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Giddyup!! Latest Eiteljorg Exhibits Explore Gay Rodeo Scene INDIANAPOLIS—The role of gay cowboys is explored in a new show, Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo, as it opens at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art on 1st February and runs through the Summer. The opening marks the first time this exhibition, which tells the story of an often ignored part of American Western culture, has been displayed anywhere. Blake Little will feature 41 black-and-white images of cowboys and cowgirls from the gay rodeo circuit, taken by award-winning, Los Angeles-based photographer, Blake Little. The Seattle native became captivated by the gay rodeo scene in 1988 and began documenting the lives of its contenders, victors and their devoted fans. “The whole scene watching it - imagining that these guys were really doing this, and that Please Continune On Page 30

Youth Lead The Charge Against Discrimination

When it comes to gay marriage rights, it’s the younger voter who will make the difference between victory or defeat at the hands of the right wing. This group from the IYG and a lot of their friends took an active part during the recent “stop HJR-3”rally in downtown Indianapolis’ Artsgarden. Photo Courtesy Annette Gross

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Ky. Precedent Used To Decide Gay Jury Case San Francisco’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that individuals cannot be removed from a jury due solely to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The ruling ensures that the scope of Batson challenges will now extend to lesbian, gay, bi & trans individuals. In the 1986 case, Batson v. Kentucky, the Supreme Court ruled that peremptory challenges could not be used to remove a juror based solely on their race. “Excluding jurors based on their sexual orientation and gender identity denies countless individuals a jury of their peers,” said D’Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the National Lesbian, Gay, Bi & Trans Bar Association. “The Bar commends the Ninth Circuit for its commitment to equality and for ensuring that jurors will no longer be discriminated against while performing a civic duty.”

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The Ninth Circuit Court’s decision stems from a 2011 case between GlaxoSmithKline and Abbott Laboratories. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) argued that Abbott had unfairly increased the price of Norvir, a drug that combats HIV. GSK claimed that by increasing the price of Norvir, it would boost sales of Abbott’s other HIV drug, Kaletra, and would harm competitors whose drugs must be taken with Norvir. The court ultimately ruled in favor of Abbott, but GSK appealed the ruling on the grounds that Abbott had unfairly removed a juror based on sexual orientation, arguing that the removal should have been disallowed due to Batson. The case comes shortly after the introduction of the Jury ACCESS (Access for Capable Citizens and Equality in Service Selection) Act, a bipartisan bill that would amend the federal statute to include sexual orientation and gender identity, protecting those groups from being removed from a jury without cause. The bill was introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and co-sponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME). The Lesbian, Gay, Bi & Trans Bar worked closely with Senator Shaheen’s office in drafting the bill and has identified many examples of discrimination against gay and lesbian jurors. A companion bill in the House, the Juror Non-Discrimination Act, was introduced by Representative Susan Davis (D-CA). “Jury service is a fundamental civic duty,” Kemnitz continued. “Lesbian, gay, bi & trans people are proud to serve the courts when summoned. While some might jest at jury duty, in fact the courts demand through a subpoena that a person suspend their usual daily activity to be part of the rule of law.” The National Lesbian, Gay, Bi & Trans Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organisations. The Association promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the community in all its diversity.

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Hackin’ The Net By Ted Fleischaker / Word Publisher This is about how much size matters. No, no, not that. Minds out of the gutters, please! This is about a recent “emergency” call I got from a friend who told me he went from one internet service provider (ISP) to another and was baffled as to why his iPad quit working from his favourite chair. “Did they change out your WiFi router?” I asked him. “My WHAT?” he replied as if I’d asked something truly personal.

much less brick, plaster and dense materials. Plus there’s the issue of which rooms he wants to reach. A kitchen with metal back-splash and microwaves plus signals of its own from appliance motors and controls (The appliances are also themselves metal.) won’t be easy. So the other possible fixes? The second easiest (after relocating the router back to where it was and trying that) would be to add an extender. There are many models and companies making such devices and they come in a number of flavours. There are power extenders and there are powered antennas and there are combinations. Different ones work slightly differently, but with the same goal in mind — to up the amount of signal from your WiFi which can reach the parts of your house or rooms you most often use to surf the net. To quote from one such device’s description: “Extends existing Wi-Fi coverage area so you can enjoy wireless networking on compatible devices, including Apple iPad and iPod, e-readers, mobile phones, tablets and more...” In other words, to beef up coverage by being placed where the current WiFi signal starts to fade and retransmitting it with a second full power signal.

“Did the new company (a cable firm in Kentucky versus a telephone company) change your WiFi router and antenna?” I asked again. Again I got very vague answers which told me he did not have a clue what I was talking about nor was he curious as to why he should care. I pried a bit more: “Did they put it where the old one used to be?” I asked. “Nope, they told me that was not where their wiring came into my house so now it’s behind the TV in the living room by the fireplace. The old one was upstairs.” Lights in my head went off and I told him that was the whole issue: there simply was not enough signal to reach his easy chair reliably with the new location for his router. And on top of that, I wondered (and asked him) if their new equipment was as strong as what they took out. I could tell after a bit that I would be getting just as far speaking Swahili if I started to explain (which is what I plan to do for you readers) so in his case I gave up. The explanation, though, is simple (at least on the face of it) — the power and the location of your WiFi router will determine if things work and work well on the net in your house or wherever you are. If there’s not enough strength, you will need to relocate the router or add a range extender. It’s the same at the local restaurant or coffee shop only there, you don’t own the place so if you can’t connect (or connect well) just move tables or actually talk to those with you and switch off your computer, pad or other device for a bit. But back to my friend in Kentucky. Turns out my friend has a house built in 1929 with what he proudly says are “real plaster walls” and not wallboard. The house is also on three floors — a basement, main and upstairs. Add that up and exactly where the router is placed and how much “juice” it’s pumping out will determine if and where a laptop, iPad or anything else works reliably or at all. There’s also the issue of demand as in which rooms are demanding most of the signal which does exist. He has an Apple TV, a desktop computer, he and his wife both have laptops and iPads and he has kids so that means an Xbox One and a PlayStation to boot. All of those, while not in use simultaneously, will need their share of bandwidth, but also to receive that bandwidth, they need adequate signals from the WiFi. I’ve talked before many times here about bandwidth, so suffice to say I think he made the right choice going from the DSL he had with the telephone company (about 5 Megs download) to that cable modem (close to 20 Megs). He basically quadrupled the size of his “pipe” coming in, but if he can’t get the smaller pipes from the main hook-up to connect to his TV, iPads and so on then he’s not going to notice any improvement. In fact, in this case he was whining about a worse signal because the new location for the WiFi router (and apparently the strength) left huge open “dead spots” in his house. So what to do? Well, there are a lot of different possibilities. The easiest is to relocate that router back to where the old one was (if possible, given where the cables enter the house) and see if that helps. Going from upstairs to behind the TV downstairs means losing a bit of height advantage, plus there’s the ever-present issue of having enough power to get a reliable signal through those thick plaster walls — walls I’d be willing to bet contain wire mesh or something to hold his plaster in place. Think of it like listening to your car radio under a bridge or in the basement of a downtown parking garage. Once you go into those portland cement walls even your favourite FM or AM station will get static-filled or vanish altogether due to lack of signal. And FM stations have 3,000 to 100,000 watts, not a few milliwatts like that router pushes out. Add the whole thing together and it’s not an easy “fix”. Next he has the problem of several floors. WiFi signals are not much better than lineof-sight and they often do not travel well through modern (ie: cheap, thin) wallboard,

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There’s also the other end of the scale — one which we use at one spot in our house. Every device using WiFi has a small receiving antenna somewhere inside. You can try turning or reorienting your iPad or game console to grab more signal. Or, while this won’t work for an iPad or iPhone, an internet radio I have kept cutting out until my partner opened the back, pulled out the receiving antenna for the WiFi and extended the cable. Now the antenna sits on a bookcase — maybe not the prettiest but it’s only the size of a thumb drive— and my reception is rock solid. Problem solved! Remember, too that there are some limitations to even the biggest, best and baddest antennas and boosters. Chief among them is just like your car has a limit of how fast it could go (even were there no speed limits) there is a limit to what you can cover and what is economical to be worth covering using your WiFi. If you are shooting a zillion watts out and still can’t reach that favourite chair, you might consider moving the chair or going with a wired connection (for a laptop or desktop). I did warn this would be complicated. So what to do? Understand that there ARE limitations despite what your ISP has sold you. There will be times and spots where WiFi signals just will not work well. And there will be places where (despite all the claims from makers of extenders and helper antennas and boxes) that you will only be able to make things work reliably if you use a wire to connect. One such example is the computer this newspaper is composed on. It’s wired. It has a WiFi connection, but in the spot where my desk sits and in the downtown area where I live (with a lot of signals — from mobile phone antennas to police dispatchers, radio and TV stations and more) there’s just no totally reliable WiFi made that will guarantee what my wired connection does. Is this a fix-all for everyone? Not hardly, so two final suggestions to check. For one, make sure it’s your WiFi and not your device that’s got issues. Remember that iPads and computer WiFi connections and built-in receiving antennas DO sometimes fail. If in doubt, go to a friend’s or coffee shop and see if it connects reliably there. Finally, if things work just fine now, ask a lot of questions before you consider or make a change. While my Kentucky friend gets four times the speed he used to with that new cable modem, in his chair he gets nothing — and what fun’s a nap while enjoying radio or Netflix if you have to sit in a hard seat somewhere and not relaxing?

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FEB 1– JUL 13 See the first-ever exhibition of Blake Little’s photography of the gay rodeo circuit— a stunning example of black-and-white portraiture and rodeo photography that explores the diverse and complex natures of individual and community identity in the West.

Blake Little, Rodeo Partners Gene Hubert and Rick Ferreira, Sun Valley, California, 1991. Image courtesy of Blake Little.

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Outside The Box By Dr. Fred Schloemer, LCSW / Louisville Dear Dr. Fred: My partner and I have a dilemma we don’t ever recall seeing in your column before … namely, our best friends are driving us crazy! We’ll call them Hank and Harry here for privacy reasons. Hank and my partner are both nurses at the same hospital but work on different units. We all connected at the annual employee Christmas party 10 years ago and hit if off immediately. The four of us had so much in common and enjoyed each other’s company so much that we soon became inseparable, dining out, theatre-going, golfing, and even vacationing together at the timeshare we bought with them. That’s the good news.

realities. If and when they do enact a fantasy, they often find the fantasy would have been better left a fantasy. I see no other way to handle this situation but to confront it head on, gently but firmly. Tell your friends how much you love them and value their friendship, but make clear that you are not interested in having sex with them so it will never happen so you need them to stop hinting about it. Finally, you mention frequently that many of your friends’ “quirks” manifest after multiple cocktails have been consumed, so you might suggest to them that you all drink non-alcoholic beverages more often. Fred Schloemer, Ed.D., LCSW is a gay psychotherapist in Louisville. Write him at .

The bad news is that Hank and Harry have some maddening “quirks.” The most frequent one is that they’re always correcting each other’s stories, over details that don’t even matter. Hank will say “We went to the antique mall last Tuesday,” and Harry will butt in and say “No it was Wednesday,” like the day actually matters. Then Hank will come back at him and argue the point until they’re both shouting, and my partner and I have knots in our stomachs. Another quirk is that they’re constantly keeping score of what the other has done to be helpful. Harry will say “While you’re up Hank would you pour me another cocktail?” And Hank will say “I made the last one, so this one is your turn.” Then of course, Harry will argue the matter. “Well, I made you three drinks last night and you didn’t make me any.” And off they go again. Finally − and here’s the biggest issue − for some time now they’ve been pestering us to have a four way. It all started last summer when we were on vacation at our timeshare, and things got a little flirtatious in the hot tub after a few too many drinks. Nothing really happened, just some switching partners and kissing, till we all came to our senses and stopped. But it seems that started something, and now they often hint about “wanting to finish some unfinished business with us,” always after several cocktails. We just laugh and change the subject, but they soon bring it up again, and we’re getting tired of it. We really love these guys and cherish their friendship, plus we own a timeshare with them, so we don’t want to do anything to damage the relationship. But how do we tactfully let them know they’re driving us nuts, and we need them to make some changes in their behaviour? Sign us, “Over It in Evansville” Dear Over It: I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a letter with a more surprising ending. I was on one wavelength as I read about your friends’ gamey communication and interactions with each other, so I was totally unprepared for the final issue, which is certainly a horse of a different colour. Starting with the easiest stuff first … Your friends’ irritating habits of correcting each other and keeping score are actually very common problems among couples gay and straight. Both behaviours are examples of what in psychotherapy we call “intimacy blockers,” the chief of which is “the need to be right.” The unconscious motivation behind this behaviour is this: If I can make myself seem smarter or worthier than you then I have a certain power and superiority over you. Hopefully, when we look at them critically, most of us can recognise how counterproductive and alienating these behaviours are. Yet I’ve often been amazed at how even some very smart and loving couples engage in these petty and juvenile games with each other. When these behaviours occur in my couples’ therapy sessions I always intervene immediately and ask the simple questions: “Does that detail really matter? Is it worth arguing with your partner? What good does one of you being right and the other one being wrong really get you in the long run?” Usually, couples see the common sense of stopping the game and I ask them to make a pact to work on not needing to be right in future. You might try this strategy with your friends. Moving on to the heavier matter you pose, let me note that this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered this predicament, and for whatever the reasons, it’s always been with male couples. My guess is the problem is rooted in the essentially exploratory nature of male sexual expression. Many men love upping the sexual ante, fantasizing new and edgier things to do sexually and testing to see what fantasies can be made into

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RULES MATTER The title of this column is “Your Vote Counts,” chosen by publisher Ted many years ago. For this one month, I’d like to retitle it (if only in my mind): “Elections Have Consequences,” or more accurately, “Rules Matter.” The reason for this rebranding swerve: Indiana’s House of Representatives. More accurately, their rules of procedure. Lest you get lost in the woods, the House was set to deliberate on HJR-3 on the 13th of January. It’s the newly-reminted but still-archaic version of the marriage discrimination amendment formerly known as HJR-6. The house judiciary committee chairman told all involved: no committee amendments allowed, full testimony granted, vote at the end of committee hearings, out of the house by the end of the week.


A funny thing happened on the way to that agenda: the house majority (apparently) lost their committee majority on hearing day. A rare thing but not unprecedented. The chairman pulled the bill from consideration and rampant speculation took over.


By Rick Sutton / Political Columnist


Your Vote Counts

many are asking. Almost every political movement faces stern post-mortem. When the history of this movement is written, look for two unlikely states to be the “beginning of the end” for our opponents. Utah and Oklahoma. Who’da thought? And in the written history of our movement Indiana could be equally important. Stay tuned. This is where it gets interesting. Please Continue On Page 29

By the time you read this, the bill’s fate might be known….or not. For a week, through the MLK Holiday, the bill languished. The Schoolhouse Rock version of How A Bill Becomes a Bill was truncated for the Indiana House’s calendar and political machinations. In short, sausage and legislation, ya know? Indiana’s House of Representatives adopted rules of procedure during their organisational day last November. The rules are almost identical to the procedures adopted by every house session for the last four decades. Here’s why we should all pay attention and demand better from our elected representatives: Did you know the speaker of the house can pull any bill from any committee, reassign to another committee and direct the chairperson to hold a vote with or without testimony? Or that the speaker can pull members of any committee at any time and re-insert another representative, regardless whether that new committee member was abreast of the issues?

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Whether that occurred with HJR-3, we’ll all know by the time this column hits the street in print. What’s frightening is that our elected representatives can be blind-sided by the speaker’s actions without notice which means we are equally surprised.

This practice often occurs near the end of the legislative session in conference committees. While it’s only slightly less repugnant then, it’s more common. And the issue in question will have had adequate PUBLIC hearing in both chambers by the time a conference committee intervenes. Legislative rules can kill or breathe new life into issues. I want a speaker to have the power (s)he needs to preside over the house. But let’s be real: the absolute power to reassign committee members and to kill/revive legislation — both are powers unforeseen by our founders. A fair process — that’s all anyone can expect from a legislative session. OOOOOO-KLA HOMA! OOOOOO-KLA HOMA...Where the wind and wheat can sure smell sweet, and marriage is an open issue once again. In the last two months, two of the mostconservative states in America, Oklahoma and Utah, have had their Defence of Marriage Acts (DOMA) declared unconstitutional by federal judges. Their DOMAs are similar to Indiana’s in scope and content. If you’re Oz, controlling the universe and fighting a controversial issue (pick your side) you’d want to ensure you had resources for the battle. In the national equality picture, that would be the forces fighting “For” out-raising and outorganising those fighting “Against.” Can it continue? That’s the question which

March Edition Deadline

Tuesday 18th February Papers On Street: Friday 28th February

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:

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This year, evaluate whether you can benefit from: 1. Tax-advantaged investments. If appropriate, consider tax-free municipal bonds to provide federally tax-free income.* 2. Tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Consider contributing to a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k) to help lower your taxable income. 3. Tax-advantaged college savings accounts. Contribute or gift to a college savings plan for your children or grandchildren.

83% of Kentuckians support Fairness! statewide anti-discrimination fairness district 1 - 78% district 2 - 79% district 3 - 91% district 4 - 90% district 5 - 80% district 6 - 83% Kentucky Congressional Districts republican - 77% independent - 89% anti-bullying protections in school democrat - 87% district 1 - 81% district 2 - 84% district 3 - 92% hospital visitation rights district 4 - 93% district 1 - 84% district 5 - 82% district 2 - 89% district 6 - 91% district 3 - 96% All results are based upon telephone survey responses of 600 registered Kentucky voters in district 4 - 95% November and December 2010 conducted by The Schapiro Group, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia. district 5 - 89% Margin of sampling error +/- 4.0 percent. Full survey results at district 6 - 87%


the above demographic breakdown reflects support for employment discrimination protections only; support for housing & public accommodations protections have slight demographic variations but average 83%



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FRANKFORT, Ky.—A record 16 co-sponsors have joined Rep. Mary Lou Marzian's (D-Louisville) Statewide Fairness House Bill 171, filed in the Kentucky General Assembly. Six new representatives, including Rep. Derrick Graham (D-Frankfort), Rep. Rita Smart (D-Richmond), and Rep. David Watkins (D-Henderson), signed on to the bill, illustrating the rapid growth of support across the commonwealth for anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodation including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Last month, Morehead's passage of a city-level version of the law rounded out a year in which Kentucky doubled the number of municipalities with Fairness ordinances, adding Frankfort and the Appalachian town of Vicco to Covington, Lexington and Louisville, which passed protections more than a decade ago.

Michael E Wright, CFPÂŽ

Grassroots movements to pass local Fairness laws are afoot in nearly a dozen other cities in the commonwealth, including Bowling Green, Danville, Elizabethtown, Owensboro, Shelbyville and Berea, where the city council has appointed a task force to draft a local Fairness law.

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"This type of unprecedented support at the statewide level is clear and compelling evidence that Kentucky is moving in the right direction--towards Fairness," shared Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman. "Coupled with the tremendous progress across the whole commonwealth, these new co-sponsors should compel house leadership and the judiciary committee to finally hold a hearing on the legislation, which they have avoided the past 15 years." More than 25% of Kentucky's population now lives in a city with lesbian, gay, bi & trans Fairness protections and 83% of all registered Kentucky voters support a statewide Fairness law, according to a recent survey by The Schapiro Group. A statewide Fairness rally will be held in the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday, 19th February at 1.30 p.m. The address is 700 Capital Avenue, Frankfort, 40601. Member SIPC

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Finances In Focus By Michael Wright / Edward D Jones If you’re a football fan (and probably even if you aren’t), you are aware that we’re closing in on the Super Bowl. This year’s event is unique in that it is the first Super Bowl held in an outdoor, cold-weather site — New Jersey, to be specific. However, the 2014 game shares many similarities to past Super Bowls in terms of what it took for the two teams to arrive at this point. And some of these same characteristics apply to successful investors. Here are a few of these shared traits: A good offence — Most Super Bowl teams are adept at moving up and down the field and crossing the goal line. And good investors know how to choose those investments that can provide them with the gains they need to keep moving toward their own goals, such as a comfortable retirement. That’s why, at every stage of your life, you will need to own a reasonable percentage of growth-oriented investments, such as stocks and stock-based vehicles. A strong defence — Even a good offence usually isn’t enough to vault a team into the Super Bowl, which is why most participants in the big game also have strong defences. Similarly, the best investors don’t just put all their money in a single type of aggressive instrument and then forget about it — they know that a downturn affecting this particular asset class could prove extremely costly. Instead, they “defend” their portfolios by diversifying their holdings among a range of investments: stocks, bonds, government securities, certificates of deposit and so on. And you can do the same. Keep in mind, however, that although diversification can help reduce the impact of volatility on your portfolio, it can’t guarantee a profit or always protect against being thrown for a loss. Perseverance — Every team that makes it to the Super Bowl has had to overcome some type of adversity — injuries to key players, a difficult schedule, bad weather, playoff games against good opponents, etc. Successful investors have also had to overcome hurdles, such as bear markets, bad economies, political battles and changing tax laws. Through it all, these investors stay invested, follow a long-term strategy and continue to look for new opportunities — and their perseverance is often rewarded. You can follow their example by not jumping out of the market when the going looks tough and not overreacting to scary-sounding headlines.

Second home — Once you retire, you’ll have to make some housing-related decisions. Should you sell your home and “downsize”? Or do you want to keep your current residence and possibly purchase a second home, such as a condominium, say in Palm Springs or Key West? Obviously, you’ll need to factor in these choices when you think about how to invest before you retire and how to manage your withdrawals from your 401(k), IRA and other accounts during your retirement. Volunteer activities — You might think that your volunteer activities during retirement won’t affect your finances much. But if you are particularly ambitious, and your volunteerism involves travel, renting space, purchasing equipment and so on, you might be looking at some large cash outlays. Furthermore, if you host people at your house, you may be incurring some types of liability risk, which you might need to address through appropriate insurance coverage. Don’t shy away from helping the Damien Centre, House of Ruth or your local pride, but do be aware if you really, truly get into it, there can be costs. Hobbies — During your working years, you may pursue hobbies with the thought and hope that you could devote a lot more time to them after you retire. However, expanded hobby activities may involve expanded costs. For example, if you’re good with cars, you might decide to invest in that sports car of which you’ve dreamed. Or, if you like motorcycles you might buy several. Same for sailboats or anything else one can collect — from watches to stamps. Or, if you’re fascinated by genealogy, perhaps you’ll start travelling to places once inhabited by your ancestors. These types of activities can be expensive, so you’ll have to evaluate your saving, spending and investing habits to determine how to accommodate your increased expenditures on those hobbies you wish to pursue in retirement. Second career — Many people look forward to retiring from one career so they can start another. Maybe you want to open a small business, consult or even take a part-time job. Clearly, if you were to start your own business, some expenses would be involved, so you’ll have to plan for them. Even if you become a consultant or work part time, you could incur various costs, including travel. And, in relation to these types of work, you may also have insurance and health care issues to address. By identifying the various components of your retirement vision, and estimating their respective costs, you can make those saving, spending and investment choices starting now that can help you work toward your retirement dream.

Good coaching — Super Bowl teams contain many fine players, but they still need coaches who can analyse situations and make the right decisions at the right times. Smart, experienced investors also benefit from coaching — in the form of guidance from financial professionals. It’s not always easy for busy people to study the financial markets, stay current on changing investment-related laws, monitor their own portfolios and make changes as needed. By working with a financial professional who knows your situation, needs, goals and risk tolerance, you will find it much easier to navigate the increasingly complex investment world. As we’ve seen, some of the same factors that go into producing a team capable of reaching the Super Bowl are also relevant to investors who want to reach their own goals. By incorporating these behaviours and attitudes into your own investment strategy, you’ll be following a pretty good “game plan.” On another game related topic, have you considered your game plan for the “long haul”? Many readers of The Word are guys and gals in their 20s, and while retirement seems a zillion years away, please do not stop reading... in fact, read on and make some notes. You will thank me in 40 or 50 years! See, when you start out in your career, you’re probably not thinking much about retirement. At this point, your picture of a “retirement lifestyle” may be, at best, hazy, hidden as it is behind a veil of experiences you’ve yet to encounter. But as you move through the years, your view of retirement comes into clearer and closer focus — and this vision will have a big impact on your savings and investment strategies. Consequently, to create and implement those strategies effectively, you’ll need to define your retirement vision by identifying its various parts. Here are some to consider: Travel — If you’re like many people, you may dream of travelling during your retirement. But what does “travel” mean to you? Do you envision taking a cruise or an international trip every year? Or is your idea of travel just a short jaunt to a popular destination, such as a lake or the Smokies or Lauderdale or P-Town? The difference in costs between global and U.S.-based travel can be enormous, so you’ll need to define your goals and estimate your expenses.

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The Goose Is Loose!

Your Vote Counts Continued From Page 19 VOTING SHOULD BE EASIER

By Michael Chanak / Cincinnati Pundit & Commentator When does diversity Divide?

In the Hoosier State successive legislatures have slowly (but deliberately) hacked away at voting access for over three decades. Oft Republican-led, these repressive measures have looked like this:

Tales have a way of reaching a Goose’s ears. I have been known to touch the third rail of “sensibilities” of the local gay, lesbian, bi, trans, etc. communities and I will waddle into the thicket.

**Until the federal Motor Voter Law, anyone who wanted to register voters had to get a packet from their county clerk, often in limited supply (5-6 blank forms per person, numbered)…so if you wanted to register multiple voters at a county fair you’d have to band together with a few dozen fellow deputy registrars.

A non-transgender person who wants to do training on transgender issues (due to their own previous lack of knowledge) is told, “they are not identified as part of that community.”

**The 2008 voting centre procedure worked well, so God forbid we should make it easier to vote again. The legislature promptly changed the procedure so that local election boards had to vote unanimously to allow vote centres, which meant Indiana’s largest county wouldn’t ever do it again. Folks can claim “ voter fraud” and “ballot security” all they want, but this was a blatant move to tamp-down votes in Democratic counties (especially Marion where Indianapolis is located) — No more and no less. And it might work. **Voter ID. There’s a happy medium out there somewhere, but in the name of “ballot integrity” we’ve gone squirrel hunting with a cannon. And the result is a disproportionate clamp down on poor and minority voters. The message to voters: we like it when you vote, but not if you vote the wrong way. Does that sound at all similar to the case put forth in the opening portion of this month’s column? As in: “vote my way or hit the highway.” It won’t get better until voters send this message: knock it off.

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Goose found this tale perplexing because during my former P & G life, I participated in diversity programmes. Turns out P&G got it right: the person who “gets how his former behaviour impacted someone not in the majority” often becomes the best advocate for that group. Is the ever-burgeoning list of groups offering services, support, and love to the gay, lesbian, bi, trans, questioning, etc. communities a direct result of need, diversity or is it merely our inability to embrace one another? Mother Goose has often pondered this issue publicly (She has the Dick Cheney pellet wounds to prove it!). Diversity is a modernism. It is not a survival skill of the cave years when geese evolved from feathered dinosaurs. I remember those times when it was eat or be eaten. I am still thanking that comet. Today, diversity and its appreciation is a survival skill. Yet, for every unfortunate tale of intentions gone wrong or misunderstanding — the Goose can report sometimes people see diversity as a chance to expand their horizons. This business of diversity reminds of the true tale of how the “Men’s group” in Cincinnati which started in 1982 meeting at the Highland Coffee House underwent a positive transformation thanks to folks being open to change. The Men’s group moved from the coffee house, to personal homes and finally to the Gay & Lesbian Centre in Cincinnati before the physical space closed. Over that time there were weekly chat sessions and a monthly potluck the first Thursday of each month. Sure enough, as time went by all sorts of people were easily included by the group into the fold. We had straight women, allies, transgender folks attending and one day a former board member of the Centre, Adam Reilly said it and said it best – “let’s just call it the gay, lesbian, bi & trans group.” Sure enough, Adam’s idea stuck. Better yet, and just maybe because of the willingness of this group to expand beyond the gender binary, the Goose has learned that New Spirit Metropolitan Community Church at 4033 Hamilton Avenue in Northside (Cincinnati) will start hosting the gay, lesbian, bi & trans monthly potlucks the first Thursday each month. The first one there will be 6th February at 7 p.m. All of the above also reminded me that our differences are just that — differences. Too often they’re a result of our upbringing and old feelings – but they should never be a reason to divide us. The Word February 2014 On The Web At: Page 29

Giddyup!! Tribute To Gay Rodeo Opens @ Eiteljorg Continued From The Front Page they were gay!” Little said when asked what first sparked his interest in gay rodeos. Blake Little became more than an observer. After getting hooked by going to rodeos, he wanted to become a part of the action. He learned to ride a steer, then a bull and slowly began to master the technique. In 1990 he was named Bull Riding Champion of the Year at the International Gay Rodeo Association. “These photographs represent an amazing, magical time in my life. Back then, I questioned if I was a ‘real’ cowboy because in the back of my mind I always felt like an observer – and photography was my first passion. But my unique situation allowed me to document the growing sport of gay rodeo from the inside along with the thrills and personal challenges of fulfilling my cowboy dreams,” said Little. Curated by Eiteljorg assistant curator, Johanna Blume, Blake Little serves as a stunning example of black-and-white portraiture and of rodeo photography. But that’s not all, said Blume. “This exhibit also explores the diverse and complex natures of individual and community identity in the West. Many of the people in these photos were gay, lesbian, bi & trans men and women from rural backgrounds and the gay rodeo circuit gave them a place where they could embrace and celebrate their full identities.”

The Photographer Speaks

Little has a storied career as a professional photographer. One of his first assignments, in the 1980s, was to shoot Tom Cruise for the cover of magazine. That project launched his career as a portrait photographer. He has worked with Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart, Marcia Cross, Colin Powell, Kevin Spacey, k.d. lang, 50 Cent, Iggy Pop, Glenn Close, Jane Fonda, Jack Black, Adrien Brody and Jane Lynch among many others. He has photographed for publications such as London Times Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, People, Time, Los Angeles Magazine and ESPN the Magazine. Little has also made a name for himself by examining concepts and definitions of masculinity through his portrait series Manifest and The Company of Men. The Eiteljorg plans to travel Blake Little nationally after the exhibit closes on 13th July. The timeline and venues for the travelling exhibit are to be determined. Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo and associated public programmes at the Eiteljorg are a part of the museum’s Out West series. The series, created and produced by independent curator Gregory Hinton, illuminate the many contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities of the American West, and celebrate the diversity of the region. “Blake Little chronicles the proud tradition of this wholly American sport from the action-packed arena floor to the rodeo cowboy’s most intimate, contemplative moments behind the chutes.” said Hinton. “Little holds his own in the finest tradition of rodeo and equine photography, evoking Kurt Marcus and the great Louise L. Serpa.”

Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo documents the gay rodeo circuit in the American West between 1988 and 1992. The 41 photographs of rodeo events and participants offer us a unique glimpse into that world, and allow us to explore the diverse and complex natures of individual and community identity in the West. Blake Little competed in the rodeo during the time that he took these photos. His first encounter with the gay rodeo came in 1988, and over the next several years he attended every rodeo he could, camera in hand. Many of Blake’s photos of rodeo events and candid moments behind-the-scenes owe their existence to his need to clear his head and calm his nerves before competing. The gay rodeo has assumed different meanings for its participants over the years, but all are united by a sense of community. The relationships formed within it were and continue to be some of the most important in the lives of many gay and lesbian cowboys and cowgirls. Some of the cowboys and cowgirls pictured in these photographs still ride, many have since retired from their rodeo days, and still others have passed away. He says of the exhibit, “I want to share these images for two reasons: to memorialise my unforgettable experiences in gay rodeo in the late 1980s, and to honour the cowboys who competed with me and left a huge mark on my life.” The exhibit, on view through 13th July, illuminates just one of many contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities to the American West, and celebrates the rich diversity of the region.

Page 30 Blake Little

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pecs and the by Matt Ponder As a trainer, I need to keep my body in rockin’ shape. Lead by example and all that. Besides, I never know if they’re gonna call me for a reunion of Unicorn alumni, so I have to be ready at a moment’s notice to strip down to a jockstrap. Like the Boy Scouts taught me: be prepared. Anyway, I try to watch what I eat, but every once in a while, a pizza sounds amazing. So last week, I ordered a pizza and as luck would have it, the delivery guy knocked on my door right when I was getting in the shower. I wrapped a towel around me and opened the door and the boy who was standing there with my pizza was CW superhero beautiful. Dark curly hair, big green eyes, muscles that look like they’re ready to explode out of his tight t-shirt and a smirky half smile full of bright white teeth. “You ordered the pizza with extra sausage?” he asked, his eyes raking up and down my wet torso. “Uh no, it was just a veggie pizza,” I replied, my eyes skipping down the veins in his biceps. “I know,” he said, reaching down to squeeze the tightly packed crotch of his jeans. “This is the extra sausage.” He put his other hand on my towel and... All right, hold on just one second. That never happened. But it does happen repeatedly in porn movies with varying scenarios. Hot, right? Realistic? No. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many porn-style encounters in my day, but the glossy world where these things happen on a daily basis is as realistic as Pandora, Tatooine or Middle Earth. Strangely enough, many people believe that the way events unfold and how people behave in triple-X entertainment is how sex should play out in real life. We scoff at the idea that Clark Kent can fly and we groan at the rain-soaked declaration of love in a rom-com, but we have absolutely no problem believing that if a handsome mechanic offers a lube job what he’s really saying is that he wants you to bend over the nearest car hood. Do I love porn? Of course I do. But porn is nothing like real sex. Real sex can be unbelievably hot, but the translation from film to reality is incredibly muddled. Slamming hip deep into someone the first time you meet isn’t always met with approval, not to mention that condoms don’t magically appear on your dick. The physicality of sex in a hayloft, on a beach or in a strangely empty locker room is a lot more difficult than it seems. And most importantly, the bronzed, buff automatons that populate this fantasy world where everyone is ready for sex at any time and anywhere, are not an ideal representation of the real people who populate this earth.

person that you’re attracted to. The comparison of what we’ve seen online or how we should go about initiating it is a drastic departure from what could be considered normal human behavior, and everyday behavior takes the control out of the hands of someone who has become increasingly dependent on porn as a sexual touchstone. Scientifically, porn doesn’t prevent you from lusting after living, breathing men, but it can provide easy access to sex with multiple partners without commitment. No need to talk after sex, just turn off your laptop. The aftereffects, however, run much deeper. I won’t bore you with a science lesson in the middle of a column on porn, but scientists theorize that humans possess something called “mirror neurons”. This is a neurological response that tells us to perform actions that we see other humans performing. In other words, the more porn we watch, the more we want to re-enact it with another person. Take away the threat of disease or — god forbid — fidelity, and it makes porn and all of its twisted positions even more desirable. This is followed by the expectation that what happens in XXX entertainment is what we will begin to define as “normal sex”. But in the kaleidoscope of sexuality what exactly is normal? The truth of the matter is this: porn is an escape. Just like video games, porn puts you in control and it allows you to feel more in control of your sexuality. When you’re faced with a real person with real feelings in a real world environment, it can jolt you back to the cold actuality of human interaction. That’s when you have to make a decision: do you see how this plays out or do you go home to your computer and turn on the guys that do what you want when you want? Are you willing to risk rejection when you have RocketTube at your service? So what of those rampant porn aficionados that try to balance their porn use with a real, human relationship? It’s easier when you aren’t cohabitating, but when two people become one household, do you hide it? Do you only watch it when your partner isn’t home? Do you watch porn together? All these scenarios come into play, but the real question is, how does it make you view your partner? Many men whose partners watch a buttload (get it?) of porn tend to develop feelings of inadequacy and lack of intimacy. If they don’t measure up to the horse-hung himbots of the worldwide web they may instinctively draw away and feel substandard in the eyes of their partner. The key here is to accept that porn is merely a fantasy. You wouldn’t begrudge your partner’s desire to fantasize that he’s a vampire or a spy or the captain of a spaceship, so why worry that porn will affect how he thinks of you? As a matter of fact, porn can be used as a reference point to experiment with things you never thought possible. Whether it’s bondage, dirty talk, domination or role-play, finding the perfect balance to incorporate what your mirror neurons have stored up can make your sex life even more exciting than you thought. The beauty of porn is that you can experience all the oh-so-nasty flavours of sex safely and without sacrificing your loyalty to an existing partner. And the beauty of real sex is that even when it’s hot, it can be clumsy and funny and a safe place for deciding if what you see onscreen or in your mind is truly something you want to do. Now if you’ll excuse me, the two guys from the lacrosse team who mow my yard need to be paid and I don’t seem to have any cash on me. Maybe we can work out a deal...

Sex, like many other goods and services, is now only a click away. Any time of the day or night you can see people engaging in whatever nasty thing your mind can dream up — if you still use your mind to fantasize, that is. Interestingly enough, out of the million most trafficked websites in the world only a little more than 42,000 are porn sites. That’s only around 4%. Crazy, right? I would guess it would be about 50%. When you Google the words “gay porn” you get 314,000,000 results. Sure, not all of that is actual porn, but I’m guessing about 99% of it is, especially if you are using Google Image search. 314 million results. Think about this: the population of the U.S. in 2012 was 313.9 million. It’s mind-boggling. The unbelievable access that we now have has erased the mystique and taboo of porn, along with the now extinct back rooms of video stores and tightly wrapped issues of Jock and Honcho (magazines, for those too young to recall them). When I was a kid, the only way I could see a naked man was in a grainy, pause-buttoned still frame from The Blue Lagoon or Porky’s or in a shiny skin magazine that I was too petrified to actually purchase. Now I can pull up a movie full of gym-built gods in a sweat-soaked gangbang on my phone while I’m in my dentist’s waiting room. The general consensus is that the ability to see sex of any kind in seconds is blunting the nerves that used to crackle with excitement when you meet a real flesh and blood

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Pink In The Sheets By Mz. Pink / Word Columnist Dear Mz. Pink, My girlfriend talks to other girls on the phone, Facebook and in texts. I am uncomfortable with this, but when I tell her she tells me that nothing’s happening. She says that since she is honest with me that I should just be happy that she isn’t keeping secrets and she would never cheat on me. I don’t know what to believe. I tell her I want her to stop, but she doesn’t or she gets defensive and tells me she will just turn off her phone and delete her social media pages. How can I deal with this in such a way that I won’t look and feel stupid in the end? Should I even deal with this or should I nip it in the bud as soon as possible? I trust her, but I am also a little jealous, I don’t know where the happy medium is with those two feelings. Please help? Potentially cheated on-Indy


Dear Potentially Cheated on,


I would say if you trust her to just leave it at that and move on, but I know that answer isn’t good enough since you have a lot of skepticism running through your mind right now. That said, if the move on answer is good enough, then you should just do that now, and know that she loves you and you love her; she trusts you and you trust her.


If you want an extended version of my answer here goes:


It is hard to trust someone who is doing things that are “normal” activities tied to people who cheat. I’m not saying all people who use social media, text or talk to the sex they are attracted to are cheating, but when you hear stories of a person cheating, they usually start with texts, secret phone calls and notes back and forth online so yes, I can understand your fears.

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With that being said, first things first: Don’t go snooping! Do not look for trouble! You will be sure to find something offensive even if it’s not cheating. Maybe the other person feels a certain way and is asking advice that you deem inappropriate for your woman to answer. BAM! Offended! Do you see where I’m going with this? I have a few questions though. 1.) Are her interactions taking away from you? 2.) Are they interrupting personal time? 3.) How long does she normally chat with these other females? 4.) Does she tell you when or if they are inappropriate to her? I ask these because if this is the case, then you need to have a real conversation with her and tell her how you feel (and why) and make her listen. Ask her if she’d feel OK if you were doing the same things. I’m not a fan of ultimatums, but if she isn’t listening, give her one. Tell her to choose them or you. It should be an easy decision. If it’s not then you need to move on no matter how much you love her. Of course, she could be doing all of this to get a rise out of you. Maybe she likes to see you jealous and wants to make you jealous. If that’s the case then don’t feed in to the negativity. Try not to fuel any arguments or act a certain way when she tells you it’s nothing.



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I want you to stay strong in your convictions, but once you open the flood gate to accusations and extreme jealousy then you open the same gate to fights, tears and lies. If her chatting with these people isn’t interrupting your lives (other than you don’t like it) then maybe it is best you just trust her and take it at face value. Tell her you don’t like it, but you trust her so as long as it doesn’t get out of hand — that it’s OK to keep chatting. I don’t want you to make a mountain out of a molehill and then regret your decision, but only you know how you feel, what you can handle and what you want to tolerate so listen to your intuition. If it tells you something isn’t right, then something isn’t right no matter whether she’s cheating or not. If you only have suspicions but you still trust her and love her then go with the flow. Good luck, Mz. Pink


The Word February 2014 On The Web At: Page 37


Open to all artists 18 years and older creating work exploring sex, gender, sexuality, eroticism, reproduction, romantic relationships, and/or the human figure. Entries must be original works in any media including: painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, video, sculpture, ceramics, fibers, mixed media, and performance pieces. Proposals for installations may be submitted, but artists are responsible for installing the work and for all expenses involved. Models must be 18 years or over, with model release forms provided upon request. Artists should keep in mind they are responsible for the shipping costs to and from the exhibit, and take this into consideration when submitting larger works. The jurors reserve the right to disqualify any work that varies from the submitted image including: artworks that are a different size than stated on the application, artworks that differ in quality from the submitted image, and artworks that arrive damaged.

The Kinsey Institute Collection

Established in 1947, The Kinsey Institute now houses one of the world’s largest and most renowned collections of historical and contemporary art, artifacts and photography dealing with sex, gender and reproduction. The more than 100,000 items span 2000 years of history, and range from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary erotic photography. Because The Kinsey Institute does not have funds for new acquisitions, the collection is dependent upon donations to continue its growth. The Institute encourages participants to consider adding their works to this historic collection. Please contact the Institute’s Curator of Art, Artifacts and Photographs at or 812-855-7686 for information about the collections or to inquire about donations.

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All works selected by the jurors will be included in the The Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show 2014 at the Grunwald Gallery of Art, May 16-July 12, 2014, and included in a virtual version of the exhibit on The Kinsey Institute website. An opening reception will take place at the Grunwald Gallery on May 16, 6-8 P.M. A cash prize of $300 will be awarded to the artist whose work is selected as “Best in Show”. A $200 prize will be awarded to the work voted “Gallery Visitors’ Choice” on the night of the opening reception.

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Sheila's Column

When It Comes To Downtown Living We Got All The Bases Covered!

By Sheila Suess Kennedy

Call this month’s column “On the Banks of the Wabash.” Ah, Indiana! When everyone else is going one way, my home state can usually be counted on to march in the opposite direction. Last year, we saw the number of states recognising same-sex marriage double. So naturally, the Indiana legislature has decided to double down on the state’s existing ban on such marriages. It isn’t enough, evidently, that we already have a statutory ban that has survived scrutiny by those fearful “activist” judges. No — our lawmakers, egged on by our home-grown culture warriors — want to add an even more draconian measure to the state’s constitution. The language of the proposed constitutional amendment would not only define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, it would outlaw any relationship “substantially similar” to marriage. That language would clearly apply to civil unions, but beyond that, no one really knows what it means. The most effective of the Hoosier culture warriors promoting this display of homophobia is a character named Eric Miller. Miller has made himself a nice living over the years by creating a “not for profit” that charges a group of very conservative Hoosier churches “dues.” Those dues support an “organisation” composed of Miller and his small law firm.

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His power comes from his ability to get the members of those churches to vote in GOP primaries, and historically, Indiana Republicans have been terrified of him. The local media has reported that Miller and his cohorts have been rallying their troops by claiming that a failure to constitutionalize the ban will lead to authorities jailing ministers who preach against homosexuality. He also claims that merchants would be forced to do business with gay, lesbian, bi & trans customers or face stiff fines, and — Wait for it! — Indiana restrooms will have to be unisex!! All of this, of course, is utter bullshit. Although his willingness to tell humongous fibs does raise the possibility that Miller didn’t really graduate from an accredited law school (or listen to church lessons about bearing false witness), I’ve always presumed that he did, and that somewhere along the way he had to encounter the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment — and specifically, the Free Exercise Clause — clearly allows pastors to preach whatever they believe without fear of punishment by big, bad government. Think about it: If bigotry from the pulpit were a criminal offense, a lot of racist pastors would be ministering from behind bars. Miller’s other assertions are equally bogus. A ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions in the Indiana Constitution would have absolutely no effect on merchants’ decisions about what customers to serve. Protection of gay customers against discrimination in commerce would only take effect if Indiana amended its state civil rights laws to include gay, lesbian, bi & trans folks. Unless and until that happens (around the time pigs fly), homophobic business owners with establishments not located in one of the few municipalities that have local antidiscrimination ordinances remain free to refuse service to gay people, to fire people for being gay and to refuse to hire people they suspect may be gay. I’m not going to dignify the restroom accusation, except to point out that most public restrooms are used by one person at a time, and — don’t tell Miller — a lot of establishments today only have one facility for both men and women. I’ve never understood the right’s hysteria over toilets. Speaking of hysteria, these latest, patently ridiculous accusations are the latest sign that Miller and his merry band of culture warriors are beginning to panic. They are not going softly or gracefully into the dustbin of history. But hysterical or not, that’s where they’re going.

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Word Comment The owner of a Midwest gay club called me the other day furious that he’d heard I was spreading a rumour that he was about to close his doors. That rumour has been all over town since two Indianapolis clubs plus one in Ohio and one in Bloomington called it quits in 2013 — two of them right at the New Year. The owner said he’d heard I was starting a rumour he was going to join the closing parade and I told him the truth: He called us weeks ago to say he wouldn’t be doing ads as he “might be closing if things did not pick up” and that a whole bunch of folks have heard the same thing and called The Word asking about his club, another club in Indiana and one in Kentucky. Rumours are flying that all are going to soon shutter and all I can tell anyone is the truth: Ask the respective owners and go patronise them if you go out because all of the clubs — not just Club X or Club Y — need our business now more than ever. It got me to thinking and in all the years (22 and counting) since I started The Word, I can never recall a time like this — one where we as a community are seeing and feeling an unprecedented amount of acceptance and support in the world. It’s what we “old guys” have fought for and written about and requested for many years now. Back in the day we’d not have been welcome at a “straight” club so we couldn’t go out except to the local gay bar. Back then we had no internet, Facebook, Grindr, cell phones, texts or any of that. If you wanted to meet someone you looked in the written personals The Word and other papers ran or you “went out”, which was defined as to a local gay bar, usually late on a Saturday night and hoped to find a date, boyfriend or trick. Now times have changed. We have all of the “pleasures” mentioned above and we can meet folks through multiple channels. There’s not much meeting by the younger guys in dark alleys, in bathrooms or stairways anymore because there does not need to be. But the downside of all of these “wonders” is the call we got the other day. Just as personals disappeared from the newspaper when 900 number lines showed up and then they in turn vanished after the internet came along, forcing us to change to stay relevant and solvent, the same is true now of the traditional gay club. Also, and this is a major point of this editorial, we as a community seem to have “forgotten” the folks who for years and years have been our support and mainstay. Many readers have quit going to clubs and as owners have fought to stay ahead of the curve, sadly many of them have closed and others are indeed being rumoured close to the same fate for lack of profits to even keep their coolers filled with beer and staffs paid. We as a community need to not leave our friends like this....we are indeed welcome everywhere and that’s a huge plus. But we also need to stop off and see our old friends and buy lunch, dinner, a beer, a drink or go to a show or dance awhile and support them.

Meanwhile, to the club owners who remain locked in 1987, we have to say reinvention is going to be needed if you plan to make it in this changed climate. Look at clubs like Indy’s Metro and English Ivy’s and Louisville’s new Play. All of them (and others) “get it” and welcome and encourage anyone and everyone to come by. They are not “gay” or “lesbian” but merely clubs and restaurants with great events and staff. The best examples are at Metro where owner Jim and managers Duffy and Ruth work overtime to make sure there truly is something for everyone — from food to shows, music and specials. Same is true at English Ivy’s where manager Brock does everything from good food & weekend brunch to a “Cheers” atmosphere. Go in at lunch and the gay girls and boys numbers will be eclipsed by folks from the nearby medical centre because everyone feels welcome. The same is true of the big clubs — Dayton’s MJ’s (in the midst of a move and expansion), Louisville’s new Play and Indy’s Greg’s and Talbott Street, where the base has been broadened to make sure everybody’s welcome and feels valued. Unique niche clubs, too, have their loyal audiences, but the leather audience is changing, those wanting strippers and drag is shifting and everybody is watching their wallet in what have been (and continue to be) lean times. For there to be such a wide variety of choices catering to everybody, we need to give support anywhere and everywhere we can. And we need to thank those who offer unique opportunities by opening their doors to pageants, contests, community fundraisers and handing over part of their profits to those of us in the gay community. They have always done this and with any luck (and our support) they will continue. So back to the rumours: Yes, they are flying and yes they are out there about a number of places — not just the one whose boss called with his voice in a wail before he slammed down the receiver. Only the passing of time will determine what, if any, of the gossip is true, but so long as we own a newspaper people will call, stop us and e-mail to ask which rumours may or may not be valid. And as long as we can we will be here to get and give answers as best and as accurately as we are able. To the furious club owner who yelled at us a few days ago, all we can say is you did phone us and so did your manager and you both said things were not looking good. That’s apparently a message that’s been spoken elsewhere and made the rounds since we have had a lot of calls and inquiries. By yelling at us and slamming down the phone you’ve done nothing but shoot the messsenger. And to your customers I will say it again: If you want your favourite club, bar, restaurant or act to stay open and in business, instead of calling us to shout, whine or gossip, get out there and support them. Buy some food or drinks, tip generously and let these businesses know that even in today’s myriad of choices, you choose to give them your support. Look for me and my crew out this weekend.... hope to see you as well!

For all the years we had nothing else, they were there for us, so we owe it to them to return that favour now. Page 44

The Word February 2014 On The Web At:

Ted Fleischaker, Publisher, The Word

Standard Reviewer By Bill Elliott / Word Critic As with last year’s Silver Linings Playbook, I left the cinema feeling distinctly uncomfortable about David O. Russell’s new film, American Hustle. Silver Linings Playbook tackled mental illness and played it mostly for laughs. This time the subject is criminal activity. Like its predecessor, the film has been praised as a character study and a comedy. I am quite sure that American Hustle is meant to be satire. Channelling the past, Russell and writer Eric Warren Singer present America as a place where everyone is constantly hustling and being hustled. But, judging by the conversations I heard on exiting the cinema I am not sure others saw the film in the same way. Most people seemed content to view the film as a con artist caper that was entertaining and funny. Like most crime films, American Hustle deals with blurred and often contradictory codes of social and interpersonal behaviour. In iconic films about organised crime, Mafiosi have few qualms about whacking their enemies while maintaining a high regard for family values and personal honour. American Hustle seems to extend that morally ambiguous code to the whole of society. A man can ruin the lives of ordinary and desperate people and yet love his wife, son, mistress, and friends. Does that make him a decent person? Or just an ordinary American? Good satire should send a clear message. It’s hard to glean any clear moral statement in this film. American Hustle strikes me as tragic and rather depressing. Most, if not all, of the characters in the film are self-deluded and rather pathetic. No one can be trusted. And every relationship is an opportunity for self-improvement. Self-promotion and selfinterest are at the core of American society. The problem is that in analysing moral ambiguity, American Hustle has no real moral centre itself. Who are we supposed to identify with? Who are the good — or even reasonably decent — guys here? Set in 1978, the film is loosely based on the controversial FBI Abscam sting operation, which led to the conviction of several U.S. Congressmen, state officials and a New Jersey mayor. While names are changed the essence of the Abscam sting is at the heart of American Hustle. Christian Bale (gaining 50 pounds and wearing a comb-over hairstyle) plays Irving Rosenfeld, a small time New Jersey con artist who scams clients in need of money by promising a five-fold return on a $5,000 investment. After depositing the $5,000 the client never sees a penny. He meets up with a young female hustler called Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), who adopts the persona of a British aristocrat. The two click professionally and personally, and the money starts pouring in. The FBI is soon onto the pair and Irving and Edith are collared in a sting operation led by agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper sporting a disco-era perm). In return for their cooperation in landing bigger fish, the two are roped into a much larger sting involving local and federal politicians as well as the Mafia. American Hustle posits that everyone is corrupt already or is easily corruptible; whether a petty criminal, a seasoned politician, a popular and well-intentioned mayor, or an ambitious FBI agent, everyone is driven by self-centred motives, usually involving financial gain. What makes American Hustle (like Silver Linings Playbook) so difficult to pin down is that the main characters are flawed, sympathetic creatures. Whether that is due to good writing or solid acting, or whether it is simply a convention of Hollywood film that the audience must identify with someone, I am not sure. As in Russell’s previous film, the dialogue is snappy, the direction is slick, and the performances are noteworthy. But the film still leaves me feeling uncomfortable and I am not sure if that is intentional. As a soft-hearted con artist, Bale’s Irving Rosenfeld is the character most audience members will identify with. He is earnest and affectionate. He is overweight and has a

heart condition. Groping on the ground for his spilled heart pills, you feel he could die any moment. Is it real or all for show? While he has feelings for his wife and adopted son and for his mistress and his friends, he clearly has no compunction in screwing money out of those who are desperate enough to seek his help. His partner and lover, Sydney Prosser, is frosty and less likeable. She is motivated by self-interest, even though she remains loyal to Irving. Irving’s spouse, Rosalyn (a brassy bleached blonde Jennifer Lawrence), is a sad and lonely housewife. But we quickly realise she is passive aggressive and manipulative. Mayor Carmine Polito (sympathetically played by Jeremy Renner) comes across as a family man and a champion of the working class. He wants to bring jobs to the workers of New Jersey. But he is willing to take bribes in order to do so. At worst, Polito seems naïve and gullible. But he still breaks the law for personal gain. As for Richie DiMaso — he is the film’s most ruthlessly manipulative and singularly unpleasant character. Yet by the film’s end he has received such a comeuppance you almost feel sorry for him. It speaks volumes that the film’s only truly incorruptible person, DiMaso’s officious, by-the-book boss Stoddard Thorsen (Louis C.K.), is viewed as an object of ridicule because he is unwilling to bend the rules even to catch criminals. And the film’s truly bad guys — organised crime represented by Victor Tellegio (an uncredited Robert De Niro)—get away totally scot-free. In a pivotal scene from the film, Irving’s wife Roselyn flashes around her brightly polished nails at a restaurant. “Smell my nail polish,” she says. “It smells like flowers. But it also smells rotten, like garbage.” This scene distils all the themes of American Hustle into an apt metaphor. Society, on the surface, may seem presentable, even pleasant. Underneath, as Shakespeare recognised, it is a dunghill. Had this and other scenes been executed more subtly, the finished product might have been more sophisticated and focused. As it stands, the film feels overlong, sloppy and a little selfindulgent. The nail polish metaphor might even unwittingly describe the film itself: glossy, slick, and superficially entertaining. But underneath there is something distinctly a little off-kilter about it. The original title of American Hustle was American Bullshit. In some ways that seems a more appropriate title. It would, at the very least, have more clearly positioned the film as satire. Speaking of the 1970s, Dayton’s Human Race Theatre Company kicks off 2014 with Harvey Fierstein’s award-winning and rarely-produced three-act play, Torch Song Trilogy. Poignant and filled with witty, sharp humour, Fierstein’s deeply personal story of self-discovery redefined an era in gay America. Torch Song Trilogy originated as a series of one-act plays ­that premiered Off-OffBroadway in 1978, when actor/writer Harvey Fierstein was just 23-years-old. The three plays were then united under the umbrella title Torch Song Trilogy and presented OffBroadway in 1981 at the Actors’ Playhouse, where it received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. The production then transferred to Broadway in 1982, ran for 1,222 performances, and won Fierstein Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor. Fierstein has been an icon for gay America since the 1980s. “Torch Song was written in a time before AIDS, before the debate over Marriage Equality,” says producing artistic director Kevin Moore. “Revisiting this amazing script was not a political choice, it was a ‘human’ choice. This story speaks volumes about our individual struggles for love and acceptance — and it applies to any era. By setting the play in its original time period—the late 1970s to early 1980s — we are given a chance to see both how far we have come . . . and not come.” Greater Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Indianapolis area patrons can get a 25% discount on full-priced tickets to all performances and a chance to support their regional Pride 2014 events by using special codes when ordering online, by phone, or in person. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold with these discount codes will go to the respective Pride 2014 event. Tickets for all performances from 31st January thru 16th February are $36 and $40 for adults, $34 and $38 for seniors and $18.50 and $20.50 for students. All performances are at the Metropolitan Art Centre’s Loft Theatre, located at 126 North Main Street in downtown Dayton. Showtimes for Torch Song Trilogy are 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Performances on Sunday and Tuesday evenings begin at 7 and at there’s also a weekly 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. A variety of packages and discounts are available. Tickets and performance information are available at www. or by ringing 937/228.3630.

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and eradicate them. Like the villagers who scavenged the woods looking for the supernatural beasts of our childhood folklore, we want to expose it to sunlight, watch it wither up and have our sense of peace restored.

Panther’s Perspective

There is no mysterious beast. There is no specter lurking in the shadows. The beast is in front of, beside and within us all. When we place so much importance on attending gargantuan events and put our energy, time and resources into developing an artificial image of what a leather man or woman is supposed to be, we loose track of how to be basic leather people. It’s not about how much leather/gear you own, where you purchase it, what event you attended or who among the leather celebrities are friends listed on your facebook page.

By Panther Daddy / Word Columnist Lately, I’ve been hearing a low rumbling echoing from the distant horizon. It is a sound that unless you are particularly detached and unaware, we typically hear at about this juncture of the Winter season. Initially, the scattered sound waves massage the ear drums, just enough to get your attention. We experience a strange, shared tugging as the familiar sounds stir nostalgic images. As the season wears on, the former infrequent sounds become stronger, more palpable, increasingly more difficult to ignore and increase in numbers. Finally, we have to make a choice to either turn our attention to the clamor on the horizon or pretend to be faintly unaware of its presence, ignoring that which used to bring us to the front gate to witness the object of all the commotion. The phenomena I’m referring to is the annual build up to the International Mr. Leather Competition in Chicago in May.

It is about bringing your energy and your spirit to the local leather tables and sharing that energy with others, like-minded or not. There is a line from the movie, Field of Dreams that says, “Create it and they will come”. If this philosophy works for IML, MAL, Mr. Chicago Leather and CLAW, the same will hold true for our local venues, events and activities. Panther Daddy @

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Here, in the next few months, we are going to see a spate of leather competitions that ultimately will be about having the glory of attending IML and representing a bar, organisation or a community. A trail of events and expectations have developed that all IML contenders must be a part of or witness their chances of representing the International Leather Community basically dry up and blow away. The first leg in this sojourn was held last month in Washington, D.C. — Mid-Atlantic Leather. Not only is this a competition to see who will represent the Mid-Atlantic States at IML, it is also the place where IML announces their slate of judges for the upcoming yearly competition. The newly chosen title-holders get to meet their competition, size each other up and learn the proper etiquette of the leather sash circuit and glad hand the chosen judges. They hang together like a group of young bucks, playfully sparring and rubbing antlers all with the hope of looking impressive to the judges without seeming like that is the intent of their play. This event has become a “required” stopping point of the hopeful IML contestants who wish to have a modicum of a chance at placing in the top 20 in the contest in May. The second of the attendance requirements will also have passed by the time this publication hits the newsstand. Mr. Chicago Leather, understandably so, has become another stop on the yellow brick to the Emerald City of the Leather World. After Mr. Chicago Leather, the road then makes its way east to CLAW, held in Cleveland in April. I remember the first CLAW I attended. I happened to be in Cleveland for the weekend and heard there was a Leather Weekend. There were maybe 100 people. For CLAW 2014, they have booked and almost completely filled three rather large hotels. CLAW too has become the go to place for the IML hopefuls. Here they will shake even more hands, swagger around in jock straps and sashes, hoping to portray the ideal image of the quintessential leather man. To clarify, there is unequivocally nothing wrong with any of these events. Events such as these are important in that they bring the community together and remind us that we are not alone. There are many others out there like us who enjoy the smell and feel of our second skin, the pheromones released as we tuck, polish and zip ourselves into a mindset that only another kinkster will understand. We need that. We need that affirmation and the positive reinforcement of our peers. It is a necessary life force for all living beings — the need for affirmation. In fact, we as a community have somewhat demanded it. The problem is that many in our community cannot afford the thousands of dollars in travelling expenses to enable them to attend these events. There are those who can afford the travel but choose not to for their own personal reasons. However what is the most unsettling about this is that there are many who believe that these events actually are the leather/ kink community. Those who do not or cannot attend end up feeling that somehow they are less than everyone else. Unfortunately, we as a community may be unwittingly stoking the fires of inferiority in our brothers and sisters by placing such a strong emphasis on the big yearly events. Conversely, we lament about how the community has changed and doesn’t have the spirit that used to be apparent before “events” became such an integral part of our fabric. We fear we are losing something vital and try to pinpoint the culprit(s)

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The Word February 2014 On The Web At: Page 51

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Medical Matters We have several sets of news for this February edition on the medical front. This first is from the University of Cincinnati who note you can find out more at www.healthnews. HEALTH LINE: TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY THIS WINTER SEASON CINCINNATI—Flu season has hit the Tristate, but it doesn’t have to keep you or your family home sick if you use a little common sense and an ounce of prevention, a UC Health caregiver says.

2.) It can have different causes — and treatments. Viruses, bacteria or even fungi can cause pneumonia. Chest X-rays and samples of blood or mucus are often used to identify the condition and its cause. These tests can help doctors determine what treatments to use. Antibiotics, for example, are used to treat pneumonia caused by bacteria. But other medicines may be needed for cases caused by a virus or fungus. 3.) It can be serious — even deadly. Some people feel only mildly sick with pneumonia. Others can become severely ill. It’s especially dangerous if the infection gets into your blood — and spreads to other parts of the body, such as the brain. If your symptoms are severe, you may need emergency care. Serious illness is more likely in young children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions or weak immune systems. In these high-risk groups, report any signs of illness to a doctor. By the way, sometimes, a cold or the flu can turn into pneumonia so seek medical care if you suddenly feel worse — or you don’t improve — after an illness.

Mary Duck Robertshaw <> , MD, UC Health primary care physician and assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati (UC), recommends a flu shot for most people to protect against influenza — a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages — and a booster vaccine for adults to protect against pertussis or whooping cough.

4.) Vaccines may help protect you. If you have health insurance check your benefits plan to see what services may be covered and then take advantage of them. In adults, the flu virus is the most common cause of viral pneumonia. The flu can lead to bacterial pneumonia, too. That’s one reason why yearly flu vaccines are so important. The good news: If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to get one this year. Check with your doctor or pharmacy about availability.

Pertussis, a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing, can be fatal for infants, explains Robertshaw, who suggests that expectant mothers and caregivers of newborns receive the pertussis booster to protect infants from the illness.

There are also vaccines for pneumococcal disease. It’s a bacterial infection that can lead to pneumonia, blood infections or meningitis. Ask your doctor if a vaccine is right for you and, if so, get that shot!

“Flu shots are still available and it’s recommended for everyone, although the young and old are at highest risk,” says Robertshaw. “Anyone with lung disease such as asthma, heart disease or weakened immune systems (and that includes HIV/AIDS) is also at highest risk for influenza.”

Finally a few stay-well tips which can also help lower your risk of pneumonia:

“When infants get pertussis it can be deadly,” explains Robertshaw. “It’s recommended that grandparents or other caregivers get the booster vaccine because they are taking care of babies and can pass on the illness. Overall, remember that the recommended vaccines keep you safe, but also keep those around you safe. Some people are too young or have complicated medical conditions that make them ineligible to get fully vaccinated.” Robertshaw also offers the following tips to protect against cold, flu, pertussis and other seasonal woes: · Wash your hands, especially before mealtimes or if you are sick; use soap and water when available and an alcohol-based rub otherwise. · Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth since openings in the mucous membrane allow germs into the body. · Avoid close contact with people who are sick. · Stay home when you are sick to keep people who are around you from becoming ill. Stay home 24 hours after a fever has subsided. It doesn’t count if you have used Tylenol to bring down the fever, which must ease on its own.

—Try to avoid people who are sick. —Wash your hands regularly. If water and soap aren’t available, use hand sanitizer and choose one that’s at least 60 percent alcohol. —Avoid tobacco smoke. Smoking — and secondhand smoke — makes it harder for your body to fight disease. —Practice healthy habits. Eat a variety of healthy foods. And, get plenty of sleep and regular exercise. © 2013, United HealthCare Services, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Healthy Mind Healthy Body where you can register for your own monthly newsletter:

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.

· Make sure you get plenty of sleep, stay active physically and stay hydrated. · Use good hygiene at work and clean off phones, computers and doorknobs using alcohol rubs or disinfecting wipes. · Make sure you get fresh air by spending even a few minutes outdoors during the Winter months when weather conditions allow. Sunshine will help against seasonal affective disorder. Meanwhile along the same line, our medical info source from United Health is about a related topic: Pneumonia and four facts everyone should know Michael W. Rosen, M.D. says 20,000. That’s the average number of breaths most of us take every day. And, each one helps move oxygen into our blood — where it fuels our cells. Sometimes, however, your body can’t get all the oxygen it needs. That may happen when you have pneumonia, for example. It’s an infection that can cause coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. Here are the doctor’s four facts about pneumonia he says everyone should know: 1.) It’s common. Anyone can get pneumonia — and millions of people do every year. Among those most at risk of developing it are children younger than two and people 65 and older. Your chances of getting the disease also go up if you smoke, have a lung disease, such as asthma or COPD, have a chronic condition, such as diabetes or heart failure, have recently had a respiratory illness, such as a cold or the flu or have a weak immune system or are recovering from surgery.

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Music Corner By DJ "Miss" Hill / MJ's Cafe / Dayton

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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 - Roar (Jump Smokers Mix) 3 - Enrique Iglesias - Turn The Night Up (Laidback Luke Mix) 4 - Lady Gaga feat. R. Kelly - Do What U Want 5 - Daft Punk - Get Lucky (Hot Mouth & The Frederik 6 - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell - Blurred Lines (Keegan & Powers Mix) 7 - Britney Spears - Work Bitch 8 - Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull - Live It Up 9 - Cher - Woman’s World (Danny Verde Rmx) 10 - Lana Del Rey - Summertime Sadness (Dark Intensity Remix) Hey, kids!!! DJ Hill here. I’m still sayin’ the YAY!” It’s a cold ass month and you can tell by the lack of new stuff out there just how frozen it is, but I’ll try my best. Keep in mind these are just suggestions for those who want to get away from the usual Top 40 radio mixes. Deborah Cox feat. Paige - Higher: Let’s start off with the divas. She’s back. This one falls kind of flat. No real energy or “Tell me how it is” attitude vocals. I was hoping for the Hex Hector treatment but none to be seen. We do get the DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio Mix to keep us jumpin’. Cher - Take It Like A Man: Again a so-so hit. The usual Cher vocals but not a bad song. But what’s that??? A Tony Moran mix? Woo hoo! What a difference. Now we’re clubbing it up with more house energy. The 7th Heaven mix isn’t bad, either, with more of a pop feel. Kristine W - So Close To Me: I’m a little late bringing out our gay club lady but better late then never. The original actually sounds like a dub mix with all the stuttering vocals but I can live with it. However we get to club mixes by Tony Moran and Cosmic Dawn. You know what to expect from Tony...hard hitting bass for house beat. Yes! And the Cosmic Dawn mix takes you on a “Feel Good” trip with a high energy sound. Both good mixes. Demi Lovato - Neon Lights: The original can stand on its own but it’s basically just a bubble gum radio dance tune. My favourite little DJ girl Tracy Young does it the way it should have been done. She gave it a house/club feel. If you want the cracked electro thing then Jump Smokers is the way to go. Pitbull feat. Ke$ha - Timber: This has been out there for awhile but I had to say something about it. Why in the hell is Pitbull doing bluegrass country? And then he has to stick Ke$ha all up in it. Oh well. Good thing we get the Bassanova Mix. They trick you into thinking it’s the original and then it gets a little more energy. And before you know it...Surprize!... it goes all electro on you. My Crazy Girlfriend - Go Fuck Yourself: I love the “crazy bitches” stuff. This reminds of Kay and Back Off Bitch. White dude rapping with a chick blurting out expletives. The best mix is the Richard Vission Mix. There’s the Ken Loi Mix but it’s a bit mellow. In either case be sure to get the explicit versions. No one likes a “bleep” in their music. Serebro - Mi Mi Mi: OK... Here’s a silly one. Chock full of mixes but they’re all nuts. You’ll have to check them out for yourself to believe it. All bouncy in their own way. Here are your choices: Avantinova Club Mix, Gary Caos Mix, Max Marani Extended Mix, followed by the Rudeejay & Da Brozz Mix. Wow! That’s it for now. I can’t wait for March. Basically because I get an excuse to drink green beer (like I need an excuse to drink anything) and a ton of new stuff should start flowing in. Let’s hope so! See ya then. Check me out at or find me on Facebook under DJ-Douglas Hill. I’d love to hear from you. Happy clubbing!

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Out & About Bill Malcolm / Word Columnist It’s February and we have a few local sports stories and plan a trip to the City by the Bay. Let’s start locally: —Indy Tennis meets Sundays this month and for the remainder of the Winter for doubles play. For other cities’ tennis schedules see —Indianapolis Frontrunners meets (weather permitting) at the zoo on Tuesdays and at Butler’s Hinkle Field House parking lot on Saturdays. —For those planning farther ahead — like waaaaay ahead to 2018 —  the Federation of Gay Games announced that final agreement has been reached on hosting of Gay Games X and the host city will be in Paris. —Don’t forget that the 9th edition of the quadrennial Gay Games will be held way sooner and a lot closer as they will be in Cleveland and Akron from 9th-16th August. For information about this Summer’s games, Cleveland/Akron 2014, visit www.gg9cle. com

Cars stop across the street. The motel offers free parking (although you don’t need a car), plenty of nearby neighbourhood shops and restaurants, and you walk almost everywhere. Rates from $99 (415/621.8212 or The city has a lot of other great hotels — including all of the “big names”. Check out www.tripadvisor. com for reviews and ideas then book for less on one of the internet’s hotel sites like Priceline or Hotwire.. What to do: A visit to Golden Gate Park is a must, especially for the Winter-weary Midwesterners. Prefer indoors? Visit the new (albeit I felt pricey) California Academy of Sciences (great cafeteria too with local foods). Walk through the park to the ocean or better yet rent a bike. See the Botanical Garden (the ceanothus or blue flowered California Lilac will be in bloom). Also visit The Presidio, a new park in the northwest corner of the city. From the Castro, take the F Street historic street car down to the Ferry Building (You can even hop a ferry over to Sausalito from the Ferry Building.) to enjoy the indoor farmers market (outdoor on Saturdays). They run street cars from all over the world on this line. The fare is $2. The street car also runs all the way to Fishermen’s Wharf (where you can ride a ferry out to Alcatraz or Angel Island State Park). While there, visit historic Fort Point (underneath the Golden Gate Bridge) as well as Cliff House and Ocean Beach.  From the Castro (the historic gay neighbourhood), you can walk up to Twin Peaks (hills just west of the Castro) for some great views of the city and the bay.

TRAVEL: LEAVE YOUR HEART IN THE CITY BY THE BAY We are off to the San Francisco Bay Area for a break from this snowy and cold southern Midwest Winter which I know no one (besides my mixed-up editor) wants to see go on much longer. You can’t beat February in the Bay Area--the hills are emerald green (assuming their current drought ends soon) and the wild flowers are starting to bloom. The daffodils are out and the cherry trees are in blossom as well as the acacia trees with their yellow flowers. Getting there:

A “selfie” of the author by the bay.

Fly nonstop IND-SFO on the new state-supported United Airlines flight. (The state of Indiana gave United a $1.5 million revenue guarantees so that folks at Exact Target/Sales wouldn’t have to change planes.) I found a round-trip Indianapolis-San Francisco fare of around $350 on a recent search although lately fares have been higher for the non-stop. Otherwise take a connection. I prefer Southwest through Phoenix or Las Vegas to avoid Winter weather connecting flight woes. You can also fly into nearby Oakland, sometimes for a few bucks less than to San Francisco International.

By the way — a pet peeve: Frontier Airlines is under new owners who impose a carryon bag fee of $50 per bag each way. A diet coke will apparently cost you $1.99. See the reviews of the new fee-happy Frontier at and bring your wallet if all I have read and heard has any validity. Not in Indianapolis? That’s easy: For other city pairs, check (for Southwest) or or for all other airlines. There are fares from Cincinnati, Chicago and Louisville though watch which day you travel to get the best deals. Once in the Bay Area, You can take the BART into the city from any of the area’s airports (including San Jose). Stay: If you like mingling with the locals, you can’t beat Becks Motor Lodge on Market Street near the Castro/Noe/Upper Market neighbourhoods. The historic Muni F Street

Want to meet folks? Take a hike with the San Francisco Hiking Club (www.sfhiking. org). The group goes to regional parks like the Marin Headlands and Pt. Reyes National Seashore on Saturdays and Sundays. Also run or walk with the Frontrunners which meet at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park on Saturdays at 9 a.m. If you have a car, drive out to Mt. Diablo State Park (in the East Bay) or up to Muir Woods National Monument (in the North Bay). The latter has the famous redwoods. Also in the North Bay is Mount Tamalpais which features great hiking and mountain biking trails. Head down the coast on Highway 1 (and the new Devils Slide Tunnel) for a day trip to Santa Cruz along the Monterey Bay. Drive back via “280”, a beautiful freeway that runs north from San Jose to San Francisco through the green hillsides. And be sure to stop off in Palo Alto for lunch or dinner and tour the Stanford Campus. Don’t leave anything but your heart in San Francisco. The already-high rents are even worse now that Google, Facebook, Genetech and other Silicon Valley high tech companies run free buses (and soon a free ferry) from the formerly-cheap neighbourhoods to their offices 45 miles south on the Peninsula. Finally, if you have even more time, you can take Amtrak (and a connecting bus) to Yosemite or even Reno/Lake Tahoe. The latter offer great skiing. For more information, pick up a copy of The Bay Area Reporter or read it online. Also good are The Bay Times and SF Weekly as well as the local daily, The San Francisco Chronicle.

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Gossip Cats

Food For Thought

By Gossipcats Britain & Sydney

By Ted Fleischaker / Word Publisher

Ah February! The month of Valentines...of love...of lust...and of a lot of knives going into lots of backs from what these pussies have been hearing. Let’s see whose hearts are broken... What a month on the club scene as we hear tell at least one Midwest club owner flew into (another) rage recently and told off one of his employees by comparing him to someone they no longer had working there. Said employee — who was, we’re told, tired of rudeness and tantrums — instead of taking what was said happily (we heard what it was and from what we understand it was NOT very nicely stated) decided to clock out and call it a day, a week and a job all at once. Trouble for the club was that his partner also was working there and he, too, decided to follow his husband’s lead and hit the clock and the door at the same time. All of the above would not be a lot of news except that the same guy (the one who was raging) has lately been rumoured to be doing so a lot. And as of last report that temper means he’s down two employees and has two folks running all over town telling their story of what went down. By all over we mean all over as these cats first read it on Facebook (complete with a rebuttal from the boss) and it was none-too-kind, not to mention it also had to do with paycheques being supposedly incomplete and folks not being paid what they felt was right. It got too confusing for we catty brains after a few exchanges, but it’s still not too much fun when you make it all a big show in public. To the owner who flew off the handle we’d say “cool it” and to the employees who are now ex our owners will miss you guys as we cats hear you two were the life of the party at your former workplace. Let us know where you land (Maybe a pet shop with lotsa catnip and cat food?) and we will visit!... Moving right along, we cats hear tell that we forgot to wish a congrats for graduating from IU to our good friend Steven Junkersfeld. The cutie (formerly of the staff at English Ivy’s, where he had a nickname we won’t repeat) has his degree in psychology and a minor in religious studies. Now it’s off to IUPUI and we hear tell a degree in nursing. Congrats Steven!... Also on the congrats roll is a person we shall leave nameless who finally got paid. We hear tell this boy left a food service job for an office job and for whatever reason his name made every list at the new place but the payroll one! Anyway, we hear that’s finally been corrected and the bucks are coming in on time. We were worried for a bit that he’d end up as a pole dancer somewhere to pay the bills!... Speaking of bills, we are glad we do not pay them for another guy who always posts photos of fancy cars on his Facebook and brags that he’s driving a Mercedes. Too bad when the big snow hit Indy a few days back he also posted that he was unable to go anywhere because that classy set of wheels was stuck in a drift and couldn’t be moved. What was it our owner told him about buyin’ a Jeep instead? Maybe his Valentine will being one (or at least some tyre chains!)... Speaking of chains, we’ve been sworn not to divulge any names but we hear from one Ohio boy that once you are with someone, you are chained to them in some folks’ minds forever. And that includes folks trying to collect bills. To quote, “Amazing. I’m still getting calls from the hospital trying to collect from (name left out). He died in October. After informing them of his death, they asked if he had ‘an estate.’ Vultures.” What can we add to that except nothing much... Speaking of nothing much, we hear friend Chris who lives in Vegas now had to find a new room mate after an Indy friend who was going to head west and live with him changed his mind at the last minute. Last these cats heard, the Indy boy was considering Columbus, Ohio instead. The weather will sure be colder, but hey, he will be saving a bundle on his moving van!... Speaking of moves, we hear tell there are some big ones afoot at an Indy gay business (not a bar, we can say that) though we been sworn to total secrecy under pain of castration as to where. We do know if the rumoured changes happen the town and business will both be way better off for it. Details when we are allowed to tell. Meow!

INDIANAPOLIS—Have you ever held or attended an event where there was something just not quite right, but you didn’t know what it might be? If so, then you will know what I think about a couple meals friends and I had recently at the buffet at Bangkok Restaurant and Jazz Bar, 225 East Ohio Street, where Charlie & Barney’s used to be. The good news is I like the atmosphere and the place but the bad news is they just do not seem to be hitting on all the cylinders — at least not for me. A number of friends have had glowing things to say (as have other reviewers), especially about their noon buffets, but to me there’s just something that’s lacking. I do know one of the things which bothers me is that servers appear to most all be Thai natives and have a tough time understanding questions and wants of we Midwestern English speakers. I am all for genuine and correct so no charges of xenophobia, please, but when you are introducing someone to food from your “home” (especially when “home” is a foreign country), then you need to have someone with a command of the local language standing by to understand what the customer wants to know (such as what’s in that dish they are about to order) and answering questions. Bangkok lacks this as while I did meet an American host and couple of other staff they were nowhere close to the buffet to help in my hour of need. The other problem, especially noted by the three of us dining on a recent Friday, is that things “look” like familiar dishes from a typical Chinese restaurant, but they are not what they appear because this is not a Chinese buffet, but Thai food. And that also is not explained well or at all. For example, we all took what appeared to be crab rangoons off the buffet and were disappointed that they were actually filled with a pasty ground chicken (we were later told) which was a greenish colour and resembled the insides of some lobsters. In short, it was “OK” but not what we’d expected so most of the ones we took were sadly wasted. Other dishes were also very different and while we searched for someone to explain, once we found them, we still were left wondering what we were about to eat as we encountered a language barrier at every turn that would have done the Berlin Wall proud. We did like the Pad Thai (description from the menu we found online later: “Rice noodles cooked in a homemade Thai sauce, stir-fried with bean sprouts, green onions, egg, and peanuts sprinkled on top...”) and we also enjoyed what I think was a very crispy orange chicken. The white and fried rice both were nice, but we passed on several dishes we later were told by friends who regularly dine at another Thai restaurant contained coconut milk. I think the colour and murky look put us off, but I do plan to go back and try them while taking local friends who can explain what I am about to eat. This is, for someone like me who is willing to try and usually likes any and everything, more a communication than a culinary issue! I also am planning to try a dinner off the menu. Buffets are usually a great way to sample a lot of dishes and see what you might want a whole plate of later, but lacking any help with what we were about to sample (or ability to recall the names after lunch) I can see this is going to take additional work. That said, I plan to give it my best shot because I like the location, the decor and the soft jazz the restaurant is playing in the backgound. The dark woods and overall atmosphere rival anything downtown, but when you remember that what really counts is what’s on the plate then there’s some work needed here — though I am not sure if that’s by me, the restaurant’s management, or both. Bangkok is definitely somewhere I plan to visit again, but I can clearly see I need an “interpreter” and to do some tastebud adjustments if I am to appreciate what others have told me is a great new addition to the downtown dining scene.

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The Word February 2014


The Word February 2014