Issue 367

Queer as Folks

Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus Presents Divas!

To help celebrate Pride Month and the close of its season, Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus (TCGMC) is presenting Divas! In Praise of Gay Men’s Female Icons. That means it’s time to break out the feather boas and sequins for a fabulous night of music and fanboydom. The glamorous gals who became female icons in the gay community include Ethel Merman (“No Business Like Show Business”), Judy Garland (“The Trolley Song”), Carol Channing and Marilyn Monroe (“Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”), Madonna (“Material Girl” and “Vogue”), and Cher (“Believe”). TCGMC will and must celebrate them all! The concerts take place June 26 and 27, 8 PM, at Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota. To get tickets before they all are snatched up, visit <www.tcgmc.org>.

Sibley Bike Depot Supports Community

Sibley Bike Depot, a community not-for-profit bike shop, is a volunteer-run organization whose philosophy is, according to John Carlson, a committed board member, “Change the model, change the outcome.” In the process of shifting the organization to be more community-based, the goal is to make it more participatory, open, and democratic—more accountable and accessible. Based on the doing-it-yourself idea, Sibley has expanded its hours so people can come in to work on their bikes, use tools, and even ask mechanics on hand for help—all free of charge. The shop will have Women and Trans Night every Tuesday, so people who traditionally are marginalized by the bike world can feel totally welcomed. For more information, visit <www.sibleybikedepot.org>.

Fruit Bowl Is Alcohol- and Tobacco-Free

After its success last year, Minnesota Tobacco-free Lavender Communities (MTLC) coalition members Rainbow Health Initiative, Pride Institute, and Neighborhood Involvement Programs are hosting the second annual Fruit Bowl. The only official Twin Cities Pride Kickoff event that is completely alcohol- and tobacco-free, it takes place June 26 at Elsie’s Bowling Center, 720 Marshall Street NE, Minneapolis, promising to be a fun-filled time for all members of the GLBT community. Believing everyone in the GLBT community should get to enjoy Pride, MTLC has created a place for those who do not wish to partake in alcohol- or tobacco-filled events, as well as those in recovery, to celebrate Pride. It is also the perfect place for GLBT families for healthier Pride alternatives around Pride. For more information, e-mail Garrett Boardman at
<garrett.boardman@rainbowhealth.org>, or call (877) 499-7744.

Letters

Clarification Regarding Aruba Same-Sex Marriages

I just wanted to let you know that the article in your May 22 issue on Aruba’s same-sex marriages was misleading. Although Aruba does recognize same-sex marriage performed in The Netherlands, they do not allow legal same-sex marriages to be performed on the island. Read the rest of this entry »

In the Beginning Is the Word

The old adage—“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me”—misses by a mile the harm, sometimes lethal, that names can wreak.

The danger is amplified in these days of instant global communication. Harsh and derogatory words said in one geographical dot in California are broadcast, e-mailed, IMed, and twittered from Paris to Ultima Thule in nanoseconds, the very magnitude creating a kind of received truth to anyone “listening.” The wider they are disseminated, the faster words gain credence—especially among those already inclined to bigotry and hate. Read the rest of this entry »

Passing: Tom Conlow AKA Cherizee Germain 1966-2009

Tom Conlow, 43, died June 5 at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

As Cherizee Germain, Conlow was a popular performer at the Old Rumours/Trikkx in St. Paul. He also participated in fund-raising for the Imperial Court of Minnesota.

On July 12, 6-10 PM, at Innuendo/Rumours, a fund-raiser celebrating Conlow/Germain’s life will take place, with all proceeds going to his family to help with costs related to his final illness.

Preceded in death by his life partner, Michael Spivak, Conlow is survived by his children, Heather, Scott, and Ashley; mother, Beverly Conlow; father, Harold Conlow; sisters, Vicky Diamond, Chris (Bruce) Lind, Pam (Mark Wagner) Conlow; brothers, Rick (Kelli), Dennis (Cheryl); 15 nieces and nephews; and many friends.

Gabberts to the Rescue: Randy Nelson Draws on 35 Years Experience

While an ambitious few easily and flawlessly can revamp their indoor living spaces, the rest of us could use a little help from a friend.

That’s where Randy Nelson comes in. A senior interior designer with Gabberts, he gives us a taste of his decor wisdom, cultivated out of 35 years of practicing, working, and teaching in the field. Read the rest of this entry »

Chafing Under Townhome Association Rules? Try Planting Flowers and Shrubs

Townhomes and their associations often are known for the complex sets of rules residents must follow. From unusual to mundane, the list of rules is as long and varied as the number of associations in existence.

From garbage-can and TV-antenna concealment to restrictions on noise levels and grass height, the sometimes-severe rules are established to maintain a sense of order in the community, and a look of, well, sameness from the outside. Read the rest of this entry »

Landscaping a Small Yard: Five Steps to Success

A summer drive around Lake of the Isles will have you drooling over the beautiful, spacious gardens, lush with summer plant life and hours of dedication. When you lean out the window, visions of sparkling fountains, European sculptures, and oceans of perfectly planted petals tease you with outdoor splendor. Pulling up to your home-sweet-city-home, your average-sized lawn doesn’t appear to hold the potential for such an awe-inspiring landscape, but with the right mind-set, your once-inferior yard can become a cozy yet glorious outdoor extension of your home. Read the rest of this entry »

Speaking with Accents

When considering lawn decorations, it’s probably most constructive to start off negatively. Here’s what lawn decorations aren’t: a means of impressing the neighbors and passersby, and a way to get on the news. Despite their static nature, lawn decorations are closer to representing a journey than to forming a destination. Like every journey, this one is taken step by step. Read the rest of this entry »

The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide Lead Actor Is Pulitzer- and Tony-Winning Playwright Himself: Interview with Michael Cristofer

The Guthrie’s dazzling world premiere of Tony Kushner’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide stars Michael Cristofer. A noted playwright himself, he won a Tony Prize and a Pulitzer Prize for his 1977 The Shadowbox, which includes a gay couple dealing with death. Read the rest of this entry »

Easy Virtue: Priscilla Director Elliot Makes Movie Magic with Master Gay Playwright Coward

Stephan Elliot directed the blockbuster Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which debuted in 1994. Now, after a skiing accident that nearly killed him, he’s back in top form with Easy Virtue, a dreamy new comedy with a sumptuously gay sensibility. His comeback is something great talents wisely do to get grounded again: Go back to the classics, the greats, then channel them, and have them guide you. Read the rest of this entry »

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