Issue 377


Queer as Folks

Laura Smidzik Leaving Project 515

Project 515 Executive Director Laura Smidzik has decided to step down from her position at the end of 2009 to pursue a career in ministry. She will begin studying at United Theological Seminary in January. She was tapped in 2005 to provide leadership and oversight to the then-new organization, which strives to highlight that 515 Minnesota laws discriminate against the GLBT community. Project 515’s Board of Directors has formed a search committee, and will post the position soon. Board Chair Lee Anderson said, “Project 515’s success over its first years would have been impossible without Laura’s leadership, and we will really miss her. Laura has chosen an exciting new life direction, and we wish her all the best.” Read the rest of this entry »

…But I Know What I Like

Checking out news briefs recently, I found the story of Ceara Sturgis, an openly gay honors high school student in Wesson, Mississippi, just outside Jackson. She made the news when she requested, but was not allowed, to wear a tuxedo for her graduation photo. Only boys are permitted to wear tuxedos. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union is threatening action if Principal Ronald Greer does not reverse that decision. Read the rest of this entry »

Handmade Gift Ideas: Personalizing for That Special Someone

Sometime in the late 1970s, my mother’s friend, Wendy, gifted her a simple, handmade necklace. The leather strap is a bit worn, a bead is missing, and the single feather has seen better days in flight. But three decades later, I proudly am wearing the unique piece of jewelry on a weekly basis. Each time I do, a sea of admirers inquires about the place of purchase. “It was a handmade gift,” I tell them with pride. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Gay News

National News

US Supreme Court Asked To Hear Domestic Partner Case
The US Supreme Court has been asked to rule on whether the people who signed a petition to put Washington state’s everything-but-marriage law to voters this fall should have their names made public, according to the Associated Press. Supporters of the measure want voters to decide if Washington’s law granting marriage benefits to domestic partners should remain in place. Gay-rights and open-government groups sought to make those names public. Ultimately, a federal appeals court decided that Washington’s Secretary of State can release the names and addresses of people who supported calling for a vote. Referendum supporters fear releasing the names will lead to “hostile confrontations from gay-rights supporters.” Justice Anthony Kennedy has ordered the state to file a written response. Read the rest of this entry »

Guthrie Artistic Director Discusses Faith Healer and GLBT Inclusion: An Interview with Joe Dowling

Guthrie Theater Artistic Director Joe Dowling has won the admiration of the GLBT community for his no-nonsense inclusion of GLBT subject matter in programming, overall inclusion of local artists of various sexual orientations and backgrounds, and broad variety of plays of stellar quality. This fall, he is making his American debut as actor after a 21-year hiatus. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Townsend

Judy Garland: Born in a Trunk / Through Nov. 14 / Camp Bar Cabaret Theater, 490 N. Robert St., St. Paul / (651) 290-2290 /

If Greta Grosch can write a sequel to Church Basement Ladies reminiscent of Chekhov, you know damned well she can make magic with Judy Garland. The acclaimed Alicia Renee stars.

Grosch says of Garland, “This woman had the ability to get inside a song—to bring it to life like no one else could. She could find places to get softer than most people—and definitely louder—but there was still always so much behind it. She was always struggling to fit in—to be good enough—and that’s something we can all relate to. We can now look at her, and say she had a chemical imbalance and needed counseling. But instead, she sang. I want to live my life like she sang.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Page Boy

Animal Magnetism: My Life with Creatures Great and Small
Rita Mae Brown
Ballantine Books

Readers of Brown’s Sister Jane and Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries know her passion for animals—great and small. Along with country mayhem, her books are filled with her friends and cohorts: horses, hounds, cats, Corgis, possums, owls, and serpents. In this poignant memoir, the best-selling author, screenwriter, and poet shares with us anecdotes that will resonate with anyone who ever has loved and lost a dear creature. Brown’s clear opinion is, “There’s no such thing as a dumb dog, but God knows there are continents filled with dumb humans.” Raised by Southerners to work hard, play hard, and learn from those around her, she grew up learning to recognize, appreciate, and cherish her four-footed livestock and all wild things. A dedicated foxhunter who feeds and tends to her local foxes, Brown is a woman at home in her own skin and at one with nature. Meet Franklin, Susie Q, Tack, and others in a book well worth reading and gifting. Read the rest of this entry »

Total Transformation: New Brass Rail Lounge Wows GLBT Community

As if the complete remodeling of the Gay 90’s megabar currently under way weren’t a daunting enough project for owner Peter Hafiz, he also recently completed a total transformation of its nearby smaller sibling that he acquired earlier this year. On September 25, he unveiled the awesome new Brass Rail Lounge to the oohs and aahs of appreciative patrons. Read the rest of this entry »

You Are Under My Power… Erotic Hypnosis and BDSM

Focus your attention on the swinging pocket watch. You are getting very sleepy…you are under my power…you will quack like a duck….

That’s what most people think when they hear the word “hypnosis.” But some folks in the leather/BDSM/fetish community are discovering different, and more interesting, uses for hypnosis and trance. Read the rest of this entry »

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