The Twin Cities is not only a fine place to live during the summer months, but also a great place to be GLBT—or anything else for that matter. This year alone, we’re celebrating the 15th anniversary of the GLBT Human Rights Act Amendment (signed by a Republican Governor, no less), as well as marking the 30th anniversary of the repeal of the St. Paul gay-rights ordinance (although the one in Minneapolis remained in force).
From the moment you cross the threshold of the Home Studio of Celebrity Portrait Artist Anthony R. Whelihan, you get the feeling that you’re not in Kansas anymore. And it just so happens that a portrait of Judy Garland, There’s No Place Like Home, painted by Whelihan, hangs in the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. He has captured the attention of Art Collectors from around the globe with his brilliant use of color and his ability to tell the story in imagery. Look close, then look again, as what is first seen soon becomes part of another 3-D image.
A polite round of applause, and she takes the stage. Adjusting her glasses, and buttoning the microphone to her blouse, she begins to speak. Doctors, med students, and activists alike lean forward in anticipation.
Robyn Ochs is a major educator, activist, and advocate for bisexual issues. Editor of The Bisexual Research Guide and of Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World, she has taught courses and facilitated workshops ranging from the politics of sexual orientation to transgressing binary categories of sexuality and gender imposed on us by society. In 2004, she married Peg Preble, her longtime life partner, on the first day same-sex marriage became legal in their home state of Massachusetts.
Open Arms of Minnesota started small in 1986. In fact, its first delivery was to only five men battling HIV/AIDS. Originally, the organization had hoped to deliver nutritious meals to people with HIV/AIDS. Now, it does much more, including women undergoing treatment for breast cancer, individuals with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and people with multiple sclerosis in its services.
It dished out more than 31,000 meals, handed out more than 41 tons of food from its Food Shelf, and distributed more than 600 baskets for its annual Holiday Basket Program. That’s all in a year’s work for The Aliveness Project, a community center for people living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.
Children born with variations of sex anatomy historically have been labeled as freaks and hermaphrodites by the medical profession. Genitoplasy, which reshapes the genitals, along with sterilization, have been foisted on such children without their consent. Next-to-no broad dialog whatsoever has taken place on this abuse—or the treatment and rights of intersexed people in general, child or adult.
Clare Housing is one of many priceless organizations in the Twin Cities that serves people living with HIV/AIDS. Its mission is to “provide shelter, services, and compassionate care to adults.”
In 1991, Andrew, my gay significant other, died of AIDS. We met in 1977. During those 14 years, we lived together on and off, and easily passed as a couple to unsuspecting parties. We were drunk together, and then sober together. We ushered one another into adulthood, and frequently gave one another unsolicited fashion and dating advice.
For more than 10 years, local Rainbow Families has served as a steady resource and advocate for GLBT families in the Upper Midwest, but a recent merger with national Family Equality Council could mean considerable change for the organization in years to come. The merger officially was announced at the Rainbow Families Conference on April __, but work behind the scenes had been flourishing for more than a year prior.