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February 2009

English Ivy’s

Hue Dine

Word Columnist Dies At 9

A Dining Success

They came by the hundreds at breakfast, lunch & dinner to Dine Out For Life and help The Damien Centre. While final figures are not in, thus far collections are 13% above last year and counting. See the story on Page 3 and more of Mark Dickhaus’ photos on Pages 50 & 51.

Miss Madison, leader of The Word’s trio of Gossip Cats died peacefully in the arms of her sad owners, Ted & Ivan, Friday 29 April of kidney failure. Madison was known for her writing, as well as appearances at Prides, AIDS Walks and other events. Her co-authors, Britain & Sydney, will continue her Facebook page, Madison Gosspicat, and column. Details: Page 54.

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February 2009

Gay Film Fest Set In Northern Ky. COVINGTON, Ky.—For most undergraduate students, the last two years of college consist of final examinations, class projects and perhaps applying for jobs and perfecting a resume. But for Northern Kentucky University junior, Austin Brown, the last two years are filled with hard work, dreams and directing an event that will inspire and create a sense of community in Northern Kentucky. Austin is an integrative studies student at NKU who has spent his time studying a multitude of areas including Electronic Media & Broadcasting, Cinema Studies, Honours, and Women & Gender Studies. For an honours project, Brown did research of gay representation in cinema. Through that research he learned about how lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender film fests play a significant part in the development of communities, as well as the new gay cinema movement. A fellowship opportunity through the Scripps Howard Centre was announced soon after completion of that research. At the time Austin had not thought about applying, but nine days before the application was due the idea of a gay, lesbian, bi & trans film festival here in Northern Kentucky was born. With little history of film festivals in Kentucky, this will be the first lesbian, gay, bi & trans international film festival in the state. This groundbreaking festival has already

received hundreds of submissions. The film festival is scheduled for 4th June at the Carnegie in Covington. The festival will include short and feature length films from all over the world. Film content, filmmaker or both will identify with the community. Films range from, Being a trans-person living in a two-gender society, from a Belgian filmmaker to The Sisterhood from South Africa. The goal of festival is to “Step Out of the Silence and into the Spotlight.” This theme symbolises the struggles gay filmmakers face when working in the industry. They typically are offered fewer opportunities and resources and The Out Film Festival hopes to give them an opportunity to voice their talents. The festival begins with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. and will conclude at 8 p.m. with the awards ceremony. Tickets can be purchased at http://purchase.tickets.com/ buy/TicketPurchase?orgid=24357&event_val=CF12 A full day pass is $35 (Student $30) a half day pass is $18 (student $15) or each screening is $10 ($8 student). More information including the film schedule and ticket prices can be found at www. outfilmfest.com You may also follow the festival on twitter @OutFilmFest or “like” their page on Facebook .

Ohio AIDS Agencies Join

Stepping Out of the Silence

Two of Ohio’s leading AIDS service organisations (ASO), AIDS Resource Centre Ohio (ARC Ohio) and Columbus AIDS Task Force (CATF), have announced their decision to merge, effective in July. This is the largest-ever merger of ASOs in Ohio, and follows a year-long study funded by The Columbus Foundation, The Dayton Foundation and the Toledo Community Foundation. In a joint statement, Sam Rinehart and Bobby Thaxton, chairmen of ARC Ohio and CATF respectively heralded the merger as a “proactive, strategic and sound business decision made by both governing bodies, in whose hands the well-being of our services have been entrusted.” Bill Hardy, director of ARC Ohio for more than 18 years, will serve as CEO of the merged organisation, which will retain the name AIDS Resource Centre Ohio. CATF’s current CEO, Peggy Anderson will oversee all programmes which provide HIV care, testing, prevention and advocacy throughout more than 60 Ohio counties. The merger creates Ohio’s largest ASO, with a budget of $6 million and a service area covering 70 percent of Ohio. Offices in Dayton, Lima, Columbus, Mansfield, Toledo, Athens, Chillicothe and Newark will provide care, financial assistance and other services to more than 2,500 HIV-positive Ohioans. Thousands more will be reached with prevention and HIV testing. Both organizations have similar histories, services and budgets, and have faced many of the same challenges. “These are difficult times for the nonprofit sector, ASOs notwithstanding,” said Hardy. “Across the U.S. and Ohio, ASOs are struggling to retain services and keep their doors open due to the economic climate and competition for private support. In light of such challenges, it’s gratifying to make a decision based on the best of what we can achieve together, rather than the worst of what we fear, apart.”

and Into the Spotlight Kentucky’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender International Film Festival

June 4, 2011 The Carnegie

Visual and Performing Arts Center

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Diners’ Donations + 13% So Far INDIANAPOLIS—The past three years of Dining Out for Life have been the most successful for The Damien Centre, totaling over $122,000 in 2009 and 2010 in donations from restaurants and diners alike. The final 2011 total can’t be announced until all the cheques are in, but the numbers are looking great as of presstime. In 2011, Dining Out for Life in Indianapolis had 46 participating restaurants, spanning from Greenwood to Carmel. Each participating restaurant donates 25-50% of their day’s sales to The Damien Centre. This year’s weather was rainy and cold, but that didn’t stop the excitement; the day of the event, Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with where people were going to eat. “Dining Out for Life is like another weekend night for us,” Jeanette Sawi, owner of Santorini Greek Kitchen said, adding, “It’s a little bit of a party atmosphere.” Sawi also noted that there was a different crowd than usual. “Everyone was there for a common cause. It’s rare that we have somebody random wander in for Dining Out for Life.”

vidual contributions are up 13% this year, and more are coming in every day despite the trying economy. Others travel great distances just to participate; Betsy Craig drove from Louisville to eat at Café Pata-

chou. “The place was crowded! Almost all the tables were full,” she said. Like other diners, Craig received a sticker to mark her participation in Dining Out for Life. “I was so proud to Dine Out for Life. I wore my

sticker all day long!” Watch next month’s Word for the final numbers from 2011’s Dining Out For Life events in Central Indiana.

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Other restaurant owners were equally as ecstatic, with some showing a doubling in sales for the day. “What a lot of restaurateurs don’t realise is that customers keep coming back,” Elisa Rogowski, Director of Development for The Damien Centre said. “Customers remain loyal to a business that understands the importance of giving back to the community.” A part of the restaurants’ success can be attributed to the ambassadors The Damien Centre provides the restaurants. Ambassadors are trained volunteers who not only promote their assigned restaurant but are also an information resource for the restaurants and diners. They are distinguished from the wait staff by their iconic red aprons sporting the Dining Out for Life International Logo. This past year, over 70 Ambassadors gave between 3 and 14 hours of their day to be at a restaurant to greet diners. Brandi Appleget, who volunteered at Adobo Grill, said that it was easy for her to be an Ambassador because HIV is a topic close to her heart. “My favourite uncle was HIV positive and he made a huge impact on my life, so in a way, working in this field is like carrying on his memory and celebrating him every day,” said Appleget. She thought the diners were fun and friendly, and working a dinner shift gave her some insight on the event: “I’d recommend making reservations if you choose to dine out for life at Adobo next year!” she noted. Restaurants and volunteers aren’t the only ones who give back to the Damien Centre; many diners choose to donate a substantial amount of either time or money. Indi-

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Your Vote Counts By Rick Sutton / Political Columnist GOVERNOR’S MUSICAL CHAIRS

As soon as the Indiana legislative session ended, political jockeying became a new art form, and Governor Mitch Daniels toyed with national and statewide politicos with relative ease. “I may run for president.” “I’ll decide later.” “Who knows?” The 2012 political calendar beckons: the Republicans are 14-15 months out from their nominating convention, with a favoured candidate nowhere in sight. Depending on the daily polls, Donald Trump, his hair, or Mitt Romney leads the pack. It’s clear there is a strong yearning for “someone else” to enter that frey, but will it be Indiana’s two-term governor? If you’re a “Run Mitch Run” reader, there was ample evidence to suggest he would do so: ** Fresh from a legislative session that gave him, on a silver platter, national-agendatype issues: Gov. Daniels seemed poised to run. ** His wife, First Lady Cheri Daniels, gave the keynote speech at the annual statewide GOP Fund-raising dinner in May. It was allegedly a dry-run at Mrs. Daniels on “centre-stage,” with a plethora of national media waiting on every word. She performed admirably. ** The governor’s people leaked some soft-news tidbits: former First Lady Barbara Bush allegedly telephoned Mrs. Daniels and gave her speech pointers. And allegedly, she told her to encourage Mitch to run. (The only problem with that scenario, even if true: does the GWBush name still hold a strong cache among the Republican presidential-selection elite?) ** A rebounding (but still anemic) Indiana economy. ** America’s most-sweeping education reform package in two decades. ** A tailor-made right-wing flash Right to Life point: he signed legislation which slapped Planned Parenthood into next week. Still, by press time, no decision. Only time will tell. And on the 2012 gubernatorial front: Republican Congressman Mike Pence announced he’d seek Daniels’s position. Fishers businessman Jim Wallace will, too…at this stage, Wallace would likely take up the political position of 2000 Republican challenger Eric Miller, who chased Daniels all over Indiana in a motorhome, while Daniels touted the Bush label: “My Man Mitch.” Pence will enjoy strong support among the far-right of his party. They’re already energised by a challenge to five-term U.S. Sen. Ricihard G. Lugar in the 2012 Senate primary — State Treasurer Richard Mourdock is making that effort, strongly encouraged by Tea Party sympathisers. On the Democratic side, former House Speaker John Gregg of Sandborn, is making the rounds to explore a potential candidacy. He talked to two township Democratic Clubs in Marion County in the last month, where he offered his typical down-home humour and approach to problems. A Facebook campaign was mounted to draft Senate Caucus Leader Vi Simpson (Ellettsville) for the nomination — she neither nodded favourably nor shunned it. The 2012 election will exist in a new environment: all 150 legislative districts and Congressional lines were redrawn. DONNELLY ENTERS SENATE RACE It makes little sense to refer to current congressmen by district number — the numbers and lines are changing — let’s just identify them by region: South Bend’s Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly is running for the U.S. Senate seat in 2012. He thinks he’ll take on Mourdock — or a primary-weakened Lugar. Donnelly won re-election in 2010, by a scant 1%, and his “new” Congressional district is even less favourable. So he’s walking away from that challenge. He believes that whomever emerges from the Please Continue On Page 32

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July Deadline Change!

Friday 24 June Papers On Street: Friday 1st July

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 2011 by BBS, A division of High Speed Delivery Fork Ltd. & Ted Fleischaker and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written approval. Phones: Indy: 317/725.8840 * Cincinnati: 513/828.8652 * Louisville: 502/454.4877 e-mail: ted@midwestword.com


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501 To Persian Gulf Is A World Apart Leatherman Discovers In New Book By Timothy Cox, For The Word The Persian Gulf War, often referred to as Operation Desert Storm, was underway three years before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was established in 1993. Nearly 20 years later, one gay Hoosier has published journal entries from his time in the Marine Corps and Operation Desert Storm. Dark Clouds Rising: A Marine’s Life During the Persian Gulf War is published as written by Ernest L. Johnson III’s 18-24 year old self. Johnson believes his experiences provide a previously unseen view of military life for the average male just out of high school.

Johnson said, “The book shows that we are all human and have feelings. We laugh, we cry, we have a bond that goes deeper than anything in civilian life. These are my brothers whom I depend on and they on me to do our job and be there for each other.” Dark Clouds Rising is a very easy-to-follow book, Johnson’s voice as a character is attention-grabbing, and published letters between Johnson’s mother and himself allow for an unexpected emotion-

“The book is an individual perspective that shows that each of us serving faced our own set of issues,” Johnson told The Word. “Why are we being asked to do something we feel is not a good idea? What do we do in those situations? Sometimes people glorify the military, and marvel at what may seem like an ordinary day to us.” Johnson is a familiar presence in the Indiana gay community and especially among the Leather groups as he was named Mr. 501 Eagle 2010 before competing at the International Mr. Leather Contest last year, but the writings available in his first published memoir aren’t focused on being gay and in the military. al connection with readers. Johnson says “mail call” and the possibility of letters from anyone back home were the greatest factor in getting through each day. “My greatest inspiration in developing the book was encountering younger people who think of Desert Storm as ‘history,’” he explained. “To us, we were doing our job, doing what was expected of us, and doing it to the best of our abilities. I don’t expect my works to be great, but if something I do encourages someone to be a better person or to do something they never thought they could do, then I have fulfilled my primary goal in life.” Dark Clouds Rising by Ernest L. Johnson III can be purchased online at Amazon. com, and be on the lookout for a sequel in the future.

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Hackin The Net By Ted Fleischaker / Word Publisher Trust. It’s a wonderful thing to behold. But whom or what do you trust? Do you trust the guy or gal you met last weekend in the club? What about that “guarantee” it won’t ever scratch on the can of cleanser or that one which came with your pricy dishwasher in 2007 guaranteeing 10 years’ wear? Do you have faith in online stores to keep your credit card details safe? What about big companies you bank with or pay bills to? How about silly websites where they let you listen to an online radio stream or play a game — but only if you enter your name, e-mail, city and state? Trust of late online has become a hot issue as Sony admitted 100 million — yes MILLION — customers had all or some of their details stolen playing games or ordering items from them online. That news broke just a few weeks after big banks and retailers in the States and Europe — including such names as Walgreen’s, Best Buy, Target and Marks & Spencer — had to fess up that they, too had been caught out when hackers got into the files at Epsilon, an Irving, Texas, marketing company that works with some of the nation’s biggest names in banking and retail, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune — Target Corp’s hometown. There is also the issue of whom to trust if you (gasp) actually plan to meet that boy from online. Like a date. A real date. And then there’s when to trust what your very own computer tells you. Is that “warning” that you need to clean and refresh it right now or terrible stuff will happen legit or some malicious spyware which will ask for a credit card then steal all your info? Or IS there a need to check something? If you do check, what happens? If you don’t, what then? Whew! A whole lotta questions there, but do you have or suspect or know any real answers? Answers you can trust? We can try and help but the best answer is simple: if it seems wrong in real life, then in all probability it is wrong online, too. That said, we do have a few bits of computer help, and that biggest in our house is get a Mac because they don’t get viruses. OK, OK so you have heard us go on and on about the wonderful Apples here before and in full disclosure we need to say we own some Apple stock, too, but even so we are constantly amazed at the versatility and the lack of problems we have with our Mac main frame, iPad and iMac, too. The operating systems seem ever simpler than the pc ones and you never need those F2, F4 and other Gobbledygook keys. Mac keyboards, in fact, don’t really even have those “F” keys anymore though some small indications will tell you where they used to be if you MUST know. But let’s get real here. Most reading this have a pc and not a Mac and even a Mac doesn’t save you from operator stupidity. Mac users still can click on fraudulent emails and hand over credit card info. Mac users can still go to websites they shouldn’t. No one is immune! So what now? Protection is what. Virus scans, malware and pop-up protectors and only legit ones, please, are imperative for pc users. Buy your programme on a disc — something like Norton’s fine anti-virus software or Symantec — from a legit store like Office Depot, PC Mall, Fry’s or Best Buy and then install. If you buy on-line, shop and get a real and not one of those faux virus scanners the spammers have posted. The scams are everywhere — and we do mean everywhere. Search for “virus scans” and you will come up with page after page of mostly fraudsters. Proceed with caution! The frauds do not discriminate, but at times cause us laughter. We were researching a World War II topic for an article and all of a sudden the website we were on disappeared and was replaced by a pop-up warning of virus issues with our computer. What made us laugh was the message “Windows needs to scan and then restart...” Windows? The pop-up was, of course, a fraud and was programmed to say Windows, even though the only ones in our office are what we open for a breeze and some light. Fraud, yes, but we still had to force quit our browser because the ONLY option in that pop-up was “go”. Had we clicked that we’d have been taken to their site which would have, of course, had little affect on our Mac (had we not given them any credit card info) but on a pc could have spelled disaster! A friend did hand over his Visa number and ended up at the Genius Bar to get his Mac back, so be warned — frauds are ARE everywhere. Also, on a more personal level, there’s the matter of whom you meet and whom you talk to if you play games, chat in chat rooms or place ads online. Are you certain they REALLY are who and where they say? It is hard to tell but a friend who monitors in a chat room does say that monitors and officials there have access to IP numbers and they find a lot of frauds.

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What’s an IP number? These are “Internet Protocol” numbers and are the rough equal to your address, city, state and ZIP on the net. Usually an IP is several sets of numbers with a period between the groups. Every person logging on has one — either a “static” or unchanging one, or one assigned each log in. That means people can “see you” whether you know it or not. Pay a visit to www.iplocation.net and see what happens. If it’s working, YOUR IP address will show, and if you are lucky it will accurately show where you are. Really. And it can be scary. The site even offers a map which shows the location you’re computing from. It can be eerily acurate — though not always. One check we did showed we were in Richardson, Texas, while another pinpointed us two blocks from where we were sitting. Close but not close enough to let a stalker come thru the door. Take the photo at left — this IP address (and we have covered it to avoid exposing anyone’s whereabouts) shows two different cities in two different states. He’s on a cell network (did we mention your provider shows?) so he could be licensed in one but roaming in another. Or the programme is not correct. Or the information is wrong. Or take the second example, below. It thinks we are in the UK because we have a VPN or Virtual Private Network in the UK. This connection makes it appear we’re in England when we are, in fact, in Indiana. What was that we said about trust nothing and nobody? The same is true when you shop. Do you manually enter your virtual store’s address or follow a link someone or some computer e-mailed you? If you are a smart shopper you will manually enter the store’s URL or do a search and go from there. If you trust what someone e-mailed you may (or may not) end up in the real online shop or you might end up handing the credit card to some scammer in Nigeria. As always, look for the letters “https” at the start of anywhere you enter account details. That “s” means the site is secure. Oh, but be warned, scammers have found ways to make that show up when it’s their site, not your bank’s or store’s, too. Have we scared the beejeesus out of you yet? There’s more. Online banking, brokerage and bill pays are popular fraudster targets. That’s why you have secret qustions like your first pet’s name or where you want to retire to answer sometimes. You did write those down somewhere out of sight or remember them, right? We were left in a world of hurt recently when we forgot a secret question (What’s your favourite restaurant?) to verify our identity. Pick stuff you can remember! And finally, to end where we started, use common sense. You wouldn’t stand on a busy corner with your purse or wallet open and credit card hanging out or a stack of $20s visible would you? You wouldn’t meet someone in a bar and just go home with them without telling friends what and where you were going so if you didn’t return they could get help would you? You wouldn’t purposely engage in any unsafe or risky behaviour in real life, so don’t do it on-line. Common sense pays off everywhere, so don’t stick it in the closet when you log on. The risks are too great. You may think the world you are in is a cyber one, but trust me, it’s REAL! If you don’t believe me, a mere columnist for a small newspaper, maybe you will believe one in Florida who clicked “yes” to one of those pop-ups, ended up giving the folks at the other end his card details and finally ended up having to replace both his hard drive (which they wiped clean and locked up after he gave them his info) and his debit card. Know whom you are trusting with your on-line life!


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Sheila's Column By Sheila Kennedy What Planet is This? Never in a million years did I think I’d write what I am about to write: progress on gay rights and same-sex marriage is the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal political landscape. Yes, you read that correctly. Think about it. Within the past couple of months, the Justice Department concluded that DOMA is unconstitutional and announced that it will not defend it in court. The silkstocking law firm hired by the Republican troglodytes in Congress to defend the measure backed out, citing its own commitment to gay equality. In the last few weeks, I’ve read an impassioned essay by a conservative evangelical pastor berating his fellow evangelicals for their political activism against same-sex marriage and taking them to task for hypocrisy. I’ve seen a You Tube of a young Republican (and boy, are they rare) testifying to a state legislative committee in favour of same-sex marriage. I’ve seen two polls conducted by respected national opinion research firms, both of which found a slight majority of Americans in favour of same-sex marriage. And most recently, this news item appeared on the ABC News website: “The Navy will allow same-sex couples to wed in ceremonies on its bases and officiated by Navy chaplains after the “don’t ask, don’t tell<http://abcnews.go.com/ Politics/president-obama-signs-repeal-dont-law/story?id=12457296>” policy is officially repealed, according to new training guidelines published last month by the Navy’s chief of chaplains.”

Around Town 26th WOODRUFF PLACE FLEA MARKET 4th & 5th JUNE INDIANAPOLIS—There are lots of changes going on in Indianapolis’s near-eastside: new sidewalks, new homes, new buildings and businesses. It is exciting. But, sometimes, the most exciting things are the things that the stay the same. The annual Woodruff Place Flea Market celebrates its 36th year Saturday & Sunday 4th & 5th June. Saturday hours are 8 till 5 and Sunday 10 till 5. Every year, the Woodruff Place Flea Market promises two days of treasure-hunting and treasure-finding, combined with food, fun, and the best people-watching this side of gay pride (and almost as many cute gay guys to meet and look at). The beautiful weather of early June is a perfect time to walk along its drives, visit on its porches and enjoy its wide esplanades, tall shade trees and sparkling fountains. And, proceeds from the sale help maintain this historic neighborhood. For more information contact Jane Henegar, chairman of the Flea Market Committee, in e-mail at henegut@earthlink.net or via telephone at 317/730.2946.

Indianapolis“ MONTHLY

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This ship has sailed. There will be rearguard actions, there will be setbacks, but the war is over, and the good guys won. Unfortunately, the rest of the country is going to hell. State legislatures are passing increasingly insane measures. In Texas, the legislature has overruled law enforcement and the administrations of the state’s universities, and authorised students who are so inclined to carry guns on campus. (That should “shoot down” their academic recruiting — nothing as comforting as knowing that the student you just failed is mad as hell and packing heat...). Arizona was just the first of several states to pass anti-immigrant measures which — whatever their highly dubious merits — they know to be unconstitutional. (Profiling aside, the Constitution makes immigration an exclusively federal issue.) Here in Indiana, where I live, in addition to passing our own version of such a bill (over the strenuous protests of our largest employers), the legislature passed — and the Governor signed — the nation’s most restrictive abortion bill, which among other things de-funded Planned Parenthood, the only provider of healthcare services for some 22,000 low-income women. The fact that denying two million dollars to Planned Parenthood will cost the state four million dollars in federal family planning money didn’t matter any more than the health of Indiana’s poorest women mattered. I won’t even mention the efforts of Governors in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan to deny public sector workers the right to engage in collective bargaining or their wars on public schools and teachers. Or the states which have passed their very own “birther” bills. When you look at Congress, it’s even worse. The 2010 elections swept a large number of absolutely crazy ideologues into office, where they are busily trying to abolish Medicare and Medicaid, cause the national government to default on its obligations by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, voting that climate change doesn’t exist (I kid you not!) and engaging in all sorts of other mischief, the consequences of which they clearly do not begin to understand. Seriously, if it weren’t for the progress on gay rights, there’d be no progress at all. And if that isn’t enough to make you head out for the nearest bar, I don’t know what is.

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   

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National News SANTORUM’S ANTI-GAY REMARKS CONTINUE WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has denounced former Pennsylvania senator and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum’s comments that adoption is a privilege that gay people are not entitled to.

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Despite the fact that over 100,000 children and youth across the country are in need of a loving home, and years of research that confirms sexual orientation has nothing to do with one’s ability to raise a child, Santorum continues to tell lies about gay and lesbian families and myths about child welfare.

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“If Rick Santorum wants to talk about family values, he should talk about the need to find permanent homes for every child – that is a value we all share,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “At a time when we have a child welfare crisis on our hands, Rick Santorum resorts to spreading lies about our families. The leading child welfare experts agree that adoptive parents should be judged by their character and their ability to raise a child, not their marital status or sexual orientation.”

    

The Child Welfare League of America, the nation’s oldest and largest child welfare organisation, opposes restrictions on adoption and believes that applicants should be assessed on their ability to parent a child, not on their marital status or sexual orientation. “It is distressing that too many politicians are turning to their old games of discrimination and prejudice, on the backs of our children and families, to get attention,” said Ellen Kahn, Director of HRC’s Family Project and a professional social worker. “Years of research, public opinion, and the child welfare profession conclude that discrimination is not in the best interest of the children. They simply delay or deny access to stable, loving homes PRESBYTERIANS GIVE FINAL OK TO GAY CLERGY LOUISVILLE—The Presbyterian Church (USA) headquartered here has voted to remove all barriers to the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as ministers and lay leaders as the Twin Cities Presbytery in Minneapolis became the 87th presbytery (regional governing bodies) in the 2.4 million member denomination to vote to allow gay clergy and lay people the right to serve openly as ministers.

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“History was made today,” said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Programme. “Presbyteries all around the country – from Alabama to Utah – voted to say no to prejudice and yes to those who are called to serve the church. Through this action, the Presbyterian Church (USA) removes one more road block in the way of justice. Because of today’s decision, a young person is freer to claim his or her sexual orientation, gender identity and religion. This decision will have profound ramifications for people of all faiths everywhere. “Today’s decision is the result of a long process. Three other times, a vote was taken in the Presbyterian General Assembly to open the doors to gay clergy, but did not reach the 51% ratification by regional presbyteries. “Because of the hard and faithful work by organisations such as More Light Presbyterians, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, That All May Freely Serve, Presbyterian Welcome and Presbyterian Voices for Justice, the Presbyterian Church (USA) can hold its head high today.”


Pink In The Sheets By Mz. Pink / Word Columnist Mz. Pink, I never thought I would be one of those lesbians who would get on line attempting to find a date, but it turns out that I did! I have met someone, and although I am skeptical of the “budding relationship” I am still chatting with her on the phone and via the internet. We have been talking for a few months and I like her as a person.

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Our conversations are interesting and we have a lot in common, but the time is coming for us to meet and I am a nervous wreck. I would like to take her out, but what if she stands me up? What if I don’t like her in person, or she doesn’t like me? This may seem shallow but what if she is ugly? Cyber-Lesbo, Indy

Dear Cyber, I am sure that I don’t have to tell you how dangerous on-line dating can be and I hope that I don’t repeat what you already know, but it is better to be safe than sorry. While some believe internet hook-ups and dates are no worse than meeting someone in a club, others (me included) feel there is extra caution required. That’s my way to say that if you do decide to meet this prospect you should do it in a public place and feel the situation out before you invite her back to your place or go to hers. Now that I have that out of the way, let’s get to the bottom line, which is do you take the plunge and meet her. If you have been talking for a while and you feel as though you like her, and you believe she likes you, then you two need to meet. This will give you a chance to feel each other out (Remember I said feel each other out, not up). When you do meet, take it easy and date for awhile. Do not make plans to move in together before you even have coffee. We lesbians have a tendency to move quickly and not think about the consequences of our sometimes half-assed decisions. This could be a good start to a new relationship because not only have you two communicated before having sex it tells me that you know the relationship is based on something other than pure sexual attraction. When (or if) you two decide to meet up, go somewhere public and have a back-up plan just in case you want to leave early. The two of you could be very different in person than you are at the keys or on the phone. Please, if it doesn’t feel right, give her all of the blame. You could freak her out just the same. Keep an open mind and remember how much you enjoy talking with her over the phone and online. She may be the best thing that has ever happened to you. She could be your soulmate. Stay as positive as possible about the meeting but don’t forget things could go very badly, too. I am not saying be pessimistic — I am saying be realistic! As long as you are prepared for both possible scenarios I think the outcome will be more acceptable than if you went into the situation blindly. Preparing for the meeting will take some planning. Since this will be the first time you are seeing each other you want to make a good impression. Regardless of how you believe this could go you still want to “WOW” this girl. You want to let her know how awesome you are so she makes an effort to impress you. Dress up, fix your hair, smell nice and have an overall clean and presentable look. Don’t go in sweats to your first meeting! Of you course you can let her know, if you two hit it off, that you are a sweats type of girl. I think she will like the idea of having a relaxed girl who can fix herself up at any given time and still be hot all the time.

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During your meeting ask questions. Talk about the same stuff that you have already chatted about over the phone or via e-mail. This will give you a chance to watch her body language and eye contact. Also, this will help you decide if she is a genuine person or a flake. Follow your gut. If you feel she is lying or not genuine, then you can end the date or decide that you don’t want to take this relationship any further. Just remember that you have choices and you have somewhat the upper hand. You can decide you don’t like her or decide that she is ugly. You don’t have to like everybody and if you aren’t getting good vibes then you are under no obligation for anything sexual or another date. Also, do not lead the girl on. You don’t want to get her all crazy about you and the possibility of a relationship if you really don’t mesh. Be honest and stay safe — the both of you will be happier in the end.

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Mz. Pink

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pecs and the by Matt Ponder Everyone remembers their first kiss. Everyone remembers their first love. Everyone remembers their first crushing heartbreak. Life is a series of firsts, but none hold the keen potency of the firsts that happen in our emotional lives. Sure, you may remember your first job, but that can’t hold a candle to the story of how you lost your virginity, right? The gay community holds a type of first experience which is unique only to us. It is the moment when you knew you were different from others around you, and your desires tilted towards those of the same sex. This is not the same as coming out, however, because that is a journey in itself. It’s when you first felt the sharp sting of desire deep inside of you when you happened upon a midnight showing of The Blue Lagoon on Showtime, and realised that you wished it was you and not Brooke Shields stranded on that island with Christopher Atkins. It’s when you first played Shirts And Skins in gym class and felt that nervous excitement every time one of the Skins slid slippery and sweaty against your arms as you attempted to pass the ball. It’s when you realised that while sleeping over at a friend’s house and sharing one bed that all you really wanted him to do was roll over and kiss you, certain he could already hear your heart slamming against your ribs. It’s in that moment, that epiphany, that bolt of lightning where you realise: I’m gay. After this feeling washes over you it’s often followed by an internal dialogue that usually sounds like this: “I’m gay. No wait — am I gay? Maybe I’m just confused.” Yeah, you’re not. But it sure seemed like it for a second, didn’t it? The “I just want to have sex with guys sometimes but I won’t ever fall in love with one” feeling doesn’t last as long as you think it will. Neither does the “I’m only checking out guys in the locker room to see if they’re built better than I am” routine. True, we actually do check out guys for this reason, but when it’s retained in our heads for… ahem, later use, that is usually a pretty good indicator that we are, quite simply, gay. As you come to terms with your new identity the quests begin. There is the quest for any type of media showing you exactly what goes on between two men — or two men and the pizza guy — or three men and two police officers or any of the high gloss, pumped up portrayals found in anything branded with three Xs. In this day and age, there’s no more swiping porn magazines because you’re both underage and don’t want to actually buy the magazine because someone might figure out your “Big Secret”. Nowadays, it’s just downstairs in your house, enclosed in a softly glowing screen. Anxious and nervous with your heart in your throat, you scour the internet in the middle of the night, your fingers shaking as they type, looking over your shoulder for fear of discovery. Note for beginners: make sure you clear the history when you’re done because you don’t want the details of your quest popping up at an inopportune time, like when mom is looking for a meatloaf recipe. Then there are the quests for others like you. When you are born into any other minority family, you have instant role models: your parents, your siblings or even your aunts and uncles who have lived rich, full lives while overcoming prejudice. When you’re born into a family where everyone else is straight, there is none of that. You’re on your own until you find others like yourself and initially you think: am I the only one? Back in the day it sure seemed like it. But back in the day it was also very simple to make or get a fake I.D. Walking into a gay bar for the first time is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced in your newly accepted life. There are guys of all shapes and sizes who are looking at you, talking to you and even asking you to dance. It’s so awesome. And suddenly you realise we’re everywhere. The guy behind the counter at The Gap. The waiter taking your family’s order. The guy who showed up to tow your car. They all look at you just a little too long and smile just a little too bright to merely be polite. That’s when you realise that day-

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dream you had of having your friend roll over and kiss you or the wish in the middle of the night that someday there will be someone next to you to hold you close isn’t so farfetched. But, unlike our heterosexual counterparts, our romantic life starts much later. Where boys and girls are holding hands and kissing as early as their pre-teen years, we have to wait until we not only come to terms with who we are and what we want, but when we’re old enough to find others like us in order to experiment. These days young people are starting earlier, but in the past the thought of getting involved with someone before you were in your 20s was unheard of. Do I wish I could have asked the brooding, blue-eyed Jason Vaughn to the prom? Hell, yes. But there’s no way that ever would have happened. Plus when I saw him recently, I realised that maybe he wasn’t as dreamy as I thought. Yes, the “When I Knew” moment is a fantastic feeling, especially now looking back on your experiences. The funny thing is, if you go back a little further there is what I like to call “When Everyone Else May Have Suspected.” The painful evidence of these forgotten moments is usually found in photographs. Is there a picture of you in your mother’s high heels? Is there a picture of you combing Barbie’s hair? Is there a picture of you posing in a family photo with one hand on your hip and the other on the back of your head like a Forties pin-up girl? Is there a picture of you wearing a pair of purple velour pants that you wore to school every day? Okay, I’ll admit that the last one was actually something I did, but in retrospect, those pants were fabulous. And I probably called them that then, which is another pretty good indicator of my sexuality. I also used to put on fabu — um, I mean totally rad shows for my family in our living room, which my parents managed to record on film. But, to be totally honest they also have a photo of me at five years old dancing on a stool in my underwear, so maybe my fate was predetermined. Maybe when we look back on these pictures, we realise combing Barbie’s hair led us to becoming a hairdresser or trying on mom’s heels led to an amazing career in drag. I’m sure there are plenty of straight guys out there who did silly things like these, but it didn’t have the impact it did on those of us who grew up realising we were gay. It means something to us now as we look back and tell the story of how we told our entire 4th grade class that our favourite song was Donna Summer’s MacArthur Park, or when we were told to dress up like someone from history in the 5th grade and decided Betsy Ross was the best choice, even though we had to walk a mile to school in a skirt and bonnet. We laugh and say: “I guess I should’ve known right then.” With these memories and experiences there is often the question if we are actually born this way. The logical answer is yes, of course, but the term: “born this way” is actually something that leaves a great deal to interpretation. First of all, I don’t appreciate the fact that the only other time people discuss whether someone was born this or that way is when they are talking about serial killers or someone equally evil. It seems to put us in a non-favourable group, no? When we use this term we usually mean who we are genetically on the inside, because whether or not we are born one way or another we are not born the way we are today or the way we will be next year or the way we were when we were ten years old. Shakespeare said: “God has given you one face and you make yourself another.” Life, experience, and those we surround ourselves with mold us and form us as we grow. Sure we were born with the genetics to be gay, but that’s not who we truly are, it’s merely a part of the whole. What we are never changes, but who we are never stops changing. If being gay is all we were, then we would all be the same. And just like the colours of the rainbow on our flag, we are definitely all different. So, you’ve made the journey from when you first realised you were gay and felt cloaked in fear and loneliness to the time when you can celebrate who you are with thousands of others just like you in the non-judgmental light of the sun. Feels amazing, doesn’t it? It’s time to celebrate a new milestone in your life: freedom. The days of being afraid and wondering if you’ll ever be loved are over. Keep that sudden blaze of recognition that you felt all those years ago alive in your heart. It was a revelation that sent you on this path to become who you are today. It’s time to realise no one can change who you are. No one can oppress you if you’re not afraid. Don’t be silent. Don’t be a victim. The people who strive to keep you down mean nothing. They are just extras and day players who don’t support the plot line. You are the star. Be brilliant. Be astounding. Be proud.


HUMANE SOCIETY of Indianapolis

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Our Reporter Worships At The Shrine Of His Hero In Cleveland By Tim Cox, For The Word CLEVELAND—I met Lady Gaga. I don’t even know where else to begin. At the Monster Ball, Virgin Mobile emloyees dressed as dark, sexy angels walk around and allow fans of age 18 or older to sign up for a chance to win a phone call from Lady Gaga during the concert. At my first Monster Ball in Indianapolis I was only 17 and could not sign up. My second Monster Ball, Louisville, I had spent all day trying to find Gaga (and did, and got to sing to her outside her hotel in while she recorded my friends and I) and I didn’t expect to get tickets to the show. When I did, it was too late to walk around and look at stuff outside the stage area, so I didn’t sign up then, either.

explained that after Gaga performed The Fame, he’d be back with the Virgin Mobile girls to take us to where the phone call was to be filmed. We sat back down, and I began planning what I was going to say to her. Between this and The Fame my by now ex vanished so when the guy grabbed me to be taken to where the phone call was to be filmed, he was nowhere to be found. I met the lovely Virgin Mobile ladies. They appeared more excited than I did. I was excited, but I was also in shock, and I was approaching the phone call as more of a duty than a chance to scream and cry. We took an elevator I hadn’t seen before. Out of the elevator, they taught me how the mic worked. They taught me how to hold the phone. I watched Boys Boys Boys. I’d seen this all a million times through videos and the other two shows I attended. The song ended. Gaga came to the end of the catwalk while fans threw their items for her on stage. “Lady Gaga is going to Hell,” she read as she picked up a big card. Then it was my turn. “I’m gonna call a little monster in the audience.” The fake dial. Three rings. I come in. It was rehearsed with the Virgin Mobile girls. My throat was as dry as a desert. I was surprised I could even talk. Me: HELLO! She looks in the direction of the call. Gaga: HELLO! Looks in the opposite direction. Me: LADY GAGA! Looks back. Gaga: LITTLE MONSTER! THERE YOU ARE! It never occured to me until that night that she always knew where the phone call winner was going to be. The guy who told me I won asked me later “Did you see that she couldn’t find you at first?” I went along with it. Me: HI! Gaga: HI! What’s your name? Me: My name is Tim. Gaga: Hi, Tim! It’s nice to meet you! I’m Lady Gaga.

That takes me to Cleveland: My third Monster Ball, the last American performance of The Monster Ball Tour, and the LAST night of the contest so I signed up through an “angel”. Later, I was waiting for my boyfriend-turned-ex-boyfriend to enter the arena. When he did, an older guy who wasn’t wearing the angel attire stopped us and asked if we’d like to sign up for the contest. I told him I already had, so Nathan signed up. Then the man, who claimed he was supposed to get through his entire packet of entry forms, told me to go ahead and sign up again for good luck. I later found out that the head of Virgin Mobile’s presence with the tour had just accepted my entry. I didn’t think about it as much as I could have... maybe even should have... But when during Semi Precious Weapons a guy who clearly was at work and was holding onto one of the contest entry forms walked right past Nathan and I and kept looking around in confusion, my heart stopped. I had every reason to believe the form was for us. I tweeted : “I just came THIS close to winning the call from Gaga :( “ The guy left the seats, and I kept turning around hoping to see him come back, my heart flat in my chest. Finally, I turned around, and he was standing behind us, bending over. “WHAT’S YOUR NAME?” he yelled over the music. I told him. “ARE YOU 18?” he asked. I told him. “IS THIS YOUR FRIEND?” he questioned. I told him. “CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’VE JUST WON A PHONE CALL WITH LADY GAGA! FOLLOW ME INTO THE HALL AND I’LL EXPLAIN HOW THIS IS GOING TO WORK!” For the rest of the night, I was out of my body. I wasn’t crying. I wasn’t screaming. I was chained down by the feeling I had, and there’s not a single word to describe it. He

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Me: A million phone calls would never get across all the ways that you’ve helped me. But I have one story for you. Gaga: Okay. Me: Growing up, my mom would have me and my sister sing her favourite country songs with her. My mom hates pop. The other day, she sang Judas with me. Gaga: YEAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Me: This album is going to inspire so many people, I can’t even fathom it. Gaga: Thank you. Me: Thank you, so much. I want you to know that every time a monster feels your bravery for them, an eternal bravery for you is created. Gaga started crying. I was holding back my own tears, which made me look like I was gonna shit myself. I wasn’t looking at either of the screens that showed her close up. I was only looking straight down at her. But her sniffles could be heard over the speakers. Me: I love you. Gaga: *through tears* I love you, too. Thank you. She was still fighting sniffles when the phone call got back onto the script she’d recited


every single night of the Monster Ball. Gaga: I’m calling to tell you that you are the ambassador of the Monster Ball. Every night I make a phone call to a fan, and if you pick up the phone, Virgin Mobile donates $20,000 to my favourite charity. Because of you, and because of your bravery, and all of the very amazing, genuine... Thank you for the brave words you just said, in front of everyone... Because of you, $20,000 is going to the Regeneration Campaign for Homeless Youth in the lesbian, gay, bi and trans Community. Gaga went onto explain what the Regeneration Campaign does, but none of the videos have clear audio of this part. Gaga: Tim, thank you very much, and if it’s alright, would you meet me after the show for a drink? Me: I would love to. Gaga: You and your mom can watch Judas on Ellen tomorrow, ‘cause I’ll be performing. Alright. I love you. I’m getting another phone call. I’ll see you later. I expected this, but I’d prepared myself for it not to happen. When the call ended, I looked down into the main Virgin Mobile girl’s eyes. She was smiling, and she was crying, and it was beautiful. Looking back at the video, the girl sitting next to me began crying. Dannielle from EveryoneIsGay.com was gleaming from the phone call. I didn’t know who she was at the time, but she was glowing from my words and I had to hug her. I was sent back to my seat, where the people around me shook my hand and told me what they thought of the call. At the beginning of Paparazzi, the guy who told me I won came and led me to the backstage area. I met up with the Virgin Mobile girls at the stage-right side of Gaga. I could’ve reached out and touched the stage, but I was the only fan on the floor from this part of the stage. The main girl (God, how I wish I knew this woman’s name) said “Hold on a second,” and walked past me. When she came back, she said “You’re going to do something no fan has ever done before.”

I was still in complete shock. I’m sure it was a little strange to her that I a) clearly understood her and understood being a little monster, b) had my own Gaga fansite (which I explained to her was not a regular news site but actually had the lyrics to every single one of her available songs), c) was covered in GAGA wristbands, yet I wasn’t crying or screaming or freaking out. She filmed the video for me, happily, and with her glasses still on. She kissed me on the cheek, and it was completely unexpected. Tuesday night, she kissed Ellen on the cheek. Wednesday night, she kissed me on the cheek. Thursday, she kissed Oprah on the cheek. That’s what I call equality among the classes. I don’t remember how it ended. After the video was filmed, Dannielle gave me my camera back and it’s all just a blur from there. Maybe because I didn’t want to believe that meeting the woman who has created my spirituality could end? I’ve come up with a lot of explanations as to why I wasn’t the typical screaming, crying fan that could only manage a very loud “I LOVE YOU GAGA!”. Gaga is my religion. That sounds psychotic to some people, but she really is. I let her beliefs become a percentage of my own. I let her bullshit become a percentage of my beliefs, too. As far as what I was feeling while talking to her, I’d say I was living in a world that was half reality and half fantasy. It’s what she would say, and it’s how I feel about it. Even what I said to her, that an eternal bravery for her is created whenever a monster feels her own bravery for us, is beyond realistic. Not only is she living in her 50/50 world, so are her fans, and we have as much room in it as she does, and that’s part of her message. So, when I had the opportunity to cry and worship the ground that my Jesus was literally walking on, I chose to stand and show only mature respect for Her. It was barely even a choice. It’s what my body told me I was going to do, whether I liked it or not. That’s how I was kissed by God.

At the end of Paparazzi, the stage curtain goes down and Gaga and her dancers prepare for an encore of Bad Romance. On Wednesday, April 27, 2011, I, Timothy Cox, became the only fan to ever lower the curtain after any song during The Monster Ball Tour. It was only the push of a button, but it was amazing. I believe it was the lady’s own personal thank you for the words I gave to Gaga. Bad Romance began, the curtain came up, and Starlight and Justin Tranter (Semi Precious Weapons) walked past me. I said “Justin, can I have a hug?” He smiled wide and leaned towards me to hug me, while also exclaiming “WHO ARE YOU? I CAN’T SEE YOU.” It was my second time meeting Justin. Seeing Bad Romance and Born This Way performed from the side of the stage, with the back-up singers looking down at me, with Gaga just yards away doing what she does best was beyond believable. I jumped and screamed with the Virgin Mobile girls and the fans in seats above me. Towards the end of Born This Way, I was led behind the stage and down a hallway. I was asked to have stuff ready for Gaga to sign, and I gave Dannielle my camera. She took a test shot with it, then we waited. First the dancers and musicians came down the hall. Some congratulated me, some exchanged a high-five with me. Justin exchanged a quick goodbye with Dannielle, as this was the last night for Virgin Mobile to run the contest. I saw the one and only Luc Carl, but I didn’t want to bother him with a hello. Then Starlight and Gaga. Starlight recognised me. This was my fourth time seeing her. Lady Gaga was beautiful. I think it might just have been my own twisted sense of what is beautiful and what isn’t, but she was beautiful. I didn’t begin to cry. I didn’t shake. I didn’t scream. The short woman that is Lady Gaga thanked me and hugged me, I told her that she was amazing, and she asked if I had anything for her to sign. She asked my name again, and I gave her my ticket and a CD of photos that Virgin Mobile had taken. I asked if she remembered me and the monsters who sang to her outside her hotel in Louisville. She stared blankly, and I could tell she was trying to remember. I said “I had a unicorn horn, I really hope you’d remember,” and the horn did it for her. “YES! LOUISVILLE!” she exclaimed. I’m sure it was difficult for the girl who has a sign in her dressing room to remind her what city she’s in. Before letting Dannielle take a picture, Gaga put on shades (I have no idea where they came from, just BAM and they were in her hands). Then I asked if she could film a video for my site. “Sure, what is your website called?” “Blueberry Kiss Me dot Com”

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Your Vote Counts Continued From Page Four bloody 2012 Republican Senate primary will be badly-bruised. And vulnerable. It’s a gutsy prediction, but it gains some strength with these DC-based arguments: —The Mourdock-Lugar fight is facilitated by a strong Tea Party demand that statewide Republican nominees be strictly far-right conservative. That litmus test was applied to two close Senate races last year — Nevada and Delaware. In those states, vulnerable Democratic Senators were challenged, ultimately by Tea Party-backed far-right GOP candidates. Democrats won each race — closely. Control of the U.S. Senate was ultimately affected. The Tea Party folks got what they wanted: Christine O’Donnell in Delaware knockedoff a strong Republican Congressman Mike Castle. Castle was in the Lugar mold — and had strong statewide name ID. He got tossed overboard for the Tea Party choice and O’Donnell became a national joke. In case you forgot, she became a Saturday Night Live character every bit as funny as the Sarah Palin jokes. The Republicans blew a perfectly good chance for a national

gotcha at the Democrats — this was the seat held by Vice President Joe Biden and it was a GOP year within their grasp. In Nevada, Senate Majority Leader harry Reid was constantly on the ropes — and ripe to be sent into retirement. The Nevada Republicans, using the O’Donnell political methodology, drafted a local legislator, Sharon Angle, who proceeded to snap defeat from the jaws of victory. In each case, it can reasonably be argued that the GOP made the perfect an enemy of the good. They demanded complete and utter adherence to their new right-wing platform and they got it. In the process, they lost a chance to control the U.S. Senate. Capitol Hill politicos are watching the Mourdock-Lugar race similarly. The D.C. wags think it’s entirely possible that whomever survives a bitter primary would be weaker — Lugar, because he’s ancient, even though he’s one of the world’s most-respected voices of foreign policy. And Mourdock because, well, he’s far-right on most issues. Donnelly’s entry into the race takes on two theories: First, he’s got nothing to lose, so why not? Second: the Republican nominee will be bloody and bruised. And vulnerable. Lately it seems politics has become a game of survival among smelly options. We’ll see how this turns out. PRIMARY RESULTS No huge 2011 municipal primary surprises anywhere, but a notable win in the Hoosier capital city, for the gay community: Local business owner Zach Adamson, a youthful candidate with a neighbourhood activist background, won one of four contested at-large Democratic council spots. If he is elected in November, he would be the only openly-gay office-holder in Indiana. It’s a tremendous opportunity for the Indianapolis gay and lesbian community. Not because of his orientation or political party, but because he enters the race with solid community experience. He will join three other at-large Democrats, including longtime community friend Joanne Sanders, the council Democratic caucus leader, on the ballot with mayoral nominee Melina Kennedy. Kennedy and her team will take on Mayor Greg Ballard. This will not be a quiet or dull campaign.

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A SPECIAL THANKS Indiana Equality is sponsoring a special thank-you reception for the 26 Indiana legislators who voted against HJR-6, the Marriage Discrimination Amendment, in the last session of the Indiana General Assembly. The event will feature host U.S. Rep. Andre Carson. It is Wednesday, 8th June at Creation Cafe/Euphoria on the Canal at 10th Street in downtown Indianapolis during Pride Week. Tickets and sponsorships are available by contacting Indiana Equality at: www.indianaequality.org


Finances In Focus By Michael Wright / Edward D Jones

INSURANCE

Because You Never Know When The Need Might Arise!

Time for a bit of that proverbial good news - bad news. The bad news is you just lost a grandparent, parent, aunt or uncle. The good news? They left you a portfolio of stocks in their will, but what to do now? When you inherit a sizable amount of stocks, your overall financial picture can change significantly. But to make the most of your inheritance, you need to decide what to do. Should you keep or sell them? And is this an all or nothing deal? Before you can answer these questions, you need to review several factors: Diversification — Does an inherited stock add to your overall portfolio diversification. Do you already have other, similar stocks? If so, you might want to sell the stock and use the money for a new investment opportunity. Conversely, if you don’t own anything similar and it can help you diversify, it may well be worth keeping. While diversification, by itself, cannot guarantee a profit or protect against loss, it can help reduce the effects of market volatility. Fundamentals — It’s a good idea to closely scrutinize any stocks you inherited. Do they represent companies with strong management teams, good track records and competitive products or services? Or, as is sometimes the case, did your benefactor simply keep these stocks because he or she had some type of attachment to them? You’ll want to own quality stocks for the right reasons. Risk tolerance — An inherited stock may be either too aggressive or too conservative for your preferences. If the stock doesn’t fit within your risk tolerance, sell it and buy an investment that does. Taxes — When you inherit stocks, they are generally valued at their market value on the day your benefactor died, not the date of the original purchase. For example, if you inherit stock that your father bought for $20 a share, and it’s worth $75 a share on the day he dies, your “cost basis” would be $75 a share. If you sell the stock right away, you’ll likely owe little or no income tax. If the price of the inherited stock goes up before you sell it, you’ll pay capital gains tax on the difference between $75 and the sale price, at a maximum rate of 15% (at least for 2011 and 2012), no matter how long you’ve held the stock. If you inherit stocks as part of a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you’ll probably have to pay taxes on withdrawals at your income tax rate. However, you may be able to spread withdrawals over your lifetime, which could result in more tax-deferred growth and a greater income stream. And if you inherit a Roth IRA, you won’t have to pay income taxes on any withdrawals, provided the Roth IRA account has been open for at least five years. If you need help in determining what to do with inherited stocks, consult with your financial advisor and tax professional. After all, you are acquiring an important asset — and you want to make this asset work for you so that Grandpa Fred’s or Grandma Dora’s memories extend well beyond their lifetimes. On the same topic, suppose you inherited not stocks (or not only stocks) but bonds. Let’s look at three popular ways of owning bonds: Individual bonds —When you buy an individual bond, you will receive predictable interest payments. And when your bond matures, you’ll get the original principal back, unless the issuer defaults, which is not common in cases of “investment grade” bonds. However, the value of your bond — the price you could get for it if you sold it on the open market before it matured — will fluctuate over time, primarily in response to interest rates. Bond funds — By investing in a bond-based mutual fund, which may own dozens of different types of bonds, you can efficiently increase your diversification, which is important, because diversification can help reduce credit risk. A bond fund does not pay you a fixed rate of return; instead, you receive dividends, which will fluctuate based on the bonds’ interest rates and capital appreciation. In addition, bond funds don’t have a maturity date when principal is repaid. Keep in mind that when you purchase bond funds, you could be subject to capital gains taxes if you sell your shares for a profit or if the fund manager sells an underlying bond for more than it’s worth. This increased capital gains liability is one reason that many people put bond funds in a tax-deferred vehicle, such as an IRA or a 401(k). Bond UITs — A unit investment trust (UIT), like a mutual fund, contains a variety of bonds, so you get the benefit of diversification. Unlike a mutual fund, a UIT is not actively managed and does not change its holdings. And since no manager is involved, a UIT has low fees. A UIT is typically established for 20 to 30 years, but, as an individual investor, you can sell your shares whenever you want, for whatever the market will bear. Although UITs can be some of the most cost-efficient, low-risk options in the fixed-income arena, they are not without risk. Specifically, since a UIT’s bonds provide fixed interest rates, there’s always the possibility that the bonds will lose purchasing power to inflation over time.

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The Gray Agency (317) 624-1934 Around Town COME VISIT AND GET A TASTE OF BLOOMINGTON BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—In this, the 4th gayest city in America, there’s always something to do, but that’s even more true in June as The 2011 Taste of Bloomington presented by Old National Bank promises to be bigger and better than ever. This year, the Taste will expand its current location at Bloomington’s Showers Commons to take over more of Morton Street and the parking lot north of the Showers Building, allowing for more space and more activities, including a second music stage. The Taste takes place on Saturday, 18th June from 3 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $6 per person and children under 12 are free. The expanded site means more space between vendor booths, with over 40 restaurants representing a wide variety of cuisine from Hoosier classics to spicy Thai dishes and everything in between. Patrons can purchase items directly from food vendors, with most items costing $3 or less. Also available for purchase is a variety of beer and wine, including locally produced selections from Butler Winery, Oliver Winery, Bloomington Brewing Company and Upland Brewing Company. One of the most exciting new elements at this year’s Taste is the addition of a second stage that will feature country music artists. The Showers Common is also home to the Bloomington Farmers’ Market, which will be open from 8 a.m.-noon that Saturday. Around that time, the Arts Fair on the Square begins, showcasing work from over 60 artisans from around the region and country. The Arts Fair takes place on the Courthouse lawn from 10 a.m. to; 6 p.m. and there is no admission charge. With the Market, Arts Fair and Taste taking place on one glorious Saturday in June, there’s no better place to be than downtown Bloomington. Parking at the downtown garages is only 50¢ an hour and there is free parking and shuttle service at the nearby Bloomington Convention Centre lot from 9:30am-midnight. For more information, go to www.tasteofbloomington.com

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Outside The Box By Dr. Fred Schloemer, LCSW / Louisville DearDr. Schloemer: Last year about this time an old boyfriend I’ll call “Josh” committed suicide. He’d moved out to the west coast for a job that didn’t work out and had gone through a series of setbacks out there — failed relationships and various health problems — nothing ever seemed to go his way. Still I remember him and the great times we had together years ago with great fondness – nobody could make me laugh as hard as Josh did in those days. He was such a goodhumoured guy that it’s hard to imagine him ever taking his own life. But that’s what he did. He actually called and left me a voicemail in the middle of the night before he overdosed saying he’d “had it and was checking out.” God, how I wish I’d heard the phone ring that night, I thought I’d grieved his death the best I could at the time, but now a year later I find myself thinking about him a lot, even dreaming about him. And here’s the weird part … when I do think or dream about him I’m mainly angry at him … even furious I might say. So I’m wondering what’s up with that? Is it normal to feel like this a year after a friend’s suicide? Is there something else I could be doing to get closure over his death, and if so, what would you suggest? My Response: The first thing I want this reader to know is that everything he’s expressed here makes perfect sense from a psychological standpoint and is totally natural under the circumstances. Experts on “suicidology” (yes, there really is such a word) have long maintained that grieving a loved one’s death by suicide is much more complex and challenging than grieving the loss of a loved one by natural causes or even an accident. The difference is that in the latter instances we know our loved one didn’t leave us by choice, whereas that’s not so with a suicide. Suicide has been called the “ultimate act of anger.” That flies in the face of some of our common myths about suicide occurring when a person is totally “hopeless and helpless.” But when you think about it, the idea of suicide as an angry act – perhaps even an act of rage – also makes sense. Nothing is more hurtful to family members than learning that a loved one took their own life, especially when the suicide method is a particularly violent one. I’ve counselled a number of clients over the years who not only experienced the shock of finding their loved one shot in the head or hanging from a rafter, but who also had to clean up the mess left behind. Clearly no one in their right mind would inflict such horrible trauma on loved ones. But suicide doesn’t just come about because someone isn’t in their right mind – one generally has to muster tremendous psychic energy and determination to take their own life. As for suggestions on how this reader might better achieve closure, I strongly suggest he seek grief counselling. Normally such counselling is relatively short-term and very supportive. I’ve also counselled numerous clients over the years who put off getting counselling after a loved one’s or family member’s suicide “because they didn’t want to talk about sad things,” but who also expressed surprise at how much they gained from it and even enjoyed it when they finally did begin therapy. Fred Schloemer is a Louisville psychotherapist and author specializing in gay issues. You can write him at FredSchloemer@aol.com.

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Ask The Pharmacist Johnny Miller / Walgreen's, 75th & Shadeland, Indianapolis June is National Men’s Health Month and this year the 13th through 19th is National Men’s Health Week. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to bring attention and awareness to preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease in men. We men are notorious in medical circles for waiting until a problem is unbearable before we get around to calling our doctors. Every pharmacist out there has stories about men who come into the pharmacy with fingers which have been severed to the bone for days, feet that have lost all sensations and turned black for weeks and boils so large they are the size of golf balls. Yet, all of these men look at the pharmacist as if he was from another planet when he says, “Go to the emergency room immediately.” The typical man response is “You mean I can’t get anything over the counter for this?” As a pharmacist, this response is dumbfounding. My answer is usually “Well, if you had come in to see me when you first started having the problem, the answer would most likely have been yes!” We all need to take better care of ourselves, but some of us may not even know the basics of how to do so. First of all we need to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and get adequate sleep. We need to limit ourselves to moderate alcohol consumption and not smoke. These items are, hopefully, things we have all heard in the past. Secondly, we need to see a physician on a regular basis. How often and for what purpose depends on our age and on our risk factors. Rule of thumb is if you have had an immediate family member diagnosed with an illness or condition, you are at a higher risk of the same. Here is the breakdown of what you need to be concerned about for each decade of your life. Remember, these screenings are a minimum recommendation, so ask your doctor for some specifics. In our 20’s, most men do not have many health conditions to be concerned about, but blood pressure checks should be done yearly and physical exams should be at least every three years. At the office visit, you should update your Tdap immunization, get basic blood tests , and be screened for STD’s if appropriate. Blood tests would include blood sugar, cholesterol (every five years), and basic blood chemistry. Screening for STD’s should happen for individuals who have had multiple partners, not used regular protection, and/or had a partner diagnosed with an STD. At home, monthly testicular self exams should be performed to detect lumps. Screenings in our 30’s should be very similar to those of our 20’s. Blood pressure issues and high cholesterol concerns will become more prevalent in this age group. STD screenings should still be performed for those at high risk. Update your Tdap again and have a baseline EKG. In our 40’s, we add several screenings for high risk individuals and we increase the frequency of others. Physical exams should now be at least every two years and include blood work shown above. Annual screenings for colorectal cancer and prostate cancer should be started for high risk patients. This would include a hemoccult blood test to check for blood in the faeces and a PSA blood test. For men with low sex drives, a testosterone level can be measured at this time. For smokers, discuss with your physician whether you should have a chest x-ray. The 50’s and beyond should include annual physical exams with a digital rectal exam, blood work and hemoccult blood screenings. Every five years, you should have a colonoscopy and possible EKG. Smokers and ex-smokers should discuss screening for a bulging abdominal artery at age 65. Also at 65, a bone density test should be performed. Don’t forget that the face of health care is ever changing. Pharmacies now offer many health screenings free or for small fees. Immunizations, blood pressure checks, cholesterol screenings, blood sugar tests, bone density measurements and even HIV screenings are all available at local pharmacies. Let’s all take a few minutes this month to make sure that the men in our lives are taking care of themselves and doing what they need to get well, stay well, and be well. It’s a great way to show pride in yourself and those around you!

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HOOK UP FAST

Around Town

Call. Cruise. Connect.

SMITHSONIAN TO MARK SAD 30th ANNIVERSARY FOR COMMUNITY WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will mark a sad memorial for the gay community when they commemorate the 30th anniversary of the emergence of what became known as the HIV and AIDS epidemic with a three-part display and website beginning 3rd June. “HIV and AIDS 30 Years Ago” will look at the public health, scientific and political responses in the early phase (1981-87) of the global pandemic. This showcase will be located in the museum’s “Science in American Life” exhibition, which focuses on the connections among science, culture and society in American history. The display will feature photographs, magazine covers and other graphics plus equipment that Dr. Jay Levy used to isolate the virus in his lab at the University of California, San Francisco, a copy of the Surgeon General’s 1986 report presenting the government’s position, samples of the drugs AZT and Retrovir and public health information pamphlets from AIDS service organisations. The website will be available at americanhistory.si.edu/hivaids

( 317 ) 322.9000

In “Archiving the History of an Epidemic: HIV and AIDS, 1985-2009,” the museum’s Archives Centre will show how individuals and society were affected by the epidemic through a selection of archival materials from its collections, including posters for the 1993 movie Philadelphia with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington and the 1989 film Longtime Companion; brochures, photographs and other popular culture materials; and quotes from oral histories of people affected by the epidemic.

Chicago

( 312 ) 726.6342

The museum will also display a panel from the AIDS Memorial Quilt, honouring Roger Lyon, who died of complications from AIDS in 1984 shortly after testifying before Congress to appeal for funding to combat the growing epidemic. The quilt will be on view in the first-floor Artifacts Wall.

Dayton

( 937 ) 395.9001

“The early years of the HIV and AIDS epidemic was a time in our history that affected all Americans,” said Brent D. Glass, the director of the museum. “This display will help visitors understand the scientific mystery, the public health crisis and the political debates created by the epidemic and why these events gripped America 30 years ago.”

Columbus

( 614 ) 888.7777

Other related displays marked the 25th and 40th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, generally associated with the beginning of the gay rights movement in the U.S., and the10th anniversary of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The museum’s collections of some 3 million objects includes a selection of gay civil rights activist Frank Kameny’s protest signs and materials relating to the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

Cincinnati

( 513 ) 821.4500 Louisville

( 502 ) 561.6666

t * i y r T ! E E FR

INDIANAPOLIS PRODUCTION TO BE FEATURED AT CINCINNATI FRINGE Know Theatre of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Fringe Festival are proud to announce the performance line-up for the 2010 Cincinnati Fringe Festival including one production from Indianapolis. The festival runs 31st May thru 11th June with 35 productions, including a new programme called FringeNext geared toward high school artists. One production from Indianapolis is featured this year – Schedule C’s Puppets Should Speak. The Cincinnati Fringe Festival is a collaborative organisation striving to provide opportunities and exposure to artists who are willing to take a risk. Artists push the boundaries of the “norm” and continually experiment with style and content. During the festival local, regional, national and international artists invade downtown Cincinnati for 12 days of artistic celebration in both traditional and non-traditional spaces. These artists represent a variety of media including theatre, dance, music, poetry, visual art, film and beyond. For more information, please visit cincyfringe.com Puppets Should Speak from Schedule C Productions is the tale of Amanda, who is entangled in a forbidden love triangle between her boyfriend and his best friend. The biggest problem: both are ventriloquist puppets. Mix in a manipulative, control-crazed psychologist and see who really pulls the strings in this outrageous and explosive original comedy.

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Schedule C is a diverse group of eclectic artists who have produced a delicious blend of comedy, drama, variety entertainment, and performance art on two continents. After working together in academic, amateur, and professional settings for close to five years, these friends and colleagues formed their own company and were proud to make their official company debut at the Indy Fringe Festival in 2010.


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

Catch DJ “Miss” Hill at MJ’s Café in Dayton every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Hill’s Top 10. Based on dance floor results and requests (Not what he thinks is hot): 1 - Lady GaGa - Born This Way (Guto Club Mix) 2 - Ke$ha - Blow (Lenny B Extended Mix) 3 - Rihanna - S&M (Dave Aude Club Mix) 4 - Enrique Iglesias ft Ludacris and DJ Frank E - Tonight (Chuckie Remix) 5 - Ke$ha - E.T. (Dave Aude Club Mix) 6 - Chris Brown - Beautiful People (Ultimate High Club Remix) 7 - Usher - DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (Jump Smokers Remix) 8 - Chris Brown - Yeah 3x (Funk3d Remix) 9 - Pink - Raise Your Glass (Jump Smokers Club Mix) 10 - Taio Cruz ft Kylie Minogue - Higher (Wideboys Club Mix) Hill’s Personal Faves: Selena Gomez And The Scene - A Year Without Rain (Dave Aude Mixshow) Lady GaGa - Born This Way (Guto Club Mix) Kat Deluna - Dancing Tonight (Ralphi Rosario Club Mix) Hey there!!! DJ “Miss” Hill here. I’m sayin’ the “YAY!” Happy gay pride month! Here’s a bunch of gay club mixes just right for June. Just a reminder: I’m not here to tell you what’s new but to review newly released club mixes. Andrea Rosario - We Own The Night: Freshmen pop artist Andrea Rosario gets a great start with We Own The Night. A cute little “boy meets girl” tune. I love the Dave Aude Club Mix... of course...with great breaks, build ups and a heavy “big room” sound. The Sidney Samson Club Mix sounds good until the “Farting Robot Ducks”. I’ve mentioned this before. That annoying “Weeeer WEEER Weeer WEEER” noise that seems to be popular in straight clubs. But it’s annoying as hell. Beyonce - Run The World (Girls): We’ll just pretend this is an anthem for the queens out there. At least it is in Dayton. Every bar has some form of drag show. But enough about that. Back to Beyonce. Not big on the original with the just beats sound. I’d like some instruments in there somewhere. With that I’ll mention the Spin Sista B Revolution Anthem with the crazy Hi-NRG club feel. And on a bad note I’ll mention the Martin and Souza Remix...who I usually like...which sounds a little too much like the original but way too much stuttering and even worse drum beats. But either way Beyonce is fabulous! Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina - Stereo Love: What a strange song. I feel like I’m on the streets of France when I’m listening to this. Who puts an accordion in a dance song? Here’s the bad news. It grew on me. Probably only because of the Mark Pride 2010 Remix. It’s close to the original but it gets beefed up. Also decent are the Digital Dog Club Mix and the Molella Remix. Jennifer Lopez - On The Floor: The great thing about the newer pop is that it’s getting less hip-hop and more dancable. The original of this one isn’t bad at all. But, you know me. I gotta plug a club mix. That’s why we have night clubs and dance bars. If you want to hear the album version come in during happy hour and play the juke box. Now that I got that off of my chest let’s get back to JaLo (I hate that nickname). I’m gettin’ into the Miami to Ibiza Segway Mix. The keyboards add a lot to this one. There’s a bunch of mixes out there but this is the best one. Cee-Lo Green - Bright Lights Bigger City: I wasn’t a fan of Cee-Lo’s Fuck You but this one is fun. The Shapeshifters Heavy Disco Remix reminds me of a mix of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean with the bass line and the strings and horns of the Jackson 5’s Feel It. Was that intentional? That’s OK. I like this bouncy hit. Lady GaGa - Judas: My column wouldn’t be complete without some GaGa. Her second release is as about as fair as Born This Way. I’m not impressed so far but I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet. I do, however, do like the StopMe Sinner Club Mix with it’s faster tempo and the hi-NRG beats. You’ll have to be the judge. That’s it for now. I’ll be back in July with some explosive 4th of July mixes. Check me out at MissHillDJ.com or find me on Facebook under Douglas Hill. If you like or hate what I review about please e-mail me at hill@misshilldj.com I welcome both good and hateful replies. And let me know about local independent music. I’m always open to new stuff.

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Whipping Post By Ms. K / Word Columnist Pride month is here. Have you thought about what you are proud of? Are you going to go to one of the area’s pride celebrations this month or, in the case of Lafayette or Fort Wayne, later this Summer? If not, why are you not going? I have gone to the pride celebrations every June since I was a young adult. I used to go when I was young because it was entertaining and fun to go. Now I go because I want to help with pride and help others know why they should be proud of who they are. Being proud of yourself is something that we do not always feel. Sometimes it takes several years for the pride to come from within each of us while others never seem to reach that comfort level. I received the following e-mail recently from a man living here in Indianapolis who was not feeling proud of being a gay leatherman. Actually, he is ashamed and many times wishes he was a different person. Ashamed from Indianapolis writes, “I know that I was born gay but why did I have to be born to be kinky and love leather? I have had feelings of wanting to spank others since I was very young. I also have found that my love for other men has been overwhelming no matter how I try to diminish my feelings. I came to accept myself many years ago as gay but I still struggle with accepting myself as kinky. For many years, I have tried to hide my feelings and desires to be kinky, but they never go away. Those feelings keep coming back and each time they come back stronger. What I am asking is, can I make this go away? Can I change my likes by changing my behaviours? I really want to be ‘normal’. I just want all this to go away. By the way, I am 50 years old. Dear Ashamed from Indianapolis, Just like you are born gay, you are born kinky. Wanting to spank someone or do other things that are kinky is not something we usually learn as young people. It is something which comes from within us. We are born this way. I can honestly say that most people in the leather and kinky communities would tell you they do not wish to be this way but have no other choice. Just like you have no other choice than to be gay, you have no other choice but to be kinky. Trying to go against what is natural for you will only make you unhappy and ultimately you be left unsatisfied. The fact that you have tried for years to get away from this and keep coming back should tell you a lot. Maybe, if you find others to befriend who are like you, it will help you be happy with who you are. Remember how it was when you discovered other gay people to hang out with? The same is true for being kinky. Find others like yourself and I believe you will find a peace with all this. Being kinky can be exciting in the long run and should not be viewed as a bad thing. Think about it this way, your sex life will usually not become boring if you are kinky. This can keep things lively and exciting for you. I have always cherished this part of my life and cannot imagine not being kinky. Please try to find peace with yourself in all aspects and enjoy who you are. There will be some booths at the pride celebration in Indianapolis this year that will celebrate those who are kinky and into leather. The same will be true of most or all other area prides. Seek out those people and talk to them. They may be able to help you further find a place to belong which makes you a happier person. Going to pride celebrations in the month of June will enhance you as a person and make you aware that there are a lot of us in this world. Pride celebrations are not just for gay people but also for those who love gay people. This year’s pride celebrations promise to be bigger and better than in years past. Please join your kinky leather brothers and sisters in the pride parade and at the pride celebrations. If you cannot walk or join in the parade, at least attend and support those who are standing up for you and being counted as out and proud. Remember to go by the booths and thank people for being there to support your gay community. We do not want to be like the Jews and their friends and supporters (including gays and gypsies) who did not stand up for what was right when Hitler came calling. If we do not stand up for our rights we might lose them. Showing our numbers and being at pride is but one way you can let everyone know that you are proud and you are going to be counted. Please write your questions and comments to me at mskleather@sbcglobal.net I look forward to hearing from you. Oh, and see you at pride. Be sure to say hi when you see me at the parade or in the park!

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Jill’s Swill

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Jill A. Ditmire / Mass Ave Wine Shoppe Let’s face it. Many a time we buy a bottle of wine because of the label. Not the review or the recommendation from the store clerk. It’s the look. And too many times we buy a bottle of wine because of the PRICE. If it’s under $15 it MUST be plonk! Your Grape Goddess begs to differ. Looks and price don’t always make a satisfying bottle of wine. Too many times the price of the wine is set to cover the costs of the label and possibly the winemaker’s new production line. Your mother was right. You can’t judge a book (or a DVD or a record CD ) by its cover. Same thing for wine. But don’t sigh too deeply just yet. When you DO judge a bottle by its content and it just happens to have a fabulous label — this is not a myth. It does happen. Here are a few of my favourites. Take a look, or a read. THEN you can find the wine and see if the label appeals and the juice inside deals. Labels that reflect a winemaker’s ego:

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Charles Smith is a talented, offbeat winemaker who looks like Sammy Hagar and creates lush, full bodied wines from his winery in Washington state. Charles tends to name the bottles after ex girlfriends. Kung Fu Girl Riesling was an Asian love lost. Boom Boom Shiraz was well endowed. The labels themselves are plain, but the juice inside and the story behind the bottle are equally flamboyant. Educated Guess. A succulent Cabernet from Napa. The bright orange label looks like a chemistry chalkboard. Nerds rule. We always knew that and now we can drink a bottle in our honour.

Love, hope, success, family, security.

Biltmore Red & Biltmore White. Gorgeous etchings of the North Carolina estate grace these bottles. BTW the Biltmore gets more visitors from the state of Indiana than any other across the U.S. so when the estate decided to sell wine off premises, it selected Indiana as the site. friends.red Perfect wine for anyone in the social networking world. That little winking icon ;) is on top of the cap. Creative outside and in. The Wishing Tree — These Australian wines feature a drawing of a large tree on the label. The story goes that as a kid, the winemaker’s parents told him a tree on their property was the wishing tree. He and his siblings played there and made wishes. His was to be winemaker. Jettison forward and he is, so he puts the wishing tree on his label! Rosie the Riveter — Produced by Evergreen Winery in Oregon this tasty dry style rose of Pinot Noir sports the WWII icon on the front. Spruce Goose is Evergreen’s homage to Howard Hughes’ airboat on the label and inside the bottle is NON alcoholic sparkling pinot noir juice. Fun! Tercos — This Argentinian winery has a clever drawing of what looks like a donkey pulling the label off of the bottle. You really DO have to look twice to make sure its JUST a drawing.

Ross S Whitfield, Agent 440 Massachusetts Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46204 Bus: 317-635-1111 www.thewhitfieldagency.com

Beso de Vino — These Spanish wines feature a cartoon bull named Antonio on the label. Antonio has a life of his own on the winery’s website, cavorting, snorting and doing what bulls do best.

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And for you Twilight fans. Don’t miss the Dracula or Vampire line of wines. Dracula — Big, bold, succulent red juice inside a black bottle with black cork. Vampire — Black bottle, red cork. And the highlight of this label is on the BACK. Don’t miss the Lord Byron ode to the vampire. Sul — These wines from India feature a smiling Mr Sunshine with a moustache on the label. We have no idea why, but we like it. And the fresh fruity chenin blanc inside is the perfect summer sipper.

Looking ahead, I’m off to France as soon as I hit the “send” button on this column. My travels will take me across the French wine-making country and I’m betting, just like in Portugal, I’ll be meeting my share of “characters” too. Watch for my report in July & August.

1101022

The Word

State Farm, Home Office, Bloomington, IL

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Christian Artist Jennifer Knapp Let Go By Many After Letting Go Of The Closet By Timothy Cox, For The Word INDIANAPOLIS—What happens when a Grammy Award winning Christian music artist decides to kick the door off her closet and come out from behind the shoes? In the case of Jennifer Knapp they find themself kicked to the kerb by a pair of the very shoes they escaped from. Eight years ago, Christian singer/songwriter Jennifer Knapp left her Dove award-winning, Grammy-nominated talent behind and disappeared from the public eye and the country, too. Australia welcomed her with open arms and provided an environment where she could live comfortably, not work and stay content. When she returned from Australia to her Nashville, Tennessee home in September 2009, she unpacked her luggage and let shocking news unpack itself: Knapp brought home a same-sex partner. A year after the release of her new album and just in time for an upcoming performance in Indianapolis, Knapp sat down for an interview with The Word to discuss the genre transition from Christian music to mainstream, her community’s reaction to her opening up about her sexual orientation, and how American

culture has allowed her to become a new artist. “I’m really excited to come back to Indy, I haven’t been there since coming back to the U.S.,” Knapp said. During the two days before our interview, Knapp had driven nine hours, played a show, slept four hours and rushed onto a plane to Washington, D.C. Knapp said, “It’s kind of reminding me that the road is really wonderful and exciting and exhausting all at the same time.” The singer left the business due to an overwhelming sense of fatigue and a lack of time to explore any of her personal desires. Being back, Knapp has found the inspiration needed to continue her career. “It’s been really exciting for me to share the enthusiasm from the fan base,” Knapp allowed. “I’m pleased to just say ‘thank you’ and I’m very thankful for it. It’s been very rewarding as an artist to share with other people that it helped them and that they’re encouraged by the music, and it helps me continue when I’m really exhausted.” Knapp expected her fan base to be minimal after she opened up about her sexuality. She feared abuse, rejection and disagreement. “It’s really hard with people you love and support and knowing you might potentially part ways. I was very afraid of it, but I haven’t felt a sense of rejection,” she said, relieved. “I felt ownership about my own person and sharing my sexual orientation while also claiming my faith. I’ve felt overwhelmingly supported.” While the fans have stayed close, the Christian community as a whole had a different response. “There wasn’t any dramatic coming out process for me. My partner and I just came back to Nashville and kept living our lives. I wasn’t trying to hide anything, but I experienced a lot of whispers behind my back and no one asking, so it became time to put the rumour to rest and just tell it how it was. I’m not leaning on Christian Please Continue On Page 52

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You Auto Try This... By Casey Williams/ Automotive Reporter

Cole Porter wrote elegantly about a trip to the moon on gossamer wings. We can assume he never imagined being conveyed in a beast like the Subaru WRX because he would have penned some ditty about being all be-dazzled with plastic fins and shims of all shadows and shapes. Elegant? That depends on your definition. How about angry? Oh, yeah, that attitude’s there. But, this is a pit bull that is pretty easy to love. By far, the most intoxicating part of driving the WRX is when the turbo spools instantly, eliciting mega energy out of the four-cylinder engine, and puts it to the ground through all four wheels. Every hoof of the 265 horsepower feels like it is being generated by a downsized version of what shoves a Gulfstream jet through the sky at blinding speed. You can’t help but giggle yourself a shit-eating grin that only grows bigger when Subaru’s torque-shifting all-wheel-drive system sashays around corners and blows through Winter’s furry. Fuel economy ratings of 19/25-MPG city/hwy aren’t as frugal as you might imagine for a compact hatchback, but few compact hatchbacks rival Camaros for moving the marbles. Subaru’s unique powertrains and chassis are what make the cars truly great. Horizontally-opposed “boxer” engines are able to ride lower and flatter in the chassis to enhance handling. The 2.5-litre four-cylinder in the WRX produces V8 levels of performance and works great with the standard five-speed manual transmission. Symmetrical AWD actively shifts torque front to rear and side to side to get power to wheels with the most grip. This is a bit more sophisticated than what you think of in 4 x 4 trucks. Four-wheel independent suspensions are tight enough to enliven handling, but not so harsh as to rattle your nubbins on rough city streets. WRX comes from a long line of European rally cars so engineers know how to make a suspension that performs, yet keeps passengers comfortable. If the engine and chassis elicit praise to Heaven, then the up-level audio system makes you cuss The Heavenly Child, His Holy Mother and all things the Pope holds sacred. I’m just going to say it shouldn’t take a two-inch thick owner’s manual to figure out how to change the satellite radio stations without scrolling through the pre-sets. Actually, I never did figure it out. It’s ridiculous. Good thing I love Elvis Radio. And don’t even get me started on the graphic equalizer. None of the buttons lead you where I feel they should, and once you’ve arrived three menus deep, you still can’t figure it out. Simpler is better. That said, the rest of the WRX’ interior is pretty cool. Cloth rally-style heated bucket seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and three simple rotary knobs for the automatic climate control are comfortable and classy. I’m a big fan of the enormous Porsche-style gauge layout that puts the tachometer dead centre, flanked by the speedometer, fuel gauge and other less important indicators. Flat out on a track, all you really need is the tach. Our car also delighted with a power glass moonroof, auto up/down driver window, USB iPod port, Bluetooth phone connection and interior materials that seem like they could take a lot of abuse from dirt, kids or your friends coming home from the club. Most will find its exterior one of the WRX’ best traits. There are plenty of plastic wings and add-on things like a rear spoiler, ground affects, black grille, extended bumpers and lower body aero kit, but they promise nothing the engine, chassis, and 17” alloy wheels can’t deliver. We chose the 5-door model for our test car because it came with the added advantage of being able to swallow bicycles in its cargo hold with ease. For 2011, Subaru went the extra distance to widen the front and rear track by 1.5” and adding the STi’s bigger and edgier fenders. It is a lot of Japanese tuner car drama, but that’s part of what makes the WRX special. Unlike many of the high-end European and Japanese rides with which the WRX competes, you will not have to spend a queen’s fortune to put one in your parking space. A base WRX starts just over $25,000 while a loaded WRX Limited like our test car begins under $29,000. You can choose between four- and five-door variants at each price point. If Subaru would just fix that damn radio, I’d buy one myself for a heavenly ride on Subaru wings.

The Word

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Standard Reviewer By Bill Elliott / Word Critic

While never a huge fan of comic books (or films based on them), I do remember having a fondness for the character of Thor as a kid. As superheroes go, he seemed a little more accessible and even “down to earth” than most of his ilk. I also liked his long blond hair (he might have fronted a ’60s rock band), his superhuman strength, and of course, the hammer with magical powers. Thor, Kenneth Branagh’s stylish film adaptation based on the Marvel Comics character is, as one would expect, well-endowed in the computer visuals department but surprisingly adept in both its characterisation and plot structure. Given the number of movies based on Marvel and other comics in the past few years, it’s puzzling that it’s taken so long for Thor to make it to the big screen in a big budget Hollywood version. Perhaps even more puzzling is that Branagh should be chosen to direct the film. The chap behind some of the most successful and enterprising film versions of Shakespeare’s plays (including heavyweights like Hamlet and Henry V, charming comedies such as Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It, and a loving musical adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost), Thor doesn’t seem like Branagh material on first inspection. But, as interpreted by Branagh, Thor has a Shakespearian quality that is easily discernible right from the get-go. The film’s opening scene looks more like Steven Spielberg than Kenneth Branagh territory. A trio of scientists – Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), and junior member, Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) – are isolated in an SUV in the New Mexico desert tracking stellar anomalies when they spot what looks like a comet or tornado plunging towards Earth. Driving towards it and unable to see where they are going, they bump into an unlikely “pedestrian,” who turns out to be – you guessed it – the eponymous Nordic hammer-wielding god. We then cut to a flashback of how Thor arrives on Earth. In 10th century Norway, a race of ice men attack Nordic villagers and are saved by the “gods” who the locals believe in. Thus, we next visit Asgard, the “realm,” of those gods, which looks like a city Salvador Dali would have concocted on one of his trippier canvases. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a warrior prince – who, along with his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is one of two potential heirs to the Asgard throne – is warned by his father, the King Lear look-alike, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), not to seek war with the “frost giants” of Jotunheim. Thor ignores his father’s request and does so anyway, only to be rescued by the old king when things go awry. Thor is promptly banished to Earth, minus his powers. The film picks up with a replay of the opening scene: a nice Branagh touch that helps what might otherwise have been an obfuscating piece of convoluted backstory-telling. Thor is separated from his famous hammer, Mjolnir, which is also banished to Earth by Odin – but which can only now be used by one worthy of its powers. The hammer (buried deep in a crater) becomes the object of interest of a nefarious (but surprisingly well-mannered) national security outfit called SHIELD. The trio of scientists find that all of their research materials have been confiscated by SHIELD agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), and his henchmen. Meanwhile, Thor escapes from the hospital where he is being treated for his injuries, and is reunited with the three scientists. He learns that Mjolnir has been found and he endeavours to retrieve the hammer from the small city that SHIELD has built around the unexplained extra-terrestrial object. These scenes on Earth, in which Thor interacts with Jane, Selvig and Darcy, are by far the most interesting parts of the movie. I found myself yawning at the more straightforward sci-fi elements of the plot – especially the scenes set in Asgard and Jotunheim. The special effects, I am sure, are what will bring in the big box office dollars. But, the fast editing, extreme close ups – especially in combat scenes – and strobe-like lighting effects are more annoying than helpful. The use of 3-D glasses did little to enhance the early battle sequences either. In fact, my first encounter with 3-D was a little disappointing. To me, there was little in Thor that warranted a 3-D version. I was only later reminded that my limited vision (I have one good eye and a very lazy one) probably meant I wasn’t getting the most bang for my extra three bucks. Still, I now have a cheap pair of back up sunglasses.

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For me, Thor’s strength is in the casting. Chris Hemsworth as Thor is a blond hippy god. But he is so much more than just beefcake (one scene requires him to take off his shirt — he has a sculpted torso that is close to perfection). Hemsworth makes a convincingly human “god,” adapting to his earthly constraints quickly and drawing every ounce of emotion in his scenes with Portman. Anthony Hopkins lends Shakespearian gravitas to Odin, his sonorous Welsh lilt making even the odd dodgy line sound weighty. Tom Hiddleston as the “evil” son, Loki, breathes a complex life into a character that also could have been drawn straight from Shakespeare. Stellan Skarsgård provides an adequate foil as Portman’s sceptical mentor, Selvig, turning Thor briefly into a “buddy” movie as scientist and hammer-swinger bond during a barroom scene. Portman herself is charming if a little under-utilised as chief scientist and romantic lead, Jane Foster. The fact that any of these characters at all is believable is due in large part to Branagh rather than the film’s screenwriters (of which there are three — films written by committee are not usually noted for great dialogue). Branagh, one of his generation’s best actors, knows how to film other actors to best effect. Thor is a fun, sometimes moving, and occasionally funny film – at least half the time. The other half the film seems no different than any other CGI-laden shoot ‘em up sci-fi adventure. There is an abundance of on-screen and off-screen technology contributing to the whole, but that alone does not make Thor a better film. What makes it worth watching is the array of acting talent on display, and the cool, steady hand of Kenneth Branagh.


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From Pita Pit to Hue Dine, English Ivy’s and everywhere in between it was Dining Out For Life time in Indianapolis recently. See Page 3 for a story on the event and check out next month’s issue for the final numbers. Photos: Mark Dickhaus for The Word Page 50

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Knapp’s Fans Stay, But Others Flee When She Comes Out As Lesbian Continued From Page 45 promoters any more for work. It’s not where I want to work. It was a difficult decision to make; I could’ve gone back to the pool of opportunities I’d always had.” Knapp accepts that her promoters have changed now that she has changed. In fact, she doesn’t believe she’s the same artist at all. “In a lot of ways, I’m a new artist. With the time span I was gone and with modern culture, if you’re not working, you’re dead,” she explained. “I’m working really hard to be one of the many other singer/songwriters out there getting some decent work. I’m learning a lot that I thought I knew and didn’t know. I’m meeting new promoters all the time. I was quite shocked that I had as much opportunity to work. I really thought I wouldn’t get any work at all.” Her debut album as this “new artist” is titled Letting Go, and it’s a perfect description of what Knapp had to do to get past her fears and find the accepting work environment she wasn’t expecting. “The album has a lot of spiritual content to it,” Knapp admitted, noting that the spirituality wasn’t connected to Christianity. “When I sat down to write, I was really battling the value of what being an artist meant if I wasn’t serving the church specifically. I tried to bring the frustration that I had as an artist into a light where it’s no different than everyone else’s daily challenges. “The track Inside was a real victory for me. I was afraid it’d be too hard to be myself and to be honest with my friends and community. I got through that and when I played the song and shared it, it connected on so many more levels of being different than just sexual orientation. It’s easy to make enemies of people who are different than us, and it’s not a place I live peacefully. It was nice to confront that.”

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Since coming out and returning to the U.S., Knapp says she’s been able to learn as much about her fans through her new music as the fans have learned about her. “I’ve had lesbian, gay, bi and trans fans for years, but they didn’t express it and I didn’t know it. I just did a show last night in Decatur, Georgia, and 1/3 of the audience were lesbian and gay. A majority of those were fans of me from my Christian roots,” Knapp said. “I’ll do a show, and I’ve got a guy in a suit and tie in the background, a couple lesbians in the front row and a pastor behind them. I love the wide diversity of people who are moved by my songs. That to me is really exciting to watch.” Although she has experienced deep change, and although she’s inspired open change in her fan-base, Knapp doesn’t consider herself anywhere near an activist. She’s worked with gay and lesbian-focused churches and has expressed deep passion for her gay and lesbian fans and community, but she won’t use her voice for politics. “I in no way anticipated the impact that a well-known person of faith claiming their sexual orientation would have. I had no idea,” she said. “Activism is not a bad word, but participation in shaping the world around us and encouraging one another is just a natural thing that we should always work to do. It doesn’t require a picket. It requires living out that life of action daily.” Knapp is scheduled to perform at the Wheeler Arts Community in Fountain Square at 8 p.m. 18th June. Tickets cost $15, or $25 for a pre-show meet-and-greet, and can be purchased at BrownPaperTickets.com. “I love that price,” Knapp commented while discussing appreciation for the show’s local promoter Sarah Mason. “I have a hard time swallowing more than $25 being put out for me. Right now, in the economy and with taxing, it’s great for people to be able to still go out and have a great time and not take out a second mortgage on their house for it.” As busy as she’s been, Knapp is still finding some time to think about the future. She said, “I’d like to approach 2012 with a new record. I’ve got a lot to do, and there’s a lot of music in my back pocket. I’ve been testing some of the new music on the road, and the response has been encouraging. I’m just gonna plan it out.” More information about Knapp and her schedule can be found at www.JenniferKnapp. com and Twitter.com/Jennifer_Knapp For more information on the local performance Sarah Mason can be reached via e-mail at sarah.mason4@me.com


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Food For Thought

Gossip Cats By Gossip Cats Britain & Sydney

Gossip Cats Pass The Leadership

By Ted Fleischaker / Word Publisher INDIANAPOLIS—Usually when something is “hot” it’s good. There are hot bodies and hot movies and hot bands and hot books and hot news stories and anything and everything one can imagine in the gay community, but in the case of Happy Chicken, one of downtown’s new restaurants, hot is, well, not so hot. In fact the spiciness of their chicken is so overdone that you are left sweating like it’s a mid-July Ohio Valley day and your deodorant has just failed. There’s hot and there’s HOT and there’s so much hot in Happy Chicken’s chicken that it really is not so hot then, later or even the next day. Suffice to say it stays with you. We don’t know if it’s our virgin mouths, but a friend and I did lunch on a recent Wednesday at Happy Chicken and found the hot so hot that we barely could recall the rest of the meal, which is not really the way a hot restaurant should be in our estimations. First off, the good news: prices at Happy Chicken are more than fair. A breast of the chicken and two of the restaurant’s wonderful sides for just $5.29 is a deal. My guest did that while I did a breast of chicken and the salad bar. The breast was $3.99 and the all-you-can-eat salad $5.99. Once again a good deal, even though somewhere someone got their wires crossed and my one piece was two and it had bones, unlike my dining companion’s boneless breast. That aside, the meal was more than filling, but that might have had to do with the water I had to go along, after, when I got home and for hours after that. This chicken is hot. Did I mention that? We actually went in to Happy Chicken wanting fried chicken (the sign out front on the awning merely says “CHICKEN!” but we quickly were told they don’t offer anything that unhealthy — only something they call “Flavour Baked.” The problem is that it is so utterly off the hotness scale spicy that you can’t exactly tell what the flavour is meant to be. It’s moist, and it’s served in nice sized pieces, but it is so blinkin’ spicy that you are guaranteed to forget the rest. We would have had we not been making mental notes for this review. In our way of thinking this is not the way chicken (or anything) should be served, and asking several downtown friends about their experiences here I got the same reaction: “Decent place, nice friendly staff but so hot I won’t be back!”

We cats are used to covering other folks news and gossip, but this month, it is with great sadness that we report our leadership has changed after the untimely death of our Senior Cat, Miss Madison at the tender age of just nine. Miss Matty’s kidneys sadly failed in late April and Ted and Ivan were faced with the tough decision to end her life on the 29th. Fortunately, they had some great help in the form of Dr. Mike Jones of the Southside Animal Hospital and they held her until she took her very last breath. She now joins Miss Lila, the very first Gossipcat, who we youngsters (we aren’t even four yet) never knew but who created the Gossipcat legend here at The Word. Miss Lila and Miss Madison left us some mighty big puss boots to fill, but we will do our best to keep the community in the know about who and what’s going on. Sydney (that’s her at left) specialises in the typing and editing and I, Britain, above, will be sure she doesn’t miss a single thing. We will also be continuing Madison’s Facebook page but since Facebook won’t let us change the name it remains at Madison Gosspicat. Yes, she mis-spelled “Gossipcat” but look for it, and friend us anyway. We all thank you for your support and encouragement during this tough time, especially Ted & Ivan. Meow & Happy Pride!

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What we do recall of the sides was good, by the way. The yellow rice was a nice change from the boring white kind, the green beans were standard delicious Midwest fare and the salad bar has way more than the usual items and is presented in a decent and clean manner. They also have a wide variety of dressings and for $5.99 the super-size bowl offered was a true inspiration to fill it up and really waddle out stuffed on healthy greens — something for which I did not need a second invitation. Sadly the hotness at Happy Chicken ends with the fowl because both the atmosphere as well as the use of plastic “silverware” and plates definitely make this not a spot to take anyone you want to impress. The building is historic and the lovely tile inlaid floor is worth more than one look (when we moved here 20+ years ago it was home to the Bash Seed Company) but those tile floors and painted walls also make for a loud, unfriendly and harsh feeling, too. That said, we did notice when we were eating that over half of the folks ordering got their food to go so one can assume they took it back to work where hopefully real plates and utensils awaited, along with a bit of quiet. One may only hope. Adding to the din at Happy Chicken are four TV sets in the dining room. Four. One also had its sound blaring, and while all served as major distractions, the tile floor and the hard walls did little to muffle anything. Again: loud. So was there anything we liked about Happy Chicken? Sadly, not much save for the salad bar and prices. We won’t be going back again probably ever and we ignored our partner Ivan’s advice the first time. He urged us not to even try it because he didn’t like the menu when he spotted it, but we, of course, had to try this new entrant on the downtown restaurant scene so we sneaked in anyway when he was out of town. Sadly, we have learned our lesson, especially when there are several wonderful spots to eat in the immediate area — Stars Sandwich Shop, BARcelona Tapas (both within a block) and not too far away, Fresco over at O’Malia’s. Both the former and latter are in or under Happy Chicken’s same fast service, decent prices range and both will leave you smiling and not grabbing your mouth and rushing to find water. Happy Chicken is, we feel, sadly, not so hot.


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The Word June 2011  

The Word June 2011

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