT BE GAY? When I saw the movie “Deliverance” with Burt Reynolds in that hot leather vest and showing off that beautiful black chest hair. Both my brother and I were obsessed with Burt Reynolds but for entirely different reasons. Harrison Ford in Star Wars was another big clue. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 27)
FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 25
>> COVER FEATURE <<
(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25)
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST GAY SEXUAL EXPERIENCE! I LOVE THE POWER OF PUTTING YOU ON THE SPOT! I was very sexual in high school and basically just used girls for sex. I tried having girlfriends but they never seemed to be enough for me. I cheated a lot. When I was seventeen, I met a guy who was 23 working at Walmart in the electronics department and he helped my mother buy a VCR. He gave me one of those looks I had never seen before from a man. I found out he was a friend of a friend from high school, and we all partied together one night. I told my mother I was going out with a girl, but instead I went out with my buddies, who knew this guy. We ended up alone that night. I had a few drinks in me and I was so nervous and shaking. We were on the hood of his car out at Ledford Mills right near where my parents live now. He asked if he could kiss me, and I said yes. I had been with so many girls but had never, ever felt anything close to this. Of course my first thought was, “I’m going to hell tomorrow!” But it was too amazing not to try again! DOES CHAD SANDERS HAVE A HUSBAND AT HOME? No. I am single and carefree! And I’m going to International Bear Convergence in Palm Springs in February so I want everybody going to know that! Anybody who knows me will tell you, I love all kinds of men! I have dated so many wildly different types. I believe in chemistry and if you are kind, smart, witty and turn me on then it doesn’t matter what you look like and you can see that
in all my exes. I definitely do not have a physical type.
watch those scenes to this day. I can’t watch myself try to be sexy.
YOU’RE DEFINITELY NOT SHY WHEN IT COMES TO SEX! Actually as an actor, I’m a lot more uncomfortable. Before “Where The Bears Are” I mostly played straight dad roles. I get a little insecure playing Detective Winters because he’s gay and closer to the real me. Although he’s a lot more butch than I am! I feel very vulnerable when I’m naked on camera and my instinct is to go for the laugh. In the first season, when Detective Winters stripped off his clothes and Reggie fainted and we realized it was all in Reggie’s mind, that was hysterical to me and I had no problem with it. But in season two, there were a lot more sex scenes with George Unda (Detective Martinez) and Joe Dietl (Wood) and I can’t
WILL DETECTIVE WINTERS BE BACK IN SEASON THREE OF WTBA? Yes. Definitely. If there is a season three. We’re organizing a Kickstarter campaign that will launch next month so it’s really up to the fans whether or not the show will be back. THANK YOU, CHAD! FINGERS AND TOES CROSSED THAT WTBA WILL BE BACK FOR ANOTHER SEASON WITH LOADS OF SEX SCENES FEATURING THE DELICIOUS DETECTIVE WINTERS SCANTILY CLAD ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU SQUIRM! n For more info on “Where The Bears Are” visit: WhereTheBearsAre.TV.
FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 27
BY ANN ROSTOW
> You’ve heard about our marriage victories in Utah and Oklahoma by now. In fact, these days, it seems as if every state is embroiled in a marriage equality contest and who the hell knows where or when the next Big Gay Headline will break into the national news. Pennsylvania has no less than seven active lawsuits. The National Center for Lesbian Rights has just filed in Florida. There are two in Texas. There are cases in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon, Idaho, Michigan-you get the picture. Indeed, rather than track cases by state, it may be more useful at this point to track them by federal appellate district. Our most important battles are arguably now being waged (like the Utah and Oklahoma cases) in federal court, so while it would be nice to see marriage equality spread through another state supreme court ruling (like our wins in New Jersey and New Mexico) the critical decisions will be coming from the federal bench—and they will all be appealed to the federal appellate courts. At present, we have a case pending in the Ninth Circuit; the lawsuit against the state of Nevada that has been trudging along in a tedious fashion for a couple of years. Then, we have the Utah case which has been fast tracked at the Tenth Circuit. Since Oklahoma is also under the jurisdiction of the Tenth Circuit, those cases may be combined. Will that slow down the litigation? We’ll see. In Ohio, we have a marriage recognition case now proceeding to the Sixth Circuit. That case involved a somewhat narrow question of whether or not the state was obliged to list a same-sex spouse on a death certificate. But obviously, the issue on appeal will be whether or not the Buckeye State can ignore the general marital rights of those who wed outside Ohio borders. There are 12 federal appellate courts, one rung down from the Supreme Court, and each of those courts makes binding law for all states in their jurisdiction. That’s why Judge Reinhardt’s recent gay rights ruling was so important. It will become law for seven western states, plus Alaska and Hawaii. [See Ann Rostow’s article on this topic—“Good Judge”—on page 22 in this issue.]
A CRAPSHOOT Marriage is already legal throughout the First and Second Circuits, with the exception of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia circuit is also a free marriage area. So that leaves six other appellate circuits where marriage litigation might appear. You can certainly single out the “good” circuits and the “bad” ones. But in truth, it’s something of a crapshoot. Three-judge panels are selected by lot, so in theory, we could end up with two or three conservative judges even in a court dominated by Democratic appointees and vice versa. That said, a panel decision can be reviewed by the entire bench of any circuit court, so for example, were we somehow to win a marriage case in the Fifth Circuit, the full bench would bitch slap us back into our corner in a heartbeat. Check out the wikipedia entries for the various courts to count the number of Democratic or Republican appointees. And keep in mind that Reagan and Bush One picks are not necessarily all that bad.
THE SMALL SCREEN Is it wrong to pass judgment on a TV show that you’ve never watched or a book you’ve never read? Of course not! That’s why I have no problem deciding not to watch the new HBO show, “Looking.” From what I’ve read, the show is a bore, and trades solely on the hackneyed notion that gay men are just like everyone else, looking for love in all the wrong places and trying to live an average 2 8 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
If I still lived in San Francisco, I’d probably watch the new HBO show, “Looking,” just out of hometown pride and satisfaction. American life. Yawn. That said, if I still lived in San Francisco, I’d probably watch it just out of hometown pride and satisfaction. I stopped watching The Mentalist for a long time because I got sick of Red John. Now, the show is based in Austin, where I live, and I’m back if only to see my own skyline and city streets. One pet peeve about The Mentalist: When they were based in Sacramento, they were always flitting down to LA or up to the Napa Valley, only to be back in their office a few hours later. Hello? It’s a six hour drive to LA, and they weren’t seen in an airport. Now I watch them hop over from Austin to Corpus Christie (four hours), get someone, interrogate them at headquarters (another four hours), and continue their beachfront investigation the next day. Ditto Houston, about two and a half hours by car. C’mon writers. A little realism.
STILL LOOKING Wait. I just stumbled onto yet another review of “Looking,” in
which a gay guy slams Esquire because a straight guy wrote that “Looking” was dull. Interesting! My impression of “Looking” was based on a New York Times piece by Alessandra Stanley and another report on Slate by J. Bryan Lowder, who is gay. Both of them trashed the show for lack of interesting content, and although Stanley isn’t gay, I trust her judgment implicitly. So without reading Esquire, I’m inclined to agree with the straight guy and charge the gay guy with reverse homophobia, the tendency to assume that a gay show or idea or comment must be worthy and that criticism of said show or idea or comment must show bias. Okay, so I have decided to watch the show and read the Esquire review so we can pursue this topic in future columns. Oh, and I went to early grade school with Alessandra Stanley, whose father gave me a dollar when I lost my tooth during an overnight visit. That was huge back then. I’ve never forgotten it. n
WHEN DID YOU COME OUT YOUR WIFE? I was married to my wonderful ex-wife Susan for nearly 10 years and we had 4 amazing children together—3 sons and 1 daughter. That time was, of course, fraught with self-deception and self-loathing. In part it was my generation’s struggle in breaking through so many barriers in societal and personal life—but after a young life of having sex with both women and men I figured I was bisexual and I need to “choose” one or the other in order to have a “normal” life. I was wrong. I was/ am gay. And when I planned to end my life because of the mess I had created—and I couldn’t actually kill myself—I realized I REALLY wanted to live and if I was going to live it would be honestly as a gay man. I also realized that one day my kids would know that I lived a lie if I didn’t come out—and all my lessons to them about honesty and self-character would be betrayed. We often cloud our minds as gay men with so much self-deception—so many veils of different characters. Coming out to my ex-wife was perhaps one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in life. She was pregnant with our 4th child. I had misled her about who I was—although I had mislead myself and everyone else. I couldn’t speak the words so I went into a closet and jumped out! She said “what are you doing?” Anyways, she handled it like she always had. With kindness, intelligence, love and support. To my straight friends, marry a feminist...they rock! She and I are still very close—in fact, she, our kids
Make Room For Daddy DAVID MCFARLANE, CO-PRESIDENT OF THE LESBIAN AND GAY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES (LGLA), ON MARRIAGE, KIDS AND BEARS. BY MARK ARIEL A SPECIALIST IN HEALTH CARE REFORM law, Employee Retirement Income Security Act and employee benefits in the U.S., David McFarlane is an American and Canadian lawyer practicing and living in Los Angeles. McFarlane, Co-President of the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (LGLA), is currently hard at work, diligently preparing for LGLA’s 35th Annual Awards Dinner Gala, taking place on March 8 at L.A. Live/JW Marriott Hotel. “It’s gonna be awesome,” says McFarlane. “We have Judge Vaughn Walker (who struck down Prop 8) coming as Keynote Speaker. We have the handsome Zach Wahls of Boy Scout Equality. Gorgeous transgender Navy Seal Kristen Beck. We are honoring Toyota for its corporate citizenship to the LGBT community and Laurie Aronoff of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s AIDS Legal Service Project. The “Cuddlers” will be performing (cutest gay guys belting it out!) Plus MUCH more... If you want tickets go to www.lgla.com. I’m shameless, I know.” 3 0 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
In an interview with THE FIGHT McFarlane talks about his previous marriage to a woman, his kids and bear culture.
“WHEN I THINK OF ‘BEARS’ I THINK OF A DEN—A CLOSE SOCIAL GROUP—AND THE BEAR COMMUNITY IS VERY MUCH SO... I’VE RARELY SEEN A GROUP SO EMPATHETIC TO THE PLIGHT OF OTHERS, RAISE FUNDS, DO MOTORCYCLE DRIVES AND SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER. CLICHÉ BUT BIG BEARS/BIG HEARTS.” and my past boyfriends used to live together. We will wait for some television network to develop that story, lol. HOW DID YOUR KIDS REACT? My kids were easier to tell as kids just accept. They love their parents and love honesty. I didn’t, however, realize that while I came out to the world once—my kids have to keep on “coming out” on my behalf every time they have a new boyfriend or girlfriend, every new school etc. Builds strength of character I say! My eldest son Hayden has graduated from Berkeley and now works in Toronto. My second son Parker attends Cal State Long Beach. My gorgeous daughter Madison is at college in Santa Barbara and my “baby” boy Tennyson, is a football player and junior at San Marino High School. Tempus fugit.
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A BEAR? IF SO, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU IN THE LARGER CONTEXT OF THE LGBT COMMUNITY? See hairy chest and tattoos above. Kidding. I don’t think of myself as a bear but with my shaved head, facial hair and all my tattoos, everyone else does. I’m not keen on absolute labels in life but I’d consider myself an attorney, LGBT activist, father, partner, bear....and insanely energetic. And if I gravitate towards gay bars it’s usually the Eagle, Revolver, Faultline type of places. It’s interesting that when I think of “bears” I think of a den—a close social group—and the bear community is VERY much so. Notwithstanding a rough appearance, I’ve rarely seen a group so empathetic to the plight of others, raise funds, do motorcycle drives and support one another. Cliché but big bears/big hearts.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE LESBIAN AND GAY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES (LGLA)?
I was an attorney at a large law firm called Skadden Arps and was looking to get the firm (and myself) more involved in the L.A. LGBT community. I discovered LGLA—they liked how outspoken and feisty I was I guess—and asked me to join the Board of Governors about 12 years ago. I think they elected me to a leadership position this year because I love change and am I’m great at fundraising...did I mention I was outspoken and feisty! I tell my kids all the time “Never say no to yourself first. Let someone else say it to your face—and generally they don’t’ in life!” For more info on LGLA’s 35th Annual Awards Dinner Gala—visit: www.lgla.com. n
FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 31
>> MARRIAGE, TAXES & FINANCIAL PLANNING <<
Spouses who have similar incomes are most likely to incur marriage penalties; where only one spouse earns all the income, the couple never incurs a marriage penalty—and most often receives a marriage bonus.
marriage bonus. Similarly, marriage penalties exist when couples receive lower benefits from government programs than if they had remained single. A taxpayer cannot avoid the marriage penalty by continuing to file as single; if you were married on December 31, 2013, then you are considered legally married for the full tax year ending on that date. So you have no choice but to file your taxes as either married filing jointly or married filing separately. This is your wedding gift from Uncle Sam. Choosing married filing separately for a filing status seldom works to lower a couple’s tax bill, since both spouses must either itemize or use the standard deduction. You can’t mix and match. There are tax and estate-planning benefits to marriage. A thorough financial planning process will help to uncover what works best for your marriage. Planning ahead for taxes makes the most sense. Incomes and investment strategy must accommodate your marriage status and your tax projections. You need to plan when
MARRIAGE AND TAXES THERE ARE TAX AND ESTATE-PLANNING BENEFITS TO MARRIAGE. A THOROUGH FINANCIAL PLANNING PROCESS WILL HELP TO UNCOVER WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOUR MARRIAGE. BY GRANT GOCHIN l Tax Day, April 15, is fast arriving, and legally married couples are about to discover the meaning of the “marriage penalty” or a “marriage bonus.” The marriage penalty is the higher federal tax that some married couples will pay-tax that would not have been payable had you remained as two single, unmarried people with exactly the same incomes. It could be that by combining incomes on a tax return, the higher-income-earning partner will pay more in taxes, and the other less, but the combined bill is more likely to be higher. A marriage bonus is when you end up paying less in taxes as a married couple than you would have as two singles. These penalties or bonuses are a result of the progressive tax rates in the U.S., where higher rates of tax are levied on higher combined incomes. You are not just a married couple now, you are also a source of revenue for the federal and state tax authorities. Congratulations! Marriages in which one spouse qualifies for the earned income tax credit (EITC) will suffer the most, because the others spouse’s income will likely disqualify them from receiving that benefit, but choosing to marry another low income earner in order to keep the credit usually is not a productive strategy. Spouses who have similar incomes are most likely to incur marriage penalties; where only one spouse earns all the income, the couple never incurs a marriage penalty—and most often receives a 3 2 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
to sell profitable investments or when to hold on to them for tax purposes, when to sell your home, collect Social Security, and so many other strategies. Tax software will not always guide you adequately; there is a skill set that comes along with the professional CPA who will guide you, the lawyer who understands this area of the law, and the certified financial planner who’s versed in the intricacies. n Grant Gochin is a Wealth Advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(tm) 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 grant. firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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HIDE AND SEEK AN EXCERPT FROM “CLOSETS, COMBAT AND COMING OUT,” THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN IRAQ WAR MEMOIR, BY VETERAN, WRITER, AND LGBT ACTIVIST ROB SMITH. > One late Saturday night, I found myself alone at local gay club Hide and Seek when a cute redhead approached me on the dance floor. I danced with him relaxed and carefree like I did with all the others, but I stopped in my tracks when I noticed two very familiar faces through the neon-blue haze of the club. Right next to the bar, standing beside two women, were Sergeant Kane with PFC Lopez, another soldier from my platoon. Though Hide and Seek was known mostly as a gay club, it was also one of the few after-hours spots in the city. It wasn’t uncommon for straight couples to come if they wanted to extend the night past 2AM. I had no doubt that Kane and Lopez belonged in this category. I froze in fear. My first instinct was to leave the club right then and there, but they’d already made eye contact with me. I cringed as they smiled, turned to each other, and started to laugh as if a long- held theory had finally been proven. I panicked, wondering how much they saw. I felt my entire body go slack. I knew it was over. I knew I’d return to base that Monday morning to find my discharge paperwork waiting for me because I’d been seen “telling” by two soldiers in my platoon. The DADT policy was sneaky like that. I’d recently done a little digging, and learned that I didn’t have to come out to anyone to get kicked out. If I were seen “engaging in homosexual conduct” I could have charges brought down upon me. I was quite certain that the amount of pelvis-grinding that I was engaged in with the cute redhead easily qualified. Unfortunately, there was only one exit from the basement, and using it required the need to walk directly past Kane and Lopez. Maybe it was possible that they hadn’t seen me do anything. I rushed past with my head down, but heard the unmistakable “Smith!” booming from Kane’s loud voice right before I hit the stairs. My shoulders fell. I was caught. I turned around and looked in Kane’s direction, everywhere but in his face because I couldn’t bring myself to look him in the eyes. In that moment I felt deeply ashamed. I felt as if everything I’d done thus far to try to be a good soldier was nullified. I knew I was an average soldier and nothing special in that respect. I knew that I just got the job done and nothing more, but I’d managed to stay out of trouble for the past three years. I’d avoided the legal pitfalls of other soldiers who got arrested for domestic abuse, DUIs or public intoxication. Even after all of that work, my military career would be killed because I got caught in a sleazy gay bar in a desperate search for somewhere to express myself. “Yes, Sergeant?” I said. “First of all, fucking relax, man,” he said. “You come here a lot?” I continued to look down, embarrassed and frightened beyond belief. “From time to time,” I said. 3 4 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
“I cursed being gay, cursed the Army, and cursed the fact that I’d even decided to go out that night.” “Where you heading off to in such a hurry?” “Home. Guess I gotta start packing.” He seemed perplexed by this, and he furrowed his brow as if trying to figure out a complicated mathematical theorem. “Look, just calm down. I’m not gonna... Look, man, just chill out, okay?” he said. “You wanna go, then go, but I’m not forcing you to go anywhere.” “Okay,” I said. I turned around to make my
way up the stairs and out of the club. I felt deeply ashamed in that moment. I didn’t know whether it was because I was gay or because I got caught. The rules made being gay such a punishable secret that it was hard to see the boundaries sometimes. If being gay were normal or natural, certainly it wouldn’t be legally punishable in the military. In a place deep within me I knew there wasn’t anything normal or natural about what I’d been doing for
>> BOOK EXCERPT <<
the past few years. It wasn’t because of the gay aspect but of the lack of any type of real connection to the various bodies I’d become accustomed to giving myself over to. I drove home in stunned silence. The traffic lights were blurry blobs of red, green, and yellow through my tears. I was just over a year from my end date, and this was how it was going to end? Caught at a gay club and railroaded out without hopes of seeing even a penny of the fifty thousand in college funds that I was contracted to receive. I cursed being gay, cursed the Army, and cursed the fact that I’d even decided to go out that night. Maybe my mother was right. Maybe it really wasn’t what God intended, and I was getting what I deserved for being this way. It just seemed so deeply, fundamentally unfair. I had no control over my sexual orientation. I didn’t ask to be born like this, so why was it making things so hard? I stayed in bed for most of that Sunday, scared shitless at what the next day would bring. That Monday morning after PT, I walked into the unit headquarters expecting to enter a sea of cutting glances and whispers, but heard nothing. I wasn’t called into the Company Commander’s office and wasn’t reprimanded for anything. It was a normal day, just like any other day. Later on in the afternoon, I spied Sergeant Kane signing in some equipment, and I approached him. He looked at me sternly. ‘What’s up, Specialist?’ he said. “Uh, nothing much, Sergeant,” I said. His look relaxed a bit. “You have fun dancing? It was interesting running into you,” he said, and I froze. Another soldier from the platoon, PFC Conch, was within earshot, and came over to join in on the conversation. Conch was a young, jovial white kid from Kentucky, which was a source of never ending teasing from some of the platoon members. “Yeah, where were you guys at?” he asked. At this, Sergeant Kane turned to him. “None of your damn business!” he said jokingly, in an exaggeratedly annoyed manner. “Hey, my bad, Sarge, my bad!” Conch said in the same jovial manner, and walked away. I looked at Sergeant Kane and smiled hesitantly. He cocked his head up and looked at me with a mischievous smile. “Motherfuckers be so goddamned nosey at times,” he said. “Ain’t that right, Smith?” I smiled widely, filled with a sense of relief. “Roger that, Sergeant,” I said. “Nosey as shit.” That exchange ended my fears of Sergeant Kane and/or PFC Lopez turning me in. Those two were thick as thieves. I knew that if Sergeant Kane wasn’t going to say anything, Lopez wouldn’t. I respected Kane a great deal for that, and was glad that he didn’t decide to make things hard for me. I wondered if it would’ve been any different had Sergeant Norman seen me at the club. I never wanted to find out. After the incident with Kane, I gathered that most soldiers wouldn’t care much if they knew, but I still needed to keep my guard up. I wondered if there would ever be a day when it just didn’t matter. When I didn’t have to do so much sneaking around, but I knew that day was very far away. n Closets, Combat and Coming Out” is available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and wherever LGBT books are sold. More information can be found at www.robsmithonline.com
S ’ Y E N O M THE ON SSER DRE
JOURNALIST ITAY HOD
A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES BASED ON CHRISTOPHER DANIELS’ ESCORT EXPERIENCES. BY VICTOR MELAMED CALLED THE “HEMINGWAY OF JOURNALIST ITAY HOD HOOKERS,” adult film star and escort Christopher Daniels chronicles his career as a businessman who sells his companionship to other men in his new book, “Money’s On The Dresser.” Daniels’ began working as an escort in Las Vegas in 2009 after breaking up with his partner of four years. As a newly single man he felt lost, scared to be on his own and broke. He decided the best solution was to place an ad on a few websites advertising male escorts and to his surprise, hours after the ad went up he began receiving a wide range of requests. These requests came from a varied group of men—some with disabilities, physical deformities, married businessmen and even gorgeous men he was extremely attracted to physically. A few of these men became mentors and friends, while others made him want to run out of the room screaming. “Money’s On The Dresser” is a collection of short stories based on some of those escort experiences. “I chose the path of escorting—and later porn—because of money,” admits Daniels. “In doing what I am doing I have been able to use my sexuality as a way to connect with people, and make them feel good on many levels—not just sexually. I didn’t expect to have an impact on others and I feel blessed that I have been able to do so. Of course the money is the reason I started escorting and the reason why I continue. But, it means a lot to me when I can have a positive effect on someone’s life and give them an experience they will never forget.” Christopher’s sophisticated, self-deprecating and often hilarious writing style will surprise and delight readers, regardless of where they stand on the topic of the adult entertainment industry. “Money’s on the Dresser” is available at www.Christopher-Daniels.com (for USA orders) and www.Amazon.com (for international orders). n FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 35
Just as a newborn baby knows how to love, they know how to tune in to their hunger cues. They eat, not because they are tired, stressed or lonely, but because they are mindful of the nutrition their bodies crave. Mindless, emotionally reactive eating develops as we lose touch with this innate dietary monitor. According to Anton, by developing mindful eating practices we can return to this state of having a wholesome relationship with food. With mindful eating we can eat whatever we want because we will want, and enjoy, what our bodies need. ”All the senses play an important role in enjoying the food we eat, from hearing the sizzle of bacon in a hot frying pan to the tart taste of a lemon; eating is undeniably sensory. In a time where food is routinely eaten on-the-run, for the sole purpose of preventing various disease states, or to be ‘healthy,’ identifying hunger cues or eating food for enjoyment can seem foreign. Living in a body conscious community like Southern California can make enjoying food seem completely out of bounds. Giving yourself permission to enjoy food and to re-connect with your innate ability to make wise eating decisions while experiencing food with all five senses is a crucial to physical and emotional wellbeing; and is statistically related to better body image, and a healthier body composition.” states Anton.
Eating Your Heart Out WHEN WE USE FOOD AS A COPING MECHANISM, WE ARE LITERALLY EATING OUR FEELINGS. BY MONIQUE FUNK VALENTINE’S DAY IS A CELEBRATION OF LOVE in all its forms, particularly romantic love. All around are images of idealized romantic love, replete with chocolate filled hearts, long-stem red roses, sentimental cards, gentle caresses, and longing glances over candle lit dinners. For those of us in a healthy, loving relationship, these celebrations can be enjoyed as yet another opportunity to bond with our partner. However, if you find yourself without a special someone, Valentine’s Day can quickly degrade from a celebration of love, to an exercise in loneliness. Those without a partner during the V-day season may turn to food for comfort. Earnestly devouring comfort foods may be a subconscious attempt to escape uncomfortable feelings by artificially inducing (with food), the same dopamine rush that romantic partners experience. So, when we use food as a coping mechanism, we are literally eating our feelings. When we eat our feelings, we tend to eat mindlessly in that we eat without regard to physical hunger cues in an effort to escape our true emotional lives. In this article, Lauren Anton, Registered Dietitian and eating disorder expert from “A New Journey Eating Disorder Center,” in Santa Monica, offers insight on how to identify when and why we are eating our feelings, or eating mindlessly. She also shares a simple, yet profoundly effective way that you can learn how to replace emotional, mindless eating with nourishing, mindful eating. ”When you learn to eat mindfully you can eat whatever you want, even corn syrup laden soda pop and high fat ice cream. You just can’t eat your feelings. Eating your feelings is what leads to ill consequences, not eating specific foods,” advises Anton. 3 6 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
HOW TO IDENTIFY PHYSICAL HUNGER CUES Every time you eat, first take a moment to tune into the hunger cues within your physical body. Make note of any of the following cues: empty or growling stomach, headache, light headed, grumpy feeling,
weakness or lack of energy, foggy mind, or shaky feeling. • Physical hunger tends to build gradually, as opposed to emotional hunger which often develops as a sudden craving. • If a craving is physically based one can generally satisfy it with a variety of foods. However with emotionally based hunger, one generally craves a specific food. Eating the desired food may satisfy an emotional craving, but only for a very fleeting moment. • Another distinguishing factor between physical and emotional hunger is that when you are physically hungry you are likely to eat to the point of satiety, then stop, free from remorse. Emotional eating, on the other hand, often leads to over indulging and post binging guilt.
IDENTIFY YOUR EMOTIONAL STATE ”It is important to discover how emotions influence your hunger and fullness cues. Insight into emotionallyfueled eating and the maladaptive thoughts that often fuel these emotions can help you to curtail, and eventually eliminate unhealthy eating patterns and behavior,” states Anton. What is on your mind prior to, during and after eating? Anton suggests that we check in by asking ourselves: Where am I emotionally? How present am I in this moment? Is my mind calm or racing? Am I thinking about work, a relationship, some other concern? Do I feel lonely, sad, angry, content, happy, calm, tired...? Am I rushing or “dashboard dining?” Am I enjoying this food in a nice sit down environment? What does the room feel/ smell/look like? Am I comfortable? When we experience uncomfortable emotions like stress, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, and anger, our immediate reaction is to make them go away, and eating high fat, salt or sugar foods is often the easiest, quickest way to do so. When we give in to this urge, once the initial soothing effect has subsided, we may
find ourselves filled with guilt. We may even berate ourselves for a lack of will power. However to rely on rules, formal diets and willpower to make wholesome dietary choices is a losing battle. This is because the pleasure center in our brain is a powerful motivator that drives us to stimulate it with things like sex, drugs, love and high fat/sugar/salt foods. So rather than rely on willpower and diets, it is better to rely on yet another natural drive, true physical hunger, which we learn to identify through mindful eating practices.
MINDFUL EATING EXERCISE To rediscover your natural relationship with food, try this mindful eating exercise. We recommend that at least once a week you invest an hour into slowly walking through the exercise. This will allow you to fully experience and embrace the suggested techniques. Then, at all meals, you can perform an abbreviated 30 to 60 second version of this exercise.
EMOTIONAL CHECK-IN Before you begin eating check in with your emotional self. How are you feeling? What is your current situation? Refer to the ‘identify your emotional state’ section of this article.
NOTICE PHYSICAL HUNGER CUES When you are about to eat, notice how the presence of specific foods affect your hunger and fullness cues. When you look, touch, taste, the food how does your body respond? What happens to your physical hunger cues? Do you salivate more or less?
PHYSICAL VS EMOTIONAL HUNGER Remind yourself of the difference between physical and emotional hunger. Where are you on the scale of 1-10 in terms of physical hunger? Emotional hunger?
EXPERIENCE FOOD WITH FIVE SENSES 1. Look: Look at the food. Notice color, texture, shape, moisture, etc. 2. Smell: Smell the food. Notice the type and intensity of any aromas present. 3. Touch: Touch the food with your hands and lips. Notice the weight, density, moisture, texture, etc. 4. Taste: Place a piece of food in your mouth and hold it there without chewing or swallowing. Notice the flavors, hotness, sweetness, moisture, acidity, bitterness, etc. 5. Eat & Listen: Now slowly chew the food, remaining mindful of the five senses, including sound. Savor
this morsel of food, then swallow. By allowing yourself to slowly and mindfully experience food in this way, you may be able to: • More clearly identify food likes and dislikes • Reduce binging behavior and feel satisfied with less food • Reduce restrictive eating compulsions and learn to enjoy foods you may not have allowed yourself to enjoy in years. ”Over time, practitioners of mindful eating are able to discern healthy eating thoughts amidst any disordered thoughts, thereby re-gaining what is a birthright for all humans: the pleasure of enjoying food,” explains Anton. n For more information about eating disorder treatment, addiction recovery, treatment for anxiety/depression/etc and free support groups in Santa Monica visit www.anewjourney.net or call 800.634.1733.
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FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 37
THELAW >> WEDDING VENDORS <<
longtime couple Kama Kaina and Matthew Rivera’s request to cater their upcoming wedding. In every case, the owners’ “religious beliefs” was cited as the reason for their refusal to provide services. Bigots now seem to feel that their right to practice a faith under the government’s shield also provides them with a sword of discrimination. Of course, this brings up the obvious question: how can this be legal in California?
THE UNRUH ACT
IT’S NOT ABOUT THE CAKE CAN WEDDING VENDORS REFUSE SERVICE TO SAME-SEX COUPLES? BY DAVID HAKIMFAR l The walls barring gay men and women from getting married keep tumbling down across America. This is clear as state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage are held as unconstitutional. Recently, federal judges ruled that Oklahoma and Utah’s laws that limit marriage to one man and one woman violate the U.S. Constitution. If the decisions are upheld (both are being appealed), these states will join 16 others plus the District of Columbia that allow same-sex marriage. Lawsuits have also been filed in Pennsylvania, Florida and West Virginia to challenge those states’ prohibition against marriage equality. In California, as you may recall, marriage equality was restored in June of 2013 when Proposition 8 was repealed after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up the case to hear challenges to the lower court’s ruling. Yet for every state that celebrates marriage equality for its gay and lesbian citizens, there seems to be a correlating news story about a vendor who refuses to provide services to a same-sex couple. In Oregon and Colorado, two bakeries refused to bake cakes for engaged couples. In New Mexico, the ACLU filed an anti-discrimination case against a wedding photographer who declined to take wedding pictures of samesex couples. An innkeeper in Illinois has vowed to turn away same-sex couples who wish to get married at his property when gay marriage takes effect in that state in June 2014. A florist in Washington has been sued by the state for refusing service to a gay couple. In California, Janet Zimmerman Catering of Big Bear turned down 3 8 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
As an attorney, I was asked to shed light on this question on a recent episode of Pivot TV’s news program “Take Part Live,” which examined the ongoing discrimination faced by California’s samesex couples. Although California is often at the national forefront in providing anti-discrimination protections to its citizens, current law may indeed allow for this type of discrimination. In California, the Unruh Act provides broader protections that the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Unruh act outlaws discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation in areas of public accommodation. Further, the California Supreme Court has interpreted the law as protecting other classes not specifically listed in the law. Prior to the addition of sexual orientation to the list of covered classes, the Unruh act had been construed as providing protection to gays and lesbians from “arbitrary discrimination.” The Uhruh Act applies to all business establishments that provide accommodations, services or goods to the public. This includes businesses such as hotels, restaurants, retail stores and bars. However, the California Business and Professions Code that applies to individuals proving services does NOT provide protection against sexual orientation discrimination. So unless the
current law is changed, a caterer, photographer, florist and other services may well be within their legal right to refuse service as they may be considered a service instead of a business establishment. The court would likely consider various factors such as the number of employees and whether the owner has a physical location. Until the Business and Professions code is amended by the California legislature to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the outcome of such cases is unclear. As of this writing, the California couple has not taken legal action against the caterer.
GAME CHANGER A recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that lawyers cannot discriminate against gay people when selecting juries. A unanimous panel stated that courts must apply what is known as “heightened scrutiny” when assessing laws or policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. This is a powerful tool in the ongoing fight against LGBT discrimination because laws subject to this scrutiny are often treated as preemptively unconstitutional. You may ask, “So what does that have to do with gay weddings?” The value of this ruling cannot be underestimated. In fact, it could be a complete game changer in the fight for equality across the country. If the Ninth Circuit’s ruling is not overturned, plaintiffs will have a much stronger legal basis for challenging many laws that discriminate against gays and lesbians. It is not unreasonable to think that a shift in protection will eventually “trickle down” into state law and into the private sector as historically has been the case. And that would make for some pretty delicious cake. n David Hakimfar is a trial attorney and senior partner of Hakimfar Law, PLC, and a member attorney of Pride Legal. He can be reached at 310-770-1250.
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THE MORE YOU KNOW
Almost anything I need is right out my front door. Ross, D.A.P. client
FEBRUARY 7 IS NATIONAL BLACK HIV/ AIDS AWARENESS DAY, AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROMOTE HIV PREVENTION, TESTING, AND TREATMENT AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE UNITED STATES. BY ORLY LYONNE
> African Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that they accounted for nearly half (44%) of all new infections in 2010, despite making up only 14% of the population. This represents a rate that is eight times as high as that of whites. Most of these infections are in African American men, most of whom are men who have sex with men (MSM). Young black MSM, in fact, account for more new infections than any other subgroup by race/ethnicity, age, and sex.
SOCIAL, ECONOMIC BARRIERS Research shows that African Americans do not engage in riskier behavior than members of other racial/ethnic groups. However, there are many social and economic barriers that can increase the risk of HIV. • The higher the proportion of people living with HIV in a community, the greater the risk with each new sexual encounter of having a sexual partner who has HIV. • Higher rates of other sexually transmitted infections can increase the chance of getting and spreading HIV. • Social and economic realities-such as poverty, racial discrimination, limited access to health care and housing, and incarceration-are associated with increased risk of HIV. • Stigma, fear, and silence can increase the risk of HIV while decreasing the willingness to get support, get tested, and get treatment, if needed.
D.A.P. treats and supports the whole person Living on just Social Security, my beautiful, subsidized apartment on D.A.P.’s campus has been a lifesaver. It even has solar collectors to reduce my electric bill! But best of all, my doctor, dentist, case manager, pharmacy— just about anything I could need—are only about 500 feet away when I open my front door. For the first time in years, my T-cells are up, I have dental care again, and my future seems bright.
This and more...all under one roof Thanks to your generous support, Desert AIDS Project has been saving lives for 30 years. Please continue to help by donating at desertAIDSproject.org, joining one of our annual giving programs, or by saving the date for one of our upcoming fundraising events. 20th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Gala February 8, 2014
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Haute 4 Help Fashion Event | March 7, 2014
• Learn about HIV and AIDS. Educate yourself, friends, and family about HIV and AIDS and what you can do to protect yourself. • Get tested for HIV. To find a testing site near you, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), visit the National HIV and STD Testing Resources website, or, on your cell phone, text your ZIP code to KNOW IT (566948). • Speak out against stigma, homophobia, racism, and other forms of discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS. n
Celebrity Doodles | April 5, 2014
For more info visit the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) web site at: nationalblackaidsday.org/
Thirst for Life | April 8, 2014 Dining Out for Life | April 24, 2014 Desert Drag Race | May 11, 2014
FEB R UAR Y 2013 | T H E F I GH T 39
PRIVATE PARTS WHY IS ASKING A TRANS WOMAN ABOUT HER GENITALIA CONSIDERED “INEVITABLE,” WHILE THE TSA’S FULL-BODY SCANNERS ARE CONSIDERED A “CIVIL LIBERTIES ABUSE?” DOUBLE STANDARDS, A WHITE GUY’S “JUNK,” AND KATIE COURIC’S MISHAP. BY ZINNIA JONES LAST MONTH, ACTRESS LAVERNE COX and model Carmen Carrera appeared on Katie Couric’s talk show to discuss their careers and their experiences as trans women. What could’ve been an otherwise respectful interview instead took a turn for the incredibly inappropriate as Couric openly and shamelessly asked Carrera about whether her “private parts” are “different now.” Carrera, who was just not having any of that, responded perfectly: “I don’t want to talk about that, it’s really personal.” Cox later took the opportunity to explain how focusing on “the genitalia question,” as Couric phrased it, ignores the very serious issues of homelessness, discrimination, economic injustice and violence faced by trans women. Both Carrera’s and Cox’s segments are worth watching for their fantastic responses, if you can handle the severe awkwardness of the situation. Naturally, the conservative NewsBusters.org—a Media Research Center (MRC) outlet billing itself as “exposing & combating liberal media bias”—doesn’t really see a problem with any of this. It seems there’s only one thing with the power to unite the MRC and Katie Couric, whom the MRC previously bestowed with the singular honor of “Worst Reporter in the History of Man.” This is, of course, a mutual and overwhelming sense of entitlement to trans women’s bodies. Tim Graham, the MRC’s director of media analysis, upholds the standard of excellence in news coverage for which conservative media are famous: vacuous commentary, lazy misgendering, and literal toilet humor. In his post, 4 0 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
TIM GRAHAM, THE MRC’S DIRECTOR OF MEDIA ANALYSIS, UPHOLDS THE STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE IN NEWS COVERAGE FOR WHICH CONSERVATIVE MEDIA ARE FAMOUS: VACUOUS COMMENTARY, LAZY MISGENDERING, AND LITERAL TOILET HUMOR. titled “Katie Couric Upsets the ‘Trans Women’ By Asking Those Uncomfortable Wiener Questions” (why the scare quotes? Is he calling us cis?), Graham spends a few short paragraphs putting in the least effort possible even for a transphobe. Meandering from calling Carrera and Cox “men” who “dress like women” (clearly Couric was actually inquiring about the surgery they’ve had done on their wardrobes), to suggesting questions about genitals (or “the bulge issue,” as he so cis-ly put it) were “inevitable,” to pondering whether it’s “possible to pretend to be a woman and use a urinal,” he ultimately projects an air of befuddlement that only comes from people who’ve never had to think about this in their lives: how could you possibly see anything wrong with asking trans women which genitals they have on national television? Indeed, what’s the big deal? It’s just genitals, right? No need to get uncomfortable over a few wiener questions. Yet Graham would do well to ask his colleagues at NewsBusters the same thing. Since 2010, his fellow writers have published numerous articles expressing their outrage at the Transportation Security Administration’s updated screening procedures—namely, the full-body scanners that reveal the shape of passengers’ bodies, and the “extended pat-downs” which can include contact with the breasts, buttocks and genitals. In an article from just last month Graham himself described the
TSA as “well-known for being too aggressive in its body searches.” So, let’s put it all together: When some bored TSA agent in another room merely looks at the shadow of an angry cis white guy’s “junk,” or checks whether that’s a firecracker in his pants or he’s just happy to see them—for the purpose of potentially preventing hundreds or thousands of deaths—it’s “invasive.” It’s “overboard.” It’s a “civil liberties abuse.” It’s “too aggressive.” When trans women of color are asked point-blank about their genitals in front of a daytime audience of millions, for no reason other than prurient and entitled curiosity, it’s “inevitable.” Inevitable. Inevitable that trans women’s bodies will be treated as public property and denied even basic human dignity. Inevitable that they’ll be gleefully dissected in detail for the enjoyment of cis people—or, as Laverne Cox pointed out, simply murdered in the streets if that’s what cis people want. As long as no one touches Tim Graham’s junk. But those “uncomfortable wiener questions” are still on the table, right? That’s totally an appropriate topic for everyday conversation. Has anyone gotten around to asking Tim Graham if he has a penis? Or is that “bulge” just a packer? Are those his original genitals or did he have them reconstructed? Does he have to sit down to pee, or can he use urinals like a real woman? Is he a grower or a shower? How big does it get? How does he have sex—like, how does that work? Does he have to take medication or does he have one of those erectile implants? Most crucially: Can we all make sure that he’s forced to answer these very important questions every single time he decides to share his valuable opinions and experiences as a straight cis man? n Read more commentary by Zinnia Jones at: www.freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones.
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FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 41
OUT LGBT ATHLETES
J. P. CALDERON
John Paul “J. P.” Calderon, 38, is an American professional volleyball player, model and reality television participant. In 2006 he was a contestant on Survivor: Cook Islands, the 13th season of the CBS reality show. Calderon came out in Instinct magazine in February 2007.
JUST IN TIME FOR SOCHI, A FEW PROUD GAY SPORT PROFESSIONALS THAT MAY HAVE FALLEN UNDER YOUR GAYDAR.
IN DIRECT RESPONSE to Russia’s recently passed anti-gay laws, President Obama has included three openly gay athletes in the official U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Former tennis star Billie Jean King, Olympic figure skating champion Brian Boitano and Olympic ice hockey medalist Caitlin Cahow are among a group of prominent Americans representing the United States at the Games’ ceremonies, taking place this month. While you’re most likely familiar with King and Boitano, here’s a list of a few other proud LGBT sport professionals that may have fallen under your gaydar.
JOHN PAUL CALDERON
LIZ CARMOUCHE Liz Carmouche, 30, is an American mixed martial arts fighter. Carmouche currently competes for UFC in the women’s bantamweight division. Carmouche is the first openly lesbian fighter in the UFC.
DOVER (L), ROSS
GRAHAM ACKERMAN Openly gay Graham Ackerman, 31, is an American gymnast. In April 2005 he won the national championship in the floor exercise event at the 2005 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics championship at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, making him a three-time national champ. In 2004 he won the national titles in two events-floor and vault. 4 2 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
ROBERT JEFFREY DOVER Robert Jeffrey Dover, 57, is an American equestrian who has had international success in the sport of dressage. Riding from the age of 13, he competed in his first Olympics in 1984. He competed in every summer Games between 1984 and 2004, winning four team bronze medals. He is openly gay, and his partner is fellow rider Robert Ross.
>> OUT ATHLETES <<
ANDREW SCOTT GOLDSTEIN
Andrew Scott Goldstein, 30, is the first American male team-sport professional athlete to be openly gay during his playing career. He had been a professional lacrosse goaltender for the Long Island Lizards of Major League Lacrosse. Goldstein made headlines off the field in 2005 when he was dubbed by ESPN to be “the most accomplished male, team-sport athlete in North America to be openly gay during his playing career.”
BRITTNEY YEVETTE GRINER
Brittney Yevette Griner, 23, is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball BRITTNEY GRINER Association (WNBA). She was the first NCAA basketball player ever to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. In 2012, the three-time All-American was named the AP Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. In an interview with SI.com on April 17, 2013, Griner acknowledged that she is lesbian.
LORI ANN LINDSEY
LORI ANN LINDSEY Lori Ann Lindsey, 33, is an American soccer midfielder who currently plays for Canberra United in the Australian W-League and is also a member of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team player pool. She played one match in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany and was named an alternate for the 2012 Olympics in London. She came out publicly as gay in 2012.
WADE ALAN DAVIS II
WADE ALAN DAVIS II
Wade Alan Davis II, 36, is an American speaker, activist, writer, educator, and former football player. Davis made his professional debut in 2001 with the NFL Europe team Berlin Thunder and won the World Bowl IX title with the Thunder. In 2012, Davis came out and spoke publicly about what it was like to be a closeted gay man in the NFL.
BOB PARIS Bob Paris (born Robert Clark Paris), 54, is an American-Canadian writer, actor, public speaker, civil rights activist and former professional bodybuilder. Paris was the 1983 NPC American National and IFBB World Bodybuilding Champion, Mr. Universe. In the July 1989 issue of Ironman, Paris came out in the media as a gay man. He was the world’s first male professional athlete, in any sport, to come out in the media while still an active competitor in his sport.
LAWRENCE BRUCE HAYES Lawrence Bruce Hayes, 50, is an American former competition swimmer best known for anchoring the U.S. men’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay team that won the gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He became the first Olympic gold medalist to compete at the Gay Games when he swam at Gay Games III in Vancouver in August 1990. In 1992, Hayes became the first American Olympic gold medalist to LAWRENCE BRUCE HAYES publicly come out of the closet when he was profiled by Dick Schaap for ABC’s World News Tonight regarding the challenges of being gay in the sports community. He became a spokesperson for the Gay Games IV in New York City in 1994. n FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 43
THECALENDAR >> THINGS TO DO <<
MEATLOAF WITH DJ PAUL COALS. SEE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 LISTING.
of Coachella Valley to a pristine wilderness aboard the World’s Largest Rotating Tramcars. Bus leaves Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel at 7:45AM and returns back to hotel at 12:30PM. 56 spots for this excursion. PLUNGE 2.0 POOL PARTY WITH DJ RYAN JONES AND DJ CANDY Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, 10am-4pm, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. Soak up the sun, drink and splash around with hot, furry men and featured DJs.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6
IBC KICKOFF PARTY The Eagle, 4219 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 9pm, for more info visit: eaglela.com. Join B Bar & THE FIGHT Magazine for LA’s Official International Bear Convergence Kick-Off Party. Bears, cubs, otters and other furry critters. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13
THURSDAY NIGHT STREET FAIR Palm Canyon Drive (between Amado and Baristo Roads), Palm Springs, 7pm-10pm, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. An old fashioned street fair, with musicians, food, arts and crafts vendors, and a farmers market. EARLY BEAR PARTY AT HUNTERS 302 E Arenas Rd, Palm Springs, 9pm-2am, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. Drink and dance to the hottest dance and pop hits with DJ Chub Jim. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14
PLUNGE 1.0 POOL PARTY WITH DJ SEAN MAC Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, noon-4pm, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. The International Bear Convergence weekend includes a series of four pool parties called PLUNGE. Soak up the sun, drink and splash around with hot, furry men and featured DJs. MEET & GREET T-DANCE Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, 5pm-9pm, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. Poolside welcome party with complimentary buffet and music. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8
MEATLOAF WITH DJ PAUL COALS Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, 10pm-2am, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. A frisky night of bears, music, cruising and mayhem. VALENTINE’S DAY SEXTING PARTY The Abbey, 692 N. Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, 8pm. For more info: abbeyfoodandbar.com It’s Valentines Day for single gay folks. An interactive texting game and music by Dawna Montell. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15
PALM SPRINGS AERIAL TRAMWAY (EXCURSION) 8am-12:30pm, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. Ascend 2.5 miles with breath-taking views
4 4 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
BEARHEAT WITH DJ DOUG JACKSON Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, The California Grand Ballroom, 10pm-2am, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. Submit to a primal, seductive night of hot men and music at BearHeat, IBC’s Saturday night dance party. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16
HUNGRY BEAR BRUNCH BUFFET Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, Date Restaurant Outside Terrace, 9am-2pm, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. PLUNGE 3.0 POOL PARTY WITH DJ DAVID KNAPP Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, 10am-4pm, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. Soak up the sun, drink and splash around with hot, furry men and featured DJs. SUNDAY FUNDAY BEER BUST WITH DJ EASY TIGER Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, 5pm-8pm, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. Complimentary draft beer, while supplies last, music and grilled specials available. THE 6TH ANNUAL TRANNY AWARDS Stars Palace Theatre, 417 Brand Boulevard, Glendale, 9pm-1am, for more info visit: trannyawards.com. Celebrates the accomplishments of performers, directors, and studios in the transgender community adult industry. FURRAGEOUS(R) WITH DJ JOHN LEPAGE AND FEATURING A LIVE PERFORMANCE BY ERASURE’S ANDY BELL. Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, The California Grand Ballroom, 10pm-2am, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. The grand finale of the weekend featuring DJ/ Producer John LePage. This high energy dance party is sure to overload your senses with a full spectrum of lasers, lights and visuals. Plus, Erasure’s Andy Bell will perform Erasure’s top hits including “A Little Respect,” “Chains of Love,” “Always” and more! MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17
PLUNGE 4.0 POOL PARTY WITH DJ CHUB JIM Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, 9am-2pm, for more info visit: www.ibc-ps.com. Soak up the sun, drink and splash around with hot, furry men and featured DJs.
GROUPS ASIAN/PACIFIC GAYS AND FRIENDS www.apgf.org GAY ASIAN PACIFIC SUPPORT NETWORK www.gapsn.org LOS ANGELES GAY AVIATION CLUB Pilots, Flights Attendants, Mechanics. www.unusualattitudes.info CLUB NUR Gay Middle Eastern. www.clubnur.com GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF LOS ANGELES www.gmcla.org 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 www.facebook.com/gaysalsanight 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 www.laglc.org 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. www.popluckclub.org PROSTATE CANCER SUPPORT GROUP 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, at the Gay & Lesbian Center. RSVP to Dennis@malecare.org or call (323) 860-7340. GREAT AUTOS OF YESTERYEAR The largest LGBT classic car club on the West Coast. www.greatautos.org LOS ANGELES PRIME TIMERS Social group for older mature gay men and admirers. www.laprimetimers.org LOS ANGELES GAY BRIDGE CLUB www.communityvisions.org/IAGLBC LOS ANGELES GAY/LESBIAN SCIENTISTS www.lagls.org LOS ANGELES GAY FOR GOOD Gays making a commitment to volunteer for social welfare and environmental service projects. www.gayforgood.org LOS ANGELES GAY NATURISM California Men Enjoying Naturism. cmen.info 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 alumnigroups.usc.edu/lambda/ LOS ANGELES BLACK PRIDE www.myblackpridela.com GREATER PASADENA AID FUND www.greaterpasadenaaidfund.org POSITIVE IMAGES WORKSHOP Every Monday, from 7-9 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los
> EMAIL YOUR EVENT OR GROUP TO Angeles. If you’re looking for 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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) 201-1561. 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.” TRAVEL FRIENDS TRAVEL www.FriendsTravel.com Gay Owned & Operated, Since 1985. 12 STEP GROUPS
email@example.com 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 www.lagaysoftball.com LOS ANGELES LESBIAN TACKLE FOOTBALL www.californiaquakefootball.com LOS ANGELES LESBIAN RUGBY www.eaglerockrugby.com WOMEN’S SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GOLF www.womensgolf.org/wscga LOS ANGELES LESBIAN POKER www.lalpg.com LOS ANGELES WOMEN ON A ROLL Luncheons, Comedy Nights, and Conversation Groups. www.womenonaroll.com
>> LISTINGS << www.sagala.org
HOLLYWOOD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH hollywoodumc.org, 6817 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028
GREAT OUTDOORS The largest gay outdoor recreational organization in Southern California. www. greatoutdoorsla.org
HOLY SPIRIT holyspirit-la.org, 4201 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029
GAY AND LESBIAN SIERRANS Camping, Outdoors, Hiking Angeles. www.sierraclub.org
UNITED UNIVERSITY CHURCH uniteduniversitychurch.org, 817 West 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90089
CHEER LA Cheerleading. www.cheerla.org LA ROWING www.larowing.org
DIGNITY CENTER dignitylosangeles.org, 126 South Avenue 64, Los Angeles, CA 90042
DIFFERENT SPOKES Cycling www.differentspokes.com Rides start in various locations in the greater Los Angeles area.
HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH-HLYWD hopelutheranchurch.net, 6720 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BLADES Ice Hockey. www.bladeshockey.com LOS ANGELES FRONTRUNNERS Running and walking club. www.lafrontrunners.com
IMMANUEL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH immanuelpres.org, 3300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010
LOS ANGELES GAY SCUBA CLUB www.barnaclebusters.org
ST. MATTHEW’S LUTHERAN CHURCH stmatthewsnoho.org, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood, CA 91602
LOS ANGELES GAY ROCK CLIMBING www.lalgbtclimbing.com
CHRIST CHAPEL OF THE VALLEY christchapel.com, 11050 Hartsook St., North Hollywood, CA 91601
WEST HOLLYWOOD AQUATICS Swim and Water Polo Teams. www.wh2o.org WORSHIP
LOS ANGELES GAY FLAG FOOTBALL www.laflagfootball.com There’s also lesbian tackle football.
METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH mccla.org, 4953 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
WEST HOLLYWOOD GAY RUGBY www.larebellion.org
BETH CHAYIM CHADASHIM SYNAGOGUE bcc-la.org, 6090 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035
WEST HOLLYWOOD PRESBYTERIAN wehopres.org, 7350 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046 MOUNT HOLLYWOOD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH mthollywood.org, 4607 Prospect Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
WEST HOLLYWOOD SOCCER CLUB Comfortable, supportive environment for learning and playing the world’s most popular game. www.gaysoccer.com
LOS ANGELES GAY RODEO CLUB www.gsgra.org
LOS ANGELES POOL LEAGUE Friendly Billiard teams. www.lapl8ball.com
fccla.org 540, South Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90020
V.O.I.L.A. Volleyball. www.lagayvolleyball.com
ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN CHURCH stpaulssm.org, 958 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403 ST. MONICA CATHOLIC COMMUNITY stmonica.net, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403 WEHO CHURCH wehochurch.com, 916 N. Formosa Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046 ST. VICTOR’S CATHOLIC CHURCH saintvictor.org, 8634 Holloway Dr. West Hollywood, CA 90069
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.
GAY & LESBIAN BOWLING LEAGUE www.tavernguildleague.com
KOL AMI REFORM SYNAGOGUE kol-ami.org, 1200 North La Brea Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90038
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS Mondays, 6:10-7:10 p.m.
SAGA LA Gay Ski & Snowboard Club.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES
ST. LUKE LUTHERAN stlukelutheran.com, 5312 Comercio Way, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
For Breaking Daily LGBT News Visit
FEB R UAR Y 2014 | T H E F I GH T 45
> > L G B T R A C E R E L AT I O N S < <
GAY RACISM “... MY SERVICE—NOT ONLY AS A GAY SOLDIER BUT ALSO AS AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN ONE—WAS COMPLETELY ERASED. DENIED. IGNORED. ALL BECAUSE, IN MY MIND, I DIDN’T FIT THE STEREOTYPICAL IMAGE OF WHAT ‘SELLS’ IN THE LGBT COMMUNITY.” BY ROB SMITH
> One of the reasons I find the topic of race and race relations in the LGBT community so dreadfully boring is that it is always centered around race and dating. Gay men and women of color whine about seeing messages from whites online dating profiles and apps that exclude them, and thus the entire conversation becomes about race and sexuality. (Some) white people double down and defensively state “preferences,” people of color are seen as finding whites more attractive than those who look like them, and the entire conversation reinforces the idea of white as the apex of attractiveness and pretty much proving the point of whites who choose to date interracially. That is why I’m not going there. In fact, I don’t care. Really, I don’t. If someone looks at the deep chocolate shade of my skin and sees that as somehow “less than” or unattractive, that is fortunately their issue to deal with and I’m not about to make it mine. The reasons behind our dating preferences are much too complex to be described as “racist” when they don’t fit the mold of those who would choose to make us feel guilty about them. Instead, I will tell a story about a writer. That writer has just published his first book—a milestone in any writer’s life. In fact, an excerpt from that book can be found just a few pages behind this piece in this very issue of THE FIGHT. That writer was excited that a major gay website wanted to publish a piece that he wrote explaining why he wrote the book. That writer is the first African-American soldier to ever publish an Iraq war memoir. That writer is also the first gay soldier to publish an Iraq war memoir since the implementation of DADT repeal. Imagine that writer’s surprise when the article went live on the site only to have his image nowhere to be found, instead replaced with a photo of a white soldier pulled seemingly at random from Getty Images. Well, that writer was upset. That writer was livid. That writer was then told that the use of the photo was a mere oversight and that there was no need to be offended. Obviously, that writer was me, and of course I was offended. I felt erased. I felt that, in those fleeting 15 minutes that the photo was live on the website, my service not only as a gay soldier but also as an African-American one was completely erased. Denied. Ignored. All because, in my mind, I didn’t fit the stereotypical image of what “sells” in the LGBT community. This is an issue that goes a lot deeper than some offensive preference stated on a Grindr profile. This is about meeting an extremely prominent LGBT activist who, as you’re striking up a conversation, stares through you like you don’t exist. This is about giving a lecture to over 100 students as a guest of the LGBT organization at a small university in the Midwest and having to correct their lesbian president for using “colored people” in a conversation. This is about going to a bar in the gayest area of New York City and seeing every white person at a bar served before you. It’s easy for people to engage in that simple and asinine conversation about race and that I detailed at the start of this article. That is the con4 6 T H E F IGH T | F E B R UA RY 2014
If someone looks at the deep chocolate shade of my skin and sees that as somehow “less than” or unattractive, that is fortunately their issue to deal with and I’m not about to make it mine. versation that I see over and over and over again when race and racism in the gay community is brought up. What I don’t see is the conversation about how the heads of most major LGBT organizations are almost uniformly white. Or a conversation about how the writers and editors of gay magazines and websites are almost uniformly white. Those conversations are a bit harder to have, because the answers to those questions require a bit more soul-searching. The answers to those questions can be found somewhere within the media entities who do give writers like me a voice, who do share our stories, which try hard not to erase the existence of LGBT people of color. Shortly after the incident, I had an email conversation with
that dreaded cisgender white male editor. You know what? He apologized for the oversight. I realized that though what I felt was very real and valid, it was a mistake that was not made with ill intent, but one that just so happened to have struck a very deep nerve informed by years of being discriminated against in petty little ways within the LGBT community. It made me wish that we could have these conversations a little bit more often, without retreating to our little corners with people who look exactly like us and see life through the exact eyes that we see it through. We thankfully have organizations like GLAAD who exist to police representations of LGBT people in mainstream media, but I sometimes wonder: who’s going to police us? n
it’s almost here!
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 14
liVe PerformanCe By
PAUL COALS DJ
RENAISSANCE PALM SPRINGS HOTEL $20 COVER /Included with Run Pass
EVENT PASSES AVAILABLE AT
Benefiting AIDS Assistance Program and The Center Food Bank of Palm Springs.
HosTEd aT THE renaissanCe
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Call reservations at 1-800-468-3571 and mention group code: iBCa Weekend Passes & Event Tickets available at host hotel during IBC.
www.ibc-ps.com ——————————————————————————— S p o n S o r e d b y ———————————————————————————
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Benefiting aIds assistance Program and The Center Food Bank of Palm springs.