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ARIEL CAMPBELL

“There’s a cancer in the mainline churches right now. Liberals with any kind of integrity are forced to be duplicitous in their language. I simply wasn’t going to do it.” To see a video on the LGBT Jewish Inclusion Project’s Rainbow Keshet Awards, visit TucsonWeeklyTV.com.

— Stephen Van Kuiken

Many faith communities in Tucson are making LGBT members a priority

Welcoming

Beacons

BY MARI HERRERAS mherreras@tucsonweekly.com hen Stephen Van Kuiken looks back at his life in Cincinnati, he does so with a mix of sadness and disappointment— but he never uses the word “regret.” For 20 years, Van Kuiken was a Presbyterian minister. In 2003, church officials noticed that he was performing same-sex marriages and ordaining LGBT members in the lay ministry— in direct violation of Presbyterian Church law. Van Kuiken, who now lives in Tucson, says he was told to stop, but he refused, leading to a trial in the church court. Presbyterian leadership essentially fired him, kicking him out of his church and refusing to accept another church he started before moving to Tucson. Van Kuiken says it was a trying experience that left him divorced, exhausted and extremely disappointed in people he thought were committed to LGBT civil rights—but who wound up being more concerned about rocking the boat. “I lost my career and became persona non grata in the church,” Van Kuiken says. “My biggest disappointment is with the liberals who said, ‘Shut up Steve; you’re ruining it for us. Don’t be so open. Just say you’re not doing it anymore.’”

W

Van Kuiken’s experience—which wasn’t unusual, considering 10 other Presbyterian churches and their ministers took heat that same year for similar reasons—hasn’t helped change the perception that faith communities just aren’t a good option when you’re gay. And anti-gaymarriage movements—such as California’s Proposition 8 and Arizona’s Proposition 102, which received big support from many churches—have helped widen the rift between some churches and the LGBT community. Van Kuiken, who is straight, says he understands why those in the LGBT community are wary of churches and religion, but he’s encouraged by the fact that there are about 45 churches in Tucson who say they are welcoming and affirming. And most of those congregations really mean it. In November 2009, Van Kuiken was hired by one of those churches—Rincon Congregational Church, a United Church of Christ-affiliated congregation. Van Kuiken says at Rincon, he can perform same-sex marriages and help ordain LGBT lay ministers without threats or fears of being defrocked. continued on next page

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Beacons continued from Page P3

Rabbi Stephanie Aaron: “When I look out at the congregation, I want to see everyone—people who are gay, families, elders. You have to have a whole community, and I feel that we have that, and that means our community is working.”

ccording to Sylvia Thorson-Smith, there is value in the “more light” model. A member of St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, Thorson-Smith points out that her church has been a longtime Tucson leader in social justice, especially during the Sanctuary Movement. Thorson-Smith was a member of St. Mark’s for 17 years while her husband served there as an associate pastor. They left when he took a position in Iowa, but returned to Tucson and St. Mark’s as members when they retired in 2003. A former gender-studies and women’s-studies professor, Thorson-Smith is in the midst of leading a six-session class at St. Mark’s on LGBT and religious perspectives on gender and sexuality. Topics have ranged from human sexuality in the church to gender issues. The Sunday, Jan. 31, class is on queer theology and will offer an introduction to theological perspectives of nonheterosexual Christians. Thorson-Smith says she is active in the Presbyterian Church national general assembly, and every year, she works with others to change

A

MARI HERRERAS

“I’m looking forward to doing my first samesex marriage here. It’s not only a continued expression of a couples’ love for each other, but also a call to justice, a call to fairness and a call to equality. Faith to me is not an either-or. If that is what faith is, than I don’t need it,” Van Kuiken says. Since Van Kuiken’s exit, some Presbyterian churches have adopted the “more light” designation. More light churches, while they remain Presbyterian-affiliated, also belong to an organization called More Light Presbyterians (www.mlp.org) which works toward the full participation of LGBT people in the Presbyterian Church. Van Kuiken says the “more light” definition is nice, but it isn’t enough. “There’s a cancer in the mainline churches right now. Liberals with any kind of integrity are forced to be duplicitous in their language. I simply wasn’t going to do it,” Van Kuiken says. “I can look at myself in the mirror. To me, it was an issue of integrity and being authentic. … Even in states where same-sex marriage is legal, there are Presbyterian churches that will still not do (same-sex marriages).”

the church constitution to pass gay ordination. “The last time, we had a much closer vote. I’m very much hoping it will come up again at the assembly meeting in Minneapolis in July. Every time, we get closer and closer. It’s going to happen,” Thorson-Smith says. “(LGBT rights) is a social movement whose time has come. It’s just a matter of time. … It’s about injustice and human rights.” Thorson-Smith says St. Mark’s congregants made the decision three years ago to become a “more light” church, even though the congregation was already welcoming and inclusive before the designation. “We understand there is a profound mistrust, anger and alienation against Christianity and religion in general for the way (LGBT people) have been treated. I don’t blame them, but for

those who want to be part of a faith community, we hope to be a beacon,” she says.

or Ari, a member of Congregation Chaverim, a reform synagogue, his faith community was an important part of beginning an entirely new life. Ari, who asked that his last name not be used, sought counseling from Rabbi Stephanie Aaron at Chaverim when he began to go through a transition from female to male three years ago. Ari says he was raised as a Jew in Tucson, but he was surprised at how fully accepting and welcoming his congregation and rabbi were during his transition. “Spirituality shouldn’t be based on race or gender or gender diversity or sexuality. We should

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be able to go there and just be ourselves,” Ari says. “The whole congregation did everything they could to make me feel welcome.” Ari also helped the congregation make changes to ensure the synagogue was completely inclusive. For example, he asked the congregation’s board how the synagogue defines “family” in its bylaws; he discovered that the members didn’t know. They discovered that the bylaws, written in the 1980s, defined family as a mother and father; with Ari’s help, that was changed to two adults. The congregation also prepared a diversity brochure to help with outreach. But one of the aspects of Chaverim that’s made him most comfortable is the rabbi. Ari says Aaron was one of the first rabbis in Tucson to perform same-sex marriage ceremo-

For more info contact: Jennifer Hoefle Program Director for LGBTQ Affairs (520) 626-1996 jhoefle@email.arizona.edu


saying. It’s what we’re doing,” Aaron says. That means weddings and baby-naming ceremonies for lesbian and gay families—as well as for transgender congregants like Ari. “It was really powerful to accompany him on his journey. He did share it with the community, so they also shared the journey—through the pain of it and the glory of it—and that culminated with his naming,” Aaron says. “No one thinks anything about (Ari’s naming or his membership in the congregation). I honestly don’t hear people griping. The congregation just recognizes that this is Ari, and thank God he’s been able to be who he’s always felt who he really is,” Aaron says. There are some cities with Jewish synagogues just for LGBT people. Aaron says she’s glad there isn’t one in Tucson, because synagogues need to include everyone. “When I look out at the congregation, I want to see everyone—people who are gay, families, elders. You have to have a whole community, and I feel that we have that, and that means our community is working,” Aaron says.

nies, and during his transition, her counseling helped him realize that changing his gender didn’t change his place in the Jewish community. “We talked about how it would be a good thing to welcome me as a Jewish male,” just as newborns are welcomed into Jewish communities—through a naming ceremony, Ari says. “She gave me my name. It became my legal name, but it had to include a little of my past and also a name that represents me now. We decided that I would not use the name until my transition was over, and once it was done, we coordinated the naming ceremony,” Ari says. “I didn’t want anything in my religious and spiritual life to be harmed in any way. I’ve always been very spiritual, ever since I was a kid. I needed to make sure that didn’t go by the wayside, and I also needed to know what Judaism thought of (the transition).” Ari says he and Aaron studied together and looked at Jewish writings that examined gender and religion. “I think it might be easier in the Jewish community. We are taught not to proselytize, not to judge and to question everything,” Ari explains. “But Rabbi Aaron is an important part of Chaverim, because she vocalizes so much love and emanates so much spirituality. “I also know that being part of this community helps my life be balanced. I know a lot of people who have stepped away from religion because of the unaccepting attitudes, and the majority of them have been Christians. I’ve been lucky that for me, it has been just the opposite.” Aaron says the first same-sex marriage ceremony she performed in Tucson joined two women who felt it was especially important to have a Jewish wedding ceremony—and who wanted her to be part of their important day. The experiences of doing that wedding and working with congregants like Ari have taught her that there’s more to being inclusive than just saying you welcome the LGBT community. “When someone from the LGBT community walks through our doors, it’s not just what we’re

M

ARIEL CAMPBELL

Marc Paley: “I didn’t really feel there was a place that felt welcoming and affirming when I was growing up...”

ost affirming Jewish congregations are usually reform, a more liberal and progressive denomination of Judaism. But Marc Paley, coordinator of the LGBT Jewish Inclusion Project at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, says that attitudes are changing, and he hopes more conservative congregations will begin to be more inclusive. Paley says the project started in Tucson about six years ago to help LGBT Jews identify congregations that are inclusive, and to help congregations learn how to connect with the LGBT community. In October, congregations are asked to do an affirming sermon; after Thanksgiving, the project hosts a potluck Sabbath dinner. There’s also a Hanukkah party and other opportunities for those in the Jewish LGBT community to come together. “It’s a really great opportunity for the LGBT community and Jewish community to become more connected, to find places where they can really worship and know that they are going to find affirming places,” Paley says. Paley is a second-generation Tucsonan who was raised Jewish. He says he was recently invited to teach a Jewish sexual-ethics class at a program for Jewish high school students. “I think it was the first time an LGBT component was part of a discussion in a religiouseducation setting,” he says. Paley says the fact that some congregations now talk about being LGBT-inclusive is also a big change from the synagogue life of his childhood. In the 1980s, homosexuality was never mentioned. He didn’t know if anyone was gay in his synagogue, or if there was a gay rabbi. “I didn’t really feel there was a place that felt welcoming and affirming when I was growing up, and there was absolutely nothing said about the identity of an LGBT person. … It really left a hole in my heart, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to coordinate this project. I saw the potential,” Paley says. Recently, the project held its first awards ceremony to recognize local activists and leaders continued on next page

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Beacons continued from Page P5 who’ve made a difference in the Tucson LGBT community and who exemplify Jewish values of charity and social justice. Paley says Temple Emanu-El approached him with the awards idea and wanted to create an annual awards event. The Rainbow Keshet Awards ceremony, on Saturday, Jan. 23, was held at Temple EmanuEl—a reform congregation off North Country Club Road—with State Rep. Matt Heinz presenting awards to Ivy Schwartz, medical director of Compass Health Behavioral Care; Michael Mandel, director of transitional housing for Primavera Foundation; Scott Blades, executive director of Tucson Interfaith HIV/ AIDS Network (TIHAN); and Jennifer Hoefle, program director for LGBTQ Affairs at the UA.

— Briget Nicholson

ARIEL CAMPBELL

L

Nicholson says being truly intrusive is a process that takes many steps—but it’s definitely an obtainable goal. There are two women in their 90s who are members of Nicholson’s church, and both have embraced inclusiveness. “They give me so much hope that it is possible to live as more of a global family than we have in the past. I am their pastor, and

our community is growing across the board. Straight, gay, married, widowed—we have it all,” Nicholson says. The Multifaith Working Group at Wingspan maintains a list of about 45 welcoming and affirming congregations. Included on the list is Water of Life Metropolitan Community Church,

a Christian church affiliated with Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. The Tucson Weekly contacted Water of Life, but a representative did not return calls before deadline. To see the list of inclusive congregations, visit members.cox.net/rainbowinterfaith. Full disclosure: Mari Herreras is a member of Congregation Chaverim.

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ike Rabbi Aaron, Briget Nicholson— pastor at the First Congregational United Church of Christ—says true diversity is one of the things she loves about her congregation, but diversity was something the church needed to work on when she took the position six years ago. Nicholson says being inclusive in a UCC congregation isn’t necessarily difficult, since UCC ordained its first gay man in 1972. As for her congregation, it probably helped that Nicholson is a lesbian. The church did choose to be open and affirming in the 1980s, but when she joined as its pastor, she and the congregants wrote a new vision statement for the church, declaring that the congregation was always open, in all ways. “So everything we do, we try to hold to that philosophy. It means that there are many pathways, and that everyone is welcome, no matter who they are on the journey,” Nicholson says. When Nicholson first arrived in Tucson, she went to a LGBT-marriage-rights rally, and saw a lot of placards making it clear that many protesters felt “the church was hurting queer folks.” “I understand that we haven’t done a good job on the progressive left in Christianity. I went to the rally and came back and preached the next day that we are not going to let hatred be the only name associated with (our religion), and we’ve been trying to be out there in the community since then,” Nicholson says.

“So everything we do, we try to hold to that (inclusive) philosophy. It means that there are many pathways, and that everyone is welcome, no matter who they are on the journey,”


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Maurice Grossman

So Long,

HAP

BY MARI HERRERAS AND MARGARET REGAN mailbag@tucsonweekly.com “

T

hey named me Hap. I have a tattoo that says ‘Hap’ right here,” Maurice Grossman said, pointing to his left shoulder. “I was the happy guy.” The artist and LGBT activist, who died on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 82, got that tattoo when he served in the U.S. Navy, and the nickname came from the sailors he worked with. Grossman told his life story last year as part of a series on local LGBT seniors that was organized by Penelope Starr when she worked at Wingspan. Lucky for us, his story was preserved on film by another former Wingspan staffer, Luanne Withee. At the Feb. 22, 2009, event, Grossman talked about growing up as a skinny poor kid in Detroit during the Depression. While his home life was stressful, Grossman said he found a lot of love from the neighborhood women who fed him and admired his artwork. “The neighbor women gave me all the things I call love now, because it was so difficult to find,” Grossman said. It was at school where Grossman found his purpose, he said—especially in the art room with the art teacher, whom he kept in touch with throughout his life until she died in California. “Whenever I won anything … I let her know,” he said. Grossman said home life got worse as he got older, so at the age of 15, he took a bus from Detroit to Los Angeles. He had about $200 on him. However, he found a place to live and got a job washing dishes. After a couple of years, he returned home, and his father made him join the Navy. During his story, Grossman talked about his wife, with whom he had three children, and he discussed how he balanced being in the closet and being married with a family. It wasn’t until his wife died in 1979 that he came out of the closet. “That part of me was lying there, sort of waiting. But I had three marvelous kids and a wonderful wife … and a wonderful life. My P8 WWW.TuCsON WEEKLY.COM

To see the video of Maurice Grossman telling his life story, visit www.tucsonweeklytv.com.

COURTESY OF VINCENT WICKS

Maurice Grossman: 1927-2010

daughter once said to me, ‘I’m glad you went sideways, Dad, because otherwise, I wouldn’t be here,’” Grossman said. “When I did come out, all my friends said, ‘We’ve known for years.’” He also noted: “Here I am going on 82 … still enjoying the journey.” Last year, Wingspan honored him with the Godat Award for community leadership. He was also involved with Democratic Party politics. He was a founding member of the Southern Arizona Stonewall Democrats, and was known for registering voters—while donning a rainbow flag around his waist—at many a political event. “I remember always seeing Maurice collecting signatures. He could also make any (political) sign into a hat,” says Wingspan board president Cynthia Garcia. “Then he’d stand out there and get people to register to vote or campaign against (anti-gay-marriage initiatives) Prop 102 and 107. He was amazing.” Paul Durham, the Stonewall Democrats co-chair, says he wonders how everyone in the political world will survive without him. “The rest of us are going to have to work a little harder because he’s not there … It’s going to take a lot of effort from a bunch of people to fill the gap he left behind,” Durham says. “I know that he believed that certainly as a gay man, you really need to be aware, involved, active, vote and engaged, and speak out for yourself, or otherwise, you get trampled on.” Friend Vincent Wicks says he first met Grossman when he became part of a group of friends who ate dinner together every Thursday. They called themselves the Thursday Night Crew. “He’d want us to celebrate life as much as he did. I don’t think I ever saw him not celebrate life,” Wicks says. “He made the best of every moment.” On Grossman’s 75th birthday, Wicks says, friends got together to throw him a huge party, and Wicks’ favorite moment of the evening was singing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to Grossman. Wicks says every Halloween and Day of the Dead, Grossman made his friends festive hats. “He was a role model to me. I wish he were my father. I looked at him and would wish I

was 10 percent of him,” Wicks says. “He really taught me how to love people.” Late last week, news of Maurice Grossman’s unexpected death spread rapidly through Tucson’s arts community. Stunned artists simply could not believe that the effervescent elder with the megawatt smile could be dead. “I’ve seen him three times in the past month,” said John McNulty, a fellow ceramics artist who runs the Museum Shop at the Tucson Museum of Art. “He was in over the weekend getting some of his pieces to take photos of.” He brought them back, and “they’re looking at me right now,” McNulty added. “My stomach hurts. I can’t think about it.” Grossman, who founded the UA’s ceramics program back in 1955, was still making art, still exhibiting and still turning up at every possible art opening, lecture and play to support his fellow artists. Five nights before his death, painter Nancy Tokar Miller saw him at the Lynn Redgrave play Rachel and Juliet; two nights before the play, she saw him at The Drawing Studio for a lecture given by Tucson painter Bailey Doogan. “He was such a presence,” said art collector Dan Leach. “I don’t know if I ever went to an opening, and he wasn’t there. He was such an ebullient spirit. He had a major impact on this community.” Besides loyally supporting his fellow artists, Grossman regularly donated his ceramics works to charitable auctions and showed his works in galleries large and small. The artist had valve-replacement surgery on Jan. 19 and seemed to be recovering, said ceramics artist Marcy Wrenn, a longtime friend. His children, Stephen and Lauren, were with him at the hospital on Jan. 21 when he died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism, a complication of surgery. “He had been through a lot in his life,” Wrenn said. His oldest child, Barbara, died of melanoma at the age of 23 in 1979, the same year his wife, Marilyn, died of a stroke in early middle age. “He always transcended it. He was always seeing the bright side. He spread his optimism around. He was a great artist, a great man and a great dad.”

Grossman enrolled at Wayne State University, intending to become a painter. He was studying watercolor and commercial art, “but I fell in love with clay,” he told the Tucson Weekly in 2007, when he had a retrospective at Dinnerware, timed to coincide with his 80th birthday. “Clay took over my life.” He went on to get his master’s degree in ceramics at Ohio State and studied at New York’s Alfred University in the summers. His earliest pieces were lovely but functional artworks, vases and pots made on the traditional potter’s wheel. However, a Fulbright year in Japan in 1954 radically transformed his work and his life. He became a Buddhist and moved away from functional forms to pure sculptures that happened to be made of clay, and gave up the wheel for slab assembly. His new spirituality informed his works. Even so, he didn’t embrace a new orthodoxy. He often mixed his techniques, making creative hybrid pieces that veered from slab to mold to wheel. Painterly and architectural, they draw from the international traditions of the many countries he visited: India, Bali, Greece and Mexico. Dinnerware’s David Aguirre, who curated the 2007 retrospective, said then that Grossman’s innovations helped change the medium. Grossman also changed the Tucson art scene. For some 35 years, he taught at the UA, initiating thousands of students into the clay arts and winning a Creative Teaching Award and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. In the 1960s, he helped found the Tucson Craft Guild with such eminent artists as Rose and Erni Cabat. Located in the Tucson Art Center, an organization that evolved into the Tucson Museum of Art, the guild was an early and influential advocate for the crafts as fine art. Grossman and others were recently planning a retrospective of the guild members’ early works. That show will likely be reorganized as an homage to Grossman, McNulty said. “He lived an amazing life.” Wicks says friends are currently working with his family on organizing a memorial, but no date has been set. Part of the challenge, he says, could be finding a big enough space.


Absolutely

Faygeleh aygeleh, a Yiddish word, literally translates to “little bird.” Since the period immediately before World War II, however, it’s mostly been used as a slang term for a gay person. But what does a word like that really mean? And how can we get people to look past it—and every other label, title and superficial aspect of a person that other people seem to use for judgment? This month, some self-dubbed faygelehs of Tucson are posing that question to the whole city with the Fabulous Faygeleh LGBT Film Festival, a series of screenings—with discussions—of movies exploring what it means to identify as gay, Jewish, black and/ or any other kind of minority. This is the festival’s second year as an event in itself, distinct from (but also part of) the larger Tucson International Jewish Film Festival, which has always included at least one LGBT-themed film. Bob Polinsky, the co-chair of the Jewish Film Festival—along with his fellow co-chair and partner, Bob Nichol—came up with the idea when they were trying to pick one LGBT film to screen, and just couldn’t, because there were so many fine films coming out of Israel. A whole series of LGBT films, they decided, was necessary. This year’s Fabulous Faygeleh festival will include more films than last year. It will also be the first year that the films will be screened at anywhere other than the Tucson Jewish Community Center—as part of an effort to reach a wider audience. “We’re striving to make this a film festival that’s for everybody,” declared Polinsky. “The films deal with universal themes, so we’re encouraging non-gay as well as non-Jewish people to come.” Polinsky says it’s all part of the principle of “public Judaism,” or moving the core principles of Judaism into public places. The folks behind the festival want the whole community to “recognize the importance of the issues the films present and how they’re part of Jewish ethics—accepting and loving people for who they are, as opposed to a perception of who they are based on a title or quality.” And just what are the films? Polinsky’s favorite for this year is Eyes Wide Open, an Israeli film that follows two Orthodox Jewish men—a married father of four and a homeless student— who fall in love. It deals with the issues of faith, love and recognition of one’s own sexuality in an orthodox setting. Another film Polinsky loves is Off and Running, a coming-ofage story about a young black woman adopted by white Jewish lesbians—who are trying to understand her African-American roots and learn who she is. “These films are about the struggles people go through with discovery and nonacceptance, when all they really want to do is have families and be happy and be considered normal,” says Polinsky. “And I think when people see it up on the big screen, people can relate to it. Film is a very powerful medium to make that happen, and that’s what we’re hoping for.” Brooke Sebold, a New York City documentary and narrative filmmaker, will moderate discussions throughout the festival. Eyes Wide Open will be screened at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 30. On Sunday, Jan. 31, the festival will feature Sidney Turtlebaum and He’s My Girl at 1 p.m., Off and Running at 4 p.m., and, finally, And Thou Shalt Love and Yossi and Jagger at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for general admission, and $7 for Tucson Jewish Community Center members, students and seniors. All Fabulous Faygeleh LGBT Film Festival showings are at the Crossroads 6 Grand Cinemas, 4811 E. Grant Road. Tickets may be purchased at tucsonjewishfilmfestival.org, at the Jewish Community Center welcome desk, or by calling 615-5432. Anna Mirocha mailbag@tucsonweekly.com

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PRIDE! APRIL 8th

At Rincon UCC, you can be yourself. Honest.

At Rincon, a progressive church, we seek to be living examples of God’s abundant love. We openly welcome our LGBTQQ community to be a vital part of our community as we all seek justice in the world! Sunday Service 10:30am www.rinconucc.org 520-745-6237

520-745-6237 122 N. Craycroft Rd. Tucson, AZ 85711 (on Craycroft just north of Broadway) JANUARY 28 - FEBRUARY 3, 2010 TuCsON WEEKLY P9


TQ&A

LGBT BULLETIN BOARD

Evan Deaubl

Pride Guidelines. Send information for our quarterly Pride supplement to Listings Editor, Tucson Weekly, P.O. Box 27087, Tucson, AZ 85726, e-mail our account at listings@tucsonweekly.com or submit a listing online at tucsonweekly.com. Please include a short description of your event; the date, time and address where it is taking place; information about fees; and a phone number where we can reach you for more information. Please type PRIDE in the subject line. The deadline for the Thursday, April 8, Pride edition is Thursday, March 25. Event information is accurate as of press time. The Weekly recommends calling event organizers to check for last-minute changes in location, time, price, etc.

When Evan Deaubl isn’t geeking out as a computersoftware developer, he performs with local comedy troupe Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed and travels as much as possible. He’s also a regular in a local LGBT bowling league, and Deaubl’s worlds collided when he developed an iPhone application for bowlers to keep track of their scores—and exactly where they were standing as they happened to make that lucky strike. Deaubl says the app helps bowlers improve their game. For more information on the app, visit www.12strikes.com, and for more info on local LGBT bowling leagues, call 404-3591 for the Desert Coyotes, or visit twitter.com/OZbowling for Welcome to Oz.

BEARS COFFEE NIGHT Raging Sage Coffee Roasters. 2458 N. Campbell Ave. 320-1691. Bears of the Old Pueblo, a group that provides a social organization and activities for gay people looking for a place to belong, meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m., every Wednesday. Everyone is welcome. Free. Call 904-4714; e-mail sonoranbear@gmail.com; or visit botop.com for more information.

Mari Herreras, mherreras@tucsonweekly.com

How did you get the idea to develop an iPhone application? It was basically an experiment toward the beginning of my starting a business on my own. This was kind of a little mini thing I could do rather than starting a full business. But I’m still not quite there yet. Had you done any other app development before? This was my first experience, and although it’s profitable, it’s not really enough to free me from the shackles of employment. But it’s been a great experience and has taught me a lot of lessons. Have you always been into bowling? I’ve been fairly active, but not quite as hardcore as some of the others in the Desert Coyotes league. I’d probably bowl in the other (LGBT leagues), but they are on Thursday nights, which I can’t make right now. But I’m having a lot of fun. So why a bowling app? Since I was involved in bowling, it was one of those ideas that popped in my head, but it wasn’t my first idea. My first idea was going to be a way to interface all the bowling alleys’ computerized bowling systems. First, it was going to be something league operators would use to download scores and run their leagues, using a computer to dramatically reduce P10 WWW.TuCsON WEEKLY.COM

their workload. In reviewing the market for that, I realized it was a lot harder for them to interface with the computerized systems. What does the app do? It’s a little more personal. It’s for tracking your own personal scores, and it goes beyond that, too. It allows you to track other data, like where you were standing on the lane, so you can keep track of where you’re standing and where you’re having the most success, to increase your score. Using the app, my average has gone up a solid 10 to 15 pins, because I’ve been tracking that information. The app is called 12 Strikes. How much attention has it received? It’s been a worldwide thing. I’ve had the vast majority (of attention) in the U.S., obviously, but I’ve had purchasers down in Brazil. I’ve had purchasers in Japan, and some purchasers in Europe. It’s a lot more worldwide than I actually thought it (would be). Anything next? I’m still keeping an eye on how this app can be used and how to make league administration easier. I feel attached to this idea of downloading this information to the scoring systems, but a lot of them tend to be very closed systems. So, I think a lot of my focus will

be to allow bowlers to put on more information about their games and the history of their game … analyzing how they can improve their bowling in their leagues and tournaments. Do you want to do another app? Now that I’ve got the experience, I’d like to see if there is a way to integrate an iPhone component into another business. I’m not sure if I would repeat what I did with 12 Strikes, actually. There’s a particular knack to make an iPhone app that would actually be able to support you full-time. I’m beginning to think that it’s a knack that I don’t quite have. How long have you worked as a software developer? For about 10 years now. Basically, it was almost kind of preordained. I actually started writing my first programs at, I believe, around the age of 10. Once I finally got to college, I finally figured out: I can learn and get a degree in this stuff, and people will pay me to do this. Why bowling? I would say the biggest thing is the social aspect. That’s the reason I got into it, and my bowling is better as a result. I feel like if I was in a league, and everything was really serious, and there was not much banter, I’d get a lot less out of it.

BEARS OF THE OLD PUEBLO MEETING AND POTLUCK Ward 6 City Council Office. 3202 E. First St. 7914601. Bears of the Old Pueblo, a social organization for bigger, bearish, robust gay/bi men and those who love them, holds a business meeting to review and plan activities from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the second Friday of each month. A social time and get-together with a pot luck follows the meeting. Free. Call 904-4714; e-mail sonoranbear@gmail.com; or visit botop.com for more information. BEARTINIS AT THE SHELTER Shelter Cocktail Lounge. 4155 E. Grant Road. 3261345. Bears of the Old Pueblo meet for drinks and socializing from 6:30 to 8 p.m., every Friday. The group usually meets for an affordable dinner afterwards. Free, except for the cost of drinks. Call 904-4714; e-mail sonoranbear@gmail.com; or visit botop.com for more information. CARE AND SUPPORT TRAINING Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. 375 S. Euclid Ave. 628-7223. A quarterly training presented by the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6. The training is designed for individuals who have previously participated in a volunteer orientation at either organization and have a desire to volunteer with people living with HIV/AIDS. Call 628-7223 for more information. CITY OF TUCSON COMMISSION ON GLBT ISSUES Ward I Council Office. 940 W. Alameda St. 791-4040. The Tucson Commission on GLBT Issues, a group that works to foster conditions that promote the welfare of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, meets from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the third Tuesday of each month. Free. Call 791-4204; e-mail cochairs@ tucsonglbtcommission.org; or visit tucsonglbtcommission.org for more information. CLUB EON GENDER-BENDER SHOW Wingspan. 426 E. Seventh St. 624-1779. The Eon Youth Center, a center for LGBT youth between the ages of 13 and 23, holds its “Club Eon Gender-Bender Show” from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, March 5. Free. Call for more information. CONTINUING EDUCATION AT TIHAN TIHAN. 1011 N. Craycroft Road, No. 301. 299-6647. A continuing-education workshop titled “Talking With Youth About HIV” takes place from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4. The workshop is sponsored by TIHAN and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. Free. Call for more information. EDUCATION COMMITTEE TIHAN. 1011 N. Craycroft Road, No. 301. 299-6647. The Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network’s education committee meets from 3:45 to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9. New members are always welcome. Call 299-6647, or e-mail natalie@tihan.org for more information. EVENTS AT EON YOUTH CENTER Wingspan. 426 E. Seventh St. 624-1779. A support group featuring a general discussion for youth who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning, and their allies, takes place from 4 to 5:30 p.m., every Monday. The Youth Advisory Team, a group that offers

direction and feedback on Eon programs while sharing information and discussing community events, meets from 4 to 5:30 p.m., every Tuesday. A peer-to-peer support group for youth currently experiencing unstable housing or those who’ve experienced unstable housing in the past meets from 4 to 5:30 p.m., every Wednesday. Sex Chat, a discussion group for youth to engage in open and frank conversations regarding all aspects of sexuality, sexual behavior, healthy relationships, boundaries and safesex practices, meets from 5 to 6 p.m., every Thursday. A movie night takes place from 5 to 8 p.m., the second Friday of each month. A game night takes place from 5 to 8 p.m., the third Friday of each month. A karaoke night called “Eon Idol” takes place from 5 to 8 p.m., the fourth Friday of each month. Call 620-6245, or e-mail kellasante@wingspan.org for more information. GENERAL WINGSPAN VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION Wingspan. 426 E. Seventh St. 624-1779. Wingspan’s general volunteer orientation takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6. Free. Call 624-1779, ext. 125, or e-mail cjones@wingspan.org for more info. HIV AND WORKPLACE-RELATED ISSUES Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. 375 S. Euclid Ave. 628-7223. The Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation hold a continuing-education workshop titled “HIV and WorkplaceRelated Issues” from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, March 4. Free. Call 628-7223 for more information. MEOW MIX Woody’s. 3710 N. Oracle Road. 292-6702. Meow Mix is a social event for the LGBT community and their allies that also raises money for different Tucson nonprofit organizations. The event takes place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., the first Saturday of the month. $3 suggested donation. Call 321-0050, or e-mail tonazin2004@ yahoo.com for more information. PANEL DISCUSSION ON LGBT IDENTITIES UA Martin Luther King Building. 1322 E. First St. 6213419. A panel of LGBT people hold a discussion about racism and homophobia in the LGBT and black communities from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10. The panel will focus on real experiences including ways that community members are working together to form and strengthen ties that bind people together. Free. Visit deanofstudents.arizona.edu/LGBTQeventscalendar for more information. PFLAG SUPPORT MEETING Ward 6 City Council Office. 3202 E. First St. 7914601. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a group that promotes the health and well being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their friends and families, meets from 7 to 9 p.m., the first Wednesday of each month. Free. Call 360-3795; e-mail pflagtuc@plagtucson.org; or visit www.pflagtucson.org for more information. SAGA GENERAL MEETING Wingspan. 426 E. Seventh St. 624-1779. The Southern Arizona Gender Alliance—a group that envisions a society where transgender and transexual people are ensured their basic rights and can be honest and safe at home, work and in the community—meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the first Monday of each month. The group also helps organize educational, social and political programs for transgender and transexual people and their significant others, friends, families and allies. Free. Call 624-1779; e-mail kevin@sagatucson.org; or visit www.sagatucson.org for more information. SENIOR GAMES AT HIMMEL LIBRARY Himmel Branch, Pima County Public Library. 1035 N. Treat Ave. 791-4397. Senior Pride sponsors an event featuring games for ages 50 and older from noon to 5 p.m., every Monday. Free. Call 594-5305, ext. 3; e-mail cjones@wingspan.org; or visit www.wingspan.org/content/ res_senior.php for more information. SENIOR PRIDE PLANNING MEETING Himmel Branch, Pima County Public Library. 1035 N. Treat Ave. 791-4397. Senior Pride meets to plan future social and educational activities for LGBT seniors and their allies from 2 to 3:30 p.m., the second Tuesday of each month. Call 624-1779; e-mail cjones@wingspan. org; or visit www.wingspan.org/content/res_senior.php for more information. TIHAN SPEAKERS’ TRAINING TIHAN. 1011 N. Craycroft Road, No. 301. 299-6647. A training for individuals who have participated in a TIHAN volunteer orientation and have a desire to develop their public-speaking skills to educate others about HIV and the services TIHAN offers takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 27. $17; scholarships are available. Call 299-6647, or e-mail natalie@tihan. org for more information. TUCSON GLBT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BREAKFAST MEETINGS Inn Suites Hotel Tucson City Center. 475 N. Granada Ave. 623-2000. The Tucson GLBT Chamber of


Commerce holds a breakfast meeting from 7:30 to 9 a.m., the third Thursday of each month, except December. Prices with RSVP: $15 members; and $20 guests. Walk-ins are $20 members; and $25 guests. E-mail info@tucsonglbtchamber.org for more info.

THEATER BEOWULF ALLEY THEATRE Beowulf Alley Theatre Company. 11 S. Sixth Ave. 8820555. Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage opens Saturday, Feb. 27, and continues through Sunday, March 14. A preview performance takes place at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26. Regular showtimes are 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; and 1:30 p.m., Sunday. $18 in advance; $20 at the door; and $10 preview. Call or visit www.beowulfalley.org for tickets or more information.

TUESDAY NIGHTS AT TIHAN TIHAN. 1011 N. Craycroft Road. No. 301. 299-6647. A walk-in volunteer opportunity with the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network takes place from 5:30 to 8 p.m., every Tuesday. No training required. Free. Registration is appreciated, but not mandatory. Call for more information. WINGSPAN VOLUNTEER TRAINING Wingspan. 426 E. Seventh St. 624-1779. A general volunteer orientation for Wingspan, Southern Arizona’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community center, takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6. Free. Call 624-1779, ext. 125, or e-mail cjones@wingspan.org for more information.

BORDERLANDS THEATER ZUZI’s Theater. 738 N. Fifth Ave. 629-0237. Between Pancho Villa and a Naked Woman opens Friday, Feb. 19, and continues through Sunday, March 7. A preview performance takes place at 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18. Opening night at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 19, features postres and a meet-and-greet with the actors for $20.75 general; and $10.75 students. Regular showtimes are 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20; 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 and 27; and 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6. Matinee performances take place at 2 p.m., Sundays, Feb. 21, 28 and March 7. Regular ticket prices are $18.75 general; $17.75 senior; and $10.75 students. Call 882-8607, or visit www.borderlandstheater.org for more information.

WINGSPAN’S ANTI-VIOLENCE PROGRAMS VOLUNTEER ADVOCATE TRAINING Wingspan. 426 E. Seventh St. 624-1779. Wingspan’s anti-violence programs volunteer advocate training takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 30; and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 31. Free. Call 6241779, ext. 119, or e-mail ksmith@wingspan.org for more information.

DANCE T-SQUARES DANCE CLUB Cornerstone Fellowship Social Hall. 2909 N. Geronimo Ave. 622-4626. T-Squares, a local lesbian and gay square dance club, meets from 6:30 to 9 p.m., every Tuesday. Free. Call 325-6739; e-mail t-squares@ azgaydance.org; or visit www.azgaydance.org for info.

FILM DIAGNOSING DIFFERENCE UA Gallagher Theater. 1303 E. University Blvd. 6260370. Diagnosing Difference, a documentary featuring interviews with scholars, activists, and artists who identify on the trans spectrum about the impact of gender identity disorder on their lives and communities, screens at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 5. Free. Call for more info. FABULOUS FAYGELEH LGBT FILM FESTIVAL Crossroads 6 Grand Cinemas. 4811 E. Grant Road. 327-7067. The Tucson Jewish Community Center’s Fabulous Faygeleh Film Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 30 and 31. Eyes Wide Open screens at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 30. Sidney Turtlebaum and He’s My Girl screen at 1 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 31. Off and Running screens at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 31. And Thou Shalt Love and Yossi and Jagger screen at 7 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 31. Prices per screening: $8 general; and $7 for JCC members. Call 615-5432, or visit www.tucsonjewishfilmfestival.org for more information. HANNAH FREE The Loft Cinema. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. 795-7777. Hannah Free, an acclaimed lesbian romantic drama, screens at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 30. A reception takes place at 6:30 p.m. $10, with all proceeds benefiting Wingspan. Call for more information. THE LOFT CINEMA 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. 795-7777. A screening of The Big Gay Musical with a post-film question-and-answer session with star Joey Dudding takes place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28. $8.75 adults; $5.75 seniors and kids 12 and younger; and $4.75 Loft members. Call or visit www.loftcinema.com for more information.

LITERATURE

A screening of The Big Gay Musical takes place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28, at the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. A question-and-answer session with star Joey Dudding follows the film. $8.75 adults; $5.75 seniors and kids 12 and younger; and $4.75 Loft members. Call 795-7777, or visit www.loftcinema.com for more information.

MUSIC DESERT VOICES REHEARSALS Water of Life MCC. 3269 N. Mountain Ave. 292-9151. Desert Voices, Tucson’s GLBTS chorus, rehearses from 7 to 9 p.m., Mondays. Free. Call 791-9662; e-mail info@ desertvoices.org; or visit www.desertvoices.org for more information. REVEILLE MEN’S CHORUS REHEARSALS Historic YWCA. 300 E. University Blvd. The Reveille Men’s Chorus holds rehearsals from 7 to 10 p.m., every Monday. Dues are $25 a month regular; $12.50 a month for students. Visit www.reveillemenschorus.org for more information. REVEILLE ON BROADWAY Temple of Music and Art. 330 S. Scott Ave. 622-2823. The Reveille Men’s Chorus presents Reveille on Broadway, a revue of Broadway showtunes, at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 1; and 3 p.m., Sunday, May 2. $15 in advance; $20 at the door. Visit www.reveillemenschorus. org for more information. SOUND IN BLOOM PCC Center for the Arts. 2202 W. Anklam Road. 2066986. Desert Voices presents Sound in Bloom at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 17; and 3 p.m., Sunday, April 18. $15 for one; $25 for two. Call 791-9662, or visit www.desertvoices.org for more information.

OUTDOORS IRON HORSE PARK CLEAN UP Iron Horse Park. 75 N. First Ave. Senior Pride gathers to clean up Iron Horse Park from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the first and third Tuesday of each month. Bring gloves and grabbers and wear a hat, sunscreen and closed-toe shoes. Call 624-1779, or e-mail cjones@wingspan.org for more information.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: THEY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN Submissions are currently being accepted for an upcoming book titled They Should Have Known. The book’s creators, Emily Bowen and Erica Mackie, are seeking lighthearted and humorous accounts of early-life experiences associated with coming out LGBT. Call 4291389, or visit theyshouldhaveknown.com for more info.

SPECIAL EVENTS

WRITE NOW Revolutionary Grounds. 606 N. Fourth Ave. 620-1770. Write Now, a small LGBT writing group where members read their writing, listen and comment in a supportive atmosphere, meets to do writing exercises from 6:30 to 8 p.m., the fourth Thursday of each month. Call 3232465, or e-mail evynrubin@yahoo.com for more info.

LOVE BITES Tucson Women’s Club. 6245 E. Bellevue Road. 2963142. Desert Voices presents their fundraising concert Love Bites at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13. $40, which includes hors d’oeuvres, wine and a silent auction. Call 791-9662, or visit www.desertvoices.org for more info.

EON YOUTH CENTER VALENTINE PARTY Wingspan. 426 E. Seventh St. 624-1779. A Valentinethemed party for ages 13 to 23 takes place from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5. Free. Call for more information.

COMING IN HOT UA Poetry Center. 1508 E. Helen St. 626-3765. Jeanmarie Simpson and sound artist Vicki Brown give a dramatic reading of the play Coming in Hot, a production about women who have served in the U.S. military, from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28. By donation. Call 327-2127, or e-mail kore@korepress.org for more information. A performance of the one-woman show Coming in Hot takes place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 10, at UA Gallagher Theater, 1303 E. University Blvd. Free. Call 626-0370 for more information.

MÖDA PROVOCATEÛR UA Student Union Grand Ballroom. 1303 E. University Blvd. An event featuring fashion by local boutiques and artists, hair by a number of local salons, professionally choreographed dance numbers and much more takes place starting at 6 p.m., Sunday, March 7. $50 regular; $30 student. All proceeds benefit the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. Call 628-2850, ext. 250, for tickets. Call 628-7223, or e-mail events@saaf.org for more information. AIDS Foundation. Call 628-2850, ext. 250, for tickets. Call 628-7223, or e-mail events@saaf. org for more information.

THE INVISIBLE THEATRE Invisible Theatre. 1400 N. First Ave. 882-9721. Iron Kisses opens Wednesday, Feb. 17, and continues through Sunday, March 7. A preview performance takes place at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 16. Regular showtimes are 7:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday; 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 3 p.m., Sunday. $22 to $25. Call or visit www.invisibletheatre.com for more info.

SPORTS

BUDDHIST GAY/LESBIAN MEDITATION GROUP Three Jewels. 314 E. Sixth St. 207-9889. A Buddhist group for gays and lesbians meets from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m., every Sunday. By donation. Call or e-mail info@3jewelstucson.com for more information.

ARIZONA GAY RODEO ASSOCIATION’S ROADRUNNER REGIONAL RODEO Rawhide at Wildhorse Pass. 5700 W. North Loop Road. Chandler. (480) 502-5600. The Arizona Gay Rodeo Association’s Roadrunner Regional Rodeo features bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, steer decorating, a wild drag race and numerous other rodeo activities from Friday, Feb. 12, through Sunday, Feb. 14. Vendors, dinners and entertainment will also be featured. Prices vary. RV parking will be available. TIHAN will be staffing volunteer shifts at the event. Call 299-6647, or e-mail katelyn@tihan.org for information about volunteer opportunities. Visit www.agra-phx.com for tickets or info. MAMASITAS Menlo Park. 300 N. Grande Ave. Mamasitas is a group of women that get together to play sports such as soccer, softball and basketball at 10 a.m., the second Sunday of each month; and at 2 p.m., the third Saturday of each month. Free. Call 661-3477, or e-mail mamasitas2009@live.com for more information. RAINBOW RIDERS BICYCLISTS CLUB Rainbow Riders is a group of LGBTA cyclists dedicated to the enjoyment of all types of bicycling. The group seeks to promote the health benefits, environmental benefits and social aspects of cycling. Ride dates vary, but chiefly take place on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit www.yahoogroups.com/group/wingspan_fun2bhealthy for more information. TUCSON ROLLER DERBY Bladeworld. 1065 W. Grant Road. 624-1234. The Tucson Roller Derby Saddletramps take on the Montreal New Skids on the Blocks at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20. $8 in advance; $10 at the door. Tickets are available at all Bookmans locations and online at tucsonrollerderby. com. Call 390-1454 for more information.

WELL-BEING CANCER SUPPORT GROUP FOR LBT WOMEN Arizona Cancer Center at UMC North. 3838 N. Campbell Ave. 694-2873. A cancer support group for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m., every Monday. The group meets in Room 1127. Call 694-0347; e-mail bcasey@umcaz.edu; or visit www.azcc.arizona.edu/patients/support/ support-groups for more information. LGBT FOCUSED MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT GROUP Espresso Art. 942 E. University Blvd. 404-6515. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance holds a mentalhealth peer-support group focused specifically on the LGBT community from 7:30 to 9 p.m., every Wednesday. The meeting is facilitated by members of the LGBT community. Free. Call 508-2087, or e-mail clairegrrll@yahoo.com for more information. LGBT GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP Unitarian Universalist Church. 4831 E. 22nd St. 7481551. Tucson Medical Center Hospice and Valor Hospice Care host a LGBT grief support group from 4:30 to 6 p.m., the first and third Tuesday of each month. Call 269-9573, or e-mail karlabrockie@yahoo. com for more information. UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA LGBTQA SUPPORT GROUP UA Student Union. 1303 E. University Blvd. 621-7755. A LGBTQA support group for University of Arizona students meets from 4 to 5 p.m., every Tuesday, in Room 412. Free. Call 621-3334, or e-mail vandervoort@ health.arizona.edu for more info.

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Pride Issue, Jan. 2010  

From the Tucson Weekly, the Pride issue from January 2010.