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First Of Area’s Events Just Days Away; Others Run Thru August

It seems like just a few days since we were shovelling snow (actually the 15th of April!) and now we’re talking prides, but in truth the first two (Springfield, Illinois and Cincinnati) both take place this year in May, with prides from Spencer, Indiana, Indianapolis, Dayton, Louisville, Lexington and Davenport, Iowa in June, before we get to Fort Wayne’s long-standing July event and wrapping up with an ever-earlier Pride Lafayette in early August. Next month, The Word will have our annual Inside Pride® pull-out with all the major details, maps, schedules and more, but here’s an overview with the first being Springfield where it’ll be all over but the shouting before that special hits the stands on 23rd May. SPRINGFIELD’S EVENT IN SHADOW OF CAPITOL CINCINNATI—Dozens of members of the community, allies and supporters spent a mid-April morning rallying near the building that will soon push Ohio another step closer to marriage equality.The rally to show support for an upcoming ruling by U.S. District Judge Timothy Black in favour of legal recognition for same-sex couples in Ohio Please Continune On Page Three Springfield, Illinois leads off the annual pride parade again this year with a day-long festival downtown as the Phoenix Centre presents Springfield PrideFest the 17th of May from noon to 10 p.m. on Capitol Avenue. This year’s event will extend later than in past years and features two stages of live entertainment, a kids area, teen area, good food and drinks plus lots of great vendors — and it’s all free. For more information on Springfield PrideFest, to be a sponsor or volunteer go to www.springfieldpride.org or call the Phoenix Centre at 217/528.5253. Please Continue On Page Three

Hittin’ The Streets In Cincinnati!!

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Pride Preview:
Continued From The Front Page CINCINNATI JOINS THE MAY PARADE The Queen City says: Join Us for Cincinnati Pride on Saturday, 31st May! For more than 40 years, Cincinnati Pride has celebrated the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bi & trans community in the Greater Tri-state Area. This year, for 2014, they are pulling out all the stops as they bring the city together in an event titled “Celebration of Life, Liberty and Family.” Organisers noted, “It is an exciting time to be a member (or an ally) of the community. The repeal of the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy last year provided groundbreaking precedent for similar rulings by federal judges across the country – including recognition of established same-sex marriages by the state governments of both Kentucky and Ohio. “As progress continues to move us forward, Cincinnati Pride is celebrating by adding an array of events each night of the week leading up to the parade and festival on Saturday 31st May (no, this is NOT Labour Day weekend!).” Join them the week of 26th through 31st May for all of these exciting pride events: —Monday, 26th – Wiggin’ Out for Pride at the Cabaret. —Tuesday, 27th – Cincinnati Pride Ride (Bring your bicycle to Fountain Square by 6.30 p.m.). —Tuesday, 27th – Pride of Fashion Show at the 20th Century Theatre. —Wednesday, 28th – Pride Movie Night at the Now Theatre. —Thursday, 29th – Interfaith Service, Temple Sholom (7 p.m.). —Friday, 30th – Pride Night at the Cincinnati Art Museum (free admission / guided tours and a cash bar from 5 to 8.30 p.m.) Followed by the Skyy Vodka Pub Crawl (featuring community bars downtown, Northside, and Northern Kentucky – shuttles run on loop from 9 p.m. till 3 a.m.) —Saturday, 31st – Parade at 2 p.m., Festival 3 till 9 p.m., Fireworks at 9.30 p.m. —Sunday, 1st June – Pride Brunch (location TBA). Stay informed by following Cincinnati Pride on Facebook (www. facebook.com/cincinnatipride), Twitter (@CincinnatiPride) and at their website (www.cincinnatipride.org). SMALL TOWN SPENCER HAS BIG PRIDE It’s not only the smallest town with a pride in the State of Indiana and the country, but in the whole world as Spencer, Indiana (population 2,328) gets set to celebrate their unique hometown event the first weekend of June. The 2014 Spencer Pride Festival is the 8th annual rural event celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender community and its allies in Indiana and far from being “in the closet” in this small town, it all takes place on the square of the Owen County Courthouse in downtown Spencer. The festival is admission-free and 100% family-friendly (pet-friendly, too!). The festival features Please Continue On Page 34

Cincinnati Protest

Continued From The Front Page

brought together people like  Dylan Howell of Loveland, who said: “It’s not about gay marriage or straight marriage. It’s about marriage. It’s 2014 and we need to have equal rights now.” Black announced 4th April that he intends to overturn part of the Ohio’s 2004 constitutional amendment that restricts marriage rights to opposite-sex couples. He has presided in a case involving four Ohio couples who seek to be recorded as married on their children’s birth certificates. They were wed in states that recognise their right to marry. The rally was sponsored by FreedomOhio and Marriage Equality Ohio. Adam Hoover, who started the Support Marriage Equality group, said more than 1,000 phone calls already have been made to the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, a marriage-equality opponent who has said he will appeal Black’s ruling. The Republican already has appealed a 2013 ruling by Black that directed the state to list a gay Cincinnati man as married on his death certificate.

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Your Vote Counts
By Rick Sutton / Political Columnist
CLEVELAND ROCKS This is a sharply-abbreviated tale of voting rights, Ohio, and why it’s important to pay attention to motives. Flash back to 2004. Sen. John Kerry is the Democratic nominee for president. He comes very close to beating incumbent President George W. Bush. It all comes down to Ohio’s electoral votes. And the Massachusetts senator doesn’t concede or declare victory on Election Night. He can’t. It’s that close. Ohio, like many other states, had been fiddling around with voter rights for a few years. On that particular day, tens of thousands of urbanites were waiting in long lines to vote — something that the opposition party didn’t mind because the lines were only prevalent in urban areas: Democratic strongholds. It’s estimated that 60-70,000 urban voters gave up in 2004. The Democrats had been getting long-line complaints all day from Cincinnati and Cleveland. Long lines as in three-hour waits. Everyone knew Ohio would be close and by the end of the day the Kerry electoral bean-counters knew the obvious: it might come down to Ohio. By midnight on Election Day, Ohio was still too close to call. The provisional ballots cast — mostly in the urban areas — were going to take days to count. The Kerry lawyers worked until about noon the next day and finally threw in the towel. This is all important because: Shortly afterward, Ohio’s legislature pushed through some reforms to ease those lines. And it worked. In 2008, President Obama’s legendary campaign counted heavily on urban areas ­­ — particularly the “Pulpit / Polls” efforts. That organised machine hauled bus-loads of voters directly from black churches to early-voting sites on Sunday morning prior to Election Day. Obama won Ohio. But we can’t have that, can we? Nationally, 22 states enacted post-2008 election “reforms” that made it tougher to register, vote early or get an absentee ballot. That drumbeat has continued in the name of “halting Voter Fraud” ever since. And here’s where we need to praise Cleveland. In 2012, Republicans who controlled Ohio’s election process tried to tamp down early voting and similar efforts. The county supervisor there made it clear: if Ohio’s Secretary of State tried to slow-down early voting, Cleveland would defy the state’s order and demand the feds get involved. The state backed down. Obama won Ohio in 2012. Fast-forward to now: Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State is at it again. He wants to reduce the number of 2014 early-vote days by two-thirds. Again, Cleveland objects. And again the feds are investigating. Here’s a closer example of the Ohio Republicans’ desire to “maintain ballot security” via 2014 early-voting “reform” : In Hamilton County (Cincinnati) the early-voting site was downtown, which was more convenient for the inner-city and minority voters, a majority of whom don’t own a vehicle. The result? Reduce the number of early vote days by almost half. Cut office hours. And move the early-vote site to a far-flung northern suburb which takes 90120 minutes to reach by bus and which is a half mile from the nearest bus stop in a neighbourhood without sidewalks. Funny thing is—these “vote security” measures are rarely undertaken in rural mostlyRepublican counties. Another reform, this being one which Indiana is poised to duplicate: absentee ballots are sent not by county election officials, but by the Secretary of State, who must then collect them and (presumably) return them to each county’s election workers. It’s a sad state of affairs, and it has a common theme: it’s one of many “vote security initiatives” suggested by the “nonpartisan” American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Who’s that? Only a think tank funded by far-right conservatives which offers

boilerplate legislative initiatives for any state lawmaker who wants “help” on multiple issues. The frightening pattern here is clear. Voter suppression has been a subtle tool of the far-right for two decades. With added steam and more state legislatures under Republican control the momentum has extended to a majority of states. It’s important. Ask John Kerry. The control of the U.S. Senate is up for grabs in 2014. In the nine battleground states where the races are close, eight have enacted “voter security” measures like those described above. Please Continue On Page 16

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Outside The Box
By Dr. Fred Schloemer, LCSW / Louisville
Dear Dr. Fred: I‘m a middle aged gay male who has always liked younger men. Unfortunately I haven’t always had the greatest luck with them. My first partner, I’ll call Stephan here, seemed to be the love of my life, and we were actually married out of state after living together for several years. But then things started going downhill not long after the wedding. It almost felt like once he “had me” legally, he didn’t feel like he needed to give any attention to me or my needs at all. It became all about him, and we ate out, socialised and vacationed wherever and with whomever he chose. When I told him how unhappy I was, he refused to go to counseling with me, and things went from bad to worse. Eventually he left me, but not until he’d blamed all the problems on me and swore to take me to the cleaners, which he did. I’m still paying and will keep paying on the debts he piled up on my credit cards for a long time. Later I learned he’d been unfaithful to me numerous times in the years we were together. Stephan was probably the worst of the lot, but my luck hasn’t gotten any better since him. I’ve gone through a series of brief hook-ups and a few short-term relationships with younger guys I’ve met online, none of them sticking around for more than a few weeks or months at the most. Everybody always sounds and looks so good at first, but then they start sounding and acting a lot like Stephan after a while, including the unfaithfulness part, which leaves me feeling used again. That was until my present boyfriend, I’ll call Nathan here, came along. Although I also met him online, we’ve been dating for over six months and he has continued getting better and better. He’s smart, has a great career, works hard, pays his own way and even treats me when we’re out a lot, is well-read and the sex … well, it’s the best I’ve ever had. So what’s wrong with all that? The answer is me. I don’t know why but somehow I can’t let myself totally believe in and trust this wonderful guy. We’re together so much there’s practically no way in the world he could be fooling around with anyone else. But he does travel a lot for his work, and I always find myself questioning his honesty and fidelity. I’ve even gone so far as to check his phone for texts or e-mails or other suspicious activity. And that sure wasn’t a very good idea because I did find some kind of flirty and suggestive messages from some of his old boyfriends. When I confronted him about this he was mainly hurt that I would question him with so little grounds, but also deeply angry. He pointed out that the messages were from his old friends to him, not from him to them. He said that this changed everything between us and he wasn’t sure he was ready to go any further with someone who was so suspicious. That was several weeks ago and we’ve continued seeing each other but not as much as before and there’s a definite difference in the vibe between us … not as warm and easygoing as before. So my question is … have I just brought about the very thing I feared through my own distrustfulness? And if so, what can I do to repair the damage I’ve done? I’ve realised now that maybe this man really is “the one” for me. Sign me, Self-fulfilling Prophecy Guy Dear SFPG: This issue has come up many times before, both in my counselling office and in this column. Sadly, the truth of the matter is yes, jealousy, distrust and suspicion really can kill a loving relationship. The very same relationship we value so much that we’re terrified at the thought of losing it can be lost due to our own fears. We can drive the one we love away through our questioning their fidelity and integrity, especially when it’s on flimsy grounds (and I think Nathan does have a good argument here about that).

The good news is that if we can realise what we’re doing and turn it around before irreparable damage is done – and if the one we love truly does love us back and has the capacity to forgive – often the relationship can be salvaged. One disclaimer: once a “reset” of this type has happened, we have got to make sure we reel in the distrustful behaviour totally and forever, making sure we never repeat the same stuff again. Otherwise we will lose the relationship next time or at least some time in the future. And in the meantime, the relationship will be fraught with negative energy. Not to pander to my own profession, but I think you really need to see a therapist, and the sooner the better, both individually and as a couple. These are complex issues which cannot be solved alone just through willpower. You’ll need skilled professional support and guidance to overcome them. That said, it sounds like Nathan and you do really love each other deeply, and connect on so many levels, that I predict you will weather this crisis together. Best of luck to both of you. Fred Schloemer, Ed.D., LCSW is a gay psychotherapist in Louisville, KY. Write him at FredSchloemer@aol.com .

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The Word May 2014 On The Web At: www.thegayword.com Page 15

Your Vote Counts
Continued From Page 9
All in the name of one-man-one-vote and the never-ending desire to limit the pool of voters. Voter Fraud indeed. It’s a clever manipulation that most folks know nothing about. It won’t stop soon. Need a 2014 absentee ballot? You’d better ask early. And follow-up. COURTS IN THE MIX NOW The battle for marriage equality is one step closer in another state — Indiana — thanks to a temporary ruling in mid-April. U.S. Chief District Judge Richard Young issued a temporary order — for a month — in the tragic case of Niki Quansley. She’s dying of ovarian cancer. She and her wife, Amy Sandler, were married in a jurisdiction which recognises same-gender marriage last year. They asked the judge, via a Lambda Legal lawsuit, to void Indiana’s Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) in certain limited instances, so the couple could make some end-of-life decisions. And the judge agreed. It’s a sorry state of affairs when a legally-married couple cannot do what most married couples do in April — plan their tax filings. This couple had some extra concerns regarding children and the need for proper planning for custody and assets. One year ago last month, many national allies pushed hard to limit marriage lawsuits to certain judicial circuits. Their argument was clear and it probably made sense at the time: let’s fight in circuits where we can win. Then came Windsor, and Hollingsworth. The toothpaste was out of the tube. Favourable temporary or final rulings exist in such far-flung locales as Utah, Oklahoma and Kentucky. By the end of march, five separate federal lawsuits were filed in the Southern District of Indiana. Each lawsuit has a unique blend of facts and contentions. Judge Young consolidated all five (at least for now) and initial pleadings were due in his court by 21st April. The emergency order in the Qaunsley case follows a precedent granted to an Ohio couple. But it sent a clear and concise message: Indiana’s DOMA is on thin ice. Thankfully. Which raises the hackles of our traditional opponents. They responded in typical “hair on fire” manner after the Quansley ruling. But their primary message contains a strong vein of truth: No longer will we rely solely on the legislative branch to fight our battles. Well-researched cases are pending in the Southern Indiana federal courts. And prepare for the 2015 legislative session, where our opponents will no doubt say: “See! We need HJR-3 to protect us against activist federal judges.” So be it. History favours the proactive. And the right side of history is upon us.

Finances In Focus
By Michael Wright / Edward D Jones
I’m willing to bet that you didn’t see it on your calendar, but Tax Freedom Day fell on the 21st of April this year. So, why not mark the occasion belatedly by beginning to look for ways to become a “tax-smart” investor well before next year’s due date? What is Tax Freedom Day, anyhow? Well, Tax Freedom Day, calculated annually by the Tax Foundation, is the day on which Americans have earned enough money to pay this year’s federal, state and local taxes. Of course, Tax Freedom Day is something of a fiction, because most people pay their taxes throughout the year via their paychecks. Furthermore, as famed Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., said: “Taxes are what we pay for civilised society.” When you pay taxes, you help fund education, police, the fire department, food inspection, college scholarships and many other elements of society. Nonetheless, you may want to use the concept of Tax Freedom Day to find ways to reduce the taxes associated with your investments. Here are some suggestions: —Boost your 401(k) contributions. Your 401(k) contributions are typically made with pre-tax dollars, so the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. In 2014, you can put in up to $17,500 to a 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b) or 457(b), and if you are 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $5,500. —Fully fund your IRA. No matter which type of IRA you have — traditional or Roth — you will gain some valuable tax benefits. With a Roth IRA, your contributions are not deductible, but your earnings can grow tax free, provided you don’t start taking withdrawals until you are 59-1/2 and you’ve had your IRA for at least five years. If you own a traditional IRA, your earnings can grow tax-deferred, and your contributions may be deductible, depending on your income level. So, similar to a 401(k), the more you put in to your traditional IRA, the lower your taxable income may be. In 2014, you can contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA, or $6,500 if you are 50 or older. —Avoid excessive buying and selling. If you are constantly buying and selling investments, you may find it “taxing,” because short-term gains (gains on assets owned for less than one year) will be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate, which could be as high as 39.6% (and you may also be subject to a 3.8% Medicare surtax). However, if you hold your investments longer than a year before selling them, you’ll pay the more favorable long-term capital gains rate, which will likely be 15% or 20%, depending on your income, though you might still be assessed the Medicare surtax. Also this month... a few issues ago I gave some tips for you millennials out there, so this time I need to talk to the more senior folks reading. Retirement can be an exciting, active time of your life. But if you’re going to get the full benefits from your retirement years — which could last two or even three decades — you’ll need to have a vision for what you want to do. And to transform this vision into reality, you’ll need to take a “holistic” approach — one that involves a financial strategy, clear communications with family members and an awareness of the challenges that may stand in your way. To articulate and achieve your vision, ask yourself a series of questions, such as the following: —What do I want to do? When you retire, do you plan on travelling around the world? Purchasing a vacation home in P-town or Key West? Pursuing your hobbies? Or maybe you’re even thinking of opening a small business. Clearly, you have many options — and you’ll need to be aware that some choices are going to be more costly than others. —What “roadblocks” might I encounter? As you work to achieve your retirement vision, you may well encounter some “roadblocks” along the way. A significant one is the amount of health care expenses you might face during retirement. Many people think Medicare will cover everything, but that’s not the case — in fact, you could easily spend a few thousand dollars each year out of pocket for health care costs. And since these costs typically rise as you move further into retirement, you’ll need a reasonable portion of your assets to be allocated to investments with the potential for rising income. —Your retirement vision can’t just involve yourself. To fully enjoy your retirement years, you’ll want to know that you are helping to protect your partner from financial and emotional burdens that could fall on them should you become incapacitated in some way. Among the steps you might consider taking is establishing a durable power of attorney, which allows you to appoint an agent to manage your financial affairs, make health care decisions or conduct other business for you during your incapacitation. Consult with your legal advisor about creating a durable power of attorney and do this ASAP as one never knows what tomorrow may bring. Prepare now and prevent nasty surprises later which may affect your spouse’s or your own well-being.

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The Goose Is Loose!
By Michael Chanak Cincinnati Pundit & Commentator
Call this one “Camp Pride ‘14”. See, Ole Mother Goose thought she was clever. Heck, I did it before, last fall for Pride Night at Kings Island. It was a small simple thing, didn’t cost money and I figured would bring easy peasy visibility for good projects. This bird comes from the era of sending faxes, snail mails, and (Goddess forbid) putting posters up with wheat paste. I leave all the hit counting, threads, tweets and retweets to the youngin’s. Recall, too that I’m a fan of the G (rowlr, rindr), and a few other “dating” apps. So what was my big, big crime? All I did was add to my “Mother Goose” profile that Cincinnati Gay Pride is the 31st of May 2014 — a Saturday — with the website address of www.cincinnatipride.org. But this time, unlike last Fall for Pride Night at Kings Island, I have two requests outstanding, both from men I have never met including a guy 19 from Akron and another from Middletown, age 33, who want me to “host them” for the Pride weekend so they can visit our fine city. Um...I didn’t tell them I lived in a trailer? Might be worth a laugh….maybe we need a “pride hostel” next year? Or a wayward boys club? Oh, and here’s a peck on the use of modern technology: The Goose gets that stuff, but has anyone noticed that in spite of those “communication advances” how many events don’t have complete information on the websites they direct every Tom, Dick & Harry to? And that even key information is often missing to the very day of the event and even sometimes after it has started? Alas, the Goose recalls a time when because we couldn’t immediately communicate to folks, we had to be “ahead of schedule.” Here’s an example: I am told of a certain “political action” which took place north of Columbus, Ohio, recently against our beloved attorney general, Mike DeWine. Of course, five hundred said they would “attend” with 35 showing up. But, somehow, I got a tickle that as people showed up to an empty field, the organiser realised “they must have had the wrong address.” Better yet, the AG was in a hospital in Cincinnati at the time. Effective? Not. I still love you for trying folks, just do your “homework” before rushing to Facebook and posting that you are having and event, ya know? But despite my start this month, all is not all doom and gloom, just don’t write the Goose and ask “Are there X folks on the pride committee.” (You know the drill: insert something where I put that X: women, blacks, transgender folks etc.) First off, if you want to participate, then participate. I don’t and won’t spend time on advising others on how committee members self identify. Really. Speaking of volunteering, by the time this prints, the Cincinnati Pride committee is down to one last public meeting on 12th May (details on the pride site whose address I gave above). In the meantime, drop a line to David White, the volunteer coordinator: volunteer@cincinnatipride.org and come out the 31st of May, lend a hand or two and have what I guarantee will be a lot of fun. I even plan to stay vertical this year! Some of the old timers might remember the Interfaith Service during pride week. It’s back and this year will be held Thursday, 29th May at 7 p.m. at Sholom Temple at 3100 Longmeadow Lane (off Ridge in Amberly Village) Cincinnati. Finally, my pride sun hat is off to Heidi Atwood, Michael Wilson and Alison Keller from the Cincinnati Pride committee. Heidi is serving as the coordinator to the event with the Interfaith planning group, with Michael and Alison — also from the Pride committee — handling media and communications. Best news yet: their first major community-wide planning meeting back in March at New Spirit MCC drew 19 faith leaders which shows how support and participation have grown. I’ll see you ya there...

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Extended Thru May 31st 2014!

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Standard Reviewer
By Bill Elliott / Word Critic
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the 9th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe multi-film project — which also includes the Iron Man, Thor, Avengers and Hulk films — is ear-shatteringly loud, dizzyingly kinetic, and (occasionally) disturbingly violent. But the film is also immensely enjoyable and the darkest of Marvel’s recent series of blockbusters which have grossed more than $6 billion to date at the global box office. With eight films totalling the equivalent value of the gross domestic product of many African countries under its belt, it would be easy for such a wildly successful franchise as Marvel to rest on its laurels. Thankfully, the sophomore Captain America outing —like the Iron Man and Thor sequels — focuses on developing its chief protagonist and introducing agreeable new (and one assumes, regular) characters rather than simply inviting audiences to gaspingly suspend disbelief for two hours plus. It is a marvel that these films have become so hugely popular given that they are essentially cartoons for grown-ups. Modern computer (particularly 3-D) technology is a gift from the gods for effects-heavy, thrash-metal-tempo films like this. Those addicted to attention-deficit-zapping digital editing techniques and the darkly beguiling landscapes of video games will love the runaway-train pacing and vertigoinducing narrative of Winter Soldier. But, if these films were merely eye-popping “chase ‘em, smack ‘em, and blow ‘em up” thrill fests, audiences would quickly tire of such a repetitive formula. The producers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films wisely understand that these films are group efforts: writers, directors, actors and effects whiz kids all work to create a cinematic whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. In the first place, Marvel has put together an ensemble of actors who weave in and out of these films as if they were members of a repertory company (or an old time Hollywood studio). The company hires quirkily offbeat directors at the top of their games (and occasionally directors like Kenneth Branagh and Jon Favreau, who are not always noted for action films). These directors manage to draw engaging performances from their charges. But perhaps the real challenge in films where many of the starring roles are to be found embedded in the “Special Effects” credits is to make them interesting and not just merely eye-catching. While it mostly works in broad, cartoonish brush strokes, Captain America: The Winter Soldier does take out time to develop the relationships between the film’s main characters: Captain America and Natasha Romanoff, Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson, even the elusive and irascible Nick Fury is softened and humanised. After our eponymous hero has seen off a group of terrorists holding hostages on a ship in the Indian Ocean, the bulk of the film focuses on Steve Rogers/Captain America (the Michelangelo-sculpted Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (a slightly subdued-looking Scarlett Johansson) and Rogers’ jogging partner and “wingman,” Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie), exposing and rooting out HYDRA agents who have been hiding in plain sight within the S.H.I.E.L.D. hierarchy since the end of World War II. Thrown into the mix is Rogers’ old wartime buddy, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who (like Rogers) has been resurrected and refashioned into a super soldier. Along the way, our heroes are pushed to the limits of trust, allegiance, and belief. The film constantly poses a question that has haunted the West since September 2001: in an increasingly chaotic world, what measures are you willing to accept to create order, stability, and security? There are enough twists to keep the plot churning and the interest level piqued. A long and harrowing sequence in which Nick Fury (the benignly eye-patched Samuel L. Jackson) is chased around D.C. by some of D.C.’s finest takes a genuinely unexpected turn. Jenny Agutter, as a conservative, schoolmarm-ish World Security Council member, steals a scene when all seems lost. Robert Redford is alternately charming and

creepy as a senior S.H.I.E.L.D. administrator. It is fun to see how Redford’s squeaky-clean, all-American image is played upon and tweaked here. Gary Shandling reprises his role from Iron Man 2 as perhaps the oiliest U.S. politician ever imagined. The character of Captain America is a throwback to a more innocent age when good guys and bad guys were easily distinguished. Part of the charm of the film is in comparing the differences between the 1940s and now. Despite World War II and the aftermath of the Great Depression, the film seems to imply that life was a little less uncertain and anxiety producing than it is today. As Steve Rogers/Captain America, Chris Evans is more than just a pumped-up superhero. He is the quintessence of decency, honesty and trustworthiness. I think that is what audiences so readily respond to. Unlike Tony Stark/Iron Man, a billionaire whose motives are not always transparent, Rogers’ ethics seem to have been moulded during a time when respect, patriotism and trust were taken for granted. If that were all there was to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it would be just a nostalgic homage to the comic books and comic book heroes of the 1940s and ’50s. But the film has a disturbingly topical feel to it. Winter Soldier addresses current global issues in a candid and often daring way. It doesn’t shy away from the limits and aims of governmental influence and control. In that sense, it feels more like a contemporary political allegory than a mere comic book story.

**SPOILER: Anyone who has seen any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films will know that audiences should stay seated until the end of the final credits. Important plot information and teasers follow the closing credit sequence. So skip out of the theatre before the credits are over at your own peril! Stay all the way until the end — the REAL end — lest you get left out!

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Out & About
Bill Malcolm / Word Columnist
It is May and Summer (despite that “tax day” snow in April) is almost here. Tennis and softball are back — as are hiking, bicycling, pride runs and more, so I have a lot of (literal) ground to cover this month. Here is a round-up plus an update on who is going to Gay Games, set for nearby Ohio.

For details on tennis clubs and meets including another one in Chicago coming soon, go to www.glta.net. Indianapolis Pride Run/Walk set for June The 3rd Annual Indy Pride Rainbow 5K Run/Walk will be held 7th June, sponsored by (amongst others) The Word. For more information, visit http://www.Rainbow5K.com or check out their full page ad in this edition and look for us there! Cincinnati Frontrunners meet three times a week Cincinnati Frontrunners/Frontwalkers meets three times a week for non-competitive social runs. Meetings times include: Tuesday evenings: Meet at 6.15 p.m. at Mt. Storm, Thursday evenings: Meet at 6.15 p.m. in Eden Park and Saturdays: Meet at 9 a.m. at Spring Grove. Pizza after the Mini Indianapolis Frontrunners will have a pizza party after the Mini-Marathon 3rd May. They also will host a dinner after their regular Tuesday night run/walk 21st May. Meet at 6.30 at the Indianapolis Zoo. They also meet Saturday mornings at 10 at Butler University at the Fieldhouse. For more info: www.frontrunners.org Camp it up

915 area athletes head to Gay Games August 9-16 Registration has taken off from Midwest athletes headed for Gay Games 9 in Cleveland and Akron this August and little wonder: it’s all hapening right on our doorsteps. Here are the southern Midwest/northern South area registration numbers as of presstime, and allow me to say they are impressive: —550 athletes coming from Ohio, including Team Columbus and Team Cleveland. —220 from Illinois, including Team Chicago. —60 from Michigan —50 from Kentucky —25 from Indiana —10 from Tennessee And other teams have been formed, too, including Team D.C., Team Colorado, Team San Francisco and more. If you are still considering participating, don’t forget to register by 31st May to avoid late registration fees. Register at www.GG9cle.com Also, sport spectator tickets are now on sale. Spectators now can purchase tickets for body-building, figure skating and dance. All other sporting events offer free admission for spectators. Tickets also are on sale for the Pink Flamingo, the unique Gay Games pool show on Friday night (15th August) at the Cleveland State University natatorium. Bat n Rouge in Indianapolis 8th June Mark your calendars! The Bat n Rouge softball game between Indianapolis’ top softball players and the notorious Bag Ladies is scheduled for 8th June at Garfield Park as part of Indy Pride Week. It’s always an hilarious event and includes the Indy Pride community picnic. Nashville softball play resumes & More The Metro Nashville League resumed play last month. They meet at Cedar Hill Park. Meanwhile, I am hearing the Circle City Softball league play in Indianapolis has been delayed while they move to a new field. For information on most softball teams, go to www.nagaasoftball.org Tennis, Tennis, Tennis! There is a lot of tennis news this month: —Columbus has a meet this month the 9th through 11th of May. —The Talk Tennis Club of Louisville has their annual Bluegrass Open tournament 24th through 26th May at the University of Louisville. Registration closes on the 11th and the draw party will be held on 23rd May at Nowhere Bar. —For IndyTennis, ladder play starts 1st May. They are back outside Saturdays at 10 a.m. at Riverside or Tarkington Parks. Details at www.indytennis.com

The campgrounds are re-opening for the Summer season! The Stag Run Club in Mauckport, Indiana is having a Derby Hat Day 2nd & 3rd May which will be a highlight. Also, CampIt in Saugatuck Michigan is having a comedy weekend 16-18 May, while Camp Buckwood near Brown County State Park in Indiana will have several events this month. Indianapolis wildflower walk 10h May in Holliday Park Enjoy a wild flower walk in Indianapolis’ Holliday Park at 10 a.m. 10th May. It’s a great way to learn about flowers and enjoy the park. Also, join “dig n discuss” with horticulturalist Chris Turner (below) at Holliday Park in Indianapolis. Bring your gloves and be ready to pull weeds and do some heavy gardening and trimming. Chris also provides a lecture on gardening how-to tips. The event is every other Friday including the 9th & 23rd of May at 9 a.m. Also, on 10th May the Indiana Native Plant Society will have a talk and its annual native plant sale. That event is at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis. Details at www. inpaws.org

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Pride Preview: Events Start In May!
Continued From Page Three all-day live entertainment provided by local performers such as the Quarryland Men’s Chorus, Amanda Biggs, Straight Davis and Different Drummer Belly Dancers. The annual drag show on the lawn of the courthouse will take place at 4 p.m. Organisers also plan a huge and diverse marketplace of nearly 75 organisations, including many artists from throughout South Central Indiana. Other popular items include the Family Fun Area for guests under 12 years of age, thousands of dollars in prizes and raffle items, festival foods, and much, much more. 2014 will also incorporate the Chalk Walk, a fundraiser for downtown restoration. Free HIV testing will be available provided by IU Health Positive Link. “Spencer Pride is proud to be a family-friendly event. This year all ages will enjoy our slip ‘n’ slide and the animated films shown at the nearby Tivoli Theatre (from 10-12 only). There will also be a petting zoo, bounce house, and much, much more. For the first time ever, Spencer Pride will feature a dunk tank that will help raise money for our 10th Anniversary Celebration in 2016,” Jonathan Balash, president of Spencer Pride told The Word. The 2014 Spencer Pride Festival is sponsored by White River Valley P-FLAG, Walmart, IU Health, BloomingOUT, the historic Tivoli Theatre and The Word. The festival takes place on Saturday, 7th June from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. For more information visit www.SpencerPride.org or friend Spencer Pride Inc. on Facebook. INDIANAPOLIS HAS WEEK OF EVENTS (AND THEN SOME)! This year’s Circle City IN Pride (CCINP) Week continues with keeping an eye on tradition and deepening ties within the community. It’s in this spirit that Indy Pride has announced a full week of events. —Saturday 7th June: Rainbow 5K Run/Walk. All proceeds will support the Indy Pride Resource Centre Fund and provide HIV education through the Indiana AIDS Fund. In 2013, over 560 participants raised over $15,000. Register online at Rainbow5K.com. Also Saturday, a new event — Pride Bowl. Co-hosted with the Greater Indianapolis Fourth of July Classic (TGIF), Pride Bowl will take place at All-Star Bowling, from 3 to 7 p.m. Admission: $15 for adults, $10 for children includes up to three games of bowling and shoe rental. All skill levels welcome, whether you can bowl a turkey, or just bowl like a turkey. —Sunday 8th June: Community Picnic & Bat n’ Rouge. Indy Pride Bag Ladies return for a 6th year to defend their home turf in a tough-as-(press on)-nails, knock down, drag out softball match. Bat n’ Rouge starts at 2 p.m. Before the game, bring the entire family out to the Garfield Park Corporate Shelter for the free Community Picnic from noon. Also Sunday: Pride Skate. A community favourite since its inception, this year with a Wizard of Oz theme. All-ages welcome. —Monday 9th June: Pet Pride. The ever-popular pet fashion competitions return. Enjoy amazing food from the many on-site vendors or find a new friend for Fido in the puppy play pools. Begins at 6 p.m. All ages welcome. —Tuesday 10th June: Band Concert & Movie Night. Pride of Indy Bands will hold their 9th Anniversary Concert as a CCINP featured event. This outdoor event is all ages, featuring food vendors on site. Admission is free, though donations gladly accepted. —Wednesday 11th June, another new event: Diversity Night with The Fever. Indy Pride and Indiana Equality Action (IEA) will conduct a post-game court-side chat with the Fever’s 2013 draft pick, Layshia Clarendon and head coach Lin Dunn as part of The Fever’s Diversity Night. Purchase tickets at www.circlecityinpride.org/fever/ —Thursday 12th June: Bag Ladies - Loud & Proud. They are a staple in Indy’s gay community and quite possibly the nation’s first HIV/AIDS fundraising organisation. The event will take place at Greg’s starting at nine. 21+ w/valid ID. $5 donation suggested. Also Thursday: Girl Pride. 2013’s Girl Pride sold out. 2014 is set to do the same, with performances from Grammy-nominated Mary Lambert and Queen of Electro, Luciana. Girl Pride will be held at Talbott Street. 21+ with valid ID. Tickets are available now at girlpride2014.bpt.me/ —Friday 13th June, another new event: Indianapolis Men’s Chorus Pride Concert. The IMC’s pitch-perfect humour and strong vocal performances landed them an Indianapolis Monthly 2013 Best of Indy award. Pride Concert starts at 8 p.m. in the Marian University Theatre. General Admission: $25 at the door, $20 in advance. Seniors and students receive a $5 discount. —Saturday 14th June: The big day! First, The Cadillac Barbie Pride Parade, which is expected to be the biggest yet, with over 150 walking groups, vehicles and floats. Line up starts at 8.30 a.m.; step off at 10. The parade is followed by the Circle City IN Pride Festival, now Indiana’s largest lesbian, gay, bi & trans celebration, featuring a Family Fun Zone, multiple food vendors, health fair and more. The mainstage lineup typifies the diversity of the community: The Cliks; Garrison Starr, AG and Maia Sharp; Steve Grand; Luciana; DJ Dave Audé and many more. Visit www.circlecityinpride.org for updates, location details and pre-registration information for events that require them. DON’T OVERLOOK LOUISVILLE! The 14th annual Kentuckiana Pride Festival will be held in downtown Louisville, on the 3rd weekend in June. The area’s pride events start with a parade on Friday, 20th June at 7.30 p.m., proceeding west on Main Street from Floyd Street, arriving at the Belvedere, where the festival will open immediately following the parade. Grand marshals include Djuan Trent, a former Miss Kentucky who came out recently and Tina WardPugh, councilwoman for the 9th district. Theme for festivities this year is “Diversity Creates Community.” In addition to its usual festival lineup, organisers will host a legal clinic in conjunction with Fairness Campaign during the event on Saturday. Sessions will cover the state of equal marriage in Kentucky and Indiana, advance health directives plus other legal processes and resources available to lesbian, gay, bi & trans individuals. Events leading up to the festival include two amateur drag pageants at Connection: a male impersonation pageant 1st June and a female impersonation pageant on the 7th, both starting at 6.30 p.m. As additional details are finalised, organisers told The Word they will announce them on their website and via social media. Kentuckiana’s pride events are organised by the members of Kentuckiana Pride Foundation with support from volunteers and other contributors. Sponsors of this year’s festival include Budweiser, Connection, Ford and UAW, Play, PNC Bank, Unite Magazine, Unity of Louisville, UPS and The Word. The foundation is also seeking volunteers. Those interested in volunteering or seeking more info may visit The Kentuckiana Pride Foundation on the web at www.kypride.com or call 502/649.4851. HORSE OR CAR, HITCH UP AND HEAD FOR LEXINGTON! It’s the heart of the Bluegrass and there’s nowhere like Lexington to celebrate your pride. The 7th annual Lexington Pride Festival returns to the Courthouse Plaza Downtown Saturday 28th June, presented by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organisation (GLSO). Chad Hundley, vice chairman & fundraising chairman told The Word, “The 2014 Lexington Pride Festival invites all people to celebrate gay and ally pride this Summer in the heart of downtown Lexington. The festival is all-inclusive with over 70 local, regional and national booths represented in this outdoor festival, there’s something for everyone. This event is family-friendly and includes a ‘kids’ place’ with activities for children. Free entertainment throughout the day on the outdoor stage with national talent and local acts bring this festival to life.” The annual festival draws thousands of attendees and sponsorships from many well-known local and national organisations and The Lexington Pride Festival supports and benefits the mission and vision of the GLSO by educating, enhancing and supporting members of the gay, lesbian, bi, trans and allied communities and making certain that the larger community accepts and celebrates each individual. The Lexington Pride Festival will be held on the courthouse plaza in downtown Lexington Saturday 28th June from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. FOR 18th TIME, JULY IS FORT WAYNE’S TIME TO SHINE! Fort Wayne Pride will take place 25th & 26th July in downtown Fort Wayne’s Headwaters Park. In its 18th year, the festival includes a vendor market, beer tent, food, KidSpace, tournaments and live entertainment throughout the event with performances by local and regional acts and headliner Dario. The 3rd annual Pride March steps off Saturday morning before the festival’s second day. The festival itself kicks off the evening before (Friday) at 7 p.m. with festivities lasting until midnight. Festival grounds open back up Saturday at noon and the fun continues until midnight. All festival events are open to all ages. But the festival is not the only pride event during the week. Pride Comedy Night is back at Snickerz Comedy Club on Wednesday the 23rd of July with a nationally-known comedian bringing the laughs. And, Pride Night at the Tincaps returns Monday the 28th at Parkview Field with an evening of minor league baseball under the stars with the community. More info on Fort Wayne Pride on its website: www.fwpride.org

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WARNING HOT GUYS!
Indianapolis

Pink In The Sheets
By Mz. Pink / Word Columnist
Dear Mz. Pink, I have a problem. I feel that it is more of a medical issue than a partner issue, but I don’t get as lubricated “down there” as I feel I should. It’s not that I’m not turned on and ready to go, it just seems like no matter what I can’t get “it” where I need “it” for my sexual encounters to be comfortable. It seems that lately I have even taken to not having anything done to me and I am just a giver because of my problem. Should I use lube? What is the best kind to use? Will it taste gross to my partner? Why is this happening anyway, I feel like I am too young for this to happen. Dry-Boned-Indy Dear Dry, Being a woman has its ups and downs. From one day to the next you never know what could happen. Our bodies go through so many changes daily that it’s hard to keep track. Our periods aren’t clockwork; menopause can happen after 30, we can have all of the symptoms we had as teenagers: acne, awful cramps, oily hair and skin, at anytime. It’s exhausting trying to keep up and maintain our temple. We have to shave everything, do our hair, keep our nails manicured, use lotion and wear make-up. I could go on and on. Needless to say, it’s hard being a woman. What makes it more difficult is being a lesbian woman. Because we have to somewhat maintain our partners as well and we have to keep maintained for them. It can really be hard to do if our bodies seem to work against us. Also with this issue it could seem like you aren’t sexually aroused by your partners, when in fact you are. This could be a blow to your partner and you. Sex also isn’t fun when you’re dreading the discomfort of it, and it’s not fair that you are not getting your fair share. The first thing I suggest is calling your doctor. I know that this could be a little embarrassing, but that’s what they are there for. Besides, you need to make sure it’s not an illness or something that needs to be treated. Make sure your body is tip top so you can start to count out the reasons you are experiencing this dryness. After you’ve ruled out the major reasons this could be happening, i.e. menopause, irregular periods, bladder infection, urinary tract infections, etc. Then you can move on to decide why your estrogen is so low and making you experience this discomfort. Are you taking cold medicine? Antidepressants? Do you douche? Are you getting enough foreplay before sex? With your doctor you can decide what type of treatment you may want to try. This could be administered orally, vaginally or topically — whatever is best for you and your situation. If you want, you can start taking a women’s multi-vitamin which may also help with your condition. They sell estrogen vitamins and estrogen boosters over the counter that may help, too. If you want to try a lube that can be a personal decision or one you can make with your partner. Tell her it would be fun if you use lube because it will make the night slippery. Then you two can decide together if you want warming, cooling, oil or water based, re-wetting, flavoured, hypo-allergenic or different colours. There are a ton of lubes to pick from and a lot of fun choices. Or if you don’t want to share that you are using lube, then apply it before your excursions and see what happens. While using lube, though, make sure you use the recommended amount ­ — more is not always better is some instances. You don’t want to add a rash or skin irritation to feminine dryness because that would defeat the purpose of your upkeep. Good luck, Mz. Pink

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Sheila's Column
By Sheila Suess Kennedy
It’s the Ninth Inning, but the struggle for gay civil rights isn’t a game, and I don’t mean to trivialise that struggle by suggesting that it isn’t deadly serious. But just as games come to an end, usually with winners and losers, I think this movement is heading into its home stretch. I’ve been struck lately by evidence of a tectonic shift in the struggle. I’m not just talking about the string of court decisions facilitating same-sex marriage. I’m not even talking about the states where marriage equality has actually come at the ballot box, amazing as that has been. I’m talking about the broader cultural zeitgeist. A few examples: —Honey Maid graham crackers ran an ad showcasing several couples, and included a pair of gay dads. When the “usual suspects” threatened a boycott and unleashed a barrage of nasty letters and e-mails, the company not only didn’t back down, it ran a brilliant response in which artists created a huge sculpture of the word “Love”, using the hate mail as the medium. —A recent puff piece about Chik-fil-A’s planned expansion into regions other than the South focused on its CEO’s stated intention to swear off culture war issues, and his insistence that everyone, no matter what their sexual orientation, is welcome to buy his chicken sandwiches. (Some of his best franchisees are gay-friendly!) —On 24th March, tech giant Mozilla named Brendan Eich CEO of the company behind the popular Firefox browser. Then it came out that he’d donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign to ban gay marriage in California a few years back. A firestorm erupted...staff members protested his appointment and three of Mozilla’s directors resigned. OKCupid, a gay dating site, refused to allow its users to run the website with Firefox and encouraged other sites to do likewise. Eich resigned 10 days later. —Some readers may recall that in late 2013, Guido Barilla, chairman of the world’s largest pasta maker, told a radio interviewer that he would never include a gay family in his advertising. Social media went nuts, a competitor immediately ran ads saying, in effect, you can buy our pasta with the confidence that your purchase won’t enrich bigots, and gay rights organisations in both the U.S. and Italy called for a boycott. The company not only did a public about-face, it even invited gay activist David Mixner to take part in a new advisory board whose purpose is to encourage diversity. There are plenty of non-business examples of social change, and readers of The Word are undoubtedly familiar with the stories of gay athletes coming out, gay celebrities getting married, schools recognising Gay-Straight Alliance clubs and much more. But I have focused on stories involving businesses because for the past several years, the business community has been in the forefront of the fight for gay equality. That’s partly because, as one consultant recently wrote, “There are few more treacherous actions a CEO can take than to make derogatory comments about gay men and lesbians or to be publicly exposed for funding anti-gay causes.” The business sector’s involvement in the struggle for gay civil rights is undoubtedly motivated by the perception that being welcoming and inclusive is good business. They’re in the market, and the market has spoken, loud and clear. But along the way, as they’ve listened to that market and tended to business, a lot of corporate executives, HR professionals and mom-and-pop enterprises have become true believers and awesome allies. This game is in its ninth inning.

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Panther’s Perspective
By Panther Daddy / Word Columnist
A couple of weeks ago, I was having an early dinner with a title-holder and his partner. I always enjoy these opportunities as it provides me with information about what is happening in different communities. More importantly, it gives me a slight window into the minds of others whom I believe, to be like me. While catching up, his partner and I were discussing our gym routines. More specifically, the types of music we have loaded onto our devices that assist in getting us “in the zone” to be able to get through our respective workouts. As we were excitedly comparing our playlists, we both commented that sometimes it is difficult to not break out in dance when one of our favourite songs comes on the queue. The exchange was fun in that there is about a 30-year difference between me and the boy, but there was

some comfort in the recognition that music and dancing seemed to transcend the sometimes insurmountable age chasm that separates our community. As our giddiness crescendoed, the words “Leather men don’t dance!” erupted from the title-holder’s mouth, sucking the magic out of our little disco ball flight of fancy. My mind instantly flashed through the dance parties I’ve attended through the years. Even prior to actively participating in the kink community, I found myself in venues where I was witness to and participated in the tribal undulations of half naked, sweaty, sticky bodies of my leather clad brethren. I remember being mesmerized by flag dancers who lined the outskirts of various dance floors, all waving and flexing, like synchronised swimmers to not only the beat of the audible sounds but also obviously moved by something much deeper. It took a couple of minutes before I could bring my mind back to the moment to enable me to ask the question: When did that become a rule? Lest you think this month’s article is about dancing or whether real kink folks actually do dance, rest assured it is not. It is much more about the many rules, restrictions and expectations that have come about in trying to define and ultimately affirm our existence. As a community, we seem to have gotten caught up in a belief that there is only one true way to be. Whether your kink is leather, bondage, rubber or pup play, the respective groups have come up with a Romper Room version of do’s and don’ts for members. We pontificate ad nauseam about what is a true leader, a true Master, Dom/me, slave, sub, boy, etc. Anything outside of these artificial and arbitrarily assigned rules is met with disdain and in some instances, partial or total disenfranchisement from the community. The reasoning behind this phenomena isn’t necessarily very clear. Perhaps as we move towards more acceptance in the larger society, we feel the need to “clean up” our acts and be more presentable. In doing so, it seems we are sacrificing the very thing we are seeking in the first place: a safe place to be our authentic selves. The last I checked, there are no rules about being who you are — you just do it. Part of the reason our community was formed was that we felt like outsiders in the larger culture. Our desires, tastes and activities were met with resistance, judgments and, in extreme cases, violence. We worked to create a community of like-minded people with the idea that it would be a place where we could feel safe from the ministrations of the outside world, a place where we could safely be ourselves individually and collectively. It is counterintuitive for us to bring the exact behaviours we railed against into our present circumstances. We’ve all heard the contemporary phrase, “Be the change you want to see”. ( Thank you, Pres. O ). Only by changing our individual behaviours will our community be different. For me, that change will be I’m going to put on my leather and go out dancing! Events for May: IML, Chicago, 22nd through 26th.Good Luck to all of the contestants from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and Michigan. Info: www.imrl.com Ohio Leather Sir/boy/bootblack and Master/Slave, 30th & 31st in Cleveland. Contact: Cigardaddie1@aol.com Cincinnati Pride 2014, 31st May, Cincinnati. Info: www. cincinnatipride.org Until next Month, Panther Daddy ebonypapa@aol.com

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Photograph by Michael McLeod

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Guest Comment
Brother Michael Childs BSCD / Jubilee Cincinnati
“Leaders of the Parade” Have you noticed the number of advocates and supporters of the GLBT movement lately? They’re coming from everywhere! It reminds me of a story of a man that wanted to harass a little storefront congregation, so he went out to a costume store and bought a “devil’s outfit” with pitchfork, red horns and long pointed red tail. He definitely looked the part. One night, during one of the services at the storefront, the man stormed into the church and shouted, “I’m the Devil, and I’ve come to get you all.” Needless to say, people began screaming and shouting, all trying to escape the wrath of the Prince of Hell. There was one rather portly fellow who had made it to a nearby window, and trying to climb out, he found that he was stuck in the window frame. He finally wiggled himself out of the opening, back into the church, only to find himself face to face with “Satan”. “Oh Mr. Devil, I-I-I don’t know these people. I-I-I don’t even like going here. I’ve been on YOUR side all the time!” While, hopefully, this story brings a chuckle, I also hope you don’t miss the meaning behind the tale. It has become posh to be gay. Straight people love to mention that they have gay friends. Many employers, after learning that you are gay or lesbian, will go through their well-rehearsed speech explaining how their company has had a “long standing” policy of acceptance, inclusion and affirmation of what they always call the “gay lifestyle”. It almost becomes comical as they inform you that “some of my best friends are gay”. Oh really? And while straights are doing this tap dance on the tightrope of political correctness, many within the gay, lesbian, bi & trans community have been astute enough to note the opportunity for fame and recognition that the present time affords. Recently I was watching the local news as it reported a court ruling that was in favour of the community and had been well publicised. As the reporter presented the story I saw some folks I knew standing behind her. Suddenly, out of the crowd, two hands appeared pushing to the side two of those standing behind the reporter. This was done by a “leader” of the community as he made sure he got his face time. Have you noticed the politicians? They have waited to see how the currents would flow, but now that polls show the public is favouring Marriage Equality, here comes every politician from county dog catcher to senator, all saying, “I’ve been on YOUR side all the time”. And have you noticed how many want to be the next Harvey Milk? I swear, I’m waiting for someone with a bull-horn to appear screaming, “I’m here to recruit you”. All the other things that I have mentioned one could expect to happen with any event that would make the news. Yet in the midst of all this, one issue has developed: So many are fighting to be the next leader of the community. I like to describe it as if there was a parade and everyone wants to lead. Consequently, everyone becomes the “grand marshal” and that’s all there is to the parade. No one is there to follow. They are all there to be seen as the leader. “Give me my face time. Put me on the evening news. Call me a leader and an activist. Make sure I am recognised in the clubs.” Yet where were these so-called leaders when the handful of real ones stood in the cold and driving snow or heat of the Summer, protesting against the same companies that today welcome us with open arms, but in those days would not give the proverbial time of day to anyone gay? Where were those “leaders” when the real ones were being bullied in school because word was out that they were gay? Where were those “leaders” when the real ones were having their jobs threatened because of what their employer called “a deviant lifestyle”? Where were those politicians the day that members of the community asked for nondiscrimination policies to be passed, only to have the politicians promise to follow through, but do nothing? And even more recently, where are those “leaders” when the real leaders are having their employment and careers challenged because of their sexual preferences? You’ll find those “leaders”, those politicians, those “activists” all fighting for that first spot in the parade. All waving to the crowd, saying, “I’ve been on YOUR side all the time”. Really?

AIDS Walk Still Working Toward Goal In Vincennes

VINCENNES— It might not be the largest event of its type, but over 150 students walked in the Vincennes AIDS Walk Saturday 29th March, raising a record $2,500 to support the Tri-State Alliance AIDS Holiday Project. The goal for the event was $4,000, however, and donations are still being accepted to assist in accomplishing that number. Donations can be made online at www.vincennesaidswalk.org or they can be sent to AIDS Walk c/o Vincennes University Student Activities ,1002 N. First Street, Vincennes Indiana 47591.

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Hackin’ The Net
By Ted Fleischaker / Word Publisher
I know it’s way, way out of season to think about Santa. And yes I shall explain in a moment what he’s doing in a May computer column, but meanwhile think “naughty or nice.” And with my partner’s favourite TV show The Walking Dead on break and Halloween ages away, too, it’s not exactly the time to think much about boogie men (defined by Wikipedia as “simply a non-specific embodiment of terror”) either, but like both Santa and those un-named creatures of the night who haunt and scare, have you given any thought about who may be looking at your every keystroke when you use your computer, iPad, iPhone or other device in a public place or even at home? And in this case, no I do not mean the government, the NSA or any of those boogies... I mean common, old criminals who can (and, trust me, do) spy on you and me at coffee shops, restaurants, malls and convention centres when we log into those free WiFi signals. Think of it the same as when someone walks or drives by and “cases” your house when you are away only to come back and steal later if they think you may be away. Or the seemingly-friendly guy or gal you meet out at the club who gives you a hug, only to find out when you get home he slipped off your gold necklace during the embrace and you have no clue of his name or where he might live. Most folks have no clue that this same theft can (and does) happen and they blissfully go about their day-to-day business in full view of the “public,” as the guy at left was doing when we spotted him recently at the mall. The reason is simple: what goes through those “Free WiFi” servers is not only insecure, but it IS possible — not too likely, but possible — that the guy peering into his screen at the next table might be watching what you are doing. If not him, what about a dishonest tech who can check the server later...or the clerk...or anyone else? I guess this is my every-so-often wake-up call on security and a reminder that some things work fine in some places but others are inappropriate. Just as you’d not wear cut-offs and a tank top to a formal dinner, you are just as out of place to check those bank details or pull out that credit card for an Amazon purchase at the corner cafe. And hotels, campgrounds and airport servers are really no more secure. If you want to check your bank, do it at home where nobody will see that password and where you KNOW who’s in control of the WiFi or wired internet. (You DO have a password only you and your partner or family know on that home network, right?) And a word about passwords: Varied. I strongly recommend that you use several sets of passwords and vary those. For things like the local radio station or to log into your daily newspaper subscription pick something easy and leave it alone. Let’s be honest: If someone does get hold of your password and shares the morning crossword are you out anything? Really? Same if your radio station for some odd reason requires a password to listen to their live stream. But then there are the places online for which you should have tough, often-changed

passwords. It’s one thing to have the babysitter or a visiting friend know how to “steal” the newspaper from you or even a movie or two on Hulu, but you don’t want them to know about your stocks, your bank balance or your credit card info, do you? For those sadly you need something strong, secure and with those “special characters”. Those are things like &%£@ and their ilk. And some demand a few lower and a few UPPERCASE letters. It becomes a joke and in some (OK, many) cases frustrating beyond belief to comply with your broker’s or bank’s rules for online access, but remember, it is better to be a bit frustrated than to come out one day to check that bank account and find that someone quietly transferred all your cash to Russia in the dead of night. Next, while we are on this topic, what about your home WiFi? These days almost all of us have one, but do most folks take any real steps to secure theirs? Shockingly most of us do not. Many do not give our own WiFi a name — drive down any street and look on the join WiFi spot on your phone and see how many use 2wire or Netgear (the firms which made them) followed by a number because they were simply too lazy to name their WiFi something different than what came out of the box. But more shocking are the passwords many folks use for their home WiFis. A story in the Business Insider (www.businessinsider.com) not too long ago about PIN numbers and passwords notes, “As anyone with more than one bank card will know, remembering a variety of PIN codes can be an impossible task. It should perhaps comes as no surprise, therefore, that the most popular PIN in use has been found to be 1234. While some of us devise crafty combinations of numbers based on our pet’s birthday or the date of our wedding anniversary, research suggests that many people simply opt for the most memorable code they can think of. A study by the DataGenetics blog found the second most popular PIN was 1111, followed by 0000, 1212 and 7777...” Think it might be difficult to come up with something even a bit more complex to “crack”? Business Insider’s reporters note: “The digits zero to nine can be arranged in 10,000 possible ways to form a four-digit PIN code.” Got that? 10,000 different choices but most folks are too lazy or uninformed to try to vary much. At our house the password for the WiFi is 10 digits long and nothing that would be easy for anyone to remember. Why care? Because most devices “remember” passwords and log on by themselves when you return to their home spots. When I visit English Ivy’s, for example, I get access without re-entering a password. Same for my downstairs apartment neighbour’s home and for my sister’s house in Florida. All have complex passwords and all are remembered just fine by the iPad and laptop. So why are we even having this “discussion”? Laziness. Too many of us are too lazy to think it really could happen and it could happen to us — not just that nameless “other guy”. Again, it’s one thing if your neighbour “borrows” a bit of your WiFi, but something entirely different if he uses it 24/7, hogs your bandwidth and never pays. And it’s something criminal if that guy you do not know who maintains the local coffee shop’s internet figures out your bank account or credit card info. So just as you are probably doing some Spring cleaning right now, why not do a bit with your internet access? Change any passwords you have had “forever” and write the new ones down in a book or somewhere that no one but you knows. Just as you do not write the PIN for your Visa on the back of the card (please say you don’t...) you shouldn’t put that password for the WiFi or bank account anywhere someone can find it easily. And frustrating as it is, make those numbers and user names for things you wish to stay safe difficult and complex. You may cuss at me every time you log into iTunes or Amazon Prime or Netflix and need to enter those codes, but I promise you will thank me later if a friend or family member gets his account stolen or compromised because they didn’t password protect it or he used 1111 or 1234. And on that note I’m off to change my account so the ex can’t watch my Netflix movies anymore and that guy down on nine can’t “borrow” my internet WiFi all weekend. Stay safe and remember you can control your own safety if you will just do it!

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Medical Matters
Sing while you walk or in the shower? Run faster and harder with your iPod? Well now science has some proof you are gonna love. Cue the music because they’ve discovered how tunes enhance daily life, enrich your days and soothe your nights with song. Music can set the beat for some of life's biggest and best moments, but, you can also use it as a tool to enrich your everyday rhythms. No matter your preferred soundtrack — classical, country, easy listening, folk or funk — tuning in could improve your wellbeing. Hit 'play' to win Here are just four ways you can channel the power of music to have a healthy effect on your life: 1.) Perk up your wake-up. The right song can inspire you to greet the day. Pick an up-tempo tune you know will boost your spirit. If possible, set your alarm to wake you up with your rise-and-shine song. Or, have it ready to play as soon as your feet hit the floor. Of course, your motivating melody doesn't have to be reserved for mornings. You might also use it any time you need a lift or face a challenge. 2.) Energise your workouts. Music simply makes us want to move — and our brains and bodies naturally sync up with a strong beat. So, it's a perfect pairing for a heartpumping workout. Research shows that moving to music may even: —Make hard exercise seem less difficult. —Reduce fatigue. —Increase endurance. —Intensify your workout. —Help you burn more calories. 3.) Ease your stress. Music helps relax tense muscles and lower stress hormones. Plus, it can take your mind off your troubles. So, when you feel the pressure building, put on some calming music in the background — and let your worries float away. 4.) Get your ZZZs. There's a reason lullabies are used to send babies to slumberland. Soft, rhythmic music soothes the mind. And, when it's part of a bedtime routine, it can help signal your body that it's time to sleep. Remember, bedtime is not the time for the latest disco or Katy Perry...it’s time for soft jazz, some light classical or romantic tunes. Whatever your activity, it’ll be better, healthier and more fun if you just remember to whistle a happy tune! Find more tips for putting stress to rest at myuhc.com. Click Health & Wellness > Learn > Stress Management. Music can also help you relieve stress, but there are other paths to a happier heart you might wish to consider as well. Try these hints to fight stress before it strikes, in the moment and after the fact. Michael W. Rosen, M.D., and Arleen Fitzgerald, L.I.C.S.W. say fighting stress is a first line of defence. Do you often wish you felt calmer and less frazzled? If so, that’s probably your heart’s desire, too. When stress goes unchecked, it can take a toll on your heart health. That may include raising your risk of high blood pressure, a heart attack or other problems. What’s the link? Under stress, our bodies release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. They help trigger what’s known as the “fight or flight” response. It’s nature’s way of preparing us to respond to a crisis or threat. We breathe more rapidly — and our heart rate and blood pressure rise. These effects are usually temporary. But, if you often live in this tense or agitated state, it may put chronic strain on your heart and blood vessels. And, episodes of intense stress or anger can also trigger chest pain — or even a heart attack. Stress can harm the heart indirectly, too. Some people might cope with it in unhealthy ways. They might overeat, smoke or drink too much, for example.

Take heart: A 3-track approach Some stress is unavoidable. But, there are healthy ways to manage it — and help tame the strain on your heart. Here are some techniques to try. 1.) Before — be proactive: Be your own assistant. From to-do lists to cellphone apps, both low- and high-tech tools can help you organise your daily tasks. Everything’s easier when you have a plan. De-clutter your day. Are you trying to tackle too much? Write down your current commitments. See if you can cross out any that aren’t musts — or bump less urgent tasks to another day. Put fuel in the tank. Do you see a stressful tomorrow ahead? Pack a nutritious lunch — and hit the pillow early. Proper rest and nutrition help keep you focused and energised. 2.) During — soothe stress when it strikes: Take a breather. Closing your eyes and taking slow, deep breaths helps you relax. And, it may even slow your heart rate. Take a quick stroll. Being active is a win-win. It can ease tension in the moment — and it’s good for your heart. Even a 10-minute outing can help. Put anger on pause. When something upsets you, like a call from your ex or a complaint about your work from the boss, do just as your mom or grandmother taught: count to 10 — or higher, if needed — before responding. Walk away or ask to call back if you can. Then, reconsider your reaction. 3.) After — regroup and unwind: Find your calm. Kick back for a few minutes after a stressful day. Maybe that’s with a serene playlist (see, there’s that music again), a cup of tea with a friend or your partner, or just a quiet moment to meditate or collect your thoughts. Connect. Talking with a supportive loved one, your boy or girlfriend or a work bud can help you feel better. And, it may help you see challenges in new ways. Pursue your passions. What makes you happy? Gardening? Playing the guitar? Planning next Summer’s trip to Myrtle Beach or Portland? Spend a little time every day doing something you enjoy. Get it off your mind. Jotting down your feelings in a journal can help you let go. It’s also a good way to pinpoint stressors — and brainstorm solutions. Remember that you can’t always sidestep stress. But, when you know your tension triggers, you can look for ways to avoid them. Here are just three examples: —You get aggravated in morning traffic. Could you carpool with friends, change up your route or maybe leave a little early to feel less pressure? —You have a friend who complains a lot — a Debbie Downer. You might make plans with that person less often — and spend more time with upbeat pals. —You have an ex you really, really do not want to run into, but they go to the farmer’s market every Wednesday at lunchtime. You love fresh produce and don’t want to miss it, so go before noon or after 2. Get fresh carrots not fresh bitching from that ex! © 2014, United HealthCare Services, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Healthy Mind Healthy Body where you can register for your own monthly newsletter: www.uhc.com/myhealthnews

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

Where Does The Midwest Turn For Gay & Lesbian News? Right Here, Of Course!
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Music Corner
By DJDandy / MJ's Cafe / Dayton
We at The Word welcome the new author of our monthly look at tunes which fill the area’s dance floors. DjDandy has been a dj for over 20 years. He started out in Dayton at 1470 West in the early 90’s and then spent nine years at The Dock in Cincinnati as the head video jockey. At the end of 2001, he moved to Florida, playing various clubs in the Sarasota-Bradenton area along with the Vinyl Music Festival in 2010. DjDandy moved back to Ohio in 2011. Currently he is spinning as a video jockey at MJ’s Café in Dayton, where he specialises in progressive house, deep house and tech house. DjDandy’s top 10 for May 2014

Austin Mahone Feat. Pitbull — Mmm Yeah. This young man is a cutie and will surely see a lot of play in the video bars. Pitbull’s rap should help this song in its quest for top 40 radio presence, but the main draws are the sly sexy looks and slick dance moves that Austin shows us in the video. Hello! Lady Gaga — G.U.Y. We have been waiting for more videos from this album and they certainly haven’t disappointed. Filmed at the famed Hearst Castle in California, this is pure Gaga fierceness! This song was co-produced by Lady Gaga and Zedd. G.U.Y. stands for “girl under you”, but for the fellas who like the fellas, it’s easy to fix. Rita Ora — I Will Never Let You Down. This is the lead single from her sophomore album. A great pop radio tune, produced by her amazingly talented boyfriend Calvin Harris. The song is more mature than her previous releases and is very catchy. When she sings “I know exactly how you feel” I want to lip sync right along. Dj Cassidy Feat. Jessie J and Robin Thicke — Calling All The Hearts. Who did Beyonce and Jay Z get to deejay their wedding? This guy! For his first album Paradise Royale being released this month, Dj Cassidy’s aim is to create dance music the way it used to be made. Not rehashing the old tunes, but bringing together seasoned musicians and great vocal artists to create a sound resembling the 1978-82 era. I have high hopes for this project. This first single is just magic. It has big full instrumentation which produces a sound that carries this tune all the way. Finally, I wanted to mention a big loss for the music world. If you haven’t heard, Frankie Knuckles passed away. I have continually played his music over the 24 years of my career, as have many of the deejays to whom I love to listen. He was known as the “Godfather of House Music”. This was due to his early contributions to house music as a deejay at the Warehouse club in Chicago. I think one of my favourite remixes that Frankie produced was Blind by Hercules and Love Affair. This remix totally changed the song into a fantastic, emotional masterpiece. He recently completed a mix for Ariana & The Rose called In Your Bed (Directors Cut remix) which I am currently playing. Hey, don’t forget to make your way to the club to experience all these great tunes. Next month is pride month and I will be back with more great music to share. Until then, show some love to your favourite deejays by getting out there on the dance floor!

01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10.

Lady Gaga — G.U.Y. Shakira/Rihanna ­­— Can’t Remember To Forget You Katy Perry — Dark Horse Beyonce — Partition Betty Who — Somebody Loves You Mariah Carey — You’re Mine Zedd/Matthew Koma/Miriam Bryant — Find You Idina Menzel — Let It Go Jennifer Hudson — Can’t Describe The Way I Feel Disclosure Feat. Mary J. Blidge — F For You

Happy May to everyone. Hopefully we can say goodbye to the cold weather here in the Midwest and start ushering in some warm and sunny days. I know the nightclub dance floors will be hot with all the new music coming out this Spring. As your favourite deejays get ready for the pride events next month, there is plenty of great stuff to choose from. Let’s check out what’s moving the dance floors and a few of the buzz tunes you may not have heard yet. Redlight Feat. Lotti-36 — Out of London. This tune will get in your head and stay there…all day. This is a funky little song that moves along at a great pace. Just try not to love it. Clean Bandit Feat. Jess Glynne — Rather Be. Another UK hit that has made its way across the pond. This electronic group is expected to release their first album this month. They have already released four singles and this one went to number one on the UK singles chart. Neon Trees — Sleeping With A Friend. I was excited to get mixes of this tune for the dance floor. The fact that we recently found out their lead singer, Tyler Glenn, is “family” makes it even better. The first single off their third album, Tyler’s vocals provide a really strong foundation for this song. The video is a wonderful art collage as well.

What’s The Largest Circulation Gay & Lesbian Newspaper In The Southern Midwest?

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pecs and the
by Matt Ponder
Secrets. What do you think of when you hear that word? Something bad? Something good? Something dirty, illegal or shameful? The basic definition of a secret is something that isn’t supposed to be known or seen by others, so a secret can be whatever you want it to be. What one person considers worthy of being a secret may be different from someone else’s idea of shocking, undisclosed information. Your past, your family, even your desire to dress up like a stuffed animal can be hidden away in a locked trunk in the cobwebbed attic of your mind. So who do we keep secrets from? Our friends? Our family? The partners who share our bed? And what exactly is a real “secret”? Let’s split this into two parts, shall we? There are secrets we keep when we first meet a potential love interest and sometimes, there are secrets we keep in the confines of a healthy relationship. In today’s lesson, we are going to discuss what I’ll call “Inception Secrets 101”. Ah, the blushing heat of meeting a new paramour. Now, what to talk about? When you meet someone for the first time everything is a mystery. Like a book with a beautiful cover, they are waiting to be opened and discovered. In this early stage, the smallest details begin to emerge — the job, the family, the past loves and all of the dayto-day things that form the cogs and gears of a potential suitor. You are the same to them — a blank slate with a great smile and awesome arms who holds mystique and obscurity just below the surface. So, and here’s the thing: all relationships are a crapshoot. We think we’ve found Mr. Right so we want to start building something from the beginning. But do you want to bare your soul to someone who is basically still a stranger? Do you want someone to know your deepest, darkest secrets when they may not be around in six months? The truth is you need to keep some things to yourself. For now. This doesn’t mean you’re being duplicitous, it means you’re controlling the flow of information. Until a certain comfort level is reached you would be wise to keep the darker side of yourself hidden so you know exactly how your new boyfriend will react. And let’s be honest about this — he’s probably doing the same thing. So in the beginning what to reveal and what to hold back? It’s simple: when you meet someone, first and foremost, there’s no need to disclose every personal detail about your romantic life (with one exception, but we’ll get to that in a moment). If this new guy is number 77 on the list, he doesn’t need to know that. Why not? Because let’s face it — we’ve all had sexual escapades that we’d rather forget or boyfriends that didn’t last for whatever reason. That doesn’t mean you’re not ready to get serious with the guy in front of you but by revealing your number — or his — it may cause subconscious doubt and tangible strain on this new relationship. This and a few other personal details have no bearing on your new romance. Stuff like your dyslexia, your penchant for cosplay or how much money you make can come later. What’s that? You feel it’s important to know someone’s annual income? Well, in the big picture of what kind of boyfriend, partner or husband that they will be in the long run, money shouldn’t matter. Without going into a new column topic, let’s just say that the size of one’s wallet is not indicative of the size of their heart. By not revealing your salary you can see if someone is after you for who you are not what you can buy them. So now that you know what to hide on your first few dates, so let’s look at the flip side: what should you be revealing?

There are two simple things that you and he need to state firmly and openly no matter how difficult it may seem. First and foremost, where is this relationship going? You need to be up front about what you want and where you are in the romantic section of your life. If you just want to fuck and he’s already thinking about cohabitation and marriage then you need to say what your goals are. Don’t lead him on. If you feel strongly toward this new guy and he hasn’t revealed his intentions then you need to swallow your fear and straight up ask him. You need to know where you stand. Are you recently separated from a long-term boyfriend? Say it. Are you dating other guys as well? Say it. Are you excited that what you thought was just wrestling in sweaty sheets turned out to be so much more? Definitely say it. If you or the man you’re dating can’t be honest about this detail, then you shouldn’t be in the relationship. Period. When I met my partner I told him I had been through a break-up many months before, I was still wounded and suspicious underneath my muscled armor and I only wanted to date around. Nothing serious, I said. He understood where I was coming from, chased after me anyway and like the proverbial dark horse he pulled ahead of the other guys I was dating and won my scarred and shielded heart. Lucky bastard. The other thing you need to be honest about, as far as the one detail about your past sexual or romantic life, is if you have or have had any sexually transmitted diseases. When two men meet and are drawn to each other in a simmering fog of electricity, things can get physical very quickly. This isn’t the time to play coy or withhold information. Sure, you may be adamant about wrapping up your dicks, but that’s not the same as divulging STD information. Is it embarrassing? Sure. Is it scary to say out loud? Of course. But no matter what you’ve contracted, it’s not worth putting someone else’s health at risk. It’s also a good test to see what kind of man you’ve fallen for. Does he shy away or recoil in horror when you tell him you’re HIV-positive or that you have herpes? Does he avoid giving you a straight answer when you ask him about his STD stats? These are two red flags that should reveal the true nature of the man you’ve met. Every STD is either curable or manageable. If you’re honest, play safe and get tested, there should be nothing to worry about. Sure it’s scary for you to hear that someone you’re crazy about is HIV-positive when you are negative, but that’s no reason to end something that might turn out to be the greatest love of your life. I know many couples who are in long term relationships where one is positive and the other is not. For some people that may be a deal breaker, but what I am saying is that it doesn’t have to be. Honesty, in every form and every situation, is always the best policy. So, there you have it. Secrets you can keep when you first meet someone and the two important things you must reveal for the relationship to move in the right direction. I know you’re thinking: “those two things are not easily said out loud.” And you’re right. But fear and dishonesty get you nowhere. If this new relationship turns into a permanent one the truth will come out sooner or later. Besides, even when you’re with someone for years, there’s a chance there are still secrets locked up inside of you. We can talk about those hidden mysteries in your histories in thirty days. Meet you here?

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Gossip Cats
If you are old enough to recall the play and later film Camelot, there’s a great song in there about “the Lusty Month of May” and from the sounds of things not a whole lot has changed. This month some hilarious (unless you are our owners or some close friends) antics which prove that indeed (to use another set of song lyrics) breaking up is hard to do. Anyway, at our house Anthony decided to head on and at last report was in Ontario, Canada with a new Canadian boo. We cats wish him all the best in his new enterprises, too. But before he left Indy he was house-sitting and as a shrink told Ted “these days, ex’s are never really gone since we seem to stalk one another subconsciously on Twitter, Facebook and through mutual friends...” That could not be more true since one day before he fled the States, Ted and he were chatting on instant messenger and he told Ted he was busy as he was with another new guy he’d met supposedly named Liam, age 28. Ted pressed for details and got none, so told Anthony he knew he’d been out he night before at Greg’s and that we pussies had heard he left late with some boy. The problem is we cats had no such rumour, but lo and behold at the same time Anthony texted our other owner and Ted’s partner, Ivan, to report he really just wanted a nap, there was not anyone called Liam or anybody there at all but he’d hoped by saying so Ted would leave him alone to sleep as he had been up late! Anyway, the moral here is take what happens between ex’s with a few grains of salt, and if anyone reading is named Liam we’d still love to meet you! Oh, and to two supposed “friends” of our owners — one a well-known community leader (term is used loosely) and the 2nd a local ne’er-do-well it looks like you neither got anything with this house’s ex (aside from a meal the ne’er-do-well bought him at English Ivy’s we’re told) but he did tell we cats that you both said he “could do better” than Ted & Ivan. Now he’s in Canada with a new guy of his own, so let’s test your theory, shall we?... On the same topic (ex’s) this time another guy we shall leave nameless gets our hilarity award. Seems he was told by his ex that he (the ex) was going back to his ex (Got all that? It means the guy left him and went back to a 22-year-old he’d been dating previously.) and had hoped for an amicable break-up. Apparently they agreed to these terms but after a bout of rather heavy drinking at a Mass. Ave., watering hole on a recent night the spurned ex decided to be less-than-amicable and drove to the other dude’s house where he used a ball point pen to let the air out of his ex’s tyres. About then (it gets better!) he heard someone and saw a gun being pointed at his head while hearing a voice asking what he was doing to which the intoxicated former suitor said “vandalising this car!” The guy with the gun (a neighbour it later emerged) said “Well, I don’t want nothing to do with that!”, put his gun in his pocket and left. Trouble was, next morning he took the liberty of telling his neighbour what he saw, described the unique vehicle the ex drives and blabbed it all over the block! Oh, and it still gets better: the couple did apologise, but did not get back together, though they DID take an island vacation together because they’d booked it before the break-up, the tyre and all the rest but it was non-refundable. Not sure we cool cats could spend days with our ex but hey, what do we know? We pussies are both single gurls!... Speaking of single, we cats heard tell of an unattached Louisville friend 23 who met a boy of 24 online and invited him to come out for a week’s visit from back east. Seems said guy showed up, spent time being shown the area, got all his meals provided by his host and a choice of beds as the guy he was visiting has a guestroom (though no details on whether or not it got used). At the end of the visit he got a big hug, a kiss and a goodbye but not once did said guest offer to buy a meal, leave a tip nor did he show up with even a $5 box of candy as a gift to say thanks. We hear tell the duo not only had fun and one might relocate to be with the other, but we cats have started a storm of comments by suggesting that it’s just plain rude not to buy a single meal or even show up with a five buck box of chocolates when spending a week in someone’s house. What do readers think? And would you let someone do that to you then turn around and date them?... Speaking of doing, we’d be doing a bad thing were we not to wish get well to two of this column’s good friends: Larry in Louisville and Jeanette in Indy who both landed in hospital with heart attacks in the past couple months. Thank goodness both are alive, well again and back at their normal activities, but it’s all been a wake-up call to our owner Ted who’s lost five pounds and is taking his doctor’s advice seriously to drop 20 more!... Speaking of dropping, remember, readers, that Facebook, texts and other communications not only drop hints but say outright where you are posting from. That word to Jason, who claims he’s been in West Hollywood making pornos, but our sources know for sure he never left Indy because all his posts about being the big guy (if ya know what we mean) on screen were posted from right here at home! You can run, Jason, but you really (in today’s world) cannot hide!... And finally, welcome back long-time manager Chet at Metro in Indianapolis. The boy thought he could “flee” from the grips of Metro, Jim and all his customer-fans, but has been lured back and hopefully this time will not be wandering again. We all adore him! Meow!

Food For Thought
By Ted Fleischaker / Word Publisher
If you’ve had one for awhile in your area this won’t be news, but downtown Indianapolis recently got its first branch of Firehouse Subs at 47 South Illinois Street (the former spot where Einstein Bros. Bagels used to be before they moved to Market Street) and this writer is shocked that they were not as busy as the proverbial house afire when we went in for lunch recently. We actually did find them that good and better than the competition in a downtown neighbourhood which had two Quizno’s (till they both folded), has umpteen mediocre Subways, an “OK” Penn Street, plus a Jimmy John’s and Potbelly, though the latter two are not, strictly speaking “sub shops” in the same vein. The fact is, in this reviewer’s experience, they figured out how to do it right at Firehouse and they seem to be carrying on the tradition as they expand. For those reading outside downtown Indy, there are suburban stores, and there’s one in Louisville, a bunch in Southwest Ohio, plus Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Muncie, Lexington, the Region and elsewhere, but for we downtown dwellers this is new stuff. And good stuff it is. First visit, we had the New York Steamer which, quoting from the menu, is “Corned beef brisket, pastrami, melted provolone, mustard, mayo and Italian dressing.” Keep in mind that in downtown Indianapolis ANYTHING with corned beef or pastrami gets held in pretty high regard because we are the birthplace and home to one of the last remaining Shapiro’s Delicatessens. In fact, the original is just a few blocks from downtown’s Firehouse Subs and has been there since 1905. I hate to say this as I knew the founder’s son, Mort Shapiro, personally and Brian, his son who owns it and carries on the family name as well, but we liked our New York Steamer as well or better than the last corned beef and pastrami we had at Shapiro’s. And at $7.89 the pricing was about a third less. It may not have the homemade rye, but we liked the bread almost as well...and for the money we felt it a better value. We also liked the mix of mustard, mayo and Italian dressing which made what is sometimes a bone dry sandwich a really mouth-wateringly moist treat. Those dining with us had a turkey and cranberry sub with some of what he called “awesome” cranberry spread (and the whole thing comes in at 495 calories if you happen to be watching yours) and the other had a large sweet and spicy meatball sub which looked like something I’d like, but I honestly forgot to ask quick enough to try even a single bite before it was scarfed up! That alone says something for it as the person ordering it has his photo next to the words “picky eater” in the dictionary. I did get to go back the next week and tried the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket (Menu says: “USDA Choice beef brisket smoked for 16+ hours, cheddar, mayo and Sweet Baby Ray’s® BBQ Sauce.”) which was delicious. And that from someone who as a general rule does not like smoked anything, much less BBQ Sauce! But back to the initial visit...we all three opted for the combo platters which included chips and a soft drink (more on that in a second) and the bill for three came in at $31 exactly — again a good percentage less than our last foray at Shapiro’s and still very high quality and a quality which bests that I have found at Penn Station and certainly better than the (I feel) oft-tasteless, mushy stuff at Subway. The restaurant itself is also interesting because we were told they have a crew of painters who visit each location and do the “art” for the walls prior to its opening. That means the downtown location featured Indianapolis firefighters, the Monument, Circle and more from here in town. Finally, about the drinks...they have one of those Coke machines where you can mix this and that, but my recommendation is that you skip the traditionals and go for one no other similar machine has — their very own Firehouse Cherry Limeade, complete with a tray of fresh sliced limes on offer to squeeze into your drink and add some flavour and real fruitiness. We have already gone back for this unique taste and drink, but the food has been way worth return visits as well. Checking the Firehouse website, it says drinks are varied by location, so we hope the one by you (if you are not downtown or in Indianapolis) offers the Limeade. With Spring, Summer and hot days on the way, all we can say is Yum! This restaurant should go over down here like a sixalarm blaze!

By Gossipcats Britain & Sydney

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