The American Psychological Association (APA

hailed last month’s votes in the U.S. House and
Senate that called for repealing of the military’s
controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
President Barack Obama signed the legislation into
law on December 22. Advanced by former President
Bill Clinton, the discriminatory policy had been in
place since the early 1990s.
“This long-awaited action is an important step
toward allowing gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to
serve openly and honorably in the armed forces,”
said APA President Carol D. Goodheart, EdD.
“Repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will
lift a heavy psychological burden of secrecy from
gay, lesbian and bisexual military personnel.”
Lesbian, gay and bisexual service members
positively contribute to U.S. military efforts around
the world at a time when America’s armed forces
are engaged in various conficts. APA has long
opposed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. This
stance refects the APA Policy Statement on Sexual
Orientation and Military Service, adopted by the
association’s governing Council of Representatives
in July 2004. In this policy statement, APA reaffrmed
its opposition to discrimination based on sexual
orientation and its commitment to disseminating
scientifc knowledge to ameliorate the negative
effects of the current law through training and
The American Psychological Association is the
largest scientifc and professional organization
representing psychology in the United States and
is the world’s largest association of psychologists.
Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of
Lambda Legal, noted that by overturning the
discriminatory military policy, “[O]ur country
lived up to the values that lesbian, gay and
bisexual servicemembers swore to defend. These
members of America’s armed forces have been a
model of dignity and courage as they faced not
only the dangers of military action, but also the
unfair and discriminatory conduct of their own
Lambda Legal and the APA are among the
hundreds of equality-minded organizations that
have worked for many years to reverse the “Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
T h e R e s p e c T e d s o u R c e f o R G L B T N e w s s i N c e J u N e 1 9 9 0
Repealing Military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Policy Will Ease “Heavy Psychological Burden”
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Daniel Mason
(502) 966-5178
4610 Outer Loop
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Voice: (502) 635-5936
FAX: (502) 637-8483
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Family Law • Estate Planning • Professional Small Business
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Attorneys and Counselors at Law
Louisvillian Kera
McLain, the lesbian
heroine of George
Morrison’s critically
acclaimed frst novel,
Out From It All
com), is back – on
Mars in the 82-page
novella Worlds. She
battles harassment,
homophobia and
uncaring bureaucracy
to win a spot on this
historic journey, then
shocks her colleagues
by uncharacteristically breaking the rules, risking
her life to save a seemingly doomed mission.
Life on the Red Planet gives the misft Kera
an unfamiliar yearning for Earth and she heads
home for her greatest adventures yet.
WORLDS is on sale in
louisville at both CarmiChael's
bookstores & Day's expresso
& Coffee bar, 1420 barDstown
roaD. or, to orDer, Call
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jaNUarY 2011 www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM The COMMUNITY LeTTer 3
Kentucky's Statewide
Fairness Coalition was
awarded $50,000 to
promote lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender
(LGBT) equality across the
commonwealth in 2011
by the Tides Foundation’s
State Equality Fund,
a philanthropic
partnership that includes
the Evelyn and Walter
Haas, Jr. Fund, the
Gill Foundation, and
anonymous donors. The
State Equality Fund is
programmatically staffed
on behalf of the donors
by the Gill Foundation’s Movement Building Center.
This marks the State Equality Fund's second year of support for Kentucky's Statewide Fairness Coalition
of equal rights organizations that includes the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, Louisville's
Fairness Campaign, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Kentucky Fairness Alliance, and
Lexington Fairness. The Coalition was awarded $30,000 from the State Equality Fund last year to increase
LGBT awareness and education across Kentucky and to conduct a statewide survey of public opinion on
LGBT-related issues that will be released by the Coalition in January, 2011.
Based on the Coalition's broad scope of work and successful progress in 2010, the State Equality Fund
asked the Coalition to increase their 2011 request for support from $30,000 to $50,000. The Coalition had
initially applied for a three-year, $90,000 grant to span 2010-2012, with $30,000 to be awarded annually
upon approval of progress, work plan, and availability of funds.
The 2011 funds will be used to further the Coalition's "NOH8 in Our State" LGBT education and
awareness campaign across Kentucky.
Large Grant Awarded To Promote quality In Commonwealth
Belle Blossoms May 2009 Cruises
Mother’s Day May 10
Belle Lunch Cruise 2-4pm
Spirit Dinner Cruise 6-8pm
Memorial Day May 25
Belle Picnic Lunch Cruise 12-2pm
In every state served
LETTER, GLBT civil rights
organizations work hard
all year round to promote
equality. These non-proft
groups undoubtedly do their
most important work when
their state’s legislature is in
session. Legislatures in every state of our region will begin their
2011 session in January.
To stay informed on proposed legislation that will ether
promote or threaten equality where you live, be sure to regularly
visit your state’s fairness organization’s website as listed below.
• Kentucky Fairness Alliance:
• Indiana Equality:
• Equality Ohio:
• Equality Illinois:
• Tennessee Equality Project:
• PROMO (Missouri):
According to Chris Hartman of Louisville’s Fairness
Campaign, Wednesday, February 23 is the date that equality
supporters in Kentucky will pay a visit to the State House to
lobby on behalf of GLBT rights.
For information about lobby training in Kentucky visit www. or Outside of Kentucky,
check out your state fairness website for information about
lobby training and the date(s) selected for in person lobbying
of legislators.
State Equality Organizations: Promoting
Fairness In Your State
4 The COMMUNITY LeTTer www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM jaNUarY 2011
Post Offce Box 7842
Louisville, KY 40257
(502) 419-2597
Founded in June 1990 by
Jeffrey Goldsmith &
Humphrey Marshall
Dave VanderPol: (502) 322-4632
With an estimated readership of over 14,000,
THE LETTER is distributed throughout the
seven state region of Kentucky, Indiana,
Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois, & Missouri
Cubbie Britches
Mike Buford
Marie Davis
James Hensley
Margaret Hults
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Eric Jost
Michael Kimmel
Holly Knight
Bryn Marlow
George Morrison
Beth Ann Rubin
Brian Rzepczynski
Ren Scheuerman
Fred Schloemer
David Williams
Hazel Zimmerman
Publication of the name, photograph or
likeness of any person, organization, or
business in articles or advertising in
its companion website is not to be
construed as an indication of the
sexual orientation of such person,
organization or business.
no responsibility for unsolicited
materials submitted for publication.
reserves the right to edit or
reject any advertisement.
© 2011. The Community Letter.
All rights reserved.
Press releases and Regional
Calendar items must be
received no later than
Friday, January 14, 2011.
Advertising reservations must be
received no later than
Friday, January 21, 2011.
All items should be sent to
The U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California heard oral
arguments on December 17 in a lawsuit
fled by Lambda Legal against the Obama
Administration that may have major
implications for the federal Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA).
Lambda Legal and Morrison &
Foerster LLP fled suit against the federal
government earlier this year on behalf of
Karen Golinski, a 19-year employee of
the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Golinski seeks the same spousal health
insurance for her wife, Amy Cunninghis,
that heterosexual employees receive for
their spouses. Golinski and Cunninghis
have been together for 21 years. Golinski
v. U.S. Offce of Personnel Management
(OPM) requests an order directing the
agency to obey prior rulings by the Chief
Judge of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of
Appeals awarding the equal insurance
benefts to Golinski. OPM should rescind
its instruction to Golinski's insurer, Blue
Cross/Blue Shield, not to enroll Golinski's
wife in the family health insurance plan.
"This case could result in the next major
court ruling on the constitutionality
of DOMA," said Jennifer Pizer, Senior
Counsel for Lambda Legal. "This began
as a simple internal personnel matter; the
irony is that the Obama Administration,
through the decisions of OPM and the
Department of Justice to assert DOMA
as an excuse for the discriminatory
treatment of Karen Golinski, has turned
this into a challenge to DOMA itself."
The judge previously asked both sides
to fle additional legal briefs addressing,
among other topics, whether or not
DOMA violates the U.S. Constitution.
Lambda Legal has explained that the
law indeed is unconstitutional because
it discriminates based on sex and
sexual orientation and infringes on the
fundamental right to privacy and respect
for one's family relationships recognized
by the Supreme Court in Lambda Legal's
landmark case, Lawrence v. Texas.
"Judge White, both through his request
for supplementary information during
the briefng process and his questioning at
today's hearing, seems keenly interested
in how the Obama Administration now is
defending DOMA, after having reached
out to block benefts for Karen and Amy,"
said Pizer. "He seemed rightly skeptical of
the government's argument that DOMA
maintains 'consistency' in how the federal
government allocates federal rights
and benefts. Before DOMA, the federal
all legal marriages, no matter what state
issued the license or who married whom.
Now, for the frst time under DOMA, the
government inconsistently distinguishes
among legally
married people,
f a v o r i n g
and ignoring
lesbians and gay
men, and for no
reasons other
than ignorance,
p r e j u d i c e
and anti-
gay religious
"Judge White
also skewered another piece of twisted
logic on OPM's part: that the Executive
Branch agency's duty to negotiate
contracts with insurance plans to cover
federal workers somehow authorizes it
to meddle in and to thwart individual
enrollment decisions ordered by top
managers of a different branch of the
federal government. OPM's facilitation
and support functions go nowhere that
Lambda Legal's Pizer represents
Golinski together with Rita Lin, James
McGuire, Gregory Dresser and Aaron
Jones of Morrison & Foerster LLP. The
case is Golinski v. United States Offce of
Personnel Management and John Berry,
Director of the U.S. Offce of Personnel
Management, in his offcial capacity.
California: Lesbian Couple’s Insurance Case Moves Forward
Jennifer Pizer
According to Vanderbilt University's
student publication, The Hustler, two
former members of the university's Beta
Upsilon Chi chapter say they were asked
to leave the fraternity in recent months
due to violations of the organization’s
policy regarding sexual orientation.
Established in 2003, Beta Upsilon Chi
is a registered religious/spiritual student
organization and a Christian fraternity
on Vanderbilt’s campus.
A former Beta Upsilon Chi brother and
Vanderbilt 2010 alumnus sent an e-mail
message to the Hustler saying that he
was approached last spring by fraternity
president Greg Wigger about his role in
the fraternity. According to this alumnus,
the discussion turned to the issue of his
sexual orientation, and he admitted to
Wigger that he was gay.
According to The Hustler, another
member of the brotherhood left the
fraternity in August of this year for
similar reasons. The former member,
who also wished to remain anonymous,
confrmed that Wigger offered him
a choice to exit the fraternity or face
expulsion after a discussion regarding
his sexual orientation.
Neither the Beta Upsilon Chi
chapter president at Vanderbilt nor the
organization’s national director would
comment on the matter.
The Hustler obtained the fraternity's
Code of Conduct, which states its beliefs
regarding sexuality in the second clause
of the document: “We believe that sex is
a gift of God to be enjoyed only inside
the covenant of marriage between a man
and a woman. Therefore, we will not
condone such activity as homosexuality,
fornication, or adultery. (I Corinthians
6:15-20; Hebrew 13:4).”
As noted on the Vanderbilt's website,
student organizations must abide by
its anti-discriminatory policy, which
states that all student organizations
must “refrain from discriminating
in membership selection, offcer or
adviser appointments, or practices of
organizational activities on the basis of
race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic
origin, age, disability, military service, or
sexual orientation."
Mark Bandas, Vanderbilt associate
provost and dean of students, explained
in an email to Out & About Newspaper
that all student organizations are under
strict instructions from the university, and
could face disciplinary action as a result
of discrimination against members.
"The University has a non-
discrimination policy," he said. "By
registering with the Offce of Student
Organizations and Governance, a student
organization agrees to abide by our
policies. We expect student organizations
operating on our campus to follow
our policies. Student organizations
that violate our policies are subject to
disciplinary action, up to and including
loss of registration.
He added, "Students who believe that
they are victims of discrimination as a
result of being in one of the protected
classifcations are encouraged to fle a
complaint with the Offce of the Dean of
Students. At this point in time we have
not received a formal complaint about
this matter."
Copyright 2011. Out & About
Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission.
Vanderbilt Christian Fraternity Removes Gay Members
[© 2011 Out & About Newspaper. All rights reserved.]
t Our Deadlines Are Always Easy To Find!
You'll fnd them every month right here on page 4.
jaNUarY 2011 www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM The COMMUNITY LeTTer 5
Tuesday, February 8th @ 7:30pm
The Valentine's Episode of GLEE
Will Kurt & Blaine Finally Become A Couple?!?
Sliding Scale Admission: $5.00 - $10.00.
Light Refreshments. Highlands location.
More Information:
As we enter 2011, I’d like to spend some time
For me this past year was about family: chosen and
biological. After eight years in Florida, my adorable baby
niece smiled and brought me home. My family seemed as
excited for my return as I was. I did not fully appreciate
this until I started working as Executive Director of the
Louisville Youth Group (LYG). I’ve been welcomed into
the often-tumultuous life of Kentuckiana’s GLBTQ youth.
Some have little biological family for support. Others, I
learned, have unhealthy chosen-family as an alternative.
Every Friday evening at 7:30 LYG welcomes Louisville’s
queer youth family. We must sadly bid them adieu at
10:30. Without fail, youth arrive early and want to stay late. Without fail, it
breaks our hearts that we must usher them into their vehicles and send silent
prayers for a safe week. Without fail, we wish we could do more.
Then came the deluge of reported gay teen suicides.
Then the YouTube sensation of “It Gets Better” videos. I take issue with
this internet phenomenon. You see, simply saying “It Gets Better” puts the
ownership on the feeble backs of at-risk GLBTQ youth.
For nearly 21 years, Louisville has been progressive to say, “We’re making it
better.” Louisville and the surrounding area have invested in the future of our
GLBT youth for an entire generation. We have been a safe family for many
youth. Yet we must do more.
• We must enact comprehensive anti-bullying policies.
• We must fully fund Louisville Youth Group and other agencies supporting
GLBTQ youth.
• We must lend whatever talents we have to make it better.
In 1990 we joined hands and crossed divides to create LYG. It is time to again
join hands for the next generation. Our humble family thanks you for your time,
your talent and your treasures. We thank you for your belief that it does get
better; because you make it better.
Tax deductable donations may be sent to Louisville Youth Group; Post Offce
Box 406764; Louisville, KY 40204. For more information call (502) 499-4427 or
Providing Safe Space For Queer Youth: A Priority?
Donald Taylor, Jr.
Study: Queer Teens Singled Out For Punishment
Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adolescents are about 40 percent more likely than
other teens to receive punishment at the hands of school authorities, police and the
courts, according to research published in the January 2011 issue of Pediatrics.
The analysis, conducted at Yale University, found that the disparities in punishments
are not explained by differences in misbehavior. Youth who identifed themselves as
LGB actually engaged in less violence than their peers, for example. Nonetheless,
virtually all types of punishments – including school expulsions, arrests, juvenile
convictions, adult convictions and especially police stops – were more frequently
meted out to LGB youth.
For instance, adolescents who self-identifed as LGB were about 50 percent more
likely to be stopped by the police than other teenagers. Teens who reported feelings
of attraction to members of the same sex, regardless of their self-identifcation, were
more likely than other teens to be expelled from school or convicted of crimes as adults.
Girls who labeled themselves as lesbian or bisexual were especially at risk for unequal
treatment: they experienced 50 percent more police stops and reported about twice as
many arrests and convictions as other girls who had engaged in similar behavior.
Although the study did not explore the experiences of transgender youth, anecdotal
reports suggest that they are similarly at risk for excessive punishment.
The study is the frst to document excessive punishment of LGB youth nationwide.
It was based on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and included
approximately 15,000 middle and high school students who were followed for seven
years into early adulthood.
The study collected details on subjects’ sexuality, including feelings of sexual
attraction, sexual relationships and self-labeling as LGB. Participants were also
regarding how frequently they engaged in a variety of misbehaviors ranging in severity
from “lying to parents” to using a weapon.
The study authors hypothesize that the excessive punishments of LGB youth may
refect authorities’ reluctance to consider mitigating factors such as young age or self-
defense in determining punishment for LGB youth. Moreover, they note that LGB
youth frequently encounter homophobia in the education, health care and child welfare
systems, and may therefore fail to receive services offered to other young people.
6 The COMMUNITY LeTTer www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM jaNUarY 2011
The Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)
organization has joined the Gay & Lesbian
Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), to
demand that the New York City Department
of Health and Mental Hygiene pull a
sensationalistic and stigmatizing television
public service announcement aimed at gay
and bisexual men.
The PSA, which is intended to encourage
condom usage among gay and bisexual men,
claims that those with HIV face a higher
risk of bone loss, dementia, and anal cancer.
While older adults living with HIV may be
at greater risk of these conditions, the PSA
creates a grim picture of what it is like to live
with HIV that could further stigmatize HIV/
AIDS, as well as gay and bisexual men.
"We know from our longstanding HIV
prevention work that portraying gay and
bisexual men as dispensing diseases is
counterproductive," said Marjorie Hill, PhD,
GMHC's Chief Executive Offcer. "Studies
have shown that using scare tactics is not
effective. Including gay men's input, while
recognizing their strength and resiliency, in
the creation of HIV prevention education is
effective. Gay men are part of the prevention
solution, not the problem."
Both GLAAD and GMHC have reached
out to the department to demand that the
commercial be pulled and to offer assistance
with framing the conversation around HIV/
AIDS more accurately.
"While it's extremely important that we
continue to educate New Yorkers about
HIV/AIDS prevention, the sensationalized
nature of the commercial, including its
tabloid-like fear tactics, misses the mark in
fairly and accurately representing what it's
like to live with HIV/AIDS," said GLAAD
President Jarrett Barrios. "It's our hope that
the department will work with us to create
a PSA that promotes safety and solutions,
rather than stigma and stereotype."
Government Agency Ad Accused
Of Stigmatizing HIV/AIDS Patients To improve the care for individuals infected with the
hepatitis C virus (HCV), a major health problem and a leading
cause of chronic liver disease around the world, nearly 200
international hepatitis experts have taken an important
step in escalating the introduction of a new class of targeted
therapies for HCV – direct-acting anti-virals (DAAs).
This past month, at a major scientifc meeting entitled
"Advancing HCV Drug Development: A Collaborative
Approach" convened by the Forum for Collaborative HIV
Research, researchers, hepatitis advocates, members of
industry and representatives from the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency
(EMA) created the roadmap for accelerating the development
of DAAs, agreeing that this new class of drugs targeting
specifc hepatitis C virus proteins has the same potential
to improve treatment outcomes for people with HCV as
antiretroviral drugs changed the standard of care in HIV.
Currently, two DAA compounds have advanced into phase
3 development in the United State and European Union, and
many more are in phase 2 trials and likely to advance to phase
3 research in the near future.
“If there was ever a time when we can change the course
of HCV, it is now,” said Veronica Miller, Ph.D., Director of the
Forum. “We are now where we were with HIV more than a
decade ago and can apply many of the lessons learned from
HIV drug development to signifcantly accelerate the progress
in bringing new and better HCV therapies to market.”
DAAs directly attack the ability of the hepatitis C virus
to replicate and can increase the cure rate in certain HCV
patients to between 60 and 70 percent – a major advance
over the 40 percent success rate associated with the currently
recommended treatment for chronic HCV infection, the
combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin.
Although the frst DAAs still require concomitant use with
current HCV medications, these new compounds will shorten
the length of time on pegylated interferon and ribavirin
therapy, which hepatitis specialists noted is often diffcult to
tolerate and has signifcant adverse event profles that limit
treatment in many patients. According to the latest data,
between 15 and 30 percent of HCV patients started on current
HCV therapy are unable to complete the year of treatment
now required because they cannot tolerate the side effects.
Charting the future of HCV drug development, the meeting
participants applied FDA’s new guidance on conducting
clinical trials on DAAs, which was issued in September 2010
in draft form and expected to be fnalized in 2011. According
to Jeffrey S. Murray, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Director of the
Division of Anti-viral Drug Products in FDA’s Center for
Drug Evaluation and Research, the draft guidance follows the
same approach FDA uses in developing HIV and oncology
For early clinical testing, the FDA recognizes that most
if not all DAAs for HCV will be used in combination with
other approved drug and therefore, recommends studies
examining the relationship between the new DAA agent and
both pegylated interferon and ribavirin as well as testing
the combination anti-viral activity. FDA’s draft guidance
also calls for using the results from proof-in-concept trials
(meaning a study in HCV infected patients that demonstrates
initial activity as measured by reductions in the HCV viral
load) to guide dose selection for subsequent Phase 2 trials
in which DAAs are studied for longer durations as part of
a combination regimen. FDA is further encouraging drug
sponsors to design development plans for combinations of
two or more DAAs.
“The good news for the HCV community is that more
drugs are coming,” said Jur Strobos, MD, JD, FACEP, Deputy
Director of the Forum. “The bad news is we don’t know how
to combine them and that is what we need to study.”
Because identifying potential differences among groups
treated with a therapeutic regimen is an important goal of
human studies, the HCV community singled out the under-
representation of women, older people and different ethnic
subgroups in clinical trials as the problem requiring immediate
attention and change at a systemic level. Although there is
a higher prevalence of HCV in men than women, women
metabolize HCV drugs differently and are more affected by
autoimmune diseases, which share similar symptoms with
HCV. Women also are twice as likely as men to suffer from
depression, which is a common side effect of treatment with
HCV medications.
Even more challenging for the HCV community is
increasing the representation of older HCV-infected adults in
HCV clinical trials, even though Baby Boomers constitute the
majority of hepatitis C infections in the United States and are
often less responsive than younger generations to anti-viral
treatment. Compounding the problem, older HCV patients
are more diffcult to treat, due to the increased prevalence of
co-morbid conditions, such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, and
other metabolic conditions that are correlated to chronic liver
Hepatitis C Researchers Focus On Accelerating Development Of Targeted Therapies
(See TargeTed TherapieS,
continued on pg 7)
jaNUarY 2011 www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM The COMMUNITY LeTTer 7
for his many years of hard work on behalf of the
Louisville AIDS Walk and Friend To Friend organization.
Brad's commitment in promoting safe sex and HIV/STD
testing within our community deserves is inspirational!
We thank him for editing our online HIV/AIDS Resources
resources directiory (
Know of a community leader who deserves to be recognized?
Tell us WHO and WHY:
Aging is also strongly associated with
liver fbrosis progression, which means
older HCV patients are likely to have
advanced liver disease and a high risk
for impending liver complications. But
despite this reality, few studies have
examined the age-specifc factors of
chronic HCV infection and the clinical
management of the infection in this
patient population.
Accelerating the development of DAAs
to improve HCV treatment outcomes is
especially warranted now that HCV has
become the most common chronic blood
borne infection in the United States.
According to government estimates,
approximately 4.1 million Americans
are infected with HCV, of whom 60 to
70 percent will develop chronic liver
disease. Currently, almost half of all liver
transplants in the U.S. are performed for
end-stage hepatitis C. Moreover, because
liver disease is one of the leading causes
of death in the U.S., the CDC predicts
that deaths from chronic liver disease
attributed to Hepatitis C will double or
triple over the next 15 to 20 years.
TargeTed TherapieS, cont’d from pg 6
Leaders from
Parents, Families
and Friends of
Lesbians and
Gays (PFLAG)
n a t i o n a l
or ga ni z a t i on
expressed their
sadness at last
month’s passing
of Adele Starr,
a California
mother of a gay son who was the frst
national President and one of the pivotal
fgures in the establishment of the
organization. She was 90 years old at the
time of her death.
“Adele Starr was one of the pioneers of
PFLAG. It is because of her commitment
to organizing the many people who
were working for the common goal of
equality for all into the organization that
we now know as PFLAG that we have
gained the strength, prominence, and
ability to become the voice of parents and
allies united for equality,” said Jody M.
Huckaby, PFLAG National’s Executive
Adele Starr’s involvement with
PFLAG started in 1974 when she and
her husband, Larry, had dinner with
PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford and her
husband, Jules. After a year of working
to encourage attendance, Starr hosted
35 people in her Los Angeles home. This
historic meeting served as the basis for
the West Coast organizing for PFLAG.
In 1981, 31 representatives from PFLAG-
like groups again came together in the
Starr’s home for a two-day meeting
which resulted in the offcial founding of
PFLAG – then the Federation of Parents
and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – as
well as the election of its frst board of
directors. Adele Starr was elected the
frst-ever PFLAG president.
Starr’s den in her Los Angeles
home served as the frst PFLAG
National offce, where she managed
correspondence, provided leadership
for the group which grew to represent
more than 250 chapters across the U.S.,
and organized national conventions to
bring members together to build skills
and improve the organization’s services.
It wasn’t until almost a decade later that
the organization would outgrow Starr’s
den and eventually hire national staff
and open an offcial National Offce in
Washington, D.C.
At a conference to commemorate
PFLAGs 10th Anniversary, Starr
powerfully summarized why she had
taken on the role she did within the
organization, saying, “We did it out of
love and anger and a sense of injustice,
and because we had to tell the world the
truth about our children.”
PFLAG Mourns Death Of Pioneering Member
Adele Starr
Have you seen or heard of the whereabouts
of Marge Jones and Tracy Knight? If so, the
Williams-Nichols Archives would like to
hear from you.
Jones and Knight were the second same-
sex couple in the nation to attempt to obtain
a state marriage license and get married (the
frst was a gay male couple in Minnesota).
When the commonwealth of Kentucky
refused their request in July 1970, they fled
suit. Though they ultimately lost, their case
became the spark that started the LGBT
movement in Kentucky.
If you have any idea where Jones or Knight
is today, please contact David Williams at
(502) 636-0935 or email KyArchives@aol.
Kentucky Archives Seeking Two Lesbians
8 The COMMUNITY LeTTer www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM jaNUarY 2011
It was a long journey, but fnally on
Sunday, December 12th the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
offcially recognized Pastor Jay Wiesner
as a member of the denomination’s
clergy. The “Service of Reception” was
presided over by Bishop Claire Burkat,
ELCA Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod.
The celebration was held at University
Lutheran Church of the Incarnation in
Pastor Wiesner had been ordained
"extraordinarily" in 2004. "Extraordinary"
in this context means the ordination was
outside of the usual practices of the
ELCA. As a result, the ELCA did not
recognize his ordination at the time it
occurred. At this Service of Reception,
the ELCA recognizes that ordination as
valid and acknowledges the ministry
Pastor Wiesner has done over time.
Wiesner completed his seminary
training in 2002, but, because he was in
disagreement with the (then) policy that
imposed celibacy in a life lived without a
partner, he was denied ordination by the
ELCA. In 2004, Bethany Lutheran Church
in Minneapolis, Minnesota, called him as
Pastor of Outreach Ministry and ordained
him, an act of ecclesiastic disobedience
at the time. In September 2008, he was
called by University Lutheran Church of
the Incarnation as pastor, which was also
an act of ecclesiastic disobedience.
His reception onto the roster of clergy
is one of the results of the decisions of
the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly
to eliminate the policy that had since
1989 precluded service as ministers by
those in a lifelong, committed same-
gender relationship. Though not in
such a relationship, Pastor Wiesner
had disagreed with the previous policy
precluding even the possibility of it.
E m i l y
E a s t w o o d ,
Executive Director,
L u t h e r a n s
America, said
"The prophetic
witness of
Bethany Lutheran,
Mi n n e a p o l i s
and University
L u t h e r a n ,
Philadelphia is
coming true. We
give thanks for Jay and the congregations
who courageously called him in the face
of policies precluding his service. We
applaud the Southeast Pennsylvania
Synod and its bishop for their visible
support for the full inclusion of people
of all sexual orientations and gender
identities. While our struggle is not
ended, this day leaves an indelible
exclamation point in history. This day
justice has prevailed, not just for one, but
symbolically for all LGBT people."
Pastor Wiesner said, "This day has
been a long time coming and something
I have been praying for before I was even
ordained in 2004. Both Bethany Lutheran
Church and University Lutheran Church
of the Incarnation have risked their
standing in the greater Church to be a
prophetic witness and for that I am truly
blessed and grateful."
Lutherans Concerned/North America
(LC/NA) embodies, inspires, advocates
and organizes for the acceptance and
full participation of people of all sexual
orientations and gender identities
within the Lutheran communion and its
ecumenical and global partners. LC/NA
is based in St. Paul, Minnesota. www.
Weekend Room
Rates: 50% Discount!
January 7 - March 29, 2011
January 28 - 30
A Weekend For
Leathermen & Admirers
February 11 - 13
We’ll Make Your
Romantic Weekend Perfect!
March 4 - 6
What do you wear to bed?
Show it of at our
Saturday night party!
Six Years After Ordination, Gay Lutheran Pastor Fully
Jay Wiesner
The parents of Tyler Clementi fled court papers last month
to initiate a lawsuit against Rutgers University, where their son
was a freshman at the time of his death this past September.
Clementi committed suicide jumping from the George
Washington Bridge.
Clementi’s parents allege that Rutgers failed to implement
or enforce policies that would have prevented or deterred an
invasion of their son’s privacy. A dormitory roommate and
one other student have been accused of using a hidden video
camera to record Clementi having sex with another male and
then broadcasting it on the Internet. Both students have denied
the allegations and have left campus.
When contacted about the lawsuit by a news organization, a Rutgers spokesman
said that while the institution was sympathetic to the Clementi family, it was not
responsible for the student’s death.
Suicide Victim’s Parents Suing University
Tyler Clementi
This past summer we reported
that department store giant Target’s
had donated $150,000 to an anti-
gay Minnesota politician who had
supported a “Christian ministry” that
had expressed an extremist position of
supporting foreign governments that
executed persons for being gay. All of
this from a company that for many years
has earned high marks with the Human
Rights Campaign for excellent treatment
Target Continues Backing Anti-Gay Politicians
(See TargeT, continued on pg 9)
jaNUarY 2011 www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM The COMMUNITY LeTTer 9
“Harvey Milk spent the last years of his
life fghting not only for rights for gays and
lesbians across the nation, but also against
the idea that the only way to achieve those
rights is to lobby the government and
fnancially support so-called ‘straight allies’.
Harvey believed the best way to secure
our rights was through grassroots action,
coalition building and the election of LGBT
people to offce at all levels of government.
He encouraged people to come out of the
closet and be vocal about who they were and
why they deserved full equality, not partial
equality or crumbs. For the HRC leadership, which still advocates
a piecemeal, wait-and-see approach to try and co-opt and proft
from Harvey’s legacy is an outrage.” – Dustin Lance Black, Oscar-
winning screenwriter of Milk, response to plans announced by the
Human Rights Campaign to turn the late Harvey Milk’s camera
shop into a gift shop that will beneft the organization.
Lance Black
What happens when the gay rights
activists at get their hands on
a dozen or so heterosexual men? The "STR8
AGAINST H8" 2011 Charity Calendar shows
gay-friendly straight guys stripped down
and oiled up looking picture-perfect sexy
for a good cause. The website
sells the 13-month charity calendars online
and also features a behind-the-scenes video
that captures all the sexy shenanigans that
happened during the photo shoot.
"These guys are more than just good-
looking, they are helping out a good cause,"
says director Luke Montgomery. "We loved
every minute of [working with the straight
models] and it shows in the calendar's sexy
photos. Was it awkward at times? You bet! It
was a blast to strip them down and have them
wear nothing but FCKH8 bumper stickers or
piles of pink FCKH8 buttons between their
legs!" He added, "Our FCKH8 fundraising
t-shirts look great but they look even better
coming off these guys!" He notes that his
calendar is "the closest some of us will get to
'date' these guys and it's great knowing that
this is more than just a product, it's a cause
we all need to support."
The calendar can be purchased online
at Check out our main
website ( to
view the behind-the-scenes video that shows
the photo shoot that lead to the calendar.
Calendar sales beneft the Trevor Project,
the American Foundation for Equal Rights,
Equality California, Courage Campaign and
Lambda Legal. is an online "fundraising
merchandise movement" known for it's
F-word-flled viral videos and trendy
fundraising T-shirts. The project has
received kudos from Ellen DeGeneres,
Adam Lambert, Jane Lynch (Glee) and Perez
Hilton. The website's videos have received
over fve million views, sold 40,000 T-shirts
and raised over $250,000 for queer youth
suicide prevention and the fght for marriage
equality. The online activist effort has
garnered over 97,000 Facebook supporters
and 18,000 Twitter followers.
Fund Raising Calendar: Straight Guys Strip In Support Of Gay Equality
of its gay and lesbian employees.
Indeed many GLBT community
members and allies have been
shocked that a company known
for offering domestic partner
benefts to its employees and even
sponsoring Pride events would
stab us in the back by throwing
money into the coffers of anti-gay
Some activists were relieved
when Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel
issued a public apology for
supporting the anti-gay Minnesota
candi dat e
and even
p l e d g e d
to reform
the review
p r o c e s s
for future
p o l i t i c a l
donations. He also promised that
“Target will take a leadership
role in bringing together a
group of companies and partner
organizations for a dialogue
focused on diversity and inclusion
TargeT, cont’d from pg 8
(See TargeT, continued on pg 19)
10 The COMMUNITY LeTTer www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM jaNUarY 2011
Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal)
Journeying Together In Christ
421 South 2nd Street (Downtown)
(502) 587-1354
Sundays: 8:15am (Rite I); 10:00am (Choral Rite II)
Concert & Choral Evensong: 2nd Sundays at 5:00pm
Central Presbyterian Church
Celebrating God’s Wildly Inclusive Love
4th & Kentucky Streets (Old Louisville)
Church School: 9:30am
Sunday Worship: 11:00am (Nursery Provided)
Pastors: D. Mark Baridon & Ann J. Deibert
(502) 587-6935 •
Metropolitan Community Church
ALL People Are Welcome at the Table
1432 Highland Avenue (Louisville)
(502) 587-6225 •
Rev. Dee Dale, Pastor
Sunday Morning Worship: 10:30am
Wednesday Evening Worship: 6:00pm
New Beginnings Church
Defned By FAITH, Not Orientation!
1710 East 10th Street, Jefersonville, IN
Pastor Tracy Patton/ (812) 595-0571
Sunday Worship: 10:30am
Open Door Community Fellowship
Reaching Out to ALL People
3938 Southern Parkway, Louisville
(502) 893-6323 / Pastor Sherry Roby
Sunday: 10:30am & Wednesday: 7:00pm
Tomas Jeferson Unitarian Church
A Welcoming Congregation,
Standing On Te Side Of LOVE!
4936 Brownsboro Road
Louisville, KY 40222
(502) 425-6943 •
Sunday Service: 11:00am
listings are welcome from
congregations throughout the six state
region served by THE COMMUNITY
LETTER. These pre-paid listings are
quite affordable! The cost is $70.00
for six months or $130.00 for one
year. Your congregation's listing
includes location, service and contact
information. These listings always
appear in the front half of each issue
and are also viewable on our main
for no additional charge. Information
write or
call (502) 419-2597.
3rd Sundays
3:00pm. Metro Louisville chapter of Parents, Family &
Friends of Lesbians and Gays. First Lutheran Church,
417 East Broadway. For more information call (502) 233-
1323 or visit
Confdentiality respected.
Every Monday
7:00pm. Movie Mania at Gay & Lesbian Community
Center of Cincinnati, 4119 Hamilton Avenue. Free. For
movie titles click on the icon for the GLBT Calendar
page at
Every Monday
7:00;pm. Dayton Gay Men's Chorus practice at
Eternal Joy Metropolitan Community Church,
2382 Kennedy Avenue. For more information write
Every Tuesday
2:45pm. GLBT Mental Health Issues Support Group at
The Recovery Center, 2340 Auburn Avenue, Cincinnati.
(513) 241-1411.
6:00 - 8:00pm
Louisville Fairness Campaign Volunteer Meet-Up at
2263 Frankfort Avenue. For more information call Kyle
(502) 893-0788 or write
6:30pm. Triangle Martial Arts Association: Tae Kwon Do
training for GLBT community. Beginners & experienced
welcome. For location write:
7:30pm. Women's Tuesday Night Coming Out Group at
Off The Avenue, 1546 Knowlton Street, Cincinnati. (513)
1st & 3rd Thursdays
7:00pm. Gay Men’s Support Group meets at
Metropolitan Community Church of Louisville, 1432
Highland Avenue.
Every 3rd Friday
7:30pm. “Family-Friendly” Coffeehouse at Day’s
Coffee Shop, Bardstown Road at Edenside Avenue in
Louisville. Music and readings, organized by Marie
Davis, cartoonist for THE LETTER.
Wednesdays: January 5 & February 2
7:00pm. Crossport Crossdresser Support Group,
Cincinnati. (513) 919-4850.
January 28 - 30
Onyx Leather Ball at Timberfell Lodge, Greenville, TN.
For details or to make reservations for this or other
upcoming special events visit
Weekend Room Rates: 50% Discount.
Tuesdays: January 11 & February 8
7:00pm. Cincinnati PFLAG meeting. Mount Auburn
Presbyterian Church, 103 William Howard Taft Road.
For more information call (513) 721-7900.
Tuesdays: January 11 & February 8
7:30pm Dayton PFLAG Monthly Meeting. 667
Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Centerville). For more
information call: (937) 640-3333.
Wednesdays: January 19 & February 16
6:30pm. Indy Bi-Versity, confdential discussion group.
For more information, including the meeting location,
Saturdays: January 15 & February 19
8:00pm. Monthly meeting of Sienna, transgender
support group in Louisville. For location leave a
message: (502) 894-1048. For more information about the
group visit
Sundays: February 6 & March 6
3:00pm. Monthly meeting of Owensboro chapter
of Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays. NEW
LOCATION: Journey Fellowship, located at the corner
of Alexander Avenue & 18th Street. For information: or call (270) 929-1399.
February 11 - 13
Valentine’s Day Sweethearts Weekend., Greenville,
TN. For details or to make reservations for this or other
upcoming special events visit
Weekend Room Rates: 50% Discount.
Wednesday, February 23
Fairness Day at the Kentucky Legislature, Frankfort.
For more information visit or
Items of interest to the GLBT community are listed for FREE from non-proft community
organizations, support and social groups. We also publicize events sponsored by businesses and
professionals currently advertising in THE COMMUNITY LETTER.
Please send details at least four weeks in advance of your event. Contact: Dave VanderPol: Be sure type “Regional Calendar” in the subject line of your
Mark England
Selling Louisville's Most DIVERSE Neighborhoods
sponsored by mark england
Tuesday, February 8th @ 7:30pm
THE COMMUNITY LETTER Presents Valentine’s Episode Of GLEE.
Sliding Scale Admission: $5.00 - $10.00. Light Refreshments. Highlands
Location. Come Celebrate Our Favorite Couple: Kurt & Blaine!
jaNUarY 2011 www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM The COMMUNITY LeTTer 11
It took me a while, but I’ve come to
absolutely adore the FOX network’s
musical comedy, Glee. My addiction for
watching it is almost to the level that I
need a 12 Step fellowship to help break
my obsession (“We admitted that we
were powerless over the TV show Glee –
that our impulse to break into song and
dance has become unmanageable.”).
Set in a public high school located
in Ohio, Glee features well-written
gay characters (Kurt and Blaine. along
with the closeted anti-gay bully Dave
Karkofsky). While I defnitely connect
with the gay angle of this show, the great
musical performances, outrageous (and
occasionally edgy) humor and suburb
acting keep me coming back for more.
On a recent episode, acerbic
cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, played
by comedic genius (not to mention out-
and-proud lesbian) Jane Lynch, decided
that it was high time for her to fnd the
love of her life. In a parody on the anti-
gay website, Sue is seen
searching for love on “”.
Unfortunately the faux website only
found one ideal match for Sue Sylvester:
Sue Sylvester! So Sue did what a truly
desperate person could be expected to
do: Sue married Sue ("By the power
vested in me by a website, I hereby
pronounce you Sue and Sue. You may
kiss yourself.").
The scene featuring Sue’s “marriage
for one” was both hilarious and yet – as
a single gay man who isn’t getting any
younger – a little too close for comfort.
While I hope I don’t come across
“desperate” to fnd Mr. Right, the fact
is that a Fleshlight ® is no substitute
for the real thing. It just isn’t fair for
the publisher of a gay newspaper to be
perpetually single! Besides, I’m much
nicer that Sue Sylvester.
So do we have any single “chasers”
(as in “fans of bigger guys”) in the
audience? Yes, I need a chaser: I’ve never
been mistaken for being “height-weight
proportionate”. Specifcally, I’d like to
fnd a date for Valentine’s Day (which is
not that far away). Is this too much to
hope for? Interested guys should write
to chubseekschaser@theletteronline.
To be honest, writing about Glee
and my frustration with singlehood is
a lot easier than sharing my thoughts
and feelings on a topic that has occupied
my consciousness for several weeks: the
hideous nature of a young gay man’s
murder (which included the alleged
sexual abuse of his corpse), that allegedly
took place in an apartment located less
than one block from Louisville’s gay-
friendly Bardstown Road.
“Psycho gays” preying on young gay
men is not a source of pride. It is a source
of shame and utter disgust. I know, a
large number of sexual predators are
heterosexual and that gay men do not
corner the market on inappropriate
sexual behavior. But I still fnd the news
about Andrew Compton’s murder to be
very troubling.
committed to doing what it can to educate
our readers about “playing safe” online
and otherwise, as evidenced by our
regular publication of a feature known
as “Safety Suggestions”. At the same
time, we are a print publication (not a
parent) and we can’t take responsibility
for our reader’s choices.
If you are single, in an open relationship,
or for whatever reason looking to “hook
up”, I beg you to familiarize yourself
with common sense strategies to protect
yourself from potential harm that can
come for cruising for sex (in person and
online). As the title and lyrics of a pop
song from the gay duo Romanovsky &
Phillips advises, “Don’t use your penis…
for a brain.”
A One Woman Wedding & A Hideous Crime –
Going On A Tangent To Make A Serious Point by Dave VanderPol, Executive Editor
Well just as I predicted, you made it. 2011. How does
it feel? Yeah, me too. Ugh. It's my least favorite month
of the year. I am not exactly sure where to start the year
and the weather, not a fan of the snow, is not helping
my get up and get to it attitude.
So, we ended the year with an early snow...or two.
I wonder…just how many snowfakes actually fell on
Louisville last month? And, as you know, with the
snowfakes the fakes always seem to follow.
Flakes. Not the snowfakes, the people fakes.
Yes, for some reason, a lot of my friends have been
talking about their faky friends lately. You know
them. The people you call friends, but the people that
are impossible to plan anything with, rarely, if ever text
you back, cancel plans at the last minute, and always
have some lame excuse about why they could not do at
the last minute, what you had been planning on for the
last month. The friends that are always wanting to get
together every time you see them, but are always short
to deliver when you try to actually plan something
with them. Yeah, I thought you knew them.
So what is the deal with these people? I have no
clue, but I do know I have advised, listened to my real
friends, and have experienced these people frst hand
myself. After careful thought the last month, I have a
solution. It's time to move on. Let them go. Adios.
Later dude.
You only have a fnite amount of time to fll your life
with friends and events that actually mean something
to you. If you have a friend or friends, that for no real
reason, continue to disappoint you, let you down, do not
consider your feelings, give you grief about something,
then do something they claimed to have objected to so
much, move on.
No need to get in a big fght with them. You are
not going to change them. If you notice, most of your
other friends have already observed this about them
anyway. This is probably the real reason they don't and
can't make any real friends themselves. So consider it
a lesson learned. They have taught you how to not
be a good friend. And in life, it is often the lesson of
learning what not to do that is as important as learning
what to do. You can, and will, fnd new friends that
will meet you half way. That can be there for you as
a friend should be. There are plenty of people who
will be glad to be your friend and will follow through,
be considerate and thoughtful of your feelings and
opinions, and not make you feel rejected or lonely or
think something is wrong with you.
So, go forward. Let go of what is not working, keep
what makes you feel good, and the rest will take care of
itself. Besides, it's Winter, and the only fakes you need
to be around are the ones falling from the sky. Happy
new beginnings. Happy January.
Flake Off by Ren Scheuerman
Ren Scheuerman and his partner, Travis
Lay, enjoy living in the luxury of Indian
Hills (Northeast Louisville). where they
enjoy building bridges of understanding
with their neighbors (the vast majority
of which are rumored to heterosexual).
on Glee
Agree or disagree, Dave VanderPol would
love to know your thoughts! Write to
him at or
call (502) 419-2597.
12 The COMMUNITY LeTTer www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM jaNUarY 2011
4033 Taylorsville Road
Louisville, KY 40220
Mobile: (502) 836-1255
FAX: (502) 400-2796
Each Offce Is Independently Owned & Operated
What a difference two years makes.
This time in 2009, we progressives
and liberals were all in thrall to a
new President who we thought was
going to bring much needed change to
Washington by passing fresh new laws
for such things as health care reform. I
myself predicted we'd be seeing a golden
age of gay civil rights legislation.
So it's extremely sad to see what's
Oh, there have been some important
changes of sorts. The economy has
hit bottom and now, thanks in part to
President Obama's efforts, it now looks
to be clawing its way up. The new
health care law contains some marvelous
protections we'd still be waiting on if
the insurance companies had their way.
We've regained some measure of respect
in diplomatic circles.
In our community, we now have a new
federal hate crimes law, which languished
when Republicans controlled Congress
and the White House. The President,
by executive order, has instituted many
other much-needed policies such as
ensuring same-sex lovers can now visit
each other in most hospitals without
But President Obama has one major
disconcerting personal faw which I
don't see changing. His main problem is
he doesn't know how to play poker. I've
heard he actually does enjoy a game or
two after hours in the White House, but
I have to wonder if he's ever won. You
can't hope to be successful if you lay all
your cards on the table before the betting
As in poker, as in politics. At nearly
every turn he's been outmaneuvered
by that political mastermind, our own
Senator Mitch McConnell. Nothing
good has ever come from tangling with
that bastard.
The most stunning example of his
political ineptitude is his refusal to even
consider a public option when the health
care debate got under way in early 2009.
He took it off the table before the debate
began. It could have at least been a
bargaining chip to get a better bill passed.
Even if he were bluffng--everyone knew
he didn't have enough Democratic votes
to support it, at least at frst--that bluff
could have produced a better bill. But
he laid everything on the table before
the game got under way. You can't hope
to get reasonably good laws passed that
There are other examples of the
President's quixotic willingness to
bend over backwards to accommodate
Republican opposition while ignoring
liberal concerns. The worst was his recent
cave-in over tax cuts for the wealthy. As
of this writing, he's proposed extending
them for two more years at a cost of $140
billion to the defcit. The Republicans, of
course, are all for it. So much for their
crap about being defcit hawks. They
have no clothes.
Thankfully, congressional Democrats
are refusing so far to go along. Their
opposition is highly embarrassing
to the President but something I
enthusiastically support. If this country
is really going to be serious about putting
our fnancial house in order, we have to
start somewhere. Unfortunately that
somewhere is not going to be the White
President Obama has risked becoming
unimportant, nay irrelevant, in the last
two years of this term, but you know
what? He has only himself to blame.
And I fnd that very, very sad.
The Self-Destruction Of A Presidency by David Williams
David Williams is the founder of the
Williams-Nichols Institute and the Kentucky
Gay & Lesbian Library and Archives, which
are housed at the University of Louisville’s
Ekstrom Library.
Century 21 Joe Guy Hagan
Publicly Proclaim Your Love This Valentine’s Day!
See pages 16 for information
about placing an affordable
Valentine’s Day Classifed Ad.
jaNUarY 2011 www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM The COMMUNITY LeTTer 13
Is Your Partner A Control Freak? by Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, D.H.S., M.S.W.
Q: My partner and I have been together
for nine years and we have a problem
with control in our relationship. My
partner says that I’m too controlling and
it’s gotten to the point where I feel like I
have to watch everything I say for fear
that he’ll think I’m trying to overpower
him. He says that I try to control how
he thinks and feels in most situations
of his life. I’ve asked him to write down
the areas of his life where he feels I’m
controlling him, but he resists this. I’m
not sure what to do and I’m getting to
the point where I’m questioning whether
this relationship is viable.
A: I’m sorry to hear about the struggles
you’re having with your partner. It’s
going to take the two of you working
together as a team to be able to resolve
the diffculties you’re having, and to view
that as such so you’re not approaching
your disagreements with a “you against
me” attitude that will certainly end up in
a stalemate. I like how you’re trying to be
proactive in your efforts to communicate
and get a dialogue going with him by
suggesting a non-threatening writing
exercise to identify any grievances that
exist, but he may even view this gesture
as “controlling.” The truth is that there is
nothing you will be able to do to get him
to participate in a dialogue with you; we
can’t “make” people do what we want
them to do and only have control over
our own actions. You can try the direct
and assertive route or try and infuence
his behavior through changes in your
own demeanor and actions.
In a relationship, it’s important to
have both an individual and a couple
identity. Too much individual identity
makes a couple feel like roommates as
they live parallel lives but share very little
connection with each other. Too much
couple identity can cause partners to feel
suffocated, smothered, and controlled
and their individual pursuits and needs
can feel stunted. Often times “controlling
behavior” can result from this imbalance
in individual and couple identity and
would be something important to discuss
with your partner as a possible source for
this perception.
Damaged trust and a lack of a sense
of safety and emotional intimacy can also
be a source or symptom of issues with
control. Anxiety, insecurity, and fears of
abandonment/engulfment commonly
underlie efforts to control a partner and
these origins will want to be explored
and healthier outlets for getting those
needs met identifed.
Adding more balance between
activities that are couple-oriented versus
autonomous can be helpful in breaking
this pattern, as well as phrasing demands
as requests and accepting that he has
the right to say “no”, and expressing
gratitudes and appreciations for what
your partner does rather than does not
do can help change the negative climate.
This often takes considerable time
and consistency to help demonstrate
commitment to change to help restore
the trust and feelings of safety.
Expressing and taking responsibility
for your role in the diffculties can also
help break the ice with the accompanying
behavioral changes to make restitution.
It would also be helpful for both of
you to identify the needs you have for
an ideal relationship and use that as a
springboard for creating and working
toward that vision. Through this process,
hidden resentments can be pinpointed
and worked through to contribute to
any healing that may need to take place
for forgiveness and change. It will be
important to understand specifcally
what “controlling behavior” looks like
from his perspective, but if he won’t tell
you directly, try to take stock of times
he became upset in response to certain
behaviors you exhibited and see how you
might go about altering your responses
(as long as it remains true to who you
are) to begin changing his perception of
you in that way.
Hopefully some of these suggestions
will be helpful for you. Depending on
how much damage has occurred in the
relationship, any efforts on your part to
enlist him in attempts to improve the
relationship may be viewed as more
“controlling behavior”, so hopefully
there’s still some “wiggle room” here
for him to see some incentive in trying.
Your softened approach, allowing plenty
of space, and changing the way that you
respond to triggers that typically lead
to confict will be critical in his viewing
you as being serious about his needs
and desire to change the dynamics in
the relationship. Both of you seeing an
individual and a couples therapist might
also help expedite your reconciling a
more fulflling partnership.
add some spice to your sex life? The Gay
Love Doctor recently posted a column on
his website that discusses what it means
to be a “Power Bottom”. Brian’s website
address is
©2008 Brian L. Rzepczynski, All rights
reserved. To sign up for the FREE Gay
Love Coach Newsletter flled with dating
and relationship tips and skills for
gay singles and couples, as well as to
check out current coaching groups,
programs, and teleclasses, visit www.
All Things Transgender by Holly Knight
Welcome to my frst column for THE
and proud to represent the transgender
community. I hope I will add a few
laughs to your day and I am sure I will
add a few tears. But maybe most of all
I hope we get to know each other better
and through that we all become better
I bet your friends are just like
mine (well without the fake eyelashes
possibly). I have friends that I don’t
agree with politically. I have friends
I don’t understand sometimes. My
friends will say things that will hurt me
without even knowing it. They stay my
friends though. We might stop talking a
little while, just to give us a break, but
eventually we get alone again. So if we
all just make new friends, even one, we
all would probably get along a lot better.
So add me as your new friend today to
get things started.
I realize that almost all of you don’t
know me, but I am transgender woman
that isn’t old but certainly not young.
In my “previous” life I was a college
educator and it is my nature to attempt
to teach others. It was easy in the college
setting since most there wanted to learn.
but in all other settings it comes across
sometimes as presumptuous, arrogant
or just annoying. I try to not be any of
these, but I still have the need to teach
and educate and my topic these days is
transgender and all things under that
There are so many unclear things in the
“T World” and even more disagreements.
So from now on let us be at least clear
on this one really controversial word:
transgender. I am not going to quote
dictionaries or encyclopedias but with
research you would fnd what I am going
to say is confrmed. What I mean is that
it isn’t my opinion. A transgender person
is everyone under the gender identity
umbrella. It really means everyone that
has some non-conformity with gender.
It is the person that is born one gender
and expresses him/herself as the other
gender in some manner small or large.
There are names that we use under this
umbrella but the names are so blurring
that it is impossible to even know what
they mean and really there isn’t a lot of
social reason to attempt to “defne” the
other words or groups.
Holly Knight is a transgender
educator and activist. She
is a member of Sienna
( and can
be found on Facebook or
contacted by writing
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For more information call (502) 419-2597 or write
14 The COMMUNITY LeTTer www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM jaNUarY 2011
It has been fve years since Brokeback Mountain
came out and it has proven to have changed the world
in unexpected ways. When Brokeback was released, it
brought along with it the promise of a better landscape
for LGBTQ flms; flms full of realistic characters, fully-
realized sex lives, and substantive storylines. But fve
years later and LGBTQ-themed movies are still confned
to art houses and flm festivals. So what exactly has
Brokeback Mountain was most prominent when
it came to LGBTQ inclusion during awards season.
But since 2005, only one other LGBTQ-centric flm
has garnered the amount of buzz that accompanied
Brokeback, and that is 2008's Milk (and to a lesser extent,
last year’s A Single Man). Personally, I feel that Milk
is a superior flm -- better performances, better story,
and more emotionally charged. But in terms of gay sex,
Milk mirrored Brokeback and mostly neutered its male-
on-male sex scenes. The flm also failed to generate the
box offce revenue that Brokeback did, grossing only
$30 million domestically compared to Brokeback's $83
Last year's queer indie flm, The Kids Are All Right,
is expected to sweep the upcoming awards season.
Although we see a lot of heterosexual sex in this lesbian
marriage drama, the gay sex is confned to under the
sheets; and while it did prove to be fnancially successful,
again, it came nowhere close to recapturing Brokeback's
box offce magic.
This is not to say that the only gauge of an LGBTQ-
themed flm's success is its box offce returns, but despite
three major "successful" gay flms, Hollywood has yet
to produce a mainstream gay flm, big budget and all.
And while American television is littered with LGBTQ
characters, complete with captivating storylines and
emotions, Hollywood has continued to relegate LGBTQ
characters to the role of "sassy best friend" in awful
romantic comedies.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Hollywood intends
to change its course anytime soon. Take the Jim Carrey-
Ewan McGregor comedy, I Love You Phillip Morris.
The flm received rave reviews last year, was distributed
around the world, but could not fnd a distributor in the
US until late 2010 -- mainly because of a graphic gay
sex scene involving Carrey. It fnally hit indie theaters
in December, six months to a year after it was released
in countries around the world.
So why is Hollywood so timid to make LGBTQ
flms? Where is the LGBTQ-equivalent of Tyler Perry?
Although many in the Black community would criticize
Perry's contribution to African-American flm, he has
built an empire on female-centric flms targeting a
specifc segment of the population, namely African-
Americans. As a result, nearly every single one of his
flms has received mediocre reviews but been met with
great box offce success, relying solely on a specifc
segment of the viewing population.
Granted, there is no Tyler Perry-equivalent for
Latino- or Asian- Americans, which is also a shame. But
fve years ago, I was promised that Hollywood would
be more refective of me, my life, and my friends, and it
just isn't so. And while I can turn on Brothers & Sisters
or Desperate Housewives, I am forced to assume that
the famboyantly effeminate character in How to Lose a
Guy in Ten Days is gay and the closest I'm going to get
to a relatable LGBTQ character.
So thanks Brokeback Mountain. I guess.
5 Years Later: Refecting On Brokeback Mountain by Eric Jost
Eric Jost is a freelance writer living in Washington,
DC. His work ranges from frst-person narratives to
commentaries on pop culture and politics. You can
check out more of his work at
are affordable and easy
on the eyes! See page 16.
What Path Calls You?
Controversial rap artist Eminem is scheduled to make a guest appearance on the
hit Fox TV series GLEE this spring. He’ll play character Sue Sylvester’s younger
brother Ted, a stereotypically famboyant gay cheerleading coach.
According to the rumors being spread over the Internet, viewers can expect a
steamy making out scene between Eminem and the show’s main gay character,
Kurt. “It’s going to get steamy,” said Bruce Mathews, a writer for the popular show.
“We’re really trying to push the envelope with this episode. You’re going to need
a cold shower afterwards…especially when you get to see all of Eminem’s tattoos
close up!”
“Eminem has been a fan of Glee from the very beginning,” said Charlotte Rinehart,
Eminem’s personal assistant. She added that he’s “seen every single episode and
sings along to all of the songs…especially to the Broadway show tunes they regularly
An occasional performer with Elton John, Eminem’s guest spot on Glee adds to a
long list of the rapper’s recent accomplishments. His seventh studio album, Recovery,
recently received 10 Grammy nominations, including one for Album of the Year.
Cold Shower Time: Rapper Eminem To Play Gay On Glee
by Hazel Zimmerman
As once noted on a restroom stall at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, “Hazel Zimmerman LOVES
everybody!” (and NOT “DOES everybody” as was widely rumored). When not writing parody news items
for THE LETTERHEAD, you’ll fnd Hazel shopping for value-priced cosmetics at the Clifton-Crescent Hill
jaNUarY 2011 www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM The COMMUNITY LeTTer 15
[EDITOR’S NOTE: This month’s
column includes refections which
some of Dr. Fred’s clients have shared
with him about the state of our world.
All names given are pseudonyms.]
Roy: “I’m almost sixty and I’ve seen
a lot over the years, the Civil Rights and
Women’s Movements, the Vietnam War
protests, the Gasoline Wars and staggering
infation of the 70s; but I don’t think I’ve
ever been more worried than I am right
now about the state of our country.
The media talks incessantly about
the “recession” the country is in, while
corporate profts, especially for oil
companies and Wall Street, have never
been greater. Meanwhile the US has lost
its role as a world superpower due to being
in debt to China and sending most of our
manufacturing jobs overseas, again to
boost big corporations’ profts.
I’m actually glad my parents are
deceased, because it would break their
hearts to know that the country they
fought so hard for has come down to this
sorry state of affairs.”
Tim: “I sometimes think I’m the only gay
man in the country who was at Stonewall
in New York and the demonstrations after
Harvey Milk’s murder in San Francisco.
Those were heady days, for sure, full of
anger, even rage, and a real passion for
justice. Maybe we were naïve but we really
believed we could change the world just
by marching in the streets and protesting
social wrongs. And, you know, I think we
did, in fact, change the world.
I sometimes wonder when that
willingness to fght for what is right went
out of us. Sure, gay people today have
more rights in many ways, but we still face
the same old prejudices and discrimination
in many other ways. Where are the
demonstrators in the streets these days?
I worry that we’re becoming a nation of
sheep, following our leaders without a clue
that they’re leading us to the butcher’s
Alice: “I just heard from the Disability
Determinations Offce that my application
is about to be thrown out because it’s been
over thirty days since I fled it and my doctor
still hasn’t sent them his records. I asked
them what am I supposed to do?! It’s not
my fault my doctor hasn’t responded, why
should I be punished for his negligence?
I have no income, I’m losing my house to
foreclosure and I’ve fled for bankruptcy.
I’ve worked since I was a teenager and
always paid my way … what is a person
like me supposed to do, now that I can’t
work and no one seems to care?”
At this time of year, many of us think
a lot about the year we’ve just come
through, how to pay for all the gifts we
gave at Christmas, or paying our taxes
in the months to come. Maybe we need
to think more about our neighbors and
peers who need our help in various
Fred Schloemer, Ed.D., LCSW is a
Louisville psychotherapist with a practice
specializing in GLBTQ issues. Contact him at
New Year’s Refections by Dr. Fred Schloemer, L.C.S.W.
"Our culture ignores the power of
initiation. Uninitiated boys become lost
men leading unfulflled lives. The male
initiation experience we offer makes a
This was the offcial spiel and I was
skeptical. I'd come to the graduation
ceremony to honor a friend's successful
completion of the male initiation program
offered by a non-proft organization. I
didn't come to be sold a bill of goods.
Then one by one the 30 new initiates
stood to speak. Man after man described
the recent weekend event as the most
powerful experience of his life. I listened
intently. That evening I reserved a space
on the next initiatory weekend, still some
months away. it couldn't come soon
enough for me.
I had a vague notion the venture would
include drumming in the woods. What
else, I didn't know. I didn't care. I wanted
whatever those 30 men had found. I set
out with anticipation.
What I did not anticipate was boot
camp. As soon as I and my fellow initiates
set foot on the wooded site, we were
ordered about, offered no explanations,
extended no sympathy.
We languished in cramped dark
quarters. We were yelled at. One
instructor played good cop; two dozen
more acted bad ass. We received scant
rations, cold showers, little sleep, loud
lectures. One unexpected experience
after another kept us off-balance.
At last, our resistance worn down and
our bodies worn out, we were herded into
a darkened enclosure. We were told to sit
on the concrete foor and keep quiet.
Off in the woods began a distant
drumming, accompanied by men
shouting and chanting in unison. The
noise grew closer, louder, more intense.
It erupted right outside the rusty doors
of the metal hut in which we waited.
Then came a loud rapping. Someone,
something wanted in. I was convinced
that whatever or whoever it was, it held
the power to change my life. My heart
raced. My hands shook. My breath came
in gasps. I thought the top of my head
might lift off. As the chanting reached a
crescendo, the man next to me elbowed
my ribs. I heard his dry voice: "I'm not
buying any of this, are you?" At that
moment, the ribbed steel doors of the hut
were wrenched open.
For me, that whole weekend was tinged
with a sense of possibility, magic—and
déjà vu. In condensed form, it echoed
some of my coming out experiences of
six years earlier.
Coming out remains the watershed
moment of my life, the reckoning point
that divides the B.C. and A.D. of my
existence. It changed the course of my
life. It threw me off-balance and held me
there whilst a deep reordering took place
in my psyche.
I came out at age 34. It remains the
single most scary, painful, destructive,
instructive, exhilarating and wonderful
experience of my life. I will never know
what it is to give birth to a child, but I
will always remember giving birth to
And I will always wonder, 'why did it
take me so long to get there?'
Part of the answer rings in the dry
voice at my elbow. For years it was
my own arid withering self-talk: "You
absolute loser. You sin-sick reprobate of
a worm scudding to hell. You little dog
turd. Don't you know men are supposed
to be attracted to women? Can't you pray
a little harder? Can't you control your
thought life any better than that?"
I admire young people who come out
early. I feel jealous of them. And rather
stupid. How could I not realize I was
gay? How many clues were staring me
in the face? How many chances to come
out earlier did I miss? How many times
did life come roaring up, rapping at my
door, ready to teach me about loving and
accepting myself—and how many times,
unwilling or unable to face my sexual
orientation, did I turn away?
How much life I must have missed out
on! Or maybe not. Maybe the time wasn't
right. Maybe I was not psychically strong
enough to face the truth of my sexual
orientation. Maybe a deep inner wisdom
whispered, "Not yet, not now." Maybe
that wisdom is still at work in me.
Maybe life is forever knocking at my
door, wanting to come in and shake
things up, offer me chances to grow into
more life. Maybe I can trust the process
as it unfolds, take one step at a time,
be gentle with myself even as I honor
my current understanding, knowledge
and awareness. Maybe all of life is one
long initiation into itself. To which I say,
To Life, Hammering At The Door by Bryn Marlow
Bryn Marlow ( lives
with his husband Dave on a 1930s Indiana
farmstead where they raise chickens and
"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option." – Anonymous
16 The COMMUNITY LeTTer www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM jaNUarY 2011
I recently turned 57 and am damned
proud of it. I have my share of wrinkles
and gray hair, but I FEEL youthful and
healthy. I’d like to share some of what
works for me – and my clients – in hopes
it will be useful to you too:
Meditate. It teaches you to listen to your
body, tell yourself the truth about what’s
going on with you and helps you get in
touch with your desires, motivations and
fears. Meditation has been proven to help
relieve stress, decrease chronic pain and
improve sleep…and has recently been
found to slow down cognitive decline.
What’s not to like?
Pay attention to your body, but don’t
obsess! Take care of your health so you
don’t worry unnecessarily. Don’t weigh
yourself too often. Let your clothes be
your guide…if they don’t ft comfortably,
then decide how you’d like to handle that.
Exercise is wonderful, but it only works
in the long run if you fnd something you
enjoy. Try new things and experiment
with combining them. Too much routine
can be deadly: keep yourself interested.
Notice what you eat. Try this Zen
“paying attention” exercise. Only eat
when you are really paying attention to
what you’re eating. For most of us, we
can only eat about 3 bites before we start
to zone out. When that happens, stop
and refocus. Come back to the present
moment: what are you eating? Do you
really taste it? This works particularly
well with desserts. For me, after the frst
3 bites, I’m usually over my “craving”
and can leave the rest alone. This exercise
alone helped me kick an ice cream
Sit still for a minute or two whenever
you can. It’ll calm you down and lower
your blood pressure.
Be a little “goofy”: let go of the
“seriousness” of life. About 5% of
things are seriously important, the other
95% aren”t. Can you laugh at silly things
you do? Try it and watch your blood
pressure drop and that crease in your
forehead disappear.
Cultivate friendships with two-to-
three people who really love you. Two
or three really good friends is all you
really need in life. Do you have someone
you can call at 2AM to take you to the ER,
or someone who will come over ASAP if
your lover dumps you? If not, then you
need to develop a couple of close friends.
It takes time and energy, don’t kid
yourself. Close friendships unfold over
time…but your intention matters: make
an effort to be around people you really
love and see who you grow close to.
When in doubt, try moderation. A little
dessert, one glass of wine, one morning
to lie in bed, one afternoon to do nothing
but read magazines…moderation is a
wonderful thing. Living in the extremes
is exhausting.
Keep exercising your brain. If you keep
doing the same old stuff over-and-over…
no wonder you’re bored. Take a class or
learn a new sport or skill: cultivating new
skills is like aerobics for your self-esteem.
You need new challenges to master to
stay youthful.
If you love your work – don’t retire!
Work part-time or a few hours a week, or
volunteer. You may not need the money,
but your brain needs the stimulation!
Give of yourself. Tthis is the fastest
way out of self-pity (which is terribly
aging). Get out there in the world and
help someone else. You don’t need to
be Mother Theresa to make a difference.
Got an hour a month? Some worthy
organization would love to have you.
Volunteering keeps you youthful:
whether you’re 18 or 80, you need to
be around people. Do something that
makes your heart happy: a happy heart
is a youthful heart.
Keep your brain youthful. Many of
us are highly focused on keeping our
bodies youthful. We spend hundreds of
hours (and dollars) on a youthful body.
But what about our brain? Have we
forgotten about it? Just because we don’t
see it, doesn’t mean it’s not worth our
After reading a great article in The
New York Times, by reporter Roni Rabin,
I am inspired to share with you some
ideas on keeping your brain “youthful”,
healthy and happy.
I enjoy continually learning more about
how our mind and body work. From
what I’ve been reading, neurobiology
researchers are more optimistic than ever
about the potential of our brain to keep
growing and getting “better”, regardless
of our age. Science used to believe that as
we got older, our brain got older (and less
effcient). This isn’t true any more. “For
a long time, we held the assumption that
we’re born with all the nerve cells we’re
ever going to have, and that the brain is
not capable of generating new ones —
that once these cells die we’re unable to
replace them,” said Molly Wagster, chief
of the Neuropsychology of Aging branch
of the National Institute on Aging. “The
birth of new nerve cells, she said, “has
been shown to occur in older adults.”
Neurogenesis is the ability of our brain
to generate new nerve cells, in essence, to
stay youthful, sharp and alert. So, how
can we stimulate neurogenesis in our
dear, beloved brains?
Neurogenesis studies show that
people who do the following things are
more likely to have “younger” brains…
• Stay socially connected,
• Have strong ties to relatives, friends
and community,
• Are physically healthy and physically
active, and
•Engage in stimulating and/or
intellectually challenging activities
The big question – according to
scientists - is whether these folks have
Youthfulness & Your Mental Health by Michael Kimmel, MA, MSW, LCSW
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Up to 40 words for $15.00, 41 – 75
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(See LiFe BeYONd TherapY,
continued on pg 17)
On our main website,, and in our February 2011 hardcopy
issue we’ll again feature Valentine Ads. 100% of the money raised from these ads will be
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Place a Valentine's Day ad for those you love – spouse, family, friends and the process
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jaNUarY 2011 www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM The COMMUNITY LeTTer 17
younger brains because they engage in the
kind of life described above, or whether
they are able to have this kind of life
because they have younger brains. “We
don’t know whether this is an example of
reverse causation or not — it’s probably
a two-way street,” said Bruce S. McEwen,
who heads the neuroendocrinology lab
at Rockefeller University in New York.
But some interventional studies that
have introduced older adults to exercise
regimens alone have reported remarkable
results. Researchers at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recruited a
group of sedentary adults, assigning half
of them to an aerobic exercise program
that met three times a week, while a
control group did anaerobic stretching
and toning.
The scientists measured the
group’s cognitive function (i.e., brain
“youthfulness”) before and after the six-
month program and found improvements
among those who had done the aerobic
exercise. “Six months of exercise will
buy you a 15 to 20 percent improvement
in memory, decision-making ability
and attention,” said Arthur F. Kramer, a
professor of psychology at the University
of Illinois. “It will also buy you increases
in the volume of various brain regions
in the prefrontal and temporal cortex,
and more effcient neuronetworks.”
Translation: your brain stays more
youthful, your focus sharper and your
memory more accurate…you have the
capacity to make better, quicker and
more logical decisions and you feel less
“foggy”. This is great stuff folks!
There is major consensus among
scientists on recommendations for what
we can do to keep our brains as youthful
as our trim, toned bodies. For example:
• Engage in regular physical activity.
It increases blood fow to the brain and
stimulates the production of hormones
and nerve growth factors involved in
• Seek out stimulation through
interesting work, volunteer opportunities
or continuing education.
• Travel, read, take up a new language
or learn to play a musical instrument.
This may be the perfect time to take
piano lessons or study Spanish again.
Your brain will thank you!
• Manage your stress: “Chronic
stress can lead to the rewiring of areas of
the brain that are involved in emotion,
memory and decision-making,” Dr.
McEwen said, “and the brain becomes
more biased toward more anxiety, more
depression, less fexibility in terms of
decision-making and becomes less able
to store information.”
• Eat a Mediterranean-style diet,
including fsh and nuts containing
omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant-rich
fruits and vegetables, olive oil and
possibly some red wine. (Blueberries are
also recommended.)
• Minimize your risk of head injuries:
wear a helmet on a bicycle, skateboard or
motorcycle and avoid playing games like
football (yep, that’s what they said).
• Stay away from pesticides and
insecticides; they contain neurotoxins.
• Do not drink excessively (enough
• “Maintain fexible attitudes and be
willing to try new things,” said Warner
Schaie, who in 1956 started the Seattle
Longitudinal Study, which follows
the psychological development of
participants through adulthood. “You
have to expect things will shift over
time…those who manage to roll with the
punches, and enjoy change rather than
fghting it, tend to do well.”
And there you have it…now you can
keep your beautiful brain as happy and
healthy as your beautiful body. May you
enjoy them both.
LIcensed Psychotherapist
Micheal Kimmel is a native of
Ohio and former resident of
Louisville. He offers individual
and couple therapy from his
practice in San Diego. For
more information about his
counseling practice visit www.
LiFe BeYONd TherapY, cont’d from pg 16
18 The COMMUNITY LeTTer www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM jaNUarY 2011
[The Bard's Town; 1801 Bardstown
Road, Louisville,
KY 40205. (502) 749-5275.
The building located at the corner of
Speed Avenue and Bardstown Road has
played host to a number of restaurants
over the years, yet none has left a lasting
impression. Its latest occupant has
emerged with a unique combination of
both restaurant and theater. The recently
opened, The Bard’s Town, offers a varied
menu with affordable prices and the
added bonus of live entertainment.
We visited the home of the Bard on a
recent Saturday and were able to get a
table near the stage. The restaurant is
divided into two rooms, the frst being
the bar area which also has tables and
booths and the second room with more
tables and the stage. The area around the
stage is cleared for seats set up prior to the
performance for those who are only there
for cocktails and easy listening.
Coming soon the restaurant will have
a theater on the second foor with seating
for 70 with food and drink service. The
intent is to initially present works by
Kentucky playwrights. The atmosphere
is convivial yet a bit on the loud side. It
was also quite dark which made reading
the menu somewhat diffcult.
The Bard’s Town’s menu offerings
play off of many of Shakespeare’s works
with such entrees as The Taming of the
Stew, the Filet-de MacBeth and Falstaff’s
Famous Falafel. Somehow I cannot
picture a man of Falstaff’s girth as being
partial to falafel, but it’s a clever play on
the name.
Although the restaurant may view
Shakespeare as its muse, the food
is defnitely not British. Rather, it
encompasses cuisine from different parts
of the world. This is evident from the
frst part of the menu. While enjoying
our drinks, we decided to start with an
appetizer, or “prologue” as the restaurant
names it. The list of starters include a
combo Scotch/Italian Egg, Chicken Satay
and Empanadas, all priced at $6.99. We
ordered the Billy’s Cheese, also $6.99. We
savored the favorful cheese spread with
was served with soft pretzel bread.
You can choose from something as
simple as the Tabard Inn which is basically
a grilled chicken sandwich ($8.99) to the
more complex Veggie Tower of London
which consists of Puff Pastry, Goat Cheese,
Marinara and Grilled Veggies ($14.99).
Our tastes ran towards the simple entrees
that evening. One dining companion
opted for the Bard Burger ($8.99) which
included cheese and bacon along with
the usual suspects. She chose the Merry
Fries of Windsor as her side. This friend
considers herself a burger critic and rarely
fnds one up to snuff. However, she ate
up this burger and found the fries to be
crispy and favorful. Another dining
partner selected the Carmen which was
a homemade Italian Sausage sandwich
($10.99). He also had fries on the side.
He thought the sausage was savory with
just enough bite to make it enjoyable.
The sandwich came with lettuce, cherry
tomatoes, olive and a zesty dressing.
I decided to enjoy two smaller plates
so as to sample more off the menu and
ordered the Roast Tomato Bisque ($3.49
cup) and the Front of the House Salad
($6.99). The bisque was a winner. The
roasted tomatoes enhanced the depth of
the soup’s favor and the grilled corn on
top added that subtle crunch. I found the
salad also quite tasty and the delicious
strawberry-balsamic vinaigrette in which
the greens were tossed was the perfect
My main concern about our meal was
the service. It was appalling. Our waiter
was very friendly but mostly absent. We
waited an eternity for our drinks and then
for our appetizer. In fact the couple at the
next table were seated after us, ordered
after us and received their appetizer
(also Billy’s cheese) before we did. After
another marathon wait, we got our main
dishes. The people at the table next to
us had to go to the bar just to order their
drinks since our waiter was nowhere to
be found. And the hardest part of waiting
was that I couldn’t even order another
drink to pass the time!
I have serious reservations about
returning to The Bard’s Town only
because of the service, but perhaps that
evening was an exception. It would only
be fair to give it another chance.
So if you’re up for some exciting food
options and live music or comedy, give
the Bard’s Town a try. You can check
out the entertainment on the restaurant’s
website. Just be prepared to wait for your
food if you are seated at a four top table
near the stage.
Beth Ann Rubin
has been reviewing
restaurants for THE
LETTER for nearly
four years. A Chicago
native, Beth Ann and
her family live just
south of Louisville's
Highlands neighborhood. A talented cook in
her own right, over the years her baked goods
have earned her numerous awards at the
Kentucky State Fair.
In this romantic comedy, a favorite at many flm festivals, director Douglas Langway (Eduardo Cemano)
and co-writer Lawrence Ferber, viewers are given an insider pass to a burly, tight-knit group of New York
City friends who are trying to make it through life’s twisted paths and love’s absurdities without getting lost.
When twinkie newbie and closet bear chaser Tyler (Joe Conti) joins the gang, he has no idea the impact his
new friends will have on his life. Invited to move in with the group's very own “Yogi and Boo Boo,” Fred
(Brian Keane) and Brent (Stephen Guarino), Tyler becomes a fast staple.
As in any good romantic comedy, our hot young lead needs a love interest; insert Roger (Gerald McCullouch)
the hot Casanova of muscle bears. The flm oozes with sexual tension. It spills over with comic relief added by
full-of-heart, “Mama-Bear” Michael (Gregory Gunter), BearCity is a prime cut of movie-beef.
From society’s pressure to ft into a mold, to the trials and tribulations of a long-term relationship, rediscover
the importance of true friendship in your life. A great story, a sexy cast, and a feel good ending will have you
WOOFing with excitement!
As of press time BearCity had not yet arrived at Wild & Woolly Video, 1021 Bardstown Road in Louisville.
So be sure to call ahead to verify availability: (502) 473-0969.
Excellent Food . . . If You Have The Time by Beth Ann Rubin
The Bard’s Town offers a menu inspired
by the works of Shakespeare.
jaNUarY 2011 www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM The COMMUNITY LeTTer 19
KISSES by Marie Davis is sponsored by Highland Chiropractic | Dr. Charles Copeland, DC
To request your frst appointment with Dr. Copeland, visit
Marie Davis is an internationally syndicated cartoonist. Her lesbian cartoon strip is published in fve languages. Her frst novel, Hey Diddle Diddle — for Lesbians
and Other Grownups, can be purchased through Her e-mail address is
in the workplace, including GLBT
Yet an investigative piece posted
on The Awl website (www.theawl.
com) last month reveals that Target
donated to not one, but to many
anti-gay candidates during the 2010
election cycle. In addition to the
$150,000 donation noted previously,
of the $41,200 donated by Target’s
Political Action Committee, federal
government reports show that less
than one-fourth ($10,000) went to
support fairness-friendly candidates
and political action committees,
while the rest of the money went to
candidates who openly oppose a pro-
equality agenda.
Many activists continue to boycott
Target, demanding that department
store giant match it’s inclusive
personnel polices and fnancial support
of Pride events with a policy of never
again funding anti-gay politicians
and political action committees that
oppose equality.
TargeT, cont’d from pg 9
He Can't Be THAT Old!
Executive Editor Dave VanderPol will be
celebrating his CENSORED birthday on
Sunday, January 16th!
Like fne wine and cheese, Dave just keeps
getting better with age!
20 The COMMUNITY LeTTer www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM jaNUarY 2011

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