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VOLUME 20, ISSUE 7 • J U LY 2009

Nashville: NoN-DiscrimiNatioN orDiNaNce effort Gears Up

Reprinted with permission of Out & About Newspaper

The Tennessee Equality Project has urged its membership to contact Nashville’s Metro Council members to lobby for a non-discrimination policy that protects Metro Nashville government employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The group has been preparing and organizing for more than a year for the battle. It has mobilized several social networking tools and also recruited district captains to help organize voters in all of the Metro Council districts.

No firm date has been set for the

proposed ordinance but TEP supporters

say they hope it’s filed as soon as later

this month. This will mark the second time a non-discrimination ordinance has

been proposed in Nashville – the first

proposal failed on its second reading in front of the 2003 Metro Council, when then Vice Mayor Howard Gentry cast a tie-breaking vote against the ordinance. It was a move he later apologized for to the GLBT community in his run for mayor, saying at a 2007 Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce Mayoral Forum that he had come to the realization that he should have voted differently in 2003. “I’ve been hurt by the response that

I’ve gotten from you and I ask for your forgiveness for the pain I may have caused,” Gentry told the crowd of more than 130 people. “I’ve had hundreds of discussions on this topic. I ask that you

not make that one decision my defining

moment.” The politics behind the move this time comes on the heels of a similar ordinance that was proposed in Shelby County, also backed by TEP. Last month, the Shelby County Commission passed a

non-discrimination resolution that will prohibit discrimination based on “non- merit” factors. Commissioners voted nine to four in favor of the resolution. Though not an ordinance, organizers say the resolution would carry the same legal weight as a county policy. It is anticipated that Councilwoman Megan Barry will introduce the bill. Barry told the Nashville City Paper in 2008 that she hoped to get such an ordinance passed within her next term. “At some point over the next term,

we will look to file a resolution that will

protect all our brothers and sisters in Metro,” Barry told the City Paper. “I want equal protection for all Metro employees because it’s the right thing to do.” Christopher Sanders, chair of TEP, said the organization has sent out an e-mail blast to all of its members, asking them to contact their council members to “let them know where we stand on this issue.” Sanders said the email and other events planned would “rally support in

anticipation of a July filing.”

TEP has more than 600 members of its

Facebook group on the topic, and while Sanders declined to identify the exact number of people on TEP’s email list, he said it was substantial.” “All Metro employees deserve the same non-discrimination policy that Nashville’s teachers have,” Sanders said. “Metro ought to be free of discrimination. Let’s put it in writing.” In the e-mail message to supporters, Sanders said “we know from the experience of working on the Shelby County non-discrimination resolution

that we are in for a fight. Our opponents

brought out the most horrible lies about

With popular entertainer Robbie Bartlett looking on, Mike Shouse, Director of the Kentuckiana Pride Festival, presents

With popular entertainer Robbie Bartlett looking on, Mike Shouse, Director of the Kentuckiana Pride Festival, presents a check to Brad Hampton, Director of the Louisville AIDS Walk. The Festival collected $5,203 in tips at their beverage stations during the two day event, June 19 & 20. Shouse reported that last month’s festival was tremendously successful, noting that a conservative estimate of attendance at the parade and Friday evening event on the Belvedere and at the main festival on Saturday, June 20 was at least 8,000 — an increase of 3,000 over last year’s festival attendance. THE LETTER is proud to be the longest-running media sponsor of the Kentuckiana Pride Festival and the only GLBT news publication to sponsor the 2009 festival!

our community. We will have to out- email, out-call, and out-rally them. That’s why we’re organizing in as many council districts as we can. We have already recruited many district captains for the effort.” TEP has said passage of such an ordinance would make Metro a more competitive employer and would send a message that Nashville is a welcoming city. He noted that it would cost nothing to make the policy change. “I think maybe most straight people, even those who we would recognize as allies, don't realize it, but we don't have any employment protections in Tennessee unless an employer chooses to put

sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in its policy,” Sanders said. “We hope Metro government will add these categories to its non-discrimination policy.” If enacted, Metro Nashville would join Atlanta, Louisville, New Orleans, and Chapel Hill as cities that already have similar policies. Locally, many businesses already provide a non-discrimination policy for their employees, including the area’s largest employer, Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, which has more than 21,000 employees. Reprinted with permission of Out & About Newspaper. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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“Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.”

— Coretta Scott King

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JULY 2009

Thursday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Space is limited. Please RSVP by July 17, 2009 Call (502) 244-4114 or email todd.a.metcalf@ampf.com

Understand Today, Own Your Tomorrow:

Financial planning services and investments offered through Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2009 Ameriprise Financial Inc. All rights reserved.

A New Perspective on Your Finances

Ameriprise Financial invites you to join us for a special event:

Thursday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m. Space is limited. Please RSVP by July 17, 2009 Call

12700 Townepark Way, Suite 100 Louisville, KY 40243

This is an educational seminar. There is no cost or obligation for attending.

Attend this complimentary event and learn how you can:

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July 23, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m. Space is limited. Please RSVP by July 17, 2009 Call

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Learn about practical steps you can take now to move forward with confidence.

LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO GET BACK ON TRACK?

JULY 2009

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www.theletteronline.com Post Office Box 7842 Louisville, KY 40257 Founded in June 1990 by Jeffrey Goldsmith &

www.theletteronline.com

Post Office Box 7842 Louisville, KY 40257

Founded in June 1990 by Jeffrey Goldsmith &

Humphrey Marshall

EXECUTIVE EDITOR/WEBMASTER ADVERTISING & DISTRIBUTION:

Dave VanderPol: (502) 332-4632

editor@theletteronline.com

HIV RESOURCES EDITOR

Brad Hampton brad@friendtofriend.org

With an estimated readership of over 14,000,

THE LETTER is distributed throughout the seven state region of Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois, & Missouri

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS

Cubbie Britches Mike Buford Michael X. Chanak Marie Davis Bryan Gatewood James Hensley

Michael Kimmel Bryn Marlow Brandon Monson Beth Ann Rubin Brian Rzepczynski Tina Storm

Christy Ikner

David Williams

Eric Jost

Hazel Zimmerman

Publication of the name, photograph or likeness of any person, organization, or business in articles or advertising in THE LETTER or on its companion website is not to be construed as an indication of the sexual orientation of such person, organization or business.

THE LETTER assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials submitted for publication.

THE LETTER reserves the right to edit or reject any advertisement.

© 2009, The Letter News All rights reserved.

AUGUST 2009 DEADLINES

Press releases and Regional Calendar items must be received no later than Monday, July 27, 2009.

Advertising reservations must be received no later than Friday, July 31, 2009.

All items should be sent to editor@theletteronline.com.

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2010: Major Organizational Change Coming To Cincinnati Pride

Bill Abney, President of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Greater Cincinnati has announced that the organization will not organize Pride

  • 2010. The announcement came at the

Pride Appreciation volunteer party hosted by the Community Center. Concurrent with this announcement, Nigel Cotterill, President of the Greater Cincinnati Gay Chamber of Commerce (gaychambercincinnati.

typepad.com) says his organization

will organize the event for Cincinnati

in 2010. Their Vice President, George Crawford will have charge

of the event. George was chair of the successful Equinox celebration which was recently held. The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Greater Cincinnati had been

the organizer for the past five years.

Miss Sienna 2009 Crowned

by David Williams

She was the crowd favorite, and she proved to be the judges’ as well. On June 6, Elisha Grimes was crowned the second Miss Sienna. The gala took place in the auditorium at Metropolitan Community Church of Louisville. First runner-up was Rachaell Stuart and second runner-up Shannon Garrison. Sienna is Louisville’s transgender support and education group, but the pageant opened itself up to anyone wishing to participate. After answering questions from judges, candidates were formally introduced to the packed crowd.

Subsequent judging categories included day wear and evening wear. Interspersed between appearances by contestants were several fabulous numbers by Mokha Montrese, Mykul Valentine, BeJon St. James, Lady Alana, Cadillac Seville, David Wayne, and Lady Tatiana. Perhaps the most spectacular performances were turned in by the Measina O Samoa Dancers, which consisted of family and friends of the reigning Miss Sienna, Christine-Jazmin Kaleilani Vea. For more information about Sienna, go to www.siennatg.org ..

Revised Legislation Receives Kudos From Transgender Advocacy Group

The Transgender Law Center

has expressed it's appreciation to lawmakers late last month for introducing a federal Employment

Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

which would protect lesbian, gay,

bisexual and transgender employees from workplace discrimination. The bill, which enjoys bi-partisan support in Congress, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. “ENDA is an important step in securing civil rights for all Americans, and will ensure that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, will be treated fairly in the workplace,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. Currently only California and 11 other states have non-discrimination

protections for GLBT workers. Such laws are critical given the high rates of employment discrimination facing transgender employees. The Transgender Law Center’s 2008 California Transgender Economic Health Survey found that almost 70% of working-age transgender Californians experienced discrimination in the workplace, including 30% who reported that they have been unemployed as a direct result of being transgender or gender non-conforming. The same survey found that transgender respondents were twice as likely to have a college degree as the average California. The Transgender Law Center is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. The organization's website address is www.transgenderlawcenter.org.

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Absolut Salutes 40 Years Of Pride With "Rainbow Bottle"

www.theletteronline.com Post Office Box 7842 Louisville, KY 40257 Founded in June 1990 by Jeffrey Goldsmith &

Even though ABSOLUT® VODKA celebrates pride every day, the

world’s most iconic vodka is proud to pay special tribute to four decades of gay pride with a limited-edition ABSOLUT Pride bottle that marks

the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall

Riots. The special bottle package, which features a hopeful rainbow design that has become an iconic symbol of gay pride, honors the men and women who stepped out of the bars and fought back on the streets of New York City’s West Village during the summer of 1969.

“In An ABSOLUT World, everyone is encouraged to be true to themselves,” said Jeffrey Moran, Vice President of Multicultural Marketing, ABSOLUT Vodka. “That world is more colorful, diverse and respectful. As people celebrate Pride this year, we want them to be proud of who they are and let their true colors shine.” Since 1981, ABSOLUT has been honoring pride and celebrating the achievements of the GLBT community. Through community-

specific advertising, promotions and

charitable contributions, ABSOLUT continues to be synonymous with vodka at gay and lesbian bars and

living rooms from coast to coast. Now

ABSOLUT becomes the first spirits brand to offer an GLBT-specific bottle

(ABSOLUT continues on page 7)

JULY 2009

Regionalcalendar

sponsored by Mark England

Items of interest to the GLBT community are listed for FREE from non-profit community organizations, support and social groups. We also publicize events sponsored by businesses and professionals currently advertising in THE LETTER. Please send details at least four weeks in advance of your event. Contact: Dave VanderPol:

editor@TheLetterOnline.com. Be sure type “Regional Calendar” in the subject line of your message!

3rd Sundays

3:00pm. Metro Louisville chapter of Parents, Family &

Friends of Lesbians and Gays. First Lutheran Church,

417 East Broadway. For more information call (502) 329- 0229 or write pflagmom10@yahoo.com. Confidentiality

respected.

Every Monday

7:00pm. Movie Mania at Gay & Lesbian Community

Center of Cincinnati, 4119 Hamilton Avenue. Free. For

movie titles click on the icon for the GLBT Calendar page at www.glbtcentercincinnati.com.

Every Monday

7:00pm. Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus practice at Eternal Joy

Metropolitan Community Church, 2382 Kennedy Avenue. For more information write DtnGayMensChorus@aol. com.

Every Tuesday

2:45pm. GLBT Mental Health Issues Support Group at

The Recovery Center, 2340 Auburn Avenue, Cincinnati. (513) 241-1411.

6:00 - 8:00pm. Louisville Fairness Campaign Volunteer Meet-Up at 2263 Frankfort Avenue. For more

information call Kyle (502) 893-0788 or write fairness@

fairness.org.

6:30pm. Triangle Martial Arts Association: Tae Kwon Do training for GLBT community. Beginners & experienced welcome. For location write: m_fearnow@yahoo.com.

7:30pm. Women’s Tuesday Night Coming Out Group at

Off The Avenue, 1546 Knowlton Street, Cincinnati. (513) 535-2517.

Every Thursday

6:30pm. Support group for all persons coping with all

sorts of struggles. City of Refuge Worship Center, 1041

Goss Avenue, Suite 100, Louisville. Handicap accessible from back of building.

1st & 3rd Thursdays

7:00pm. Gay Men’s Support Group meets at Metropolitan

Community Church of Louisville, 1432 Highland Avenue.

Carla Wallace’s Lawn Party, a Fairness Campaign fund raiser. Details: www.fairness.org. SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, September
Carla Wallace’s Lawn Party, a Fairness
Campaign fund raiser.
Details: www.fairness.org.
SAVE THE DATE:
Sunday, September 6, 2009;

Mark England

Wednesdays: July 15 and August 19

6:30pm. Indy Bi-Versity, confidential discussion group.

For more information, including the meeting location, write: indybiversity@yahoo.com.

July 17 - 19

Trailer Trash/“Sordid Lives” Weekend at Timberfell Lodge, Greenville, TN. For more information visit www.

timberfell.com. For reservations call (800) 437-0118.

Saturdays: July 18 & August 15

8:00pm. Monthly meeting of Sienna, transgender support

group in Louisville. For location leave a message: (502)

894-1048. For general information about the group visit

www.tg-sienna.org.

July 24 - 26 Wet ’n Wild Weekend, Includes Saturday Midnight Skinny Dip Dance Party at Timberfell Lodge, Greenville, TN. For more information visit www.timberfell.com. For

reservations call (800) 437-0118.

July 31 - August 2

DOMINATION: The Leather Experience Weekend at Timberfell Lodge, Greenville, TN. For more information

visit www.timberfell.com. For reservations call (800) 437-

0118.

Wednesdays: August 5 & September 2

7:00pm. Crossport Crossdresser Support Group,

Cincinnati. (513) 919-4850.

Tuesdays: August 11 & September 8

7:30pm Dayton PFLAG Monthly Meeting. 667

Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Centerville). For more information call (937) 640-3333.

Tuesdays: August 11 & September 8

7:00pm. Cincinnati PFLAG meeting. Mount Auburn

Presbyterian Church, 103 William Howard Taft Road. For

more information call (513) 513-721-7900.

Thursdays: August 13, 20 & 27

7:30pm. Dave VanderPol facilitates a Single Gay Men's

Book Study. Featured book: Finding The Boyfriend Within by Brad Gooch. Location in Louisville’s Clifton/Crescent

Hill neighborhood. Registration: $5.00, payable through

PayPal. For group guidelines, exact location and other information write: editor@TheLetterOnline.com.

Regional calendar sponsored by Mark England Items of interest to the GLBT community are listed for

www.LouisvilleGayInfo.com

Selling Louisville's Most DIVERSE Neighborhoods

INCLUSIVE FAITH COMMUNITIES Central Presbyterian Church Celebrating God’s Wildly Inclusive Love 4th & Kentucky Streets (Old
INCLUSIVE
FAITH
COMMUNITIES
Central Presbyterian Church
Celebrating God’s Wildly Inclusive Love
4th & Kentucky Streets (Old Louisville)
(502) 587-6935
Church School: 9:30am
Sunday Worship: 11:00am (Nursery Provided)
Pastors: D. Mark Baridon & Ann J. Deibert
www.CentralChurchKY.org
Church of the Advent (Episcopal)
No matter who you are, or where you are on your
spiritual journey, you are welcome at Advent.
901 Baxter Avenue, Louisville (40204)
(Intersection of Cherokee, Baxter and
Broadway)
Sundays: 8:00am & 10:30am
Thursday Contemplative Prayer: 7:00pm
www.advent.episcopalky.org
(502) 451-6066
City of Refuge Worship Center
Come Worship Freely Our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ
1041
Goss Avenue, Suite 101,
Louisville (40217)
(502) 762-8986 / (502) 495-2603
Rev. Randy Meadows, Pastor
Sunday Bible Study: 9::30am
Sunday Worship: 11:00am & 7:00pm
Wednesday Worship: 7:00pm
www.cityofrefugewc.org.
First Unitarian Church
Where Reason & Religion Meet
4th & York Streets, Louisville
(502) 585-5110
Sunday Celebration of Life: 10:55am
Wednesday Chalice Night: 5:30pm
www.firstulou.org
Metropolitan Community Church
of Louisville
A Christian Church Where ALL People Are
Welcome at the Table
1432
Highland Avenue, Louisville
(502) 587-6225
Rev. Dee Dale, Pastor
Sunday Morning Worship: 10:30am
Wednesday Evening Worship: 6:00pm
www.mcclouisville.org
Progressive Pathways Fellowship
What Path Calls You?
Mellwood Arts & Entertainment
Center / #208 1/2
1860
Mellwood Avenue, Louisville (40206)
Sunday Worship & Education: 5:30pm
Wednesday Book Chat: 6:15pm
www.progressivepathways.org
Inclusive Faith Communities listings
are welcome from congregations
throughout the six state region served
by THE LETTER. Pre-paid listings
cost $80.00 for six months or $140.00
for one year. For more information
write editor@theletteronline.com.

JULY 2009

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Openly Gay Lawmakers: Influential Though Outnumbered

The number of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered representatives in the national legislatures of 18 countries around the world has tripled since 1998.

That finding is among those in

discriminate against or fail to protect them through legislation,” Reynolds said.

The study identified 67 openly gay

legislators or members of parliaments

(MPs) in the 18 countries at the end of

Reynolds' paper noted. Last year, there were nine openly gay cabinet ministers in the countries Reynolds studied. And last February, Iceland elected the

world's first openly gay prime minister,

Jóhanna Siguróardóttir.

research by political scientist Andrew Reynolds, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His paper, "The Presence and Impact of

2008, compared with 22 in 1998. “The current crop of 67 is undoubtedly the largest collection of openly gay MPs in history,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds assigned numeric values ranging from minus two to two for the presence or absence of gay-friendly policies in each of seven areas:

Openly Gay and Lesbian Politicians

Of the 67, 50 identified themselves

• Legal relationships

in the Parliaments of the World," finds

as gay men, 14 as lesbians, two as

• Marriage

that although these representatives

their colleagues on related issues,”

bisexual and one as transgendered.

• Civil unions

are in the minority in the legislatures

The largest number per legislature was

• Adoption rights

in which they serve, their presence

  • 14 in the British House of Commons;

• Laws against discrimination

correlates with passage of more gay-

the largest percentage was six percent,

• Sexual orientation as part of a hate-

friendly laws.

in the Netherlands.

crime law

Reynolds, who teaches in the

Reynolds found that legislatures with

• Gays not banned from military

College of Arts and Sciences, said that

the most GLBT members — 60 of the

service

openly gay representatives must build

  • 67 — were in established democracies

“Each variable represents a distinct

coalitions with heterosexual colleagues to succeed in passing gay-friendly laws in such areas as same-sex marriage and partnership, adoption rights and hate- crime law.

of Western Europe, North America or Australia and New Zealand. There were two each in Africa and Latin America and one each in the Middle East and Asia.

that there were about 20 out-of-the-

office in the United States in 1987.

legal right or denial of a right,” he said. Reynolds then used these values to determine combined scores for all seven areas for each of 76 countries —

“Gay members of parliaments have

Reynolds’ cited the American-based

18 with openly gay legislators and 58

never been numerous enough to act as a voting block with leverage, but they can be legislative entrepreneurs who help set agendas and educate

said Reynolds, associate professor

Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which looks at local, state and national elected bodies. The fund reported last August

closet gays and lesbians in elected

without. He notes now that this year, six nations have begun offering same- sex marriage: Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa and Spain. Three states of the United States

of political science and chair of

By 2003, the fund noted, 218 of the

had gay marriage laws in 2008:

the international and area studies

roughly 511,000 Americans in elective

Massachusetts, California and

curriculum. Familiarity appears to breed tolerance.

office were openly LBGT - less than .05 percent. Three served in Congress,

Connecticut. California’s was struck down by referendum in November

“When the gay person becomes a

  • 47 in state legislatures and the rest

2008, but Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont,

person with a name, human talents

in local government. As of 2008, the

Maine and New Hampshire passed

and foibles, aging parents and young

total number of GLBT officeholders

gay marriage legislation in 2009.

children, sport team obsessions and

had tripled to 602, including 79 state

Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands

opinions about the latest TV show,

legislators and 28 mayors.

and Spain were the highest-scoring

it becomes more difficult for their

Legislatures are not the only offices

in Reynolds' tallies for the most gay-

parliamentary colleagues to overtly

in which GLBTs have made gains,

friendly nations, each with five out of

Openly Gay Lawmakers: Influential Though Outnumbered The number of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered representatives

Andrew Reynolds

a possible six points. The least tolerant of gays, scoring minus two each, were Egypt, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. The average score was .96 and the standard deviation was 1.73. The highest-scoring nations tended to have the most LGBT legislators, Reynolds found: “Having even a few openly gay legislators is linked with

a significant improvement in the legal

rights of gay people.” Advocacy by

GLBT groups also is influential, as is

the level of social acceptance of GLBTs

in each country. “The presence of minority members

in a legislature aids in breaking down intolerance and in building alliances that cut across pre-existing cleavages within society,” Reynolds said. “Globally the trajectory is clear. More and more openly gay candidates are

winning office, and legal equality,

across a variety of domains, is gathering

momentum.”

(ABSOLUT Continued from page 4) at retail stores. “With its history of sponsorship of LGBT advocacy groups and LGBT themed advertisements, ABSOLUT is one of our community's greatest allies,” said Neil Giuliano, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against

Defamation (GLAAD). “This year

GLAAD celebrates the twentieth anniversary of our partnership with

ABSOLUT, which has directly funded our media advocacy initiatives and

enabled us to change hearts and minds with stories about the lives of GLBT people.” The limited-edition ABSOLUT

Pride bottle, containing a 750ml bottle

of ABSOLUT, is available in select

markets. Support the vodka that supports PRIDE! The Kentuckiana Pride Festival is excited to have ABSOLUT®

VODKA as a major sponsor for this year’s celebration.

JULY 2009

aBsolUt ® priDe cocKtails

Red - ABSOLUT Life

2 parts ABSOLUT Vanilia 1 part Cranberry Juice Squeeze of Lime

Orange - ABSOLUT Compassion

1 part ABSOLUT Mandrin 2 parts Orange Juice Splash of cranberry

Yellow - ABSOLUT Sunlight

2 parts ABSOLUT Citron 1 part St. Germaine 2 parts Lemon Lime Soda

Green - ABSOLUT Nature

2 parts ABSOLUT Raspberri Muddled with mint leaves, lime, sugar, fresh raspberries and plenty of crushed ice —

Topped with 1 part soda

Blue - ABSOLUT Serenity

1 part ABSOLUT Vodka 2 parts Curacao Splash of lemon lime soda Squeeze of lime

Purple - ABSOLUT Spirit

2 parts ABSOLUT Pears 1 part Simple Syrup Fresh blueberries & raspberries Lime wedge

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Lexington Lyons Celeb- rates 11th Anniversary

The Lexington Lyons is celebrating 11

years of service this summer. The club, humorously known as the “Leather Junior League,” has raised and distributed over $31,000 to charities across the country. They also sponsor Lexington’s Gay and Lesbian Services Organization as well as various AIDS groups in Kentucky and Cincinnati. This past year, several members were nominated for the national leather community’s highest honor, the Pantheon of Leather. The group meets the second Monday of each month at 7:00pm at the Pride Center, 389 Waller Avenue, in Lexington. For more information, go to www. lexlyons.org or write lexingtonlyons11@ yahoo.com. The group may also be

reached at (859) 468-6371.

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7

July 17 - 19 Trailer Trash/“Sordid Lives” Weekend July 24 - 26 Wet ’n Wild Weekend
July 17 - 19 Trailer Trash/“Sordid Lives” Weekend July 24 - 26 Wet ’n Wild Weekend
July 17 - 19
Trailer Trash/“Sordid
Lives” Weekend
July 24 - 26
Wet ’n Wild Weekend
Includes Saturday
Midnight Skinny Dip
Dance Party
July 31 - August 2
DOMINATION:
The Leather Experience
Weekend
August 14 - 16
8th Annual
Mr. Timberfell
Competition
July 17 - 19 Trailer Trash/“Sordid Lives” Weekend July 24 - 26 Wet ’n Wild Weekend

8

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JULY 2009

JULY 2009 www.TheLeTTeronLine.com The LeTTer 9
JULY 2009 www.TheLeTTeronLine.com The LeTTer 9
JULY 2009 www.TheLeTTeronLine.com The LeTTer 9
JULY 2009
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10 The LeTTer www.TheLeTTeronLine.com JULY 2009

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2 WHARF PARTY 7PM-12AM July 18 August 15 PARTIES Lamont Gillispie & 100 Proof EACH
2 WHARF PARTY 7PM-12AM July 18 August 15 PARTIES Lamont Gillispie & 100 Proof EACH Free
2
WHARF PARTY 7PM-12AM
July 18
August 15
PARTIES
Lamont
Gillispie
& 100 Proof
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LIVE BLUES MUSIC
DAY!
Headliner
Cash Bar/Food, Family Fun, Door
Prizes, Games, Souvenirs,
Lawn Chairs and Blankets Welcome
Lamont Gillispie
& 100 Proof
Also Featuring
JonBoy Slim
JonBoy
Start with free party, board the Belle dance cruise (optional), end with free party!
Slim
JD
Shelburne
www.belleoflouisville.org
BELLE DANCE CRUISE 8-11PM
401 West River Rd
Louisville KY
$20/PERSON
NEW COUNTRY ON
BOARD CONCERTS
Olivia
502-574-2992
Henken
1-866-832-0011
Cash Bar and Concessions
Available For Purchase
July 18 - JD Shelburne
August 15 - Olivia Henken
JULY 2009
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COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY

COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the
Our thanks to Mike Buford, Mason Cowell and David Williams for capturing the excitement of the
Our thanks to
Mike Buford,
Mason Cowell and
David Williams
for capturing the
excitement of the
2009 Kentuckiana
Pride Festival
that took place
in downtown
Louisville on June
19 and 20.

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COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY

COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY JULY 2009 Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY JULY 2009 Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY JULY 2009 Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”

JULY 2009

COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY JULY 2009 Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”
Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15” that took place in Chicago
Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”
that took place in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend. For more
information about the sponsoring organization visit: www.bearpride.org.
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY JULY 2009 Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY JULY 2009 Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY JULY 2009 Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”
The LeTTer 13
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Bear Pride 15
Bear Pride 15
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY JULY 2009 Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY JULY 2009 Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”
COMMUNITY PHOTO GALLERY JULY 2009 Mike Buford provided us with these pictures from “Bear Pride 15”

www.TheLeTTeronLine.com

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HOOSIER VALUES

HOOSIER VALUES

Moving Toward Full Equality

Indiana Equality believes that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities should be engaged in a national dialog about the need for full inclusion in the federal Civil Rights code. There is

a window of opportunity now that may not come for another generation. If we push for less than full inclusion,

it may be more difficult to motivate

public support for full civil right

protections. We should not ask for less than we need. Anything less than full inclusion is unacceptable. Accordingly, the Employment Non-Discrimination

Act (ENDA) as currently proposed,

cannot be accepted, supported or promoted by Indiana Equality. It has become evident that adding GLBT persons to local and state civil rights laws is not only possible but crucial. Adding only the right to employment at the Federal level will do little to protect the civil rights of all citizens. It is the beginning of a new era,

and many state organizations have proven that ‘better’ is attainable. Just as the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for full civil rights inclusion, GLBT persons must expect full protections and rights.

Clearly, ENDA doesn’t make us equal - rather, it creates a new form of segregation. It does not provide protections in housing and public accommodations. There are no protections for GLBT children in the public schools where administrators continue to turn a blind eye to harassment and brutality. With ENDA, we are only marginally protected in the workplace. GLBT citizens have a unique opportunity today to secure full civil rights protections. Thus, Indiana Equality believes that:

• State level efforts to have fully

inclusive civil rights language added to state codes could be adversely affected if ENDA, as currently proposed, was to be enacted.

• Incrementalism on civil rights

HOOSIER VALUES Moving Toward Full Equality Indiana Equality believes that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

by Brandon Monson

has

rarely

succeeded.

 

• G

L

B

T

people are de

facto

second-

class

citizens,

but

a

bill

to

secure

 

only

one

civil

right for us

would

 

treat

us, de jure, as different from

any

other

minority--and

e f f e c t i v e l y second class.

• We now have an unprecedented

opportunity to push for full civil equality, protecting our individual liberties and our families in the areas of employment, housing, education, and public accommodations.

• Creating a separate coverage

for sexual orientation and gender identity/expression sends the

message that these classifications are

HOOSIER VALUES Moving Toward Full Equality Indiana Equality believes that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

somehow less worthy than others of protection and support. Indiana Equality urges a national discussion regarding of the need for full inclusion in the federal Civil Rights Act. What we need is what we should seek.

Utah native Brandon Monson is

the

Communications Director for Indiana Equality, the Hoosier state’s premier pro- fairness organization.

HOOSIER VALUES Moving Toward Full Equality Indiana Equality believes that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

No Other Regional GLBT Publication Offers FOUR Websites:

www.TheLetterOnline.com / theletter.win.net theletterhead.win.net / transfatty.wordpress.com

JULY 2009

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15

LIBERAL ON THE SAUCE

Racism in Louisville

When is racism truly racism, and

when is it not? When is there more behind a racially-tinged incident

than might at first meet the eye?

I posed those questions in a recent exchange of occasionally contentious emails with other leaders in our community after learning of an ugly incident at one of our local gay bars here. Unfortunately, I don’t think I got my point across. Sometimes my words don’t have the force I think they do. The victim, a black lesbian professor, told LEO Weekly in May that she and some friends had gone to the bar to party when the owner walked in with a couple of dogs. When the dogs ran barking towards her, she jumped on a table for safety, prompting the owner to lose his temper and call her, she said, every racist and sexist name in

the book. She and her friends fled in

fear and anger. They remain shaken to this day. Because of this and other incidents, the professor told LEO that “I’ve pretty much seen [Louisville] as being racist.” That set me off. I can appreciate why she’d think that, but she’s off the mark. I suspect a great many white and black Louisvillians feel the same

way. I have lived in Louisville almost my entire life. I remember how racist

the city was in the 50s and 60s. It’s

an embarrassing blot on our past that we need to be reminded of from

time to time so we don’t repeat those terrible mistakes. On the other hand, Louisvillehas been one of the South’s shining

leaders in the fight for civil rights.

Where do I start? The desegregation of the University of Louisvillein

the early 1950s, before anyone ever

heard of King or Parks? The peaceful integration of our public schools in

1955? The contentious but successful

busing programs we implemented

after 1975? The slow, steady

integration of our neighborhoods? Of course, racism remains a problem. We have our share of racists, as does every other American city. But just as you cannot call us a white city because most residents are white, neither can you call us racist. Even so, I know that as a white man my perspectives are vastly different from blacks, so I asked a trusted African-American friend of mine what he thinks. A life-long local resident, “Tom” recalled his own horrible experiences as a child

30 years ago but told me that, while he often sees racism, it’s a non- threatening presence. He certainly doesn’t feel discriminated against. I didn’t coax that response from him, but it meshes with my perceptions and the feelings of many others. So how could I look at this horrifying incident and not call it racist? I can’t, of course, but in a letter to LEO I neglected to emphasize that. Instead, I focused on another aspect:

the owner’s temper. When he gets mad, he’s likely to say anything to provoke the person he’s mad at. I know. I’ve been there. His bar is multicultural, so his racist remarks are bothersome but his temper even more so. Unfortunately, my friends in Louisville’s activist community would have none of that. The professor herself accused me of apologizing for racism: an astounding assertion. At the end of the day neither she nor my friends accepted my point: a potential disaster if they don’t take it into consideration in their further dealings with this man. Because there’s a certain disjunct between white and black perceptions of racism in Louisville, I feel an open forum of some sort is needed, but

by David Williams

LIBERAL ON THE SAUCE Racism in Louisville When is racism truly racism, and when is it

my friends strangely dismissed that idea, too, and so that problem will sadly continue to fester. There can be no excuse for racism, sexism, homophobia, or any of those other things. But sometimes there’s a back story that needs to be explored to provide us a fuller picture. If we look at racism only in black and white terms and ignore some of these shades of gray, we end up looking ridiculous in the public’s eye. Once we lose their support, it could take years before we get it back. That’s something we can’t afford to let happen.

David Williams is the founder of the Williams-Nichols Institute and the Kentucky Gay & Lesbian Library and Archives, which are housed at the University of Louisville’s Ekstrom Library.

LIBERAL ON THE SAUCE Racism in Louisville When is racism truly racism, and when is it

Does Metro Louisville

REALLY NEED

A GLBT Community Center? Send your thoughts on this topic to: editor@theletteronlne.com.

Dave VamderPol will share his controversial thoughts and your responses on this topic in our August 2009 issue.

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Rainbow of ThoughT OUTLOOK WITHIN
Rainbow of ThoughT
Rainbow of ThoughT

OUTLOOK WITHIN

Looking Deep Within: Ode De Toiletette

If I had to guess, I’d say your bladder is two or three times the size of mine. Seems I have a teeny one. Probably I have a small large intestine, too. At home, I make tracks to the toilet far

more often than does my husband; at

work, my colleagues sometimes rap on the restroom door, tell me to get a move on. Whatever the reason, I am a peeing and pooping marvel. It has occurred to me that I might be full of sh*t. Indeed, this may come close to the truth. Although I grew up during the societal upheaval of the 1960s and 70s, my conservative mother and father, fundamentalist church members and rural neighbors did their best to keep

the 1950s in full swing.

Children obeyed their parents.

The spared rod spoiled the child. A woman's place was in the home, or in the hospital, delivering the latest baby. The Bible, especially as interpreted

by our denomination, was the final

authority on all matters of life and living. These and other similarly self- evident truths I swallowed whole. Only as my palette developed did I begin to sort out what is healthful and wholesome from what tastes likes crap. Looking back I feel abashed at some of

the beliefs I held. No, I feel sorry for the youngster who ingested whoppers such as these:

I am a good boy. My sole chance at happiness in this life and the next rests upon my being good. A good boy always makes God and his mother happy, not necessarily in that order. As a good boy my self- worth depends on how well I please my mother. A good boy follows the rules and does as he is told. A good boy does not get angry. A good boy has neither sexual thoughts nor sexual desires. And never, never sexual experiences. Never. Every good boy marries a good girl when he grows up. These principles and their ilk hung in the air I breathed. They were stirred into my morning oatmeal. They were repeated by school teachers and radio preachers. We prayed them aloud at bedtime. Some I didn’t seriously examine until I came out as a gay man. I started doing many things differently then. One, I pay attention to my nighttime dreams, peer into an interior world I long ignored. Recently I attended a weekend dream retreat led by a Jungian analyst who is also a

by Bryn Marlow

Catholic nun. As I told her, a consistent dream theme for me is the elimination of bodily wastes. “That’s usually a very positive dream symbol,” she said. “It may mean you are

getting rid of a lot of shit.” (The Catholic clerics I know seem quite willing to use

words good boys avoid.)

She set me thinking. In both my waking and sleeping hours I spend much time on the toilet. What lessons this humble instrument offers! Oh porcelain fount that every day—several times a day—washes away and makes clean. I marvel at your ability to accept that which good boys don’t want to touch, smell, admit, own. You have learned the secret of letting go. You

swallow a lot of shit; people dump

loads onto, into you, but you allow it

to flow through and away.

You model non-attachment. Grasp nothing. Material things are not worth holding onto. There is wisdom and

Rainbow of ThoughT OUTLOOK WITHIN Looking Deep Within: Ode De Toiletette If I had to guess,

utility and joy in release. You understand with deep knowing, “This, too, shall pass.” You do your work without complaint, without ado, no need for accolades.

I am flush with gratitude.

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17

BEYOND THERAPY

A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities

The title of this month’s column

also serves as the subtitle to the eye- opening and paradigm-bending book, The Ethical Slut, by D. Easton and C. Liszt ]Copyright 1997, Greenery

Press. ISBN: 978-1890159016].

Many of my coupled clients,

colleagues and friends are examining traditional heterosexual marriage-

based relationships and finding them

lacking. Other people, however, think that the idea of “emotional monogamy and sexual non-monogamy” is just a cop-out, a way to rationalize not being faithful to your partner. While this is a controversial issue, it’s a great opportunity for us GLBT’ers to be social pioneers and make our own way. For many

of us, the model of a traditional monogamous “marriage” isn’t a

good fit, no matter how many movies

a good open relationship than a

“closed” one? After all, in a closed relationship you have only one other person to work out your intimate

difficulties and disagreements with.

If you open up your relationship to

other people, you may have two, three, four or more people to learn to get along with, communicate with, understand, get to know, etc. While

“infinite sexual possibilities” sounds

great in theory, how do you pull this

off with grace and sanity? So let’s say you and your partner want to remain emotionally faithful but want to sexually open up your relationship. This is likely to bring major changes to all aspects of your relationship. I recommend that you

both sit down and figure out what you

each mean by “emotionally faithful”

and to figure out how sexually

term emotionally monogamous relationships that are sexually “open” or periodically go through “open” periods. In a long-term relationship, sex over time often becomes predictable. Depending on

the value that the partners place on sex, this may or may not be a problem. Some people like consistency and the comfort of consistency in bed (e.g., I know what you like and you know

what turns me on) while others

thrive on change and creativity. You

needn’t give up monogamy to be spontaneous and creative (in fact, I

encourage you not to) but an open

sexual relationship can be stimulating and invigorating for a long-term committed relationship. There are,

however, many challenges to making it work for all people involved:

• Feelings of jealousy and

or TV shows tell us that a “faithful”

opening up your relationship is likely

insecurity.

marriage is the only way to go. To

to change it. If you were my clients,

• Possibly falling in love (or lust)

tell the truth: it’s not working very

I’d have some questions for you:

with someone else.

well for the hetero folks, is it? When

• What is your intention for your

• Feeling scared and disoriented as

half of straight marriages result in

relationship?

the formerly predictable structure of

divorce, this is a hardly a wonderful

• Why are you two still together,

your relationship changes.

role model for us to emulate. Here

anyway?

• Confusion about how to structure

are some typical problems with long- term monogamy:

• Is it to have fun, share great sex,

deepen an emotional connection, see

this brave new world you’re jumping into.

• Is it realistic to only have sex with

if you can be life partners?

• Your relationship may not be

one person for the rest of your life?

• Incompatible sexual desires, e.g., you’re both tops; one of you likes anal sex and the other doesn’t; you

like wild, animal-like sex and he likes it tender and gentle

• Incompatible libidos: you want

to do it once a day – minimum – and she’s happy with once a month. When looking at alternatives to long-term monogamy, let’s not idealize open relationships either. After all, how many open relationships are happy and healthy?

In fact, isn’t it more difficult to have

• What would be the purpose of an

open relationship? Of monogamy? What are the pros and cons of each?

• What role does sex play in your

relationship?

• Do you see yourself as a monogamous person (or not)? • What does “emotional

monogamy” mean to you and your partner? If this is important to you, how can remain emotionally committed to each other while having sex with other people? In my years of counseling GLBT couples, I’ve seen many long-

solid to begin with and opening it up actually makes it worse.

• Less sexual intimacy may lead

to less emotional intimacy so you end up feeling more like housemates than lovers Monogamy or open relationship?

The joys of Infinite sexual possibilities

or the security of one person for the

rest of your life? These are questions with no right answer, save the one that every couple comes up with. If you and your partner are considering opening up your relationship, by all means discuss it, consider my

by Michael Kimmel

BEYOND THERAPY A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities The title of this month’s column also serves

questions, and make your decision. And one more thing: relax! Nothing

is irreversible. You can always shift as your relationship changes over time.

Your relationship can be as fluid as

you like: today you may regularly want a new man in your bed. Next month/year, you may want to make love to the same woman every night. You get to call the shots. If you want emotional monogamy with physical non-monogamy, talk about it with your partner: be brave, bring the subject up with tact and respect and see what you both come up with.

Talk about a diverse background, therapist Michael Kimmel earned a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from

Talk about a diverse background, therapist Michael Kimmel earned a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from Sarah Lawrence College while interning for Sesame Street in New York City. He currently resides in San Diego where he maintains a private psychotherapy practice and offer workshops for the Southern Californian GLBT community. Michael is currently editing his first book:

Life Beyond Therapy that is expected to hit the bookstores sometime next year. You may reach Michael through his website: www.lifebeyondtherapy.com.

Marie Davis is an internationally syndicated cartoonist. Her lesbian cartoon strip is published in five languages.
Marie Davis is an internationally syndicated cartoonist. Her lesbian cartoon strip is published in five languages. Her first novel, Hey Diddle Diddle — for Lesbians and Other Grownups, can be purchased through
Amazon.com. Her e-mail address is mmmarie1961@aol.com.
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PACKERS & POODLES

Recession My Ass

I love Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera, but if I have to start one more day with “Main Street verses Wall Street” I’m gonna’ start my days with reruns of the Golden Girls and Facts of Life on Lifetime and forget NBC’s Today Show. At least on the reruns there are lesbian icons.

  • I mean the late Bea Arthur is ancient and everybody knows that you are a

lesbian Jo (no matter how many Lifetime movies that Nancy McKeon does about

husbands, divorces and affairs). At least

with the reruns I know that I’m dealing

with fictional characters and situations.

I’m not so ignorant that I don’t know

the market has taken a hit and companies are closing and bad house loans are being called, but this constant reminder of how we’re all gonna’ be eating dog food soon and stealing water from our neighbors is starting to piss me off. Not because I’m above stealing water from my neighbor or wrestling my dog for his Dog Chow

one day soon, but once I finally bought

into the fact that it was all going to hell

in a hand-basket I decided to do my

part to fight the recession and spend

some money. I thought what the hell…

if I was gonna’ be eating dog food soon

  • I should take advantage of what I had

now and head to O’Charleys. Besides, when was the last time I had ventured there without having to wait in line with

a little vibrating disk in my pocket. Not that the vibrating disk isn’t cool

in its own right (that’s a different article),

but for once not having to stand in line for chicken tenders might be an upside to the recession. Well, imagine my surprise when I arrived and had to still stand in

line behind the suburbanites with their

2.3 kids wearing matching Gap outfits

and undoubtedly arrived in the gold minivan with the soccer window decal in the back window, one ball with each kids name on it. Even in the recession I was handed a vibrating disk just like this time last year when “Main Street” was a bunch of dumb asses and ignorant

to the fact that we were all driving cars

via ridiculous finance opportunities and

living in houses that were about to have

a balloon payment come due or a spike

in the payment because of the unfixed

interest rate mortgage. Since the suburbs didn’t seem to be heeding Matt and Meredith’s warnings I decided to further my search for the short lines in the public places that a recession was sure to promise. Yep, I headed out to “Gay Street”. I mean gays are frugal and lesbians are cheap, so surely during

a recession I wouldn’t have to wait to put my drink order in. Imagine my surprise when I got there and it was packed. It looked like Mardi Gras or Pride weekend

by Christy Ikner

on a Wednesday night. I had to wait for my turn to order my beer just like I did this time last year when “Gay Street” was a bunch of dumb asses and ignorant to the fact that we could sit home and make cosmos for half the price and twice as strong as what we were willing to pay in the gay bars just to be near our peeps, pimps and hook-ups. And it wasn’t just the bars on gay street, it was everything. The bookstores were crowded, all of the good movies were rented, the best used books had been picked over and all of the new releases had already been thumbed through. The hair salons had no walk in time available, it was “by appointment” only. The coffee

shop had a line for lattes like it was the

PACKERS & POODLES Recession My Ass I love Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera, but if I

La Paz…it ain’t happening without a vibrating Disk in your pocket. And if that ain’t enough proof for you nay sayers on NBC mornings, join me on gay street

and wait in line for an overpriced drink in posh surroundings and don’t even think about getting your favorite porn at the bookstore…it’s already been rented for the night. Wall street may be sucking wind but Main Street and Gay Street is

rocking (at least in Nashville Tennessee).

late 90’s. And just try finding a parking

spot that doesn’t require calling Onstar at the end of a long night on gay street to locate your car for you. Let me sum this up. I understand that there is a market adjustment going on right now but Matt and Meredith need to get a clue and get down to the burbs and try to get some chicken tenders without a line. And it just ain’t O’Charleys Matt and Meredith, just try busting into The Cheesecake Factory or

Christy lives in Nashville, TN where she works with her wife in the Real Estate and marketing industry. Additionally she oversees the daily marketing and sales of her gay apparel company, Packers & Poodles, LLC. In her spare time she is an active volunteer in the local chapter of the national organization, The Human Rights Campaign.

GAY & FEMINIST

Is HIV A Gay Disease?

A couple of years ago, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center launched a public health campaign aimed at raising HIV/ AIDS awareness. The campaign has garnered a lot of public scrutiny and media attention because of a series of print ads and posters it posted in GLBT- owned and operated businesses. The posters feature the image of a male couple embracing with the tagline,

“HIV is a gay disease. Own it. End it.” The criticism of the campaign has largely come from fellow HIV/AIDS activists and HIV+ individuals who claim that the ads are misleading and setting back the movement to destigmatize the HIV pandemic. HIV isn’t a gay disease.

Out of the 40 million people in the world

who are infected with HIV, most of them are women living in Africa. Only in westernized, urban areas (Europe,

Australia, the United States) are the

majority of HIV+ individuals also self-

identified gay men. The US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

even recently recommended that every

American between the ages of 13 and 64

be routinely tested for HIV. However, while there has been a

push in the mainstream for HIV/AIDS awareness, members of the GLBT community felt left behind. As HIV prevention became the priority of large medical organizations (CDC, NIH,

WHO), the focus of the campaigns to

raise awareness has shifted to mass appeal. Heterosexual couples and racial minorities became the focus of health campaigns, often overlooking the disease’s effect on the GLBT population.

As a result, there has been a significant

surge in infections in the US among self-

identified gay men, ages 18 to 25. This is

the generation — my generation — that doesn’t know a time when HIV/AIDS wasn’t around. And as AIDS drugs have improved and there has been more emphasis on shifting HIV awareness to heterosexual, Middle America, my generation has become careless. I feel like people my age now think, “It won’t happen it me, I’m not one of ‘them.’

And if it does, there are drugs to keep me alive for decades.” In my own research, I’ve noticed that while HIV/AIDS awareness has been on the rise, gay men (and sex workers,

for that matter) are still largely blamed

for the epidemic in the States. The focus on “Black Men on the Down-Low” is pretty much a way of saying, “See! Gay men are still carriers of the disease! They won't admit they’re gay, so they have unprotected sex with other men and then come back and infect their innocent, unsuspecting girlfriends and wives.” Consequently, the public health

field now rarely targets awareness

campaigns at “Gay Men,” but rather towards “MSMs,” or “Men who have Sex with Men.” People might be able to avoid identifying as “gay,” but its hard to ignore the sexual act one is engaging in.

I personally like the LA Gay & Lesbian Center's ad campaign, and I feel that it is targeting exactly who they set

out to serve in the first place: the GLBT

community. The ads featuring the “HIV is a gay disease” tagline wasn’t posted all over downtown Los Angeles, but

specifically hung in primarily GLBT

places of business. There are dozens of similar NGOs that serve minority populations of all kinds and focus their public health campaigns in much the same manner. And while the Center’s

by Eric Jost

tagline might shock and offend some, hopefully it will remind members of this community exactly what is at stake and what needs to be done. Let the organizations that have the funding and the manpower to worry about crafting the perfect, universal message to raise HIV/AIDS awareness. Because, frankly, that's not the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s job.

Eric Jost is a freelance writer living in Washington, DC. His work ranges from embarrassing first-

Eric Jost is a freelance writer living in Washington, DC. His work ranges from embarrassing first-

person narratives to commentaries on queer rights and sex positive culture; with work having appeared in SX (Sydney, Australia), Storyscape, $pread Magazine, and the anthology, Beyond Masculinity: Essays by Queer Men on

Gender and Politics. His weekly column, “Culture Voyeur,” appears online. You can check out more of his work at www.eric-jost.com.

JULY 2009

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TasTeful CulTuRe DINING OUT
TasTeful CulTuRe
TasTeful CulTuRe
DINING OUT
DINING OUT

The True Fish Camp Experience

Mike Linnig’s Seafood Restauarant; 9308 Cane Run Road; Louisville, KY 40258. (502) 937-9888. www. mikelinnigsrestaurant.com.

Combine a hearty appetite with a warm summer night and you have the perfect recipe for al fresco dining, a trend that is becoming more and more common in the Louisville area. You look forward to eating in a lovely patio area with bistro tables, umbrellas to shade you from the setting sun and an eclectic menu with, hopefully, some cocktail specials to assuage that nagging thirst and hunger. That’s the modern version of alfresco dining. Now I experienced a different form of outdoor eating and it was at none other than Mike Linnig’s seafood restaurant located in Valley Station. Lovely patio area? How about a shady grove of trees along the Ohio river. Bistro tables and umbrellas? They offer white picnic tables on concrete blocks with the umbrella being the shade from the towering Oak trees. Eclectic menu and specialty cocktails? At this

restaurant the food is simple and basic and long-necked beer bottles seem to be the specialty of the house. But Mike Linnig’s version of this outdoor rage proved to be an enjoyable and satisfying adventure that left us more appreciative of nature and the uniqueness that can be found in the Louisville dining scene. Mike Linnig’s has been in operation

since 1925, basically serving up the

same type of food then as is offered

on their menu now. If you haven’t

already guessed, the specialty is fish

and seafood and it doesn’t come more

fried than here. You can enjoy your meal in the air conditioned dining

room or find a spot outside, either

at a table or one of the small screen enclosed private dining rooms. These almost seem like cabanas and

are available on a first come, first serve basis. Indoor benefits include

wait service, fewer bugs and a cooler environment. The disadvantage is that you are not able to experience the outdoor beauty with the river close by, the cool breezes and softly lit lanterns that adorn the area. If you stay indoors you also have

the dubious honor of sharing your

meal with the animals, fish and

fowl, provided by your friendly

taxidermist, that adorn the walls. On the night we visited, there was a line to order so we were able to take some time and review the menu. You place your order and

give them your name, then find a

table and order drinks. When your order is up, they call your name over the loudspeaker and you are ready to dine. Most people ahead of us in line had obviously been to the restaurant before because they knew what they wanted without hesitation. For our party, being newbie’s, this only put on the pressure because I like to take my time while perusing a menu instead of being forced to make a quick decision. You might want to check out the menu on-line if you decide to go to Mike Linnig’s. That way you avoid the irritation of the customer behind you if you are not prompt with your order. Luckily, we were with friends who had eaten

here before and they gave us tips on what was good. As mentioned, the specialty is seafood but there is a selection of chicken and beef choices as well as salads, soups and sides that should please any member of your party.

The fish sandwich is “famous” and

you can order it stand alone or as a

plate that includes French fries and

cole slaw. You can also choose from

fried clams, shrimp, oysters, fish

nuggets and others including fried

alligator! These items start at $7.95

for an order or just the sandwich and

the plates start at $11.85. The fish sandwich is whitefish but they also offer fried catfish ($8.95/$12.85) as well as grilled swordfish, tuna, tilapia and salmon starting at $12.75. For the

meat lovers you can get a T-bone or

strip steak for $14.95 and the poultry

enthusiasts can enjoy wings, fried or baked chicken, nuggets and yummy livers and gizzards. Chicken prices

start at $5.75. We were able to make our decision, place our order and find

a shaded table with no trouble. Our next stop was the beverage booth where beer seemed to be the drink of choice. We did not have to wait long to hear

by Beth Ann Rubin

our name called from the kitchen. Those deep fryers must be going non-stop to satisfy all these hungry diners. The food is all served on paper for easier clean-up and a more manageable trip with two or more trays. I will tell you that the portions are huge, and one entrée can easily feed two adults with healthy appetites. I knew this beforehand

and decided to split a fried clam plate with my partner. A small

mountain of hot clams somehow fit

onto the plate with the requisite fries

and slaw. We helped ourselves to tarter sauce and cocktail sauce which

you squirt into condiment cups. The clams were quite tasty albeit a bit on the chewy side. We also shared an order of hush puppies which my partner thoroughly enjoyed but I just found so so. I started my meal with a cup of the clam chowder which was rife with clams but a tad on the bland side. I spiced it up with an addition of hot sauce. Another diner ordered

the fish sandwich which was made up of at least three large filets. He is a connoisseur of fish sandwiches

and he ranked this one up at the top.

Another friend tried the fried catfish

which she found extremely delicious. The surprise of the night had to be the fried chicken. My friend ordered the half fried chicken and that is what she literally got. A chicken had been cut in half and that whole half had

TasTeful CulTuRe DINING OUT The True Fish Camp Experience Mike Linnig’s Seafood Restauarant; 9308 Cane Run

We enjoyed our meal at a leisurely pace and felt no pressure to give up our table or pay an impatient waitperson. We just relaxed in the cool evening with our beers while the kids played on the swings. It just goes to show you that alfresco dining does not have to only take place at the trendiest spot in town with the coolest cocktails and most

unique cuisine. It can happen on the shore of the Ohio River on a picnic bench with a paper plate full of fried seafood and a Bud Light in front of

you. It’s not how you define alfresco dining; it is how you experience it.

Mike Linnig’s is located at 9308 Cane Run Road in Louisville. They are open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 11:00am during the week and 12:00pm on Sunday. They stay open until 10:00pm most nights and until 11:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

If you can’t make it out to Mike Linnig’s this summer, you can still

experience the joy that is fried fish

and visit them in their huge tent at the Kentucky State Fair next month.

been breaded and fried. No need to separate the thigh from the breast from the leg from the wing. Just fry the whole thing! The meat was moist, however, and she found the breading nicely seasoned.

Who wouldn’t want a fish sandwich

over a greasy sausage and pepper concoction topped off with a funnel cake? I think I know that answer to that!

Beth Ann Rubin has been reviewing restaurants for THE LETTER for nearly four years. A Chicago

Beth Ann Rubin has been reviewing restaurants for THE LETTER for nearly four years. A Chicago native, Beth Ann and her family live just south of Louisville's Highlands neighborhood. A talented cook in her own right, over the years her baked goods have earned her numerous awards at the Kentucky State Fair.

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Attorney at Law

(502) 636-0361 Fax: (502) 634-0576

KENNETH C. PLOTNIK

607 West Ormsby Avenue Louisville, Kentucky 40203

What Path Calls You? clamourunderbridge.typepad.com
What Path Calls You?
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Lesbian Fiction Has Kentucky Connection
Lesbian
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Attorney at Law (502) 636-0361 Fax: (502) 634-0576 KENNETH C. PLOTNIK 607 West Ormsby Avenue Louisville,
Attorney at Law (502) 636-0361 Fax: (502) 634-0576 KENNETH C. PLOTNIK 607 West Ormsby Avenue Louisville,

Out From It All: Revolutions In A Lesbian Life, by George Morrison. $16.95, 246 pages paperback. ISBN 978-0-595-51023-8.

It’s always nice to see Kentucky writers venturing into the wide world of publishing and making a success of it. It’s even nicer to read short stories and novels with characters and settings based in our state. Goodness knows we need all the positive publicity we can get! You get a double dose

Attorney at Law (502) 636-0361 Fax: (502) 634-0576 KENNETH C. PLOTNIK 607 West Ormsby Avenue Louisville,

of all that from Louisville writer George Morrison’s first

novel, Out from it All: Revolutions in a Lesbian Life. It’s a

Attorney at Law (502) 636-0361 Fax: (502) 634-0576 KENNETH C. PLOTNIK 607 West Ormsby Avenue Louisville,

fun story and easy read that will be especially welcome to younger readers just coming out.

Out from it All tells the story of Kera McLain from her early years as a tomboy in Louisville to her blossoming as a headstrong lesbian trying to make her way in a world that’s

more than a little confusing to anyone who doesn’t quite fit

the mold. After confronting her parents about her homosexuality

(and being tossed forthwith from their house), Kera slowly finds her way through college and then an unlikely career

as a technician on a space station where she helps organize

space’s first GLBT support group.

Despite all her success, her father’s repudiation of her

   

“lifestyle” continually gnaws at her. Only in the end do

     

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they find a modicum of reconciliation, but not until after

much pain and heartache. There will be some who’ll ask how can a man write a

novel about a lesbian, much less a woman? Even worse, what does a bisexual man like Morrison know about the lavender world? In earlier years, similar debates have focused on the ability of whites to write African-American

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stories or blacks, tales of white suburbia. In the end, its human emotions and experiences that count, not skin color or sexual orientation.

To stop the cycle of STD’s growing

Though he sometimes gets didactic, Morrison has done an admirable job of capturing Kera’s world with gusto and

flair. Young women still struggling with the ins and outs

in our community, sexual partners need

of coming out will take to this story particularly well, but

to be tested and if necessary treated.

Louisvillians in general will love those sly glimpses of the city that Morrison’s sprinkled throughout his tale. Out From It All is available through www.iuniverse.

 

com.

JULY 2009

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