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APRIL 2019

Welcoming Spring With The Columbus Metro Parks

Breaking Barriers With The Alzheimer’s Association Celebrating Earth Day With These Ten Tips

Chief Executive Officer Publisher Curtis Davis

Editorial Director Social Media Manager Kaylee Duff

Executive Assistant Columnist

Jeff Skinner

Contributing Writers

Daniel Tirabassi, J.M. Rayburn, JT Lucas

Contributing Photographers

Emily Hirzel, Jeff Skinner, Kaylee Duff, Mike Miller

Creative Design

Brandon Messner

True Q loves feedback from our readers! Please address all media inquiries, Email us at internship requests and event or program with any questions, comments or concerns. listings to our Editor at

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

Circle of Care

Columbus AHF Healthcare Center

815 W Broad St, Ste 350 (614) 223-1532

AHF Pharmacy

1230 N High St (614) 291-2670

AHF Wellness Center

1230 N High St (614) 291-2680

Out of the Closet Thrift Store 1230 N High St (614) 291-2680

Cleveland AHF Healthcare Center

2829 Euclid Ave (216) 357-3131

AHF Pharmacy

2829 Euclid Ave (216) 357-3327

AHF Wellness Center

2829 Euclid Ave (216) 357-3131


April 2019

3 Letter from The Editor 8 Welcoming Spring With 14 Sustainability Efforts The Columbus Metro Parks

Earth Day is an annual celebration on April 22

A Q&A with the Metro Parks about what you can do there this spring

4 April Events

5 Out In The Media

The Trans Community?

March 31st was Transgender Day of Visibility

Reviews of the latest books, movies, shows and more

6 Falling In Love With The The indie pop act released an album last month

Local communities and organizations are taking action

10 Is The World Against 16 Celebrating Earth

What’s going on in Ohio this month

Japanese House

Across The State

12 Breaking Barriers With The Alzheimer’s Association

The Breakthrough Benefit is a night celebrating the Alzheimer’s Association

Day With These Ten Tips

The best way to honor our planet all year round is to do our part

18 Remembering The Glamazons

The Glamazons were one of Columbus’ most-loved drag tribes

20 You Are Ohio’s #OneTrueVoice

Snapshots from Ohio’s LGBTQ+ community


ON THE COVER: Ducks playing in Hayden Falls Park, which is located just west of the Scioto River in Dublin. True Q Magazine is published monthly by True Media Group. True Q Magazine issues are FREE at distribution locations throughout the state of Ohio, or available as a subscription for direct delivery online at Copyright © 2019 True Media Group All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without expressed written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. All rights in letters, manuscripts, photographs, drawings, illustrations and artwork sent to True Q Magazine will be treated as assigned for publication and copyright purposes and are subject to True Q Magazine and True Media Group terms and conditions. All models are at least 18 years of age. All photographs included are posed for by professional models or willing participants in True Q Magazine except as otherwise noted. Neither said photographs nor accompanying editorial is indicative of sexual orientation or gender expression, unless specifically noted. The publisher of the magazine does not assume responsibility for statements by advertisers.

Cover photo by Emily Hirzel.

2 | APRIL 2019




Letter From The Editor

Earth Day is an annual observation held on April 22. It’s a day to celebrate the Earth and support environmental protections.

Photo by Emily Hirzel.


hen I was in middle school, my classmates all called me Treehugger. I’ll bet you can guess why. I would hug trees during recess. I did reports on the dangers of global warming for class. I forced my family to recycle and listened to “hippie” music and read a lot of Rachel Carson. People thought I was weird and rambling about landfills for attention, but really I was a very scared teenager. And now, some 15 years later, I am a very scared 20-something. Because climate change is accelerating faster than scientists originally believed, and if humans don’t act now? It’s terrifying to think about. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. Soon after, many landmark environmental laws were passed — the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and more. Like most holidays and observances dedicated to the common good, Earth Day gets a new theme every year. This year’s theme is Protect Our Species. The Earth Day Network (one of the largest environmental activist organizations and movements) urges participants in this year’s theme to increase education and awareness surrounding endangered species, in order to achieve victories on both a policy level and an individual level that will preserve endangered species. The Earth Day Network website highlights some of our most critically endangered species: TRUE Q MAGAZINE

Hayden Falls Park; photo by Emily Hirzel.

bees, coral reefs, whales, elephants, trees, fish, sharks, sea turtles, and the list goes on. The website claims that “if we do not act now, extinction may be humanity’s most enduring legacy.”

can afford. If you have the privilege to do those things, you need to do it. And you need to listen to those without privilege when they tell you what they need — because working together to fight climate change is the only way we can win.

On a personal level, there are things we can do. Recycle. Reduce our waste. No littering. Cut out plastics and other harmful products or chemicals. Plant some trees. Carpool or use public transportation. Invest in renewable energy. Pull the plug. Cut out meat. Try to reason with family and friends on how global warming can still exist even when it’s snowing.

In this month’s edition of True Q, we’ve dedicated ourselves to our environment. We talked with the Columbus & Franklin County Metro Parks about what they’re doing to preserve and protect nature, and how the community benefits from their parks. We talked with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency about ways we can live a greener life.

But there’s only so much we can do without major policy change and enforced environmental protections. Recycling some cans and skipping on straws can only do so much when companies are dumping waste into rivers and pumping toxins into the air. That’s why citizens and consumers need to use our powers for good. What can we do? We do what we can with what we have. Vote. Vote consciously and vote educated. Speak up and demand change. Call your representatives and demand action. Boycott companies that aren’t doing their part.

On Earth Day this year, ask yourself this: What do you want humanity’s legacy to be? And then see what you can do about it.

It’s important to remember the intersectionality around environmentalism. It’s overwhelmingly difficult to demand action for climate change when your civil, social and human rights are on the line every day. It’s impossible to boycott companies with bad carbon footprints when it’s the only stuff you

Love, Kaylee Duff, Editor

APRIL 2019 | 3



April Events

APRIL 26-28

What’s going on in Ohio this month? Here’s a selection of great community events happening around the state in April. NORTHEAST


Cleveland International Film Festival Cleveland

Winter Guard International World Championships Dayton


The 43rd annual Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF43) promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community. The festival showcases the newest and best films from around the world, in order to help the audience experience new topics, cultures and more. The films at the CIFF are not your average multi-million-dollar Hollywood blockbusters. Instead, CIFF43 will feature everything from hard-hitting humanitarian documentaries to hilarious 10-minute shorts to foreign films and basically everything in between. This year, there will be films screened in virtual reality. The Cleveland International Film Festival is both a well-loved local tradition and respected international event. Tickets, schedules, film descriptions and more info is available at

The CIFF is held in downtown Cleveland every year.

APRIL 3-14

Every year, the thriving marching arts community gathers in Dayton for two weeks of World Championships competition. Winter Guard International (WGI) Sport of the Arts supports competition in Color Guard, Percussion and Winds divisions. Each division competes in separate classes depending on performers’ experience levels (A Class, Open Class or World Class) and school affiliations (Scholastic or Independent). WGI World Championships is the largest celebration and competition for the indoor marching arts in the world; groups come from all across the globe to compete. Color Guard World Championships will be April 3-6; Percussion World Championships will take place April 10-13; and Winds World Champions will be April 13-14. Visit to view each division’s calendar of events, so you can catch all your favorite winter guards, percussion ensembles and winds groups in prelims, semifinals and finals performances.

Trans & Ally Symposium: Voices & Visibility Columbus The TransOhio Transgender and Ally Symposium began as a one day event in 2008, and has since grown into a three-day conference with over 250 participants, 75 workshops and various continuing education credits for qualifying professionals on our Providers Day. This year’s symposium will be held at the Ohio Union on the Ohio State University’s campus. Providers Day (the first day of the conference, on Friday, April 26) is geared towards professionals working within the transgender community. The General Symposium (the second and third days, Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28), is an all-ages event and will cover multiple topics. The General Symposium is geared towards transgender and gender nonconforming community members, family and friends of transgender individuals and allies. Everyone is welcome. The symposium is free to anyone under the age of 18; simply register and select complimentary registration under the youth category. The Symposium is working on arranging free health screenings and a walk-in legal clinic. Visit for a schedule of events and information on registration, workshops and speakers.


Lecture Series featuring Tarana Burke Bowling Green


As part of the Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories lecture series hosted by the BGSU University Libraries, Tarana Burke — founder of the #MeToo movement — will share the Miss Uncorked Pageant story behind the genesis of the viral 2017 TIME Person Of The Year-winning #MeToo Athens movement. The story gives strength and healing to those who have experienced Athens’ favorite drag hotspot is hosting their first-ever annual Miss Uncorked Pageant! Hosted sexual trauma or harassment, and educates the community by Jasmyn LaBasha and with about the reality Miss Hershae Chocolate, special of assault and guest entertainer and judge, and harassment. other guest appearances, the The simple yet Miss Uncorked Pageant is going courageous to be a night you won’t want to #MeToo campaign miss. This year’s theme is Dream Submit it to our calendar at has emerged as in Colors. Competitors will pick a a rallying cry for color (or a rainbow of colors!) to submit-an-event. people everywhere help showcase what makes them who have survived colorful and unique. The winner sexual assault and will receive over $800 in cash and sexual harassment — and Tarana’s powerful, prizes. Miss Uncorked is open to all drag queens, poignant story as the creator of what is now an trans entertainers and femme queens, and is an inclusive and welcoming event for the whole international movement that supports survivors will move, uplift and inspire you. Tickets to the community. Check out the First Annual Miss Uncorked Pageant event page on Facebook for talk are free for BGSU students and $25 for guests; buy tickets and see event details at details on tickets and location.


Got a cool event coming up?

4 | APRIL 2019


Out in the Media


The True Team review some of their favorites!

You, season 1 By Kaylee Duff The first season of the television show You was wild from start to finish. The psychological thriller follows a bookstore manager named Joe, who becomes quickly obsessed with a customer, Beck. You become wildly popular after coming to Netflix, and has been renewed for a second season. As someone who is not usually a fan of thrillers, crime dramas or “scary” shows, I was surprised that I enjoyed You as much as I did. But it’s nonstop drama and you have to keep watching to find out what’s going to happen next. One of the coolest things about the show is how it integrates so much of what we see and use in everyday life — from texting to social media — but in creepy ways that make you think twice. Without giving too much away, I will say that You’s genius lies in the way it plays off of our deepest fears, that those close to us are predators, liars and creeps. It’s the reason people are so drawn to true crime shows; that stuff is terrifying, but at least it’s not happening to me. (Also Shay Mitchell is in the first season, and what else can a girl really ask for?)

The Music of What Happens, Bill Konigsberg 352 pp. Arthur A. Levine Books. $17.99. By Kaylee Duff Released in February 2019, The Music of What Happens is a contemporary young adult romance between two boys who couldn’t be more different. Max plays baseball and video games and is a “dude bro.” Jordan writes poetry and has never been kissed and has two “wives” for best friends. Both of them have secrets. They end up working together on Jordan’s deceased father’s food truck — and romance ensues. Bill Konigsberg’s novel has everything a YA reader could want: humor, truth, relatability, beautiful prose, amazing setting, food truck shenanigans. On the surface, it seems like a light, easy read; at its core, this book is anything but easy. Max is facing trauma from a non-consensual sexual encounter, and Jordan is trying to save his mom from a gambling addiction and impending homelessness. The boys and their friends grapple with the intersectionalities of sexuality, race, class, mental health, trauma and more. The Music of What Happens is beautifully written, creative, interesting and engaging; I didn’t want to put it down!


Rent By Jeff Skinner My mother wasn’t a big fan of musicals, so growing up, I never got to watch movies like Beauty and the Beast, The Sound of Music or Aladdin. Eventually, I started going to theatres to watch musicals live and see what I was missing out on. I recently watched Rent for the first time! I got to see the performance at the Palace Theatre in Columbus, and I was shocked by how great the musical is! It starts out on Christmas Eve, in the East Village of New York City, and takes place between 1989 to 1990. The musical follows the lives of several bohemians and their struggles with sexuality, drugs, paying their rent, and life under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. Mark and his roommate, Roger, can’t pay their rent. Benny, their old friend and now landlord, has taken care of their rent in the past but now they have to pay. Some other characters that stuck out to me were Angel — a fierce and beautiful drag queen — and her boyfriend Tom. You also will learn about Mimi and Maureen. Rent is heartbreakingly beautiful, and you will learn a lot about the struggles from HIV and AIDS in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

APRIL 2019 | 5


Falling In Love With The Japanese House The English indie pop act’s emotionally resonant studio album Good at Falling was released last month.

continually return to her partner. In “We Talk all the Time,” she very bluntly announces the state of the relationship at the time: “we don’t f*** anymore, but we talk all the time.” The mood and sentiment of the song is not sad, but rather a quiet respect for the natural progression of things. Through much of the album, she cuts through heavy emotion with a light atmospheric beat. She frequently uses autotune and tight vocal layering to give her voice an ethereal quality, making the finished product sound like an other-worldly lullaby. Bain reminisces about her relationships and manages to express the lows and highs of falling in and out of love with equal beauty and reverence, recognizing every aspect as holding equal importance in the human experience. It’s fair to say at moments that the album gets emotional at times, but not in a way that leaves you feeling overly somber. Good at Falling reminds us that we also can survive falling in and out of love.

By JT Lucas


emember how it felt when you first fell in love? Remember the feelings of euphoria, the feeling that the person you’ve chosen who has chosen you back was an addictive drug offering the greatest high you’ve ever experienced? That feeling that you don’t know how you survived without that person and how you don’t know how you would ever press on without them again? Now, remember what it was like when you first fell out of love, became sexless and stagnant, but all of your friends and experiences and finances were intertwined by this point, and you get along just fine as friends anyway, so it’s just “whatever” at this point? Like, you’re low-key depressed about it, but pressing on is better than being alone? This is the vibe of The Japanese House’s debut full-length album Good at Falling. In a promo email to her fans via Dirty Hit, Amber Bain, the producer and sole artist in The Japanese House, says that her lead single “Lilo” “is a reminder to me that I am good at falling in love and I can survive falling out of it. I’m good at falling.” This sentiment is prevalent through its melancholic electronic soundscapes, uniquely soothing vocals and overtly profoundly emotional lyrics. At its inception, The Japanese House thrived on anonymity, to the point where people began to speculate that this might be a spin-off of British powerhouse The 1975, a band who ultimately helped launch her career. Bain did not want to display her name or gender with her work, thus she claimed the moniker of a cottage her family stayed at when she was a

6 | APRIL 2019

child. Androgyny is a prevalent theme for the band, as it has been a prevalent theme in Bain’s life. In an interview with Dummy magazine, she laments a time when she was on vacation and she posed as a boy for a week. The girl next door developed a crush on her boy persona, and when she had to break the news that she was actually a girl, it broke the girl’s heart. As a young adult at the age of 23, she sports boyish, long blond hair and a very grungeinspired fashion palette. She does not shy away from photos as much as she used to, but her reluctance to see the spotlight is still there.

JT Lucas is a Columbus-based music enthusiast, frequent concertgoer and a Carly Rae Jepsen superfan.

Good at Falling lays bare Bain’s emotions. The opening track explores a moment where a friend was attacked and hospitalized, displaying the album’s only moment of true chaos. She takes moments to explore some of her own personal demons, often stating her insecurities in a very matter-of-fact manner. Much of the album, though, explores moments she experienced in key relationships through her life. In “Lilo,” she describes meeting a girl for the first time, feeling breathless and immediately madly in love. In “Maybe You’re the Reason,” she comes to terms with her depression, acknowledging that every time she tries to find meaning in her life, her thoughts


cover story

Welcoming Spring With The Columbus Metro Parks The Metro Parks are an amazing place to get out, get active and enjoy nature after spending the winter inside. Here’s a Q&A with the Metro Parks about what you can do there this spring. By Kaylee Duff 8 | APRIL 2019


y far, one of the best parts about spring and warm weather is going back out in nature. After spending the winter cooped up indoors, fighting off sickness and the cold, stepping out into the sun is more than just a breath of fresh air — it’s good for your mental, physical and emotional health! Central Ohio is home to some of the state’s most beautiful parks. The Columbus and Franklin Park Metro Parks span 7 counties, 19 parks, 2,000 species of plants and animals, and 27,000 acres of land. The Metro Parks were founded over 70 years ago, and have been offering a natural escape from everyday life since 1948. True Q’s editor talked with Peg Hanley, the Public Information Office over at the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, about what makes the parks in central Ohio so special: Kaylee: Tell me about the Metro Parks. What’s your mission statement and vision? Peg: The Metro Parks are a governmental agency that was formed with a stewardship conservation mission to protect habitat and wildlife, and to make available places and spaces for people to get out, get active and enjoy nature. We’re the largest of these metropolitan park districts in Ohio. There’s a bunch of them. Every county has the opportunity to form a park district, like the TRUE Q MAGAZINE

cover story those things. Everything we have — animals and plants — are all native to the area.

Cleveland Metro Parks and Toledo Metro Parks. What’s important is that we are completely free and open to the public every day. Columbus Business First named us 2018’s #1 Busiest Central Ohio Attraction and Entertainment Venue. Last year, we had close to 10 million visitors to our parks. What types of attractions are available to the public at the Metro Parks? You can come here and do pretty much whatever you can imagine, and all of the programs and activities are free. People can do anything from watching birds and sitting quietly on a park bench to climbing one of the largest outdoor climbing walls in the United States. We operate Slate Run Living Historical Farm, a working 1880s farm in Canal Winchester, which is incredibly cool. You can go and see the people in costumes, the farmers pulling the trackers, the farm ladies cooking. This is especially great for young students learning about Ohio history for the first time. We have over 200 miles of trails. We’ve got an overnight backpacking trail, that is open every other weekend. This is perfect for those who don’t do a lot of heavy backpacking, don’t want to spend a lot of money, or just want to see what it’s like on a weekend before heading somewhere more difficult. We’ve got a cool archery range at Scioto Grove in Grove City. That has both the standard targets, and if you walk around, there’s a 3D archery course with 12 foam animal targets, like deer, turkey and even a dinosaur. Scioto Grove also has a drone field, where you can go out and fly (or race!) your drone. If you’ve got horses, you can bring those. Four or five parks have horseback riding at bridal pastures and trails, so if you’ve got horses, you can bring them. There are also an abundance of locations for great fishing, kayaking and canoeing (you just have to supply your own equipment). We have three or four nature centers, if you’re interested in learning about Ohio history or geology. If you’re not mobile, all the nature centers have these wonderful windows where you can see the birds or ground animals come through. If you run into one of the naturalists and you have a question, they’re available in the nature centers or around the trails. They have a wealth of information. There is a golf course, the Blacklick Woods Golf Course in Reynoldsburg, which you have to pay for; it’s a beautiful place where TRUE Q MAGAZINE

the birds and birdies co-exist. We have three free disc golf courses, at Blendon Woods, Scioto Grove and Glacier Ridge. We have two obstacle courses — at Glacier Ridge and Scioto Audobon — where you can go to get a workout. Every park has a pet trail, and some parks have specific dog parks or dog beaches. You can set up a hammock or have a picnic. Several of our locations, trails, picnic tables and so on are ADA accessible, and we can offer assistance if needed during programs or at events. Speaking of programs and events, what programs or events do the Metro Parks have? We do tons of day-long special events and lots of programs. We offer about 5000 programs a year, for everyone from preschoolers to senior citizens. You can go online and see the full list of our programs and events. Our programs range from naturalists hosting stargazing programs to full-moon dog hikes. One whole division only does programs for seniors, called Metro FIve-O, which is for anyone 50 and older, ranging from those who want to do active hiking to us actually going out to senior centers. Then come September, we host senior day camps. We also have a lot of preschool programs. We aim to teach kids about the importance of nature and wildlife; we host everything from Toddlers in Nature to Preschool Story Time to Wormology. We offer day camps in the summers. In fact, some of the camps are even still enrolling kids for this summer!

It’s not a secret that spring is a popular time for parks everywhere, but what’s special about the Metro Parks during this time of year? April is a really amazing time in our parks. Birdwatching is a really big thing, and April is a great birding month here. A lot of the birds are coming back, especially the warblers. They are either passing through on their way north, or they’re setting up nests. Wildflowers are blooming along the trails. If you’re at Three Creeks, there’s the Bluebell Trail, and those bluebells are just beautiful. They start blooming in late April, early May. Baby lambs will be born in April at Slate Run, the working 1880s farm. You can see those lambs, and also the piglets or some of the thousand pound Persian horses in the barn. Inniswood Metro Gardens is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the state. People go there whether or not they like plants. Area psychiatrists and psychologists recommend people who are stressed out to go and take a walk through the gardens, especially after being cooped up all winter long. What else can the public do to get involved with the Metro Parks? The best opportunity is volunteering. Those opportunities range from helping with programs, to helping pick prairie seeds, to doing some trail walking and seeing if there’s debris on the trails, to helping plant plants at the botanical gardens, to checking bluebird boxes. We have chances for junior volunteers (ages 11 and up), and even an opportunity to volunteer on the living historical farm. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, it’s a great opportunity. You can check out all our volunteering information on our website, where you can also sign up for our email newsletter.

To learn more about what the Metro Parks in central Ohio have to offer, visit

What kinds of animals would we see while walking around the Metro Parks? We’ve got little animals from a tippecanoe darter — a type of very tiny fish — all the way up to a herd of bison we re-introduced about ten years ago at Battelle Darby Creek. Those prairie areas are where the bison lived back in the 1800s. The Metro Parks also have a range of animals we provide a safe haven habitat for. We have several state and federally endangered species; there’s several fish and mussels in the Darby Creek as well as some rare and endangered orchids in Clear Creek. There’s anywhere from 80 to 100 turkeys wandering around Blendon Woods at any given time. We have bat COLUMBUS-FOUNDED, caves and condos, and a bunch of bats live in


trans view


pril is a month to focus on the environment, so I wanted to talk about the emotional environment that often surrounds the transgender community. There are some thoughts that, I feel, need expressed. These thoughts are not profound or even shocking, just observations I’ve made over the past few years that have been bugging me and many other transgender people. First of all, the war on transgender people has taken a weird turn that I am just not understanding. The main argument for many people in the past has been religion. This makes a little bit of sense since the Old Testament says that your body is your temple, no man shall lie with another man, and the destruction of a city filled with people who disobeyed those rules.

Is The World Against The Transgender Community? The trans community came together on March 31st for Transgender Day of Visibility, to show the world there is strength and support in numbers. By Daniel Tirabassi

10 | APRIL 2019

However, Christians, in particular, have a very important teaching that comes in the New Testament. It’s kind of the Christian mantra: Love thy neighbor and do unto others as you would have done unto you. This literally means that you are to treat everyone — no matter their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, creed, gender identity or anything else — in no way different than you would want them to treat you. Basically, don’t kill people like me if you don’t want to be killed. Don’t call me a freak if you don’t want to be called one. Don’t emasculate me if you don’t want to be emasculated. Don’t make me go into a restroom I’m not comfortable in if you don’t want to go into a restroom you’re not comfortable in. And, most importantly, don’t teach your children to hate, bully and tease people like me if you don’t want me teaching my kids to do the same to people like you. Anti-trans thoughts have also shifted towards science. This is odd for many reasons. There are more findings of transgender identities in nature than there are stories about why transgender people are wrong in religious text. This includes many counts of various chromosome arrangements in humans, differences in human brain function when dealing with gender identity and numerous studies on psychological health of transgender people. All of these studies find that various gender identities are valid in the science community. Since science is based in logic, this means that any argument against these findings without adequate support is invalid. Science is much more cut and dry than religion. This war on the trans community has also now travelled to literal war zones. With a judge recently declaring that Trump’s ban on transgender military personnel can move forward, transgender soldiers are at risk of not only losing their jobs, but large parts of their identities. This will put these people at risk for declining self-worth, depression and suicide,


trans view

to name only a few consequences. It is hard to fathom that a country that preaches equality for all is still trying to segregate portions of its population from being in sight. Second, many transgender people are trying to isolate cisgender allies. In my opinion, this action is not a good idea. As the transgender community watches their rights roll backwards, we are attacking people who are trying to give us the voice that we need. We tell them they will never understand our struggles and that they will never be able to help something they will never understand. Instead of isolating people trying to make things better, why not welcome them into your life and try to teach them what our lives are like? This would make our fight a little easier and increase the visibility of the community. The next observation is about the bullying that is happening in the transgender community. For a community to turn on itself is unreal and massively unhelpful. I find it hard to believe that transgender people are actually questioning the validity of other transgender people. Just because someone’s journey or outcome doesn’t look the same as yours, it doesn’t make yours more valid than theirs or vice versa. We need to realize that transgender is a term that encompasses many different types of gender identities. Just because I am a

masculine-leaning transsexual doesn’t make my transition any more important or less important than a gender nonconforming person’s journey. It just makes the journeys and outcomes different. We are both transgender and want the same rights and treatment as everyone else. The end goal of any transgender person is to be comfortable with who they are inside and out. It is not the job of others to judge the journey that gets us there. March 31 was the Transgender Day of Visibility. This day is meant to show the world exactly how big the transgender community is and how we all come together. Sadly, there are a greater number of transgender people lost each year to suicide, sometimes because of bullying, feeling unwanted and lack of support from others. With a large number of people becoming more vocal about their dislike for transgender people, the community needs to come together, work out our differences and support each other through whatever journey we need to take. By doing this, the world could stop seeing us as people who just want attention and start seeing us as people who are traveling down a different road to happiness and health. Only by making this shift will the violence subside, the fight become meaningful and our various purposes in life may be fulfilled.

Daniel Tirabassi is a trans man whose goal in life is to make the process of transitioning easier for the next generation.

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Breaking Barriers With The Alzheimer’s Association The Breakthrough Benefit is a night full of inspiring stories, live music and a research update by a leading Alzheimer’s researcher — all in honor and celebration of the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission to expand research, awareness, care and support. By Kaylee Duff

12 | APRIL 2019




id you know that Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death and the most expensive disease in the United States? Did you know that over 50 million people across the globe are living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia? Do you really know what Alzheimer’s is? Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia (which is a blanket term to describe symptoms associated with memory loss and declining thinking skills) that causes issues with memory, thinking and behavior. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of memory loss, and symptoms generally occur slowly over a long period of time. Those symptoms are progressive, and get worse as time goes on — leading to severe symptoms such as intense disorientation; deepening confusion about time and place; unfounded suspiciousness towards caregivers, family and friends; very serious memory loss; and difficulty doing things such as swallowing, speaking or walking. What’s worse? There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia. Like many diseases, people who haven’t yet come in contact with Alzheimer’s are generally unfamiliar with the warning signs and symptoms. This is where the Alzheimer’s Association comes in — spreading awareness, supporting research and providing resources. The official Alzheimer’s Association website reads: “Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.” The Alzheimer’s Association was established in 1980 by founding president, Jerome H. Stone, after his wife was diagnosed with the disease in a time where information about Alzheimer’s was extremely limited. Since its inception, the Association has grown to reach millions of patients, caretakers, family and friends who are affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. They are the leading voluntary organization in Alzheimer’s research, support and care. One way that the Association raises money and awareness for the disease is through fundraising events. On April 18, the Central Ohio chapter is bringing live music, delicious cocktails, inspiring stories, and a research update by leading Alzheimer’s researcher and Alzheimer’s Association Director of Scientific

Programs and Outreach Dr. Keith Fargo to their Breakthrough Benefit at Express Live! The Breakthrough Benefit is honoring and celebrating the fact that it only takes one breakthrough to change a life. It’s a night about sharing, perseverance and hope. Breaking Through: For Dave And Tim Dave and Tim are just one couple who benefit every day from all the resources and support that the Alzheimer’s Association has to offer. The couple met online before online dating was even a thing. Dave was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about three years ago, but the pair had been noticing symptoms for as many as five years. Tim, Dave’s caretaker and partner of 24 years, explained how the Alzheimer’s diagnosis has had an impact on their daily lives. “It was a struggle of going through that diagnosis with him. Trying to make sure he still gets out, sees his friends, gets to the gym, does his normal routine.” “He had to stop driving last March, which was probably one of the hardest things for him and me as well. It took away a lot of his freedom,” Tim continued. Around that time, Tim and Dave started reaching out for resources — and came into contact with the Alzheimer’s Association. Dave eventually agreed to attend one of the Association’s patient support groups, because he “felt it might help him to be around other people who are in the same situation he’s in.” Tim and Dave also use the Alzheimer’s Association’s knowledge on options for other crucial things, such as transportation. “They have just so many resources they can help you with. They also have programs there that you can get the Alzheimer’s patient involved with, so they’re around other people, which keeps them engaged and keeps their mind going,” said Tim. “And not just from the patient standpoint, but also the caregiver standpoint. Being around other people that are in the same situation, realizing you’re not the only person going through this, realizing everyone has the same concerns has been powerful.” To support families like Dave and Tim, register to attend the Breakthrough Benefit at

Know the warning signs. Visit the Alzheimer’s Association at to learn more.


APRIL 2019 | 13


Sustainability Efforts Across The State Local governments in Ohio are taking action to further sustainability, conservation and climate change resilience. Here are some of the communities and organizations leading the way. By J.M. Rayburn


limate change is coming. Greenhouse gases (GHG) are changing the chemistry and composition of our atmosphere. Plastics and garbage alike are present in our oceans, lakes and watersheds. Our cities are sprawling further into natural habitats and farmlands. It is simply not enough to be sustainable. We have to further the conversation and consider bolder investments in resiliency and conservation. Fortunately, we have local governments in Ohio who are taking action on this front. Here are some of the communities and organizations leading the way:

COLUMBUS Under the leadership of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, the City of Columbus established the Sustainable Columbus initiative and renewed the City’s commitment to the Global Covenant of Mayors. The Covenant is an international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change A rain garden as part of the and move to a low emission, Blueprint Columbus program. resilient society. The City also participated in the OSU Columbus Climate Change Action Plan, which is an adaptation plan for climate change. The big announcement in 2018 was Bloomberg Philanthropies awarding Columbus as a winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. It marks an

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unprecedented opportunity for Columbus to join the ranks of other ambitious cities to significantly deepen and accelerate their efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for their residents. You may recall reading about it in the December 2018 issue of True Q. Other notable initiatives by the City include Blueprint Columbus to eliminate sanitary sewer overflow and GreenSpot to educate and engage residents, businesses and community groups of topics of sustainability.

and objectives of the Regional Sustainability Agenda. In Fall of 2018, the Cities of Dublin, Gahanna and Upper Arlington; the Village of Lockbourne; and Genoa Township became the first class of local governments certified as Sustainable2050 Communities. Since the start of 2019, the Cities of Grove City and Whitehall; the Metro Parks system; and Blendon Township joined the list of certified Sustainable2050 communities.

DUBLIN It’s exciting to talk about the work Dublin is doing in the areas of sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental stewardship as a city planner for the city. At the end of 2018, the Dublin City Council accepted the Dublin Sustainability Framework and authorized staff to create an external green team that includes residents, businesses and community partners. Another notable 2018 milestone was the city’s certification by MORPC as a platinum-level Sustainable2050 community — the highest possible designation. With respect to transportation and mobility, the city of Dublin continues to be a leader in greening its municipal fleet to run on cleaner burning fuels as well as increase the number of electric vehicles. The Dublin Mobility Study is guiding the city to provide new options to get around town by means of complete streets, a bike share, local circulators (like the Downtown Columbus CBUS) and more.

We can’t talk about transportation without talking about land use and buildings; the two go hand-in-hand. To encourage private investment in energy efficiency projects, the city has partnered with the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority to provide special financing for building energy efficiency projects (HVAC, boilers, roofing, light fixtures, etc.) through tax assessment. These projects lower the operating costs of aging office buildings. The city offers incentives to building owners through covering THE MID-OHIO REGIONAL the costs of building energy efficiency audits in PLANNING COMMISSION (MORPC) partnership with PlugSmart. The first round of MORPC is a voluntary association of Central P.A.C.E. projects have resulted in $2.4 million Ohio governments and community partners dollars of private investment in over 300,000 across a 15-county region. In square feet in office space. The most visible 2017, MORPC released the example of Dublin’s transformation is the Members of MORPC. 2017-2020 Regional Bridge Street District. What makes the Sustainability Agenda as Bridge Street District unique is the the guiding document zoning. Rather than conventional for the organization’s zoning, which looks at different sustainabilitytypes of land uses (residential, focused commercial, industrial) and their programming density, the Bridge Street District and committees. is form-based zoning. The focus The agenda of form-based zoning codes is on also provides the physical form of buildings and a framework streets rather than a separation of for member local uses. This tends to favor true mixedgovernments and use developments with an urban feel. regional partners to work toward common goals. CINCINNATI Shortly after MORPC released The Green Cincinnati Plan has helped the Regional Sustainability Agenda, it establish Cincinnati as a national leader in launched the Sustainable2050 certification sustainability and an attractive destination program to benchmark participating Central for businesses and individuals. Updated in Ohio communities in their sustainability 2018, the Green Cincinnati Plan presents efforts and track their progress in achieving a comprehensive set of recommendations their sustainability goals and objectives. to advance the sustainability, equity, and Sustainable2050 is directly tied to the goals TRUE Q MAGAZINE

development resilience of the Queen City. The Plan will help map Cincinnati’s path to 100% renewable energy, starting with a proposal to build the largest city-owned solar array in the country. The development of the plan was guided by a steering committee comprised of government, corporate, academic, non-profit, faith, and community organizations appointed by the Mayor. The 2018 Green Cincinnati Plan was adopted by City Council in May of last year.

of RFID technology in recycling carts, the City has been able to use recycling analytics data to target outreach efforts and improve participation, reduce our environmental footprint and save money.


Ten years ago, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced a 10-year initiative to engage all citizens to work together to design and develop a thriving and resilient region. Cincinnati also joins Columbus This initiative would culminate in 2019, exactly as one of the cities 50 years after the infamous 1969 Cuyahoga selected by Bloomberg River fire. Each year since 2009, Cleveland Philanthropies for focused on one key area fundamental to a the American Cities sustainable city. The Sustainable Cleveland Climate Challenge. Celebration Years were designed to City leadership be accessible to all members of the committed to power community — households, neighborhoods, the municipal energy businesses and institutions could all load with 100 percent participate, either in collaboration or Cincinnati is a leader in renewable energy and sustainability. independently. outlined advance energy efficiency programs for Despite the positive momentum, work the commercial and residential remains to scale up progress and to ensure buildings sectors. those most in need enjoy the benefits of sustainability and climate action. Laying out When thinking about the intersection this path forward began last year, when the of sustainability and resilience with smart Mayor’s Office of Sustainability worked with cities, Cincinnati is without question a leader. more than 400 stakeholders to update the CincyInsights is the City of Cincinnati’s official Cleveland Climate Action Plan. This plan builds visual open data portal. This online tool off the previous work by firmly establishing of MORPC. makes Members government data simple to use, easy to a series of cross-cutting priorities: social and understand and effortless to access. There is racial equity, good green jobs, resilience to data for greenhouse gas emission and recycling the impacts of climate change and business participations rates. With the introduction leadership.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY Montgomery County (Dayton) is a leader in green-certified businesses. The success of the green business program can be credited to the “Bring Your Green 2.0 Challenge,” which is a friendly year-long competition open to businesses and organizations of all sizes to reduce costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and resources used. Last year, 200 buildings signed up for the challenge resulting in $639,644 saved in energy costs and 1,712 tons of waste diverted from local landfills. The competition prevented over 6,875 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere and saved over 6.8 million kWh in electricity. That is the equivalent to taking 935 homes off the grid and 1,336 cars off the road.

J.M. Rayburn is an urban planner with the City of Dublin, Realtor with Coldwell Banker King Thompson and neighborhood commissioner for the 5th by Northwest neighborhood of Columbus. Opinions are his own and not the views of his employers.




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Celebrating Earth Day With These Ten Tips The best way to honor our planet all year round is to do your part when it comes to protecting the environment. By Kaylee Duff


ot everyone has the luxury or privilege to be able to live the greenest life, but here are ten simple tips that can help us reduce our carbon footprint and look forward to a greener tomorrow: 1. Reduce, reuse and recycle Is it any surprise that this is first on the list? It really shouldn’t be! The three R’s you learned about in elementary school are still the easiest, most effective ways to doing your part for the environment. Humans create a LOT of trash every single day. What can you do to REDUCE the amount of items you put in a landfill? My suggestion is to stop buying buying things you don’t need. Limit your spending and your waste by only purchasing products you know you need. Do what you can to REUSE anything possible. Plastic food containers make excellent storage for future leftovers! The Internet is full of fun DIY projects all about using items you already have in your home. And don’t forget to RECYCLE anything you can! It’s surprising how many people don’t recycle. Maybe you can’t pay 16 | APRIL 2019

3. Help prevent pollution First of all, stop littering. Just stop. Stop leaving trash on the ground. Stop throwing trash out of your car. Make sure your waste is properly disposed of at all times. Volunteer to go pick up debris in a park or along a highway. Recycle everything possible. Second, skip the hazardous materials, like toxic cleaners or beauty products with microplastics in them. This cuts down on the amount of toxic chemicals polluting the globe. Third, limit the amount of driving you do. The COTA buses are a great, affordable transportation option in central Ohio. Not into buses or trains? Carpool with friends or coworkers! Every little bit helps. Fourth, buy local produce or even grow your own. Not only is this a cleaner way to eat and a good way to teach the value of food, but it reduces the energy used to ship food across the country. 4. Reduce food waste This is an important tip, but not always the first one people think of. Americans waste food at an alarming rate, but there are several easy ways to be more conscious of that. Only buy what you need. Ordering food in bulk, if you’re not feeding large groups, is an easy way to let a lot of food go bad in the pantry or fridge. Only order the amount of food at a restaurant that you’ll eat, and always take home your leftovers. Support restaurants that donate extra food to places like shelters instead of throwing it away, and advocate for more restaurants to do exactly that. Extra leftovers can be shared with a neighbor in need or traded with neighbors or coworkers. Make lists of the food you have to stop buying extra and to make sure it all gets eaten. Offer to neighbors and friends extra produce or items that you know you won’t use before the food goes bad. Meal-planning is also a great way to limit food waste! Knowing exactly what you’re eating that week and buying only that food ensures that everything is used. Composting is another great option. If you’ve got a garden or a yard, this is a great way to enrich your ecosystem as well. You can learn more about reducing food waste at

for a company to come pick it up at your house. That’s okay! Many public places or plants have recycling drop-off areas. Once every couple weeks, I take all my recycling to a local fire station. It’s free (just pay the couple minutes worth of transportation) and easy! But be sure to only recycle what is actually recyclable. 2. Make the switch Greener products and appliances may be more expensive at the beginning, but end up saving money in the long-term and are better for the environment. See what you can do about buying more energy-efficient items like lightbulbs or greener household cleaning products. In the market for a larger appliance, like a fridge or a car? Check and see what green options are out there for you. Another switch you can make is to support large companies and corporations who are dedicated to saving the planet. Do your research and find out what works best for you, your lifestyle, your price range and the environment when it comes to buying anything from small, everyday items to large, one-time purchases. TRUE Q MAGAZINE


5. Conserve energy This one’s easy — turn off lights, electronics and appliances when you’re not using them. Don’t leave things plugged in. Not only will this cut down your utility bills, but it also reduces pollution. If you’re able to, look into green energy options for large, one-time purchases like fridges or cars, and try to buy energy-saving items like light bulbs. Make sure things like your air conditioning unit are running smoothly; broken machines take more energy to run. Also, make sure your house or apartment is properly insulated. Turn your AC and heat off as much as possible! Open the windows if it’s nice out — not only will that save money, but the fresh air and nice breeze are great for the home environment. 6. Practice greener landscaping If you’re someone with a nice lawn or yard who likes to garden, this tip is for you. It’s important to extend environmental awareness to all parts of the home! Keep your grass and yard healthy, and try to limit the amount you use a hose when cleaning, if possible (saves water and elongates life of plants). Absolutely never use toxic fertilizers or pesticides; instead, plant native species that are naturally resistant to pets. If you must use them, go for the greener, cleaner options — and don’t use too much. Pull your weeds by hand, whenever possible. Also, try to implement “rain gardens” into your yard.


This reduces storm runoff and stops the spread of pollution during heavy rainfall or storms. 7. Conserve water Obviously, don’t just let your water run for no reason. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with clean, drinkable tap water, don’t take it for granted. Take shorter, colder showers and don’t let it run while doing things like shaving or brushing your teeth. Save water when washing dishes or laundry — only do full loads, and use the proper settings on your appliance. Have a leaky faucet? Get it looked at! Trust me, having a faucet that leaks 24/7 is annoying, expensive and wastes a massive amount of water. 8. Advocate for greener living Join a local volunteer group dedicated to cleaning up your hometown. Supporting your local community is an easy, effective and wonderful way to support a cleaner environment. Shop local. Go to a farmer’s market. A quick Google search can instantly tell you how to get involved on a grassroots level. You can also go out and advocate to get new forms of alternative energy in your area. Think solar panels, windmills, etc.

know that children are, end stop, the future of the planet. If you have kids, or if your siblings have kids, or if you babysit, or if you’re a teacher, share your knowledge about the Earth with them. Let them know all the things they can do, and set a great example when it comes to reducing, recycling and reusing products. Get them involved! There’s all sorts of books, programs and camps available for children interested in the environment. If you instill good habits in them now, it will help tenfold with future generations. 10. VOTE Always. If you’re a registered voter, make sure you vote in every election — especially on the local level. Change begins at home, but only so much can happen until those ideals are backed by someone in public office making changes on a larger level. So do your research, and vote for the candidates who believe in science, climate change and will advocate for regulations that will benefit the environment. A vote from a concerned citizen is the number one way to make your voice heard. And if there was ever a topic to share your thoughts on, it’s this! After all, there’s no Planet B.

9. Teach kids about the environment This extends to everyone around you — educate your family, friends, neighbors, strangers, that person you met at the grocery store. But we all

APRIL 2019 | 17

drag talk

Marie Antoinette photoshoot; photo by Laura Dark Photography.

Warrior photoshoot; photo by Laura Dark Photography.

Remembering The Glamazons

The Glamazons were one of Columbus’ most-loved drag tribes until the closure of Wall Street Nightclub. By Jeff Skinner a.k.a. Jennifer Lynn Ali Jennifer Lynn competing in Project Glamazon in 2014.


wo things that I love most about drag are the history of drag and drag families. Drag families are groups of other performers that “adopt” you when you’re starting your drag career. Most queens have a drag family, and most regions have at least one family. In Columbus, you’ve got the “West” family, and in Dayton, there is the “Sexton” family. One family/tribe that I’ve followed since the beginning of my interest in drag is The Glamazons. The Glamazons are a tribe of drag entertainers based in Columbus, and they are all about high fashion, gender-bending and drinking. They started in 2003, with Helena Troy, Sasha Sashay, Darienne Lake, Pandora Boxx, Bridget O’Hare, Cooki Krisp and Morgan LeFaye. The first time I was introduced to The Glamazons was in 2012, at the first Project Glamazons held at Wall Street Nightclub. While I was watching the competition, I remember thinking that being a Glamazon was something that I really wanted to be! I saw Nikki Stone get crowned, and I thought to myself, I have to compete for this next year.

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drag talk

So, I went for it. The following year, I competed against Mary Nolan and Cherry Poppins. I love when Mary talks about us competing against each other. She always tells a story about my mother mean-mugging her after she won. Once Mary won, they went on to do more production shows like “Battle Drag 2: Diamond Strikes Back” and dance parties like “Werq.” After a jam-packed year, they went on to do another Project Glamazons competition. That year, they welcomed Mr. Pottymouth into the tribe, who is my personal favorite Glamazon! Pottymouth is this unique genderbending entertainer. I talked to him and I asked what it was like when he won and his favorite moment from that night. He jokingly said “Winning!” Then went onto say, “Honestly, it was the excitement of feeling like there was a venue or group that supported or was into the weird stuff I do. It fueled my fire. I was so new to drag and performing. I think the night I won was the third time I’d ever performed on a stage.”

Not only were The Glamazons known for their fantastic dance parties and their amazing production shows, but they were also known for their incredible photoshoots with Laura Dark! They did photos in Laura’s studio and also did some great outdoor shots. I used to get so excited every time Helena would post a new picture. Even to this day, when she posts throwback pictures, I still get excited! With the closure of Wall Street Nightclub, I haven’t seen much activity with the Tribe. However, you can catch Helena Troy, Mary Nolan, Cherry Poppins, Ashley O’Shae and the rest of the entertainers performing at different venues in Columbus. Well, except for Pottymouth; he ditched us for Chicago! I hope The Glamazons continue to do photoshoots and shows. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what they do next!


A new podcast all about the world of drag.

@QueenJLynnxo TheQueenJLynn /QueenJLynnxo



You Are Ohio’s #OneTrueVoice Here’s some featured snapshots from the state’s favorite LGBTQ+ events and hangouts!

Welcome screen at the LGBT Aging Summit.

Miami Valley LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit February 11-12 Photos by Jeff Skinner

Keynote presentation by Stu Maddoxand Joe Applebaum.

Have any photos from recent LGBTQ+ events or hot venues? Send them to editor@ onetruevoiceonline!

Welcome speech by Summit organizer Jerry Mallicoat.

Hosted by presenting sponsors Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton and United Church Homes at the Sinclair Conference Center, this inaugural two-day event highlighted the journey for equality and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults and offers opportunities to learn how to help ensure affirmed abundant aging for this underserved population. Presentations included a film screening of Gen Silent with filmmaker Stu Maddox, an address by Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey of AARP, breakout sessions covering healthcare and social justice issues for LGBTQ+ older adults, and performances by The Rubi Girls and the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus.

March Networking Night at White Horse Vapor.

Community members networking with the Diversity Chamber of Central Ohio.

March Networking Night with the Diversity Chamber of Central Ohio March 13 Photos by Mike Miller The Diversity Chamber of Central Ohio hosts a networking night on the second Wednesday of every month. March’s networking night was held at White Horse Vapor. Networking Nights are a great way for community members to talk with the Chamber’s officers and board members, and network with other equality-minded community members and business owners.

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