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BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—For some of the most fascinating, interesting (and erotic) art make a note to head for Southern Indiana 16th May as the world-renown Kinsey Institute invites the public to attend the opening of its 9th annual Juried Art Show held at the Grunwald Gallery on the IU campus. This exciting contemporary art exhibition provides artists from Indiana and throughout the United States, Canada, and beyond with the opportunity to show artworks that may be too erotic or sexual for display in most other galleries or museums. This year nearly 700 artworks were viewed by the jury which selected approximately 100 pieces for the show on the themes of sex, sexuality, gender issues, reproduction, sexual politics, and the human figure. The pieces represent a wide range of media including photography, painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, fiber pieces and video.

This year’s show opens with a public reception on Friday night, 16th May from 6 to 8. This free event, which always attracts a large and enthusiastic crowd, includes a catered buffet and cash bar. Attendees are encouraged to vote for their favourite artwork, as the artist whose piece gets the most votes will receive the Gallery Visitors’ Choice Award. Cash prizes are also given out for Best in Show and the Curators’ Choice Award. Please Continune On Page 59

Plan To Dine, Indianapolis!

INDIANAPOLIS—Mark your calendars for Dining Out for Life, Indy’s largest dining fundraiser, coming up 24th April. As of presstime for this issue of The Word, 45 restaurants in the Metro Indianapolis area were set to donate 25%, 50% or even 100% of their day’s sales to fight AIDS. And it’s as easy as can be for diners. There are no special menus or codes to mention — simply dine out and you can help fight AIDS. Please Continune On Page Three

Gay Rodeo Exhibit Continues @ Eiteljorg INDIANAPOLIS—There’s still time to explore the role of gay cowboys in a new show, Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo, at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, a show which marks the first time this exhibition, which tells the story of an often ignored part of American Western culture, has been displayed anywhere. The Eiteljorg plans to travel Blake Little’s photos nationally after the exhibit closes 13th July.

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Grab The Fork & Friends To Dine Out For Life 24th April Indianapolis Continued From The Front Page Dining Out for Life, an international event, is actually taking place in 60 cities 24th April and raises money for HIV/AIDS organisations in each. In Indianapolis it benefits The Damien Centre, Indiana’s largest and oldest AIDS service organisation, which is proud to celebrate 20 years of Dining Out for Life. The event directly benefits clients by providing free HIV and STD tests, HIV Care Coordination, and supportive services such as their food pantry, housing, and career development programmes. In 2013 Dining Out for Life raised more than $80,000 for Damien Centre clients, 94% of whom are living in poverty.

So you’re not a restaurant owner, but you’d still like to help make Dining Out for Life a success? No problem because as of presstime the Centre was still seeking a few more individuals who can serve as restaurant ambassadors. Those are the folks who staff each restaurant, remind diners about the event when they arrive and serve as representatives for the Centre during mealtimes. Visit diningoutforlife.com/indianapolis for ongoing updates, ambassador info, participating restaurants and more or like The Damien Centre on Facebook (/thedamiencenter) for updates and info.

Elisa Rogowski, Development Director of the Centre, told The Word, “The Damien Centre’s services are always free to the community, so fundraisers like Dining Out for Life are critically important to making the Centre’s mission a reality. That mission is to assist persons in Central Indiana affected by HIV/AIDS to move forward each day with dignity, and to lead the fight to prevent the spread of HIV.” So which restaurants will be participating in this year’s event? Check out the ad in this issue of The Word or look up all of the restaurants on a growing list online at www.diningoutforlife.com or www.damien.org where there’s also a map of restaurants. This year’s event will feature a wide range including many returning favourites as well as new participants. “As our returning Champion Restaurant, Red Lion Grog House will again donate 100% of their day’s sales to The Damien Centre. New to the event this year, Champion Restaurant Labor District Café, featuring ‘throwback casual comfort food,’ will also be donating 100% of sales,” Rogowski noted. Other returning eateries include Santorini Greek Kitchen, Downtown Olly’s, Metro, Adobo Grill, Punch Burger, Pita Pit Downtown, Forty Five Degrees, Yogulatte and The Greek Islands. New participating restaurants include Beefcake Burgers in Greenwood, Siam Square, a new Pizza King location downtown, Bru Burger, End of the Line Public House and Mama Irma Peruvian. Dining Out for Life International, hosted by Subaru, collectively raises more than $4 million each year to support local HIV/AIDS programming. Support for this event nationally has grown to over 250,000 diners, thanks in large part to the efforts of Dining Out for Life Spokesman Ted Allen, host of Food Network’s primetime competition series Chopped. Allen will be joined by Pam Grier, actress, advocate and author of the memoir Foxy— My Life In Three Acts, as well as Daisy Martinez from the Food Network’s ¡Viva Daisy! The Damien Centre noted that they are proud to have numerous local sponsors for this year’s event, including Gold Sponsors Hoosier Park Racing and Casino and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino; Silver Sponsor Indy Pride; Bronze Sponsors Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza, Just Pop In! and Old National Bank; Media Sponsors include The Word, Printing Partners, WTHR Channel 13, Entercom Indianapolis, Indy’s i94, 104.5 WJJK and NUVO; Spirits Sponsor is Ketel One; and after party sponsor is Talbott Street.

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Word Comment The author of this piece, Chris Conner, was on The Word staff for several years and was an Indianapolis-based event promoter who got his master’s degree at IUPUI. He was born in Mooresville and was a Hoosier until a couple years ago when he moved to get his PhD in Sociology at University of Nevada Las Vegas. He continues to read the paper monthly and offers this set of observations on our previous two editorials about taking ownership and getting involved in the community and its various groups and businesses.

eventually splintered off to pursue its own special interests, and still later became focused on its own internal identity politics. Even today we are often quick to garner support from others for causes such as gay marriage, but little effort is given to return the favour. In the 1970s activist groups such as “the gay liberation front” presented themselves alongside other marginalised groups. Today we have turned away from this idea of a unified front. The result has been divisiveness and internal discrimination. The symbol of the rainbow was chosen by gay leaders in the 1970s for a reason, and it was this: you can hardly have a rainbow with just one colour.

In listening to gay men tell their stories, one of the topics that always seems to come up is discrimination within the gay Ted Fleischaker, Publisher, The Word community based on body type, age, race and other traits. Virtual Community, or Virtually A Community? Last month the editor of this paper, Ted Fleischaker, argued that the gay and lesbian culture was fragmenting due to new technologies allowing us to connect with each other in new ways, and because of a greater acceptance in mainstream society. I agree with his overall argument, but think the argument needs to be explored in a bit more depth. The purpose of this commentary is to encourage what I feel is a much needed dialogue about the role of the internet in the gay community. Like many things in our society the internet is both good and bad — and we need to consider both. Social media may have in fact produced some positive changes for the community. As Ted pointed out last month, social media apps like Grindr have likely sped up the coming out process and prompted others to come out who would have otherwise remained in the closet. Yet we all have stories of nasty encounters with people in the virtual world. Social scientists such as Simon Gottschalk, a professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, point out that technology merely embeds itself within the larger cultural context. How the internet is used, and to what ends, depends largely upon the larger society. He also notes that virtual communications are problematic because we perceive ourselves are more anonymous, causing us to behave in ways we wouldn’t otherwise. So rather than looking at the internet as the direct cause of the decline of community, we should view it as a contributing factor. It is a pattern which has only recently been problematized by the internet and the development of social networking apps like Grindr.

This phenomenon occurs both when we are online and when we are out in a club or meeting folks at pride or elsewhere. The effect of this is the production of a ‘community’ of gay men in which if you do not fit their stereotype of “gayness” you are excluded. In the virtual world exclusion takes place on a whole new level. On Grindr we can selectively filter out people based on race, age, body type and a host of other variables. Online profiles contain statements like: “no fats, no fems, no old dudes, no Hispanics/ Asians/Blacks…”. Not only are these statements hurtful, but they promote the idea that folks who fall into those categories are not “REAL” gay men. Imagine growing up feeling as though you are all alone, going to your first gay club and finding out no one will talk to you because you are a particular category. Grindr and other social apps have some responsibility for this attitude. They have given us the tools to subdivide the community and they care nothing about promoting unity unless they can make a profit. They have shown us that there are other fish in the sea which makes it easy to have disposable relationships, too. Repairing the gay, lesbian, bi and trans community likely requires a cultural shift — one which I see as only possible if our community becomes more politically invested in causes from which it may not benefit. Examples which come immediately to mind include issues of trans rights, women’s issues and other political causes. I am hopeful, however, because of late I have started to see more open discussion about this topic.

In my own research as a PhD student at the University of Nevada, I have argued that the term “community” has always been a loaded one. It is a term often used to nostalgically refer to a time when we were together as a cohesive unit. The reality is communities rarely form for this purpose and if they do, then they rarely can maintain that feeling long-term.

One thing that is apparent to me is an issue Ted discussed: the institution of the gay club is needed now more than ever. Gay club owners and other gay organisations might, I feel, also benefit from learning from history by mobilising themselves to be community awareness centres and serving as sites of political mobilisation for the community.

The formation of gay communities follows a similar pattern to that of ethnic and immigrant communities as a way to fight against a discriminatory parent culture. The history of the gay, lesbian, bi & trans community tells a lot about the problems of forming communities.

This would mean getting serious and doing more than throwing a party or a parade. We need more efforts like the recent marriage equality rallies. As individuals we need to see people as more than just tops or bottoms — more than a means to an end.

The gay community first emerged as a unified political front in the 1970s alongside other groups fighting for equal rights, and then Page 6

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Outside The Box By Dr. Fred Schloemer, LCSW / Louisville (Author’s Note: Input for this article was provided by a dear friend, Steve Hoke, longtime AIDS survivor and HIV prevention specialist, who lectures widely and appears in the documentary Faces of HIV.) Dear Dr. Fred: I’m a 30 year old gay male, HIV+ since my late teens, but no symptoms so far thanks to medications. I’m partnered with an older man who doesn’t have much sex drive, so it’s become an open relationship. I’m self-employed and work at home so I have a lot of leeway in my schedule. Last year I got on Grindr and went a little crazy. Being able to hook up anytime with all kinds of hot guys went to my head. Some days I had 3 or 4 guys, one after the other, and hardly got any work done. But then a bad annual performance review brought an end to all that and now it’s work before play. But there’s still a problem − guys contacting me for bareback sex. I‘ve been with some of them and said, “What if I’m HIV+?” Their response: “I don’t care.” So we went ahead with it but I felt awful afterward. I’m on antiviral meds and my viral load is undetectable, plus I’ve been told the risk of infection is low in my circumstances. But sometimes I wake up in a panic, afraid I’ve infected somebody anyway. I couldn’t live with myself if I did, even though they said they didn’t care. I’ve tried to talk to my partner about this and all he has to say is, “you made your bed, now lie in it.” So I guess I’m just crazy. I can’t say no when someone wants me to bareback them but I worry myself sick when I do. So far nobody has told me they’ve come up HIV+ but I live in constant fear they will. Please … what can I do to feel and act less insane? Sign me, Confused Poz Man Dear Confused Poz Man: What a timely query this is as there has been a rising trend in recent years of gay men having unprotected sex. Researchers have posed several possible explanations. One theory is that many men today care less about infection because effective treatments now exist for managing HIV/AIDS. What they don’t realise is that these treatments also involve taking lots of expensive medications that have lots of negative side effects. In addition, some people find they can’t tolerate the meds at all. So having HIV/AIDS is still no walk in the park. Another theory is based on studies of young gay men who expressed some surprising ideas about HIV/AIDS – specifically, that getting infected eventually is inevitable, so they’d just as soon do it intentionally and get it out of the way. Others expressed being motivated by the possibility of collecting disability benefits once infected. There are even online sites where these young men can get guidance on how to get HIV by attending group sex parties and having unprotected sex with multiple infected partners. Still others expressed feeling that bareback sex is just more exciting for the very reason that it does involve risk. Whatever the reasons, there is a growing population of gay men who are barebacking and expressing little or no concern over the dangers. I’ve worked both with men who like being barebacked and men who enjoy barebacking others. Our work has focused on weighing the moral-ethical-legal issues involved, and these sessions have always been very challenging ones. As a former AIDS educator who trained thousands of parents, teachers and human

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service professionals, I believe no one needs to get HIV and everyone should avoid it. But I also believe in free will, so when someone tells me they don’t care about getting or giving HIV, I have to concede it’s their life. However, I still encourage these parties to share their status with their partners, get tested frequently, and begin prophylactic treatment if they do test positive. Regarding the theory that HIV transmission risk is low with a zero viral load, numerous studies have suggested this. But all of these studies involved heterosexual subjects. No such research involving gay male subjects has reached the same conclusions, and most HIV experts still believe some risk exists. So, Confused Poz Man, to sum things up; because your sex partners are actively seeking barebacking, you could be considered free from moral responsibility if they do get infected. However, you’d be on firmer moral ground if you never had sex with them at all. Because you feel awful afterward, you seem to be creating your own unhappiness by violating your personal values. While this isn’t necessarily crazy or insane, it is selfdefeating and you will almost certainly feel better if you stop it. For help in doing that, I’d strongly suggest that you start therapy and attend a sex addicts’ support group. I’d also recommend that you consult an attorney regarding your legal liabilities. Even though your partners did “ask for it,” what if one of them gets HIV and decides to go after you legally anyway? There have been a number of cases where someone with HIV who had unprotected sex with others was convicted of attempted murder. Meanwhile I admire your desire to behave in safer, more principled ways and wish you the best in your efforts. Fred Schloemer, Ed.D., LCSW is a gay psychotherapist in Louisville. Write him at FredSchloemer@aol.com


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LAWSUITS AND SINE DIE

Before the Indiana General Assembly adjourned, two or three federal lawsuits were filed that could have a dramatic effect on future sessions of the legislature. By the time the legislators adjourned Sine Die on 14th March a total of five lawsuits were waiting in the wings. All in the Southern District U.S. Court. There were sponsor groups for three of the lawsuits: •Lambda Legal had litigants who specifically challenged the denials of marriage licenses to same-gender couples, among other issues; •ACLU-Indiana had four couples and one widow who filed a federal 14th Amendment claim; and

Full disclosure: I am executive director of IEA; those litigants were secured in a specific search for compelling personal stories. Each of the lawsuits named above was filed during the last week of the legislature; Lambda jumped the gun by four days; IEA and ACLU-I waited until the legislature had adjourned. The three cases above were remarkable in another sense: the groups communicated their intentions to one another. Sometimes that’s difficult — groups have competing interests and goals. The other two federal lawsuits filed in March didn’t come with organizational endorsements.

IN YOUR CORNER

•Indiana Equality Action supported the filing of a challenge to Indiana’s public employee retirement system, and beneficiary designations in that fund, based on federal rights allegedly denied. All four couples in the IEA-backed lawsuit are legally-married in another state and each couple claims at least one first responder.

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Plan to attend the special Equality Night at the Fever-Seattle game 11th June. It won’t disappoint. Please Continue On Page 30

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a post-game chat with interested fans. The courtside discussion was especially rewarding for the openly-gay Clarendon who talked about her basketball career and her adaptation to Indianapolis. This year she’ll do the same immediately after the game.

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The five lawsuits put Indiana in a solid position: no other state has seen more marriage equality lawsuits. All but the IEA lawsuit were full challenges to Indiana’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which is over a decade old. And no one can claim it ‘defended’ much of anything, but that’s another story for another day.

The IEA-endorsed lawsuit is a limited challenge: it singles-out the state retirement fund’s denial of same-gender spousal beneficiary designation. In Indiana, all first responders are eligible for a one-time annuity payment of $150,000 if they are killed in the line of duty. That tax-free payment goes to the deceased responder’s spouse — UNLESS that spouse is same-gender. Throughout the recently-completed HJR-3 fight, one thing rang clear: Hoosiers consider themselves fair. And there’s something completely unfair about a death benefit not going to a spouse solely because of marital status. The lawsuits name differing defendants from county clerks to the governor and attorney general. Our attorney general has intervened in every single marriage equality case in America as a “friend of the court” (Amicus Brief). Here’s hoping he spends adequate time on the Indiana cases. Or not. A BIG PRIDE PARTY AT THE FIELDHOUSE Last year the WNBA’s Indiana Fever hosted an Equality Night with Indiana Equality Action. It occurred on the same day Freedom Indiana launched its campaign. The night was full of magical “firsts” in our community. And now it’ll be even bigger . This year IEA is cooperating with Indy Pride to promote “Equality Night” on Wednesday the 11th of June when the Fever play Seattle at 7 p.m. It’s right in the middle of IndyPride Week. Special ticket prices are available at the IEA or Pride websites/Facebook pages.

May / Derby Edition Deadline

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The Word is published the last week of every month at 110 E. Washington St., Suite 1402, Indianapolis, 46204. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy and fairness, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors. Liability is limited to the cost of said ad. Ads not cancelled by published deadlines will be billed at agreed-upon price. Ads may be edited or rejected for content at the discretion of the publisher. All items appearing in The Word, as well as the name, logos and design are copyright 2014 by BBS, A division of High Speed Delivery Fork Ltd. & Ted Fleischaker and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written approval. National Advertising Representative: Rivendell Media, 212/242.6863 Local Phones: Indy: 317/632.8840 * Louisville: 502/454.4877 e-mail: ted@midwestword.com

After the game last year, one of the Fever’s best players, Layshia Clarendon, held

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By Michael Chanak Cincinnati Pundit & Commentator Pride stories! History is never finished, never totally complete! Pride season is rolling up and will be here before you know it. That’s why a surprise piece of information came to the Goose’s attention from the “Rainbow Page” on FB (for www.gaycincinnati.com). I love history, and particularly local gay and lesbian histories. You know how things come about, the forces, the times and who was involved. I suppose that is why I have collected stories, interviews and such over many years. How about you? Some older “queers” whine that pride has become less about political action, education or honouring our past and more about corporate sponsorship, substance and endless entertainment. Honestly, I like it all because in the mix of it there is something wonderful. Since I tend to be a “history whore” I am delighted to say that Michael Wilson, the publicity chairman of Cincinnati Pride (www. cincinnatipride.org), expressed interest in collecting pride histories/ stories. I have shared all of mine with him including others that were sent to me. Yes, Cincinnati Pride leads off in the region with its event on the 31st of May this year and there’s nothing stopping you from submitting your own tales….just saying. So here is that Facebook post which I think stands on its own. After you read it, take the time to remember something about your Pride experience or memories, and if it is in the Cincinnati neck of the woods –just drop a note to the publisher (ted@midwestword.com) and he can forward it along to Mother Goose. If the history isn’t complete, who is there to blame? You and I, unless we take the time to jot it down! The post: “I was born and raised in Cincinnati, and I have read some of the information on your pages. I am concerned about the omission of the convergence of black history and lesbian, gay, bi & trans history in Cincinnati in the 1960s. “There were very visible transvestites in Cincinnati’s black community of Avondale. One, named Camille, would walk down Rockdale Avenue in a different outfit every day. I remember she caused a flurry in the crowd at the Isaac Hayes concert in 1968. People were straining to catch a glimpse of her.

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“Perhaps even more important was the gay rights demonstration I stumbled onto in Fountain Square in about 1963 or ‘62. There were about 40 black men dressed as women. Many of them were extremely fashionable and at that time (I was only about 13) I didn’t know that men could look so much like women. They marched around the fountain and carried signs about gay rights. The event was even on the local news because I remember catching the report when I got home on the bus. Someone else must remember these events. It was a particularly forward-looking thing, since Stonewall didn’t happen until years later. I hope to see more information in the future about this. Signed: Starita Smith, PhD.”

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Indeed, Starita, we also hope to see more information in the future. Keep sharing your stories because they help build our communities. By the way, Starita was reported by the Progressive Media Project as “an award-winning journalist at the Gary Post-Tribune, the Columbus Dispatch and the Austin American-Statesman.”


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Standard Reviewer By Bill Elliott / Word Critic Alan Partridge and Ron Burgundy are fictional media personalities cut from the same dishevelled cloth. Created by comedian and actor Steve Coogan, Alan Partridge appeared on British television in the 1990s in Knowing Me, Knowing You and I’m Alan Partridge. In the first series, Partridge is a self-absorbed television talk show host, while in the second he is a lowly radio DJ who longs to get back into the big time. Ron Burgundy, a character developed by former Saturday Night Live alumnus and A-list Hollywood actor, Will Ferrell, is a television newsman whose burning ambition is to become a prime-time network anchor. The British Partridge and American Burgundy are transatlantic alter egos: self-centred narcissists driven by a need be the centre of attention. In Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and Alan Partridge, Will Ferrell and Steve Coogan resurrect characters who have become cult figures in their respective countries. Both films hark back to an earlier age. Anchorman 2 is set in the permed, moustachioed, and polyester-suited 1970s, while the protagonist in Alan Partridge would be more at home in the same decade than in the present. Burgundy is an overconfident, chauvinistic and self-obsessed peacock; Partridge is insecure, superficial, and socially awkward but self-deluded enough to think he is a media superstar. Both are insensitive buffoons capable of heart-stopping social gaffes. When it was released in 2004, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was one of the most successful comedies of the year. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues opened in December and was so successful that the filmmakers decided to release a longer, uncut, R-rated version of the film. Freed from the constraints of PG language, the uncut version runs amok linguistically. With no nudity and only a little cartoon violence, the super-sized R-rated Anchorman 2 manages to circumnavigate political correctness and civility with a boldness that frequently borders on bad taste. Picking up several years from where the original left off, Anchorman 2 finds Burgundy (Ferrell) and his wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) as successful news co-anchors at a top TV network in New York City. Anticipating promotion to the six o’clock news, Burgundy is summarily fired for being incompetent while his wife is given the coveted prime-time spot. After an unsuccessful spell at San Diego’s Sea World and a botched suicide attempt, Burgundy accepts a job with Global News Network, the world’s “first 24 hour news network.” He reassembles his old news team from the first Anchorman film and prepares for GNN’s official launch. Alan Partridge’s career has progressed little since his days as a DJ at Radio Norwich. Now hosting a show called “Mid-Morning Matters” on North Norfolk Digital radio, Partridge learns that the station has been bought by a multinational media conglomerate and is to be renamed “Shape.” After he gets fellow DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) sacked, his newly unemployed colleague goes on a rampage with a shotgun, taking the station’s staff hostage. As Pat’s only “friend,” Alan is recruited by the police to act as a negotiator during the siege. In both films, the humour is irreverent, sophomorically crude and politically incorrect. Occasionally, the verbal and physical gags miss the target completely but when they hit, there are moments of true hilarity. In Anchorman 2, for example, Burgundy finds his old team’s sports reporter, Champ Kind (David Koechner), running a less-than-successful fried chicken franchise called Whammy! Burgundy holds up a piece of fried chicken to find it is actually a deep fried bat (wings and all). Burgundy’s weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell) stands in front of a blank green weather board during GNN’s launch and asks, “Where’s the map?” Ron points to a monitor on which a weather map is projected onto the matte screen. Wearing green trousers, Brick is convinced that he has lost his legs.

Later, introducing a feature story on crack cocaine, Burgundy and his team smoke some crack on air as their desperate technical crew try to pull the plug on them. In Alan Partridge, the eponymous DJ manages to lock himself out of the radio station during hostage negotiations. Climbing back into the building through an open window, Alan gets his trousers snagged on the window latch, losing not only his trousers but his boxers as well. Locked outside the building once again, he is told to raise his hands by an armed policeman who thinks he might be the gunman. Partridge faces a dilemma: expose himself or find a way to hide his modesty. An expert in poor choices, his solution is side-splittingly funny. Later on, having been taken hostage himself on the radio station’s touring bus, Alan and Pat pass the time hosting a travelling radio show denouncing the station’s new owners. Pat finally learns that it is Alan who got him fired from the station and Alan locks himself in the bus’s toilet. Breaking down the door, Alan appears to have escaped in the most unlikely of places — down the toilet. The ensuing conversation between Pat and Alan has to be seen to be fully appreciated. Both Anchorman 2 and Alan Partridge make some pointed social commentary about the increasingly monopolistic nature of the media world, and how content and presentation have taken a backseat to branding and ratings. But these are side issues. Both films will be remembered for the funny scenes rather than the social criticism. When the comedy works, both films are hilarious. Even at their cringe-worthy worst, they are more entertaining than the usual comedy fare. ________________________ The Indiana University Theatre in Bloomington, Ind., will present three brand new plays during a mini-festival of works by current M.F.A. playwriting candidates, from 28 March through 5 April. Now in its second year, At First Sight will include three fulllength plays: The Art of Bowing by Nathan Davis, Lacy and Ashley Live in a Trailer Now by Kelly Lusk and Trigger Warning by Iris Dauterman. Lacy and Ashley Live in a Trailer Now focuses on a lesbian couple whose long-standing relationship is brought to a breaking point by an old friend who moves into their small abode. Lacy and Ashley have been planning to get out of the trailer they’ve been occupying for several years when their high school friend, Jimmy, returns to their stomping grounds to rekindle their friendship. His presence and baggage add stress to their lives, but provide the doting Kevin with a hopeful future. The four end up devising a new plan that will help everyone get what they want. But the question remains: do we ever really know what we want? IU Professor Dale McFadden directs Lacy and Ashley Live in a Trailer Now. Performing are sophomore Todd Aulwurm (Kevin), junior Joe Cadiff (Jimmy), senior Courtney Lucien (Lacy) and third-year M.F.A. actor Andrea Mellos (Ashley). At First Sight is a unique opportunity for Bloomington theatregoers to see plays of up-and-coming playwrights before they are eventually premiered elsewhere. For more information, go to http://www.indiana.edu/~thtr/productions/2013/firstsight.shtml.

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LEGISLATIVE ROSES AND THORNS Indiana’s 2014 short legislative session contained drama and humour just like most sessions. But for our community there was heightened concern about House Joint Resolution-3 (nee HJR-6), the marriage discrimination amendment. The destructive amendment was on cruise control to passage: huge lopsided affirmative margins were the order of the day in 2011, the last time it was considered. In 2013, the next time it was eligible, legislative leaders opted to postpone any action until the last year of this biennium while the U.S. Supreme Court considered the historic Windsor and Hollingsworth cases. Ultimately the amendment was changed making it ineligible for 2014 ballot placement. On this and other issues, there are multiple “Roses and Thorns” for your consideration: First, the Roses: ** To State Reps. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) and Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City). For different reasons. Clere, because he was the sole legislative Republican to stand with us in 2011. Of course he re-upped in 2014 and he provided valuable advice to the efforts to derail HJR-3. Mahan flipped his 2011 vote, and went to the podium to explain why: he’d been approached by multiple hometown folks telling them the amendment as written was unfair and mean-spirited. Clere and Mahan were joined by 20 other House Republicans in an historic vote. **The entire House Democratic Caucus: ably led by Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) and Linda Lawson (D-Hammond). A solid caucus united front. **Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Ft. Wayne). He conducted a smooth, smart senate hearing in the Rules Committee. When Sen. Jim Delph (R-Carmel) busted caucus protocol by tweeting the Senate’s vote intentions too early, Long slapped him with multiple penalties. Rarely is that kind of caucus discipline demonstrated. And the Thorns go to: ** Speaker Brian Bosma. So many reasons, so little space. **Proponents of HJR-3, notably Kelly Fidorek of the Alliance Defence Fund. Out-ofstate blathering. Ineffective. And my favourite witness every time this issue comes up: the female from Texas who prayed away her gay lifestyle. That never gets old.

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Finances In Focus By Michael Wright / Edward D Jones If you are reading The Word (in print or online) Ted tells me that there’s a good chance you are a “millennial” because his average reader is a male in his 20s. If you’re one of the “millennials” — the generation that began in the early 1980s — you are still in the early stages of your career or maybe just starting out so retirement must seem like a long way off — yet, it’s never too soon to start planning for it. At the same time, though, you may also have shorter-term goals. Can you make progress toward your near-term and long-term objectives at the same time? Yes, you can — but you’ll need to match your short- and long-term goals with the appropriate savings and investment vehicles. For example, one of your most important short-term goals may be purchasing a house or condo, so you’ll need to accumulate a certain amount of money by a certain time — perhaps in three to five years. Therefore, you won’t want to risk your down payment on an investment whose price will fluctuate — and whose value may be down just when you need the money. Consequently, you may want to look for a shorter-term investment whose objective is preservation of principal. Typically, with these types of vehicles, the shorter the term, the lower the interest rate — but since your goal is basically to have a certain amount of money available at a certain time, you might be less interested in what return you’ll get on this particular investment, as opposed to the return you might hope for from other, longer-term vehicles. In fact, while you are saving for your down payment on your home or for other shortterm goals, you also need to be thinking long term — that is, you need to save as much as you can for your eventual retirement. Since you are still in the early stages of your working life, you have an enormous asset going for you: time. By starting to save for retirement now, you have more time to save than you would if you waited another decade or so. Plus, since you have so many years to go until you retire, you can afford to put a reasonable percentage of your investment dollars into growth-oriented instruments, such as stocks or stock-based investments. They may carry more risk, including the risk of losing principal, but they also offer greater reward potential than, say, fixed-income vehicles such as bonds. And holding growth investments for the long term can help you look beyond short-term volatility. You can start a long-term investment programme by investing in your 401(k) or other retirement plan offered by your employer. These plans usually offer a variety of investment options, including several growth-oriented accounts. Plus, any earnings are typically tax-deferred, which means your money could grow faster than if it were placed in an investment on which you paid taxes every year. So try to take full advantage of your employer’s plan — at a minimum, contribute enough to earn a match, if one is offered. Then, every time your salary goes up, boost your contributions. With discipline and perseverance, you can move toward both your distant and imminent goals. And that’s the long and the short of it. Meanwhile, on 22nd April we celebrate Earth Day — a day devoted to education and action on environmental issues. As a citizen of the world, you may have a keen interest in protecting your physical surroundings. And as someone trying to reach long-term financial goals, such as a comfortable retirement, you’re probably also interested in improving your investment environment. So here are just two suggestions: —Respond to environmental factors. Over the past few years, we’ve had a favourable investment climate, marked by low inflation, low interest rates and generally strong corporate profits. And investors who have taken advantage of this positive environment have, for the most part, been rewarded. But things can change, so it’s always a good idea to understand the current investment environment, as it may affect your investment choices. For example, if it seems likely that long-term interest rates are going to rise significantly, you might need to review your long-term bond holdings, as their price would be negatively affected by a rise in rates. —Nurture your investments. One area of environmentalism involves planting seeds or saplings and nurturing them to maturity. You can do the same thing with investments — and a good way to nurture them is to give them time to grow in all investment climates. But how long should you hold these investments? You might heed the advice of Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most famous investors, who says this about his investment company: “Our favourite holding period is forever.” It takes patience to follow the buy-and-hold strategy favored by Mr. Buffett — and it also requires the discipline necessary to keep investing through the inevitable downturns you will encounter. But over the long term, your perseverance may well be rewarded.


Out & About Bill Malcolm / Word Columnist There’s a lot coming up this Spring to keep you busy, so there’s no excuse now to stay inside. —Run/Walk: In Indianapolis, Frontrunners Indy meet Tuesday and Saturdays. Walkers are welcome. The third Tuesday of each month (15th in April) is their Tuesday night outing where they meet for dinner after the run, so lace up your shoes and come along. Info: www.indyfrontrunners.org —Tennis: IndyTennis will begin outdoor play on Saturday 12th April at Riverside or Tarkington Parks. The ladder play will start in May. Info: www.indytennis.com The Columbus Tennis Classic takes place 9th - 11th May at the Lincoln Park Court on the campus of Ohio State University. Register by 20th April to take advantage of their early bird discount. And registration is open for the Bluegrass Tennis Tournament hosted by the Talk Tennis Club in Louisville. The tournament runs from 24th through 26th May at the University of Louisville. Register by 13th April to save and note that registration closes 11th May. A draw party will be held 23rd May at the Nowhere Bar. (www.nowherelouisville.com For more information e-mail info@talktennisclub.com For other clubs and cities, see www.glta.net —Swim: I still do not see much close to home this season, but The Downtown Swim Club in Toronto has a swim meet 5th April. Details at www.dsctoronto.ca For other clubs see www.igla.org and if any of you swimmers out there have info, pass it on for future columns. My e-mail is billmalcolm@gmail.com —Gay Games: They will never get closer as the Gay Games will take place this August (9th - 16th) in Cleveland/Akron, Ohio. Alongside an estimated 10,000 athletes coming to Cleveland and Akron, an impressive list of musicians and other performers will be showcased throughout the week and they are looking for more. Application forms are available at the games’ website below. For hotels, make your reservations at the Cleveland KeyCenter Marriott which is offering a discounted rate for reservations made through the Games website. The Comfort Inn Downtown is also very close to the pool at Cleveland State for the swim competition and thanks to DCAC Swim Club for these tips. Those all-important URLs: Info on lodging: http://www.gg9cle.com/plan-my-visit/lodging/ More info about the Gay Games and to register, www.gg9cle.com

All the major airlines now go to Palm Springs including my favourite, Virgin America, which flies nonstop to San Francisco (and you can connect to Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York. If you are coming out from LA, you can take the train three days a week direct or connect via Fullerton. Tickets at www.amtrak.com During the week, you can take the Metrolink train to Riverside then connect to Palm Desert via Line 220 on the SunLine Bus (www.sunline.org ). The bus is a steal around town (just $1) and one of the lines goes within one half mile of the Palm Springs airport. Stay: Bargain hunters will enjoy the Motel 6 Downtown. It’s handy to a Starbucks and near the bars and restaurants. The Motel 6 East is also nice and is also across the street from the Ace Hotel (where the urban hipsters can be found). The Best Western Las Brisas is also downtown and one block from the bars on Arenas Road. The location and landscaping were great. The Courtyard by Marriott and Hyatt are also nice. Gay resorts on Warm Sands Drive are another option. Check www.tripadvisor.com for other hotels. I found rates lower here during the week than at the weekends. What to do: Bike: Rent a bike ($20 half-day includes helmet) from Bike Palm Springs, 194 S. Indian Canyon (info@bikePSrentals.com ), and ride around town. Enjoy the modernistic architecture of many of the homes which have a mid-century design. Ride west to where the mountains start. The city has several marked trails and you can ride all the way out to what the locals refer to as “Cat City” (Cathedral City). Swim: The city pool is $5 and is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. It has a great view of the mountains and is also great for sunning. It is located near the library. Run/Walk: The Frontrunners meet every day except Sunday at 8 a.m. (or so) in the Mizzell Centre parking lot. If you like hiking, there is also a Great Outdoors chapter. If feeling adventuresome, hike the strenuous Museum Trail to the Lykken Trail. It starts above the museum. You’ll need to be in good shape. Bring sunscreen and water and start early in the day to avoid the heat. Explore: Don’t miss Joshua Tree National Park. The Park, named for this odd yuccalike tree (yucca brevifolia) is interesting. Take a class from the Joshua Tree Institute (www.joshuatree.org ). Plenty of April classes are scheduled including Geology of the Joshua Tree National Park which runs from the 25th through the 27th. The park is about an hour north of Palm Springs area. The Park features in two deserts (Mojave and Colorado) both with their own types of vegetation. Some wildflowers should still be in bloom. Bring a jacket as it can be cooler up there.

Out & About: Palm Springs, California This month we review Palm Springs, a great little desert city among eight cities in the Coachella Valley region now over 400,000 just two hours east of Los Angeles. Getting There: Fly into the Palm Springs regional airport, PSP, and skip the drive out from LA (although LAX, Ontario, Burbank, and even San Diego are options).

Eat: I liked Sherman’s Restaurant downtown (a New York deli with great corned beef). La Tablita has great Mexican Food (on E. Palm Canyon in Cathedral City). Nextdoor try Dragon Sushi (yes same owners). Bars: The Barracks has a “beer bust Sunday”. Hunters (the video bar) has a happy hour nightly until 7. Hunters is on Arenas Road where you can also find a few other bars. The Tool Shed on Sunny Dunes Drive is near the Motel 6 Downtown. Also during April is the White Party celebrating its 25th anniversary. Check out www.jeffsanker. com for info. Pick up a copy of Palm Springs Life or the Desert Daily Guide or visit them online for more ideas and local information.

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Preservation Week road shoW Saturday, April 26 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wonder what Grandma’s antique is worth? Want to make sure you’re storing it properly? • One-on-one sessions by appointment • Short programs throughout the day • Free admission includes parking and same-day admission to the Indiana Experience For details, visit www.indianahistory.org.

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Pink In The Sheets By Mz. Pink / Word Columnist Dear Mz. Pink, My best friend is addicted to drugs. All drugs. I see an obvious change in his appearance, his attitude has changed, he has turned into a completely different person. Besides this being the issue, he lies to me about it, but tells everyone else what he does. He down plays everything, but I know that he is even trying major hard stuff, like shooting up heroin. I am scared for him, but how can I help him if he just lies about everything? I can’t reach out through our mutual friends because they are the ones he is doing the drugs with. I am scared for his life, but I am also tired of being lied to. Sick and Tired-Indy

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Dear Sick, I totally understand why you’re so frustrated. It sucks to see someone you care for slowly killing themselves. It’s also hard to be lied to about it when you can see the truth. This is going to make confronting him that much harder, because he has never admitted anything to you, plus the friends you share seem to be on his side, even if it’s just with the drug use. There are still things you can try to do to help, but it won’t be easy. First, try to ask him. Tell him that you’ve heard he was doing these things and you are worried and want to make sure that he is OK and making good decisions for himself. Try to get him to open up. At least that way if he does then you can learn more about what he is going through, why he is making these decisions, etc.

Cincinnati

If talking doesn’t work you can write him a letter. Tell him how you feel, what you’re thinking and ask him why he feels he can’t come to you. Tell him how important he is to you. Sometimes just letting a person know will help get them to come around.

Louisville

Keep in mind that none of this may work. You have to keep your cool about you or this could blow up in your face. Addicts do not like to be cornered or told what they are doing is wrong. They know, but they are past that point. They already feel bad about what they do, too, and that’s one of the reasons why they keep using. Unfortunately, only the user can make himself better (with help), but they have to want it. Nobody — not even their closest friends and family — can make them get help or stay clean if they do not seek assistance.

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If you feel that you really want to try and reach him, you could talk to his family and see where they are mentally. Do they feel the same as you? Do they know what’s going on? Will they help you with an intervention? Sometimes families are in denial or have no idea what is going on, so they may not believe you. I know it is hard to believe that someone you love could become addicted to drugs. If that is the case, then a one-person intervention probably won’t work. Or if the family is enabling and they don’t realise it they won’t admit they are contributing to the problem. Everyone involved in this vicious circle has an issue somewhere and most likely don’t want to admit that they could be a potential factor in harming someone they love.

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If none of that works (or works for you) then cut him off. Stop waiting to see what will happen. It’s only going to stress you out in the long run. If he is lying to you, then he doesn’t feel comfortable with you knowing what he’s doing. He is ashamed and knows that he will be dissapointing you. He doesn’t worry about his other friends because they are doing drugs with him, so they are in the same shape he is. Don’t hate him for what he’s doing, but trust that when (and if) he’s ready, he will come to you for help. Or he won’t. But either way you are there, but not present in what he’s doing. Does that make sense? This is a tough situation and I hope that you find the medium you need to be there for your friend without stressing yourself out too much and without making things too much worse for him. There’s only so much you can do, and he has to be on board, too. You can’t change an addict. It is an illness that has to be taken care of. It’s not anybody’s fault meaning all you can do is love him from a distance. Mz. Pink


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Sheila's Column By Sheila Suess Kennedy Shadenfruede These are interesting times for gay civil rights. On the one hand, thanks to a skillful campaign and the support of the business community, Indiana once again dodged a bullet. The proposal to amend the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage, civil unions and anything “structurally similar” (Business partnerships? Roommates? Who the hell knows?) was once again kicked down the road and won’t appear on the 2014 ballot.

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On the other hand, several states have considered — and Arizona has actually passed (though later vetoed by their governor) — a “religious liberty” law that “protects” the right of “religious” merchants and others to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bi & trans folks. (I have no clue on how the sexual orientation of customers is to be determined…) Arizona legislators evidently believe that requiring businesses and government agencies to treat all customers and citizens equally would be an unspeakable violation of their right to “religious liberty.” I’m sure this use of religion as a justification for hateful behaviour is infinitely pleasing to their (very small) God. The Arizona legislation is just one of a number of reactions to a larger — and immensely welcome — social phenomenon. Gay civil rights have come farther, faster, than most of us could have imagined a decade ago, and these eruptions of nastiness can accurately be discounted as tantrums thrown by people who are realising that they’re on the wrong side of history. Still, it’s hard not to let these hateful reactions get under one’s skin, and that brings me to the subject of this column: shadenfruede. “Shadenfruede” is a German word that translates, roughly, to “taking pleasure from the bad fortune of others.” It’s probably the word that best describes my not-at-all-nice reaction to a new study described in a recent issue of The Atlantic. Researchers have found that homophobia takes about two and half years off the lives of those who harbor such sentiments. “Previous research has shown that the stress hormone cortisol increased in white people with high levels of racial prejudice when they were interacting with someone of another race. And a different survey found that having a high level of prejudice against black people was linked to higher mortality rates in whites. “In a new study, published in American Journal of Public Health, researchers at Columbia University and the University of Nebraska looked at whether antigay prejudice could similarly be linked to mortality...” And guess what? It could. The researchers controlled — and ruled out — factors like socioeconomic status, health and demographics. They also controlled for racial prejudice and religiosity, both of which have been strongly linked to anti-gay prejudice in previous studies.

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Previous research — especially the “gold standard” General Social Survey — has established that homophobia is more prevalent among people who have less education and who profess conservative ideologies. (In other words, as individuals become more educated, they become less conservative and less likely to take anti-gay positions.) Bottom line: even after controlling for demographic factors, the study found a “significant association” between homophobia and earlier mortality risk. “The difference in life expectancy between those who expressed prejudice and those who did not was 2.5 years. The researchers also looked at specific causes of death — homophobia was linked to cardiovascular-related deaths, but not cancer.” Sort of gives that old saying, “serious as a heart attack” a new meaning, doesn’t it?

Call 800.849.4853 The Word April 2014 On The Web At: www.thegayword.com Page 43


Hackin’ The Net By Ted Fleischaker / Word Publisher Several different topics this month, starting with a question: Is there ever a time not to be connected? If so, when? The question comes to mind as a few weeks ago, in early March, the 5th annual National Day Of Unplugging took place (www.nationaldayofunplugging.com) and for the first time, two of the three of us living at our house participated. Truth is, the day was uneventful, aside from a friend who called on my land line three times to be sure I was OK as I was not answering his texts, despite telling him for three days prior what I was up to. The premise for the day is easy: we are all so connected everywhere 24/7 that a national group called Reboot (www.rebooters.net) came up with the idea to get us to actually relax...or to try speaking face-to-face...or to make time for a project or two we have put off because there never seems to be enough time for everything — time we often “waste” on extra texts, Facebook or Tweeting. The “day” picked is actually 24 hours, but following in the Jewish tradition, it’s a Friday night and Saturday — sundown to sundown — which in our part of the world was about 6.45 Friday evening until the same time the next. As the hour grew near to actually switch off I will confess some second thoughts, but I did pull the plugs. I turned off my iPhone, iPad and computer. Goal of the day is not to disappear from the world or have the world disappear from us, but to be just a bit less connected to allow time for other things like face-to-face meetings and family. At our house that meant starting with a relaxing phone-free dinner. We do have a land line which stayed plugged in as it was mobile devices the day suggested we refrain from, though we had only five calls the whole 24 hours on the land line and three were from that worried friend. After dinner we met the challenge of “entertainment” by watching a bit of off-theair TV with our old antenna — we don’t have satellite or cable and usually watch streaming Hulu, Netflix or TV from our Slingbox in the UK, all off limits this day — and then we showered and went to bed with the radio on the local public station. It made for an early night and a surprisingly relaxing one. Next morning, instead of breakfast in the home office in front of a screen, we pulled out the breakfast table and shared conversation over our cereal, grapefruit and toast, followed by one of us trotting off to work while the other spent a couple hours getting papers ready for the CPA and taxes — something we’d been putting off for weeks. After a bite of lunch, there was time for a snooze while listening to Saturday at the Metropolitan Opera on the old fashioned radio and just enough hours left to pick up a book we’d started months before but never found time to finish. It was amazing how quickly 6.45 came around and, when we booted back up, how many friends had texted and left us messages during our off-the-grid time — most of them positive. One did say “Good you are doing this, so there will be more bandwidth for me!” but that wag was a definite exception. A few were texting at mid-day, amazed that we were not giving in and we’d been able to “make it” for a whole 24 hours. And most of the rest were pretty evenly split between complimentary and envious that we’d done it, finished and did not fall off the face of the earth or die from being out of constant touch for a whole day. Will we be doing this again before next year? Yes, probably, because it was fun, interesting and exciting to take part in a national effort, but it also was sorta nice not to be “in demand” for a whole day. Will we do it every week or too often? Likely not because there’s a lot to be said for the net and the connections we take for granted. At least twice during that Friday dinner I reached for the phone to “Google” a topic we were discussing only to find no phone where it usually “lives”. And the next day I

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realised I didn’t know what opera the Met was doing (and unable to go to their site to find out) so I just turned on my radio. And I had to consult a cookbook on paper for a recipe I’d planned to make that night, too. But we got through. It was fun and in many ways reminded me of the days when we did not have laptops, tablets, computers or cellphones...when long distance from land lines was $8 or $10 for three minutes and when we actually used pens, paper and wrote letters. If their content was vital, we’d spring for 35¢ and send them “Special Delivery” (which has not existed since 1997 in the U.S. — a fact we know because we “Googled it”) or we’d just wait a few days until they arrived for the then cheap price of 7¢. Early day “technology” I and many friends practiced was sending “living letters” . That’s when we’d sit in front of a cassette recorder mic and “tell” our friends Keith or George (or mom or grandma) whatever we wanted in our own voices, then pack up the tape and mail it to them. It still didn’t arrive for a few days, but in some ways was more personal than typing on a paper or writing a post card. Anyway, you don’t have to wait until next March to unplug and if you didn’t take part in the national day this year, you can declare your own day (or partial day) of unplugging anytime you wish. Just be sure to let your friends know you won’t be available so they won’t worry if you do not immediately text or Facebook back. In some ways it’ll be a novelty and in others it will seem like a lot of effort, but it will give you (guaranteed) a new appreciation for or loathing of how connected we’ve all become. That I promise! On another topic... To update or not to update: That is the question. What I mean by that is the almost continuous barrage of apps, operating system “bug fixes” and just changes to everything from our mobile phones to our computers, Xboxes, PlayStations and more which seem to be coming at us from all sides almost daily. Should you update? A recent iPhone and iPad update to OS (Operating System) 7.1 brought a lot of calls from friends asking “Should I do it?” and “Do I need to do it?” My answer to all was a single word: Yes. Of course there are updates and there are updates and not all of them are anymore alike than saying a shoe is a shoe, when you can have anything from a sneaker to a soccer boot to a golf cleat. Some updates are to add features to this or that app or programme. Others are for security or to close a “hole” which could allow someone access to your information. Still others are to incorporate new information or change something you might not use, but others count on — like a recently released update to, amongst other things, fix an issue in Mandarin Chinese. It’s a language I do not use nor speak, but apparently the app using it was wrong or crashing, so the author made some fixes and issued an update. Of course, the most vital updates are those pointing to security breaches. A recent one fixed iPad and iPhone issues which Apple discovered. Others are less obvious, but still, important. So what to do to update? First and foremost, a tech at a local shop screamed this when we asked his advice: “Back up your device!” It doesn’t matter if that back up is to your computer, the “cloud” or an external drive. Back up. Save those 23,962 photos you love to show and all 29 hits by Billy & The Bing Bongs you work out to. Backing up means you will be certain your device can be restored once you have updated. Once you have backed up, plug in. If you have a phone, pad or laptop, plug it in to the wall charger so it won’t run out of power during the update and resetting procedure. It’s amazing how obvious this sounds but it’s not something any of us think about. To avoid a mess (think half an update when the battery dies) plug in then follow the directions given. Usually your phone, pad or computer will pop up a screen asking you to agree to their terms of use (Does anybody REALLY read all that?) and then clicking “OK”. After that, the device usually takes over for you and does the updates. Be warned that some updates take a lot of data space, like the recent iPhone one to OS 7.1 which even on our fast WiFi was well over an hour to download, then there was time to allow the phone to go through its updating restarts. That means don’t start an update 10 minutes before you dash out the door or will be needing your device. And one more tip from someone who’s had this happen: Use the old app or system till you get back home if you are heading out for a trip where you will be depending upon the computer, pad or phone. You might not have the latest OS or the super newest app, but if your phone/pad/computer is operating correctly, then leave it be until you get back to home base. Then do the update so that if something doesn’t work quite right, you’ll be better able to get repairs or restores (from that back-up, remember?) made easily. So there’s our advice: Stay up-to-date or eventually those “old” apps will not function and may crash the phone, pad or computer. That’s aggravating, possibly a security danger and definitely not something any of us wish to endure, especially since they always (100% always) quit when we most need them. Guaranteed!


Photograph by Kevin O. Mooney

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Panther’s Perspective By Panther Daddy / Word Columnist

Sometimes, it seems that involvement in the world of leather, fetish and kink provides us some type of insulation and separation from the rest of the world. There are parties, events, contests and such taking place all over the globe for what seems like 24/7. I’ve seen discussion after discussion about what it means to be a kinkster, what are the qualities that make a true leather man/woman, what’s the appropriate protocol for addressing a Dom or a Sir. Classes abound on bondage, knife play, flogging, boot blacking and the joys of puppyhood. We vie for titles, sashes and positions of authority and leadership and in some cases, throw each other under the bus if it will get us what believe we want or have to have in order for us to feel whole.

Maybe it’s by default or perhaps it is by design but it does appear that as a community we live in a seemingly impenetrable rawhide bubble. However, at some point, the outside world does invade our sacred sphere and we will have to deal with that intruder. The source of the intrusion or the nature of the intruder isn’t as important as the fact that this interloper, no matter how hard we resist, will make it’s presence known. Sometimes, it is subtle, other times, very abrupt, but it will get your attention, like electrodes on the genitals. For a few of us with some mileage on our chassis, HIV was that attention grabbing interloper. Much like the Kink Community now, the overall gay community had found a new kinetic energy. Post Stonewall, there was a gigantic push to celebrate our collective and individual selves. No longer did we have to feel ashamed — we were about the business of living openly, free and proud. Pride parades and social/political organisations began to proliferate on the landscape. We encouraged each other, loved each other and adored each other. Then, enter the specter of HIV and the entire community was forced to take a step back. Collectively and individually, we were forced to interact with each other in ways that required us to consider, not just who we were as a lesbian, gay, bi & trans collective. We were also forced to explore and examine who we are as human spiritual beings. Many rose to the occasion, working hard to develop programmes and services that would help minimise the pain and hurt. The care and the needs of those who had picked up the physical retrovirus forced us — positive and negative alike — to take a much deeper inward journey. Losing friends and family members at an alarming rate, attending six or seven funerals a month and then coming home and caring for a partner was a daunting, draining, emotional roller coaster. It was a time when, literally, we were forced to look at the person in the mirror and evaluate if we liked the reflection. Those of us who had the strength and the courage to not blink or look away discovered parts of ourselves that we didn’t know existed. Along with the fear, anger and betrayal, we found compassion, strength, courage and resolve to be different, better people. We discovered the difference between standing out and being outstanding. We learned that being outstanding is far more powerful and longlasting than standing out. The Kink Community is quickly approaching a similar tipping point on the cycle of life. We have found a renewed energy. We are prolific in our celebrations and events. We admire, adore and vilify our title-holders and community “leaders”. We parade our new-found freedom in parades, hotel lobbies and contest venues. We wear outfits that we believe tell the world who we are collectively and individually. We fight, argue and struggle to be the admired and adored among our peers; to be the person who stands out. However, as history does have a rather nasty penchant of repeating itself, one day there will be an interloper invading our current bubble. Who knows what that will be and who knows when that will take place. One thing is for certain: when that time comes we will be forced to make a choice. In reality, whether to stand out or be outstanding is a choice we make every day. From my perspective, when we choose outstanding, the rest takes care of itself. — Panther Daddy (Ebonypapa@aol.com) Upcoming community events: —5, 12, 19 and 26 April, Kink Leather events at 501 Eagle, Indianapolis. (www.501eagle.com) —5th April: Leather/Pup/Kink night @ On Broadway Bar, Cincinnati, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. —11th-13th April: BearExpo2@ Menjo’s, Warren, Michigan —13th April: Tri-State Fundraiser @ Crossings Lexington, 6-9 p.m. —14th April: Leather Libations@ Below Zero Lounge, Cincinnati, 6 to 8 p.m. —24th-27th April: CLAW 2014, Cleveland (www.clawinfo.org) If you would like your event posted in The Word, please e-mail me the names/dates and web address to ebonypapa@aol.com

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Guest Comment By Billy Glover / Gay Historian (EDITOR’S NOTE—We often hear of anti-gay comments made by so-called “religious” leaders, so this month we split our comments between a rabbi and an Ohio commentator, both with interesting outlooks from their religions to share. As always, comments are welcome at ted@midwestword.com) Jews Lead Nation Accepting Gay Marriage By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released (in February) a new study of a decade of changes in attitudes on lesbian, gay, bi & trans-related issues which revealed a 21-point jump in support for same-sex marriage from 2003, when one-third (32%) of Americans supported same-sex marriage, to 2013, when a majority (53%) of Americans did. The PRRI study, “A Shifting Landscape: A Decade of Change in American Attitudes about Same-Sex Marriage and Lesbian, Gay, Bi & Trans Issues” found that of all the identified religious groups in the poll, Jews are more supportive of same-sex marriage than any other religious group. Thus, 83% of Jews favour allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally compared to 73% of those with no religious affiliation, 62% of white mainline Protestants, 57% of Catholics, 46% of Hispanic Protestants, 35% of Black Protestants and 27% of white evangelical Protestants. Moreover, 58% of Jews strongly favour allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry (a full 22 points higher than the next highest category, the religiously unaffiliated). Amazingly, Jews are only three points behind lesbian, gay, bi & trans Americans in their own support of marriage equality (86%).

Even more amazingly, only a quarter of Americans believe Jews are friendly toward lesbian, gay, bi & trans people and a third believe we are unfriendly and 41% do not know or refused to answer the question. Jews are perceived by non-Jews to be only one point friendlier than evangelical Christian churches and six points less friendly than African-American churches; when in reality Jews are much more friendly than either of those two groups. The size of the gap between Jewish support for gays and these two church groups is a giant 56 points when compared to evangelical Christian churches and 48 points compared to African-American churches. Finally, I should point out that The Union of Reform Jews was the first national religious organisation in the United States to accept lesbian, gay, bi & trans congregations as equal members. This may be the reason that all of the lesbian, gay, bi & trans synagogues and temples in North America have so many non-Jewish members. (EDITOR’S NOTE­—Ted Fleischaker, The Word’s publisher, and his partner of 21+ years Ivan Howard were married by Rabbi Eric Bram at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation on the 4th of July 1996 and afterwards became the first male/male gay couple to become family members of the temple. While their marriage was (and still is) not legal in Indiana, it is considered “legal” by the Reform movement and when filling out their marriage papers Rabbi Bram made a note in pen. Next to where it says “under the laws of the State of Indiana...” he added “as they should be”. Rabbi Bram passed away in the Fall of 2010 and Ted & Ivan are still patiently waiting for the laws of Indiana to be as the rabbi hoped they should be. For more on the survey and the author of this item, Rabbi Maller’s website is: rabbimaller. com) What a Time to Be Alive! Brother Michael Childs BSCD / Jubilee Cincinnati “Proclaim Jubilee Throughout The Land”! It is an amazing time to be living. Who would have thought that we would live in a day when being gay would be accepted by society. For so many years so many suffered brutal persecution and abuse because of their sexual lifestyles and who they chose to sleep with. Now society is changing. Oh yes, there is so very much yet to do and we dare not rest on our laurels, yet there is an excitement in the air as a move for drastic and dramatic change permeates our land. Within just a short amount of time — just a matter of weeks — we have seen seven attorneys general from seven states say they will not challenge rulings by federal judges in favour of the freedom to marry. Many of those are southern states with strong conservative backgrounds. Texas, seen as the buckle of the Bible-belt, was one of those states. This state is the home of Pastor Robert Jefferts, pastor of the massive First Baptist Church of Dallas. He has been more than vocal in his stiff opposition to the gay, lesbian, bi & trans community. Thus to see Texas refuse to challenge marriage equality makes a major statement. On top of this, the first same-sex marriages in the Lone Star State took place in Dallas, not far from Pastor Jefferts’ base. On a personal note, my family migrated from North Carolina to Tennessee and on to Kentucky where my father and much of my family was born. Kentucky has always been considered “down home” to all of my family. I was honoured by Governor Jullian Carroll several years ago when I was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel. I am stating all that so you can appreciate how thrilled I am to see that Kentucky has joined the other six states to allow the freedom to marry for those in the community. With the move among states to allow same-sex marriages, some will continue to challenge the legality of the federal rulings. I am sure that not far down the road the matter will have to be argued in the supreme court, and if the court goes for equality under the law, the matter should be ruled in favour of our community. What will be next? I am certain that the next step for the community will be to address the issue of prejudice, discrimination and bigotry. It is already rearing its ugly head and will manifest itself in a variety of areas such as at school, on the job, and even at church. Because of this we are beginning to write a curriculum for a programme dealing with prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry. This “manual” will have lessons, discussion topics, activities, simulations, journal topics and more all dealing with these issues and how to overcome them. While the issues will be seen as coming from a variety of areas, the church will not be excluded. Many churches have members who are still having difficulty being accepted. This manual could be a valuable tool in helping them. Along with this manual we highly recommend our workshop program, “United” . This program goes through the manual in an all-day Saturday series of activities and talks, concluding in services on Sunday. This can be a great tool to teach inclusion and acceptance. If you are interested in finding out more about the manual or to schedule a “United” workshop, contact Jubilee at JubileeCincy@gmail.com or visit our website at www. JubileeCincy.jimdo.com

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Medical Matters By Phyllis Cross, M.D., M.P.H. & Ted Fleischaker There's no way of knowing what life has in store for us. But, there are ways to better prepare ourselves and our families — gay and straight. Take advance directives, for example. These documents tell your loved ones what kind of medical care you'd want if you became seriously ill or injured. They can also say who would make decisions for you if you couldn't speak for yourself. And, it makes good sense for adults of all ages to create advance directives before a crisis. You'll be able to carefully think through your choices. Plus, you'll be reassured that your family won't face tough decisions without your guidance. If you are gay or lesbian, it will also help make sure your lover, partner, husband or wife is acknowledged in the decision-making, not some estranged sister or a step-dad you have not seen in 12 years. Here are some basics to help you get started: Q. What are advance directives? A. They are legal documents that outline your wishes for medical care. There are two main types — although the names can vary: —A living will states which types of treatments you would or wouldn't want in certain situations. For instance, maybe you'd choose a feeding tube if you were in a coma. Or, perhaps you wouldn't want a machine to breathe for you if your odds of recovery were slight. —A medical power of attorney puts someone you choose in charge of making your medical decisions. This person is called your health care agent (proxy or surrogate). This document can also be called a durable power of attorney for health care and is especially important in the gay and lesbian community where “family” may try and over-rule what you and your partner have decided to do should either of you become ill and unable to speak for yourself. Q. Do I need both? A. It's a good idea. A living will can't cover every possible medical situation. So, naming an agent means you'll have someone to speak for you. And, giving your health care agent a copy of your living will can help guide decisions so that your requests are followed. In many states, one advance directive form covers both treatment decisions and power of attorney, but be sure and see what the case is in the state you call your legal home and then abide by the letter of the law to cut down on any possible challenges. Q. How should I choose my health care agent? A. It's best to identify a primary agent and a backup. They might be your partner, family members, friends or your lawyer. People you trust and who share your views are good choices. But, be sure they're comfortable with the job — and clear about the care you'd want. Make sure everyone knows what you have in place for that day when the “what if” happens. Q. How do I create advance directives? A. Some people work with a lawyer — and there are several with ads in this newspaper, but you don't have to. Often, you can get the paperwork at a hospital or your local area agency on aging, gay & lesbian community centre or from a local HIV/AIDS service provider. Or, download forms specific to your state online at Caring Connections. If you split your time among multiple states, you'll want to fill out the forms for each state you live in just to be sure you have the “right” information. Q. What should I do with my advance directives? A. Make sure they're signed and witnessed. Give copies to your doctor, the local hospital you do or would use in an emergency and to the people you've chosen as your agents. And, tell your partner and close family members where they can find these forms. Any time you make changes, make sure everyone gets updated documents. Online services are also available to store these types of files. Most importantly, be ready — and then rest reassured. Discover more free information and resources at myuhc.com. Click "Health & Wellness." Type "advance directives" into the search box. On another topic, Karis Day, R.N., writing for United Health notes that with Spring

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here, anyone can become more athletic. You might not think of yourself as an athlete, but, given the chance, your body may be able to do things you never dreamed of. And, you don’t have to be sporty or skilled to reap the impressive benefits of regular exercise. They’re right there for the taking — including more energy, better health and help managing stress. So are you ready to begin moving more and feeling your best? Here are eight strategies to help kick off your future in fitness: 1.) Get a green light. If you’ve been inactive, talk with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. That’s especially important if you’re pregnant, have any chronic conditions or have been sidelined by injury or illness. Your doctor can suggest good workout options for you — and give you pointers on how to safely ease into new habits. 2.) Put it in writing. Start your journey with a get-fit blueprint. Write out a weekly exercise plan. Be specific — it should include workout times and what you’ll do. If you start a fitness journal, this can be a great way to track your progress over time, too. 3.) Pace yourself. Slow and easy is the best way to begin. As your fitness level improves, you can gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts. What’s a good goal for most healthy adults? Aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise a week. And, add strength exercises on two or more days. 4.) Find your footing. Walking is a great workout for beginners. And, it’s one that many people adopt for life. You can begin slowly — and walk farther or faster as your fitness develops. You just need sturdy, supportive shoes and a safe path to follow like Indianapolis’ Cultural Trail or one of the many paths in Louisville’s Cherokee and Seneca parks.. A tip for inspiration: Try using a pedometer. These simple step-counters can give you a daily goal to meet. 5.) Take 10. If you’re pressed for time, exercise in short bursts. Any moderate or vigorous aerobic activity you do for 10 minutes or more can count toward your weekly goal. 6.) Pair up, sign up, show up. Recruit an exercise buddy — or join a fitness class. You’ll be more likely to stick with your plan when a friend, family member or group is counting on you. Frontrunners has chapters all around the area and there are gay and lesbian softball, bowling, swimming and other leagues and teams, too. And remember Cleveland/Akron are hosting the Gay Games this Summer so if you really need inspiration go this time as a spectator and plan to compete at the next one! See Bill Malcolm’s column elsewhere in The Word for more suggestions. 7.) Explore new adventures. How about hiking with friends? Or, taking a lesson at a local climbing wall? Sampling a variety of activities — solo or with others — can help you stay motivated and energised. 8.) Make moving a way of life. Walk around the block whenever you take out the trash. Bike to work. Play a game of basketball or soccer with friends. Take extra trips when toting groceries or laundry or take your recyclable cloth bag and then walk to and from the grocery store. Finally, don’t give up the cause if you have a setback. That happens to seasoned athletes, too. Just go back to your plan — and start anew. © 2014, United HealthCare Services, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Healthy Mind Healthy Body where you can register for your own monthly newsletter: www.uhc.com/myhealthnews

To keep our lawyers happy, be advised that the recommendations which are contained in this column are suggestions, but are not to be taken as medical advice. Always consult your physician or a healthcare professional before undertaking any physical fitness or other exercise programme.

Where Does The Midwest Turn For Gay & Lesbian News? Right Here, Of Course!


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Music Corner By DJ "Miss" Hill / MJ's Cafe / Dayton Catch DJ Hill every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at MJ’s Café in Dayton. Hill’s Top 10. Based on dance floor results and requests (Not what he thinks is hot…) 1 - Pitbull feat Ke$ha - Timber 2 - Katy Perry ft Juicy J - Dark Horse (Mike D Mix) 3 - Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull - Live It Up 4 - Justin Timberlake - TKO 5 - Pink ft Lily Allen - True Love 6 - Enrique Iglesias ft Pitbull - I’m A Freak 7 - Demi Lovato - Neon Lights (Cole Plante’ Myon n Shane 54 Mix) 8 - Lady Gaga feat. R. Kelly - Do What U Want 9 - Britney Spears - Work Bitch

Unique Art Show Set At The Kinsey Continued From Page Three A number of events are scheduled for the opening weekend. An after-party following the Friday night reception will be held from 8 to 11 at The Back Door, a gay and lesbian dance club located in the heart of downtown Bloomington. No cover will be charged for Juried Art Show attendees, and entertainment will be provided. On Saturday, The Kinsey Institute (in Morrison Hall on the Indiana University campus) will offer an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Exhibitions of artwork and other materials from the famous doctor’s collection will be on display, and visitors will be able to learn about Dr. Kinsey’s pioneering work in the field of sex research and the institute’s current research programme. A Show and Tell session will follow the open house to give artists from the Juried Art Show the opportunity to discuss their work and careers. This event has been offered for several years to allow visitors to meet participating artists and to hear them relate their personal stories about their experiences as makers of art that some viewers may find what organisers term as “challenging”.

10 - Lorde - Royals (Darku J Mix) Hey, kids!!! DJ Hill here. I’m sayin’ the YAY!” It’s April and this month isn’t a “fool”. Keep in mind these are just suggestions for those who want to get away from the usual Top 40 radio mixes. Cher - I Walk Alone: Here’s something I can say I like. I got me some adult music. Give the Tracy Young Ferosh Reconstruction Remix a try. Shakira feat. Rihanna - Can’t Remember To Forget You: I have no problem forgetting Shakira. I can’t stand her voice. There’s just something about her that annoys me. Fortunately we have the Razer -n- Guido mix. There’s also the Wideboys Club Mix. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be playing this a lot. Maybe if someone requests it.

The Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show opens on Friday, 16th May and continues through Saturday, 12th July, so if you can’t make the opening, do plan to drop by sometime this Summer and take it in. The Grunwald Gallery is open noon to 4, Tuesdays through Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and Mondays. The gallery is located on the Indiana University campus at 1201 E. 7th Street. For more information about the show and related events ring 812/855.7686 or visit the Kinsey Institute web page: www.kinseyinstitute.org

Britney Spears - Tik Tik Boom: Lord, we’re stuck with another childish tune. Really Britney? When are you going to grow up. I recommend the Wawa Club Mix. Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull - I’m A Freak: I want him to prove it. I’d watch that video. I’ve really been getting into Enrique’s stuff lately. And this is one of those. The original can work on it’s own but we get the Dave Aude fix. And wow! It’s all over the place with stabs and stuttering. One of Aude’s better pieces of work. The Cosmic Dawn mix works well too. Air Supply - Desert Sea Sky: Want to see the return of some old farts? I was never a fan in the first place and now they’re making a return? The original is super boring so exactly why the Wideboys felt the need to make a club mix is beyond me. I’ll pass on this one. Beyonce - Partition: I’m not a big fan of Beyonce’s newest album. It lacks in energy. Even the Dave Audé Mix is lacking something. And usually that punches things up. But not on this one. That’s it for now. I’ll be back in May checking out the “May Flowers” and some new music. Check me out at MissHillDJ.com or find me on Facebook under DJ-Douglas Hill. I’d love to hear from you. Happy clubbing!

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pecs and the by Matt Ponder Just recently, when I was performing the ultra-glamorous chore of cleaning my basement, I dropped a shoebox and from its interior, my entire love life spilled out. Photographs from years past stared up at me from the floor; smiling faces trapped in Kodak amber. As I picked them up one by one I could feel the times and the places blooming in my head — the boys who seemed so important to me at one time now merely reduced to tiny squares of still life history. Looking at the remnants of the past made me realise that most of these guys were merely crushes and infatuations, not the paragons of romantic love that I thought they were.  

We all settle to some degree, but when there are things that we compromise that are trivial, that isn’t settling for what you can get. That’s what we call a relationship. What it comes down to is that there are several components to what constitutes a healthy relationship. First is the sizzling physical chemistry, of course.   Second, actual intimacy with the other person; where you feel “at home” when you are with them.   Then there is mutual respect, which should be prevalent in any relationship, romantic or otherwise. This goes hand-in-hand with safety, which means trust and security not only for your heart, but also your mind.   And last, but certainly not least, the fun you can have with the person you are with. If any of these five things is absent, than you are settling. Period. And if your relationship starts to crumble in two or five or ten years you can guarantee it will be because of one of these things is missing.   The questions you have to ask yourself before you settle for someone you may not really want to be with are these: Do you know who you are?   Do you know what your self-worth is?  

And looking at myself in these pictures I realised that at certain times in my life I had compromised who I really was in order to hold on to someone I imagined to be important. It made me understand that many times in life we barter with our feelings because we are afraid to be alone. We take what we think we can get because the fear of not being able to find someone makes us do the one thing we should never do: settle for something less than we deserve. But why would we compromise something as treasured as our heart? In our professional life we never stand for being passed over for a raise or letting someone else take the credit for our work, so why make concessions in our love life? Sometimes people say that our expectations can be too high, so we should settle for Mr. Good-Enough instead of Mr. Right. But why? Don’t you deserve to be happy with someone who makes you feel dizzy and sexy and full of light and laughter? Someone who makes you pant and growl like a wolf when you slide sweaty and naked together?   It’s one thing to want someone who can help you run the household and take care of the dogs and make sure there’s coffee in the cupboard when you need it, but you’re not running a business. Don’t get me wrong— it’s fantastic to find someone who’s responsible and mature enough to know that there’s more to a relationship than knocking your socks off in the bedroom. But even if they can cook and remodel and contribute to the actual shared wealth of your partnership, what’s the point of staying with someone if you don’t really, really love them?   When we were younger, we fell into relationships because they were new and exciting. But when they ended sometimes self-doubt began to grow causing us to settle for someone new because we thought that we couldn’t trust our judgment. And settling became a nightmare tape loop of even more settling.  

Are you strong enough to be alone while you wait for someone who is really special? Are you willing to date different people as you uncover what you truly want from a mate? And honestly, deep down, is there anyone else you could see yourself with or that you truly want to be with?   As a certain fictional writer once said, “Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.”   Love is not supposed to be a dull glow of embers. Love is a roaring fire that consumes you and heats you up and makes you miss the person that you’re meant to be with at intermittent times of the day. Love means you look forward to seeing the person you are with because you want to see them, not just because they will have dinner ready, or they are taking you to an amazing party or they fixed the leaky faucet that’s been keeping you awake.   Will there be heat between you 24/7? Of course not. But if you step back and think, really think, for even a second that you could have done better, the reality is, you probably could have. That doesn’t mean the person you’re with is a bad person who doesn’t deserve love, it just means they are a good person who maybe deserves someone else’s love. Don’t settle for less than your heart’s desire. Because the minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.

On the flip side there are the people who settle for someone not because they are attracted to them necessarily, but by what that person can give them. Financial security, status, even whether or not they would be a good parent to their children. All of these things are great qualities in a person, but without heat, a relationship turns ice cold. Maybe deep down we think that loving someone thoroughly takes a long time, which in some cases it does, but assuming that we can change someone into the person we truly want isn’t going to work. Neither does merely holding out for them to change on their own and become the person you want them to be.   Sometimes you realise you’ve settled after a long stretch of time has passed. But to avoid confrontation and the messy aftermath of a break-up you stay with someone you truly don’t love at all. Sometimes you decide to break free and when you do, you realise that you’re back out in the world of dating: meeting people, finding out about what makes them tick, endless dinners and kisses goodnight... and it can be overwhelming.   An easy solution?  Reconcile with the person that you settled for because they’re safe and familiar and there’s no need to get to know them because everything you need to know is already filed in your brain. But is that love?  

The Word April 2014 On The Web At: www.thegayword.com Page 61


Gossip Cats By Gossipcats Britain & Sydney

Ah, April. Tiz that month when not just we cats, but people are fools, too. And a lot of those fools have been fooling around (and their friends reporting all the antics to us, too!) so let’s see what we’ve got on our notepad... First off, there’s no foolin’ that time flies when you are having fun. Just ask Mat and Trae, one of Indy’s cutest couples. April marks their first anniversary and Mat told us he’s amazed how fast time has flown. We warned him that it only gets faster (in both people and pussy years) so enjoy every minute of it. Meanwhile happy 1st to the guys and many more... Speaking of many more, we cats do not think we can stand many more months like the last one with the charges and counter-charges flyin’ at one Midwest club. It’s all about who got paid, didn’t get paid (that’s paid, with a “P” and not the “L” one) and who if anyone owes anyone anything or may or may not be filing a suit. We do understand that management lost their attempt to block at least one unemployment claim and someone else is threatening a suit for improper pay. All in all it makes us glad we pussies work for catnip and a bowl or two of Iams, not to mention finding time for occasional naps with the publisher (caught in the act by his partner, Ivan!) ... Anyway, speaking of catnip, we don’t know if you saw it but we pussies’ fave TV chef, Clarissa Dickson Wright, the surviving half of the television cooking duo Two Fat Ladies, has died aged 66. Her partner in the kitchen passed away a few years ago. The duo was known for roaring through the British countryside on a Triumph classic motorcycle with a side car and cooking up a storm. So what’s the connection? Well, what now seems 100 years ago (but was really about 1999) our owners dated a very hot young man from Westfield who shall remain nameless. Only problem was that to cook for him we had to make it vegetarian and all our boss’ specialties are meat-based. The Two Fat Ladies rode to the rescue with an awesome Stilton Cheese French Onion Soup allowing the relationship to survive and a lot of requests from his friends for the soup which found its way from his stomach to his heart! And that was long before anybody ever thought of today’s TV cooking shows... Speaking of shows, our friend, Scott Gonyaw, the owner of All American Goddess had us laughing hysterically with his Facebook post a few days ago. We do not know who it was written about, but that doesn’t matter. Scott said: “Your inability to plan properly does not constitute it becoming my emergency. Please take the negativity elsewhere. I have a national contest to run !!! Next in line please !! How can I help you ?” Hilarious... Speaking of next in line, we wanna know who in what line referred to someone well-known in the local community as “Elmer Fudd”. Not that old Elmer is a bad guy (we cats always found the pig quite entertaining) but said person we are told did not mean the words in what we’d call a very kind way! ... Speaking of kind, kind wishes to Word part-time staffer Lee on the reopening of his Living Under The Rainbow shop. In case you missed the ads, look for them online and as of this writing he was planning to be at about every pride in the Midwest this Summer. Stop by and buy something... Finally, speaking of stopping by, if any readers are looking we hear that the crews over at The Works and The Club in Indy both are looking for folks to join them. In other words, both have openings, so if you are searching for a job, you might want to stop by either and apply!... Meow!

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The Word April 2014 On The Web At: www.thegayword.com

Food For Thought By Ted Fleischaker / Word Publisher

A follow-up to last month’s column in which we asked what readers thought of my and my friends’ argument as to should we stay or go if we went to a restaurant without a reservation and were told the wait would be longer than we wished to endure. In that column we said some friends were unhappy with us for walking out after saying “no thanks” to such a long wait because they felt once we walked in (even with no reservations, on a whim) we were obligated to wait things out. I, on the other hand, noted that I feel a restaurant is no different than anywhere else one shops and if they do not have what you need or want or offer it in a timely manner you are not obligated to stay. We heard from a number of you out and about in person and some in e-mails too. Among them: —I do not think you are obligated to stay. As stated it is your choice. This happened to my husband and myself about a year ago. We went to the Olive Garden at 146th and I-69 in Fishers. We knew we would probably have to wait. No problem. Our choice. They gave us one of those vibrating light things and said it would be about 25 minutes. Well, 25 minutes came and went and at 45 minutes I politely (and trust me I can be anything but polite) went back up to the hostess and asked about how much longer. She said about 30 minutes. I asked why they did not give an accurate time estimate and she said they guessed. Had we had an accurate estimate of time my husband and I would possibly have made a different choice. Anyway, we decided to go across the street to Houlihans and see how long a wait they had. By this time we figured everyone had a wait. We took , the vibrating thing and got in our car and went to Houlihans. We figured whoever could seat us first would get our business. They said “10 to 15 minute wait” and in 10 minutes we were seated and had our water. We finally took the vibrating thingy back last month...” (Unsigned). —Gee Ted... Read your article, but am I obliged to respond? No! Guess I’m on your team because I have never felt any obligation to “wait it out”. The acceptable wait time for me is largely determined by my level of hunger and the impact the wait has on the rest of my evening. And yes, this strategy has been known to backfire, leaving one restaurant for another that has an even longer wait. Being a downtown dweller, I would say we eat out about once or twice a week. I would like to know if anyone can trump my latest wait experience. I get that Bluebeard, Thunderbird, Black Market, etc., etc. like to think they are so different. But they are simply part of the current trend. Lots of wood, exposed brick and a communal table — how uniquely the same. Can’t be sure, but when you apply to wait at these trendy chains I think you have to check the box for appropriate number of tattoos and piercings you have to be considered for hire. So back to my wait story. Over the holidays, during the polar vortex about 18 below I stopped in Bluebeard for a cocktail. The bar was full and I was told would be an undetermined wait time. They suggested we buy our cocktails and take them outside to the patio because they had a heater! I was like “Are you on meth”? so I say it is up to the consumer always and has absolutely nothing to do with moral obligation. —Peace, Deb. —Depending on the situation the reaction can be one of two (with a 3rd alternative): 1.) If you are a walk-up and the wait is to long for you then you always have the option of “nicely” saying “thank you” and moving on to another choice. If you have said “yes put my name on the list” and the wait is longer than quoted again “nicely” saying “take my name off” and moving on would be appropriate. It never would be appropriate when you have requested placing your name on a list to be rude/hostile even if you think the information as to time you were given was to keep you waiting and drink overpriced beer or non-alcoholic beverages. Above all you should ask for your name to be removed from the list when leaving and tell the host why you are leaving. 2.) If you have made a reservation and when you show up you are told it will be more than 10 or 15 minutes (itself possibly too long) then again “nicely” saying “What happened to my reservation time?” would be appropriate, hoping for an acceptable answer. Do you leave if the answer is not acceptable? Good luck on that choice. 3.) Use the new “non-reservation” and call ahead! —Jerry Halperin —Ted, you must be joking, right? If you made a reservation at a restaurant and were on time for said reservation, you SHOULD leave after perhaps 15 minutes max. If no reservation is made (or accepted), it is one’s prerogative to take their business (and money) elsewhere in the event of a seating delay. —David W. Miller. So our conclusion? There’s no 100% sure “right” answer but only one person (who spoke with us out so did not send a printable note) said our friends were right and we should stay regardless. Of course a couple also told us that they’ve seen us be less-than-cordial no matter how hard we try, causing us to re-read what Jerry said above. We try to always be nice, but we will try harder should the need arise. Meanwhile we will check Open Table first and call restaurants we can’t find there to cut down on everyone’s frustrations! Oh, and we will send a $50 gift card to Deb as our contest winner!


The Word April 2014 On The Web At: www.thegayword.com Page 63


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The Word April 2014  

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