Issue 396


OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Johnson Steps Down

Meyer Becomes Interim Executive Director

At the end of July, OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Amy Johnson is stepping down from the position she took over in January 2009. She was instrumental in guiding the organization through a challenging economic environment. An attorney in private practice before assuming leadership of OutFront Minnesota, she came to it with a long track record of volunteer service with other Twin Cites GLBT groups. Read the rest of this entry »

Queer As Folks

Fantasy Gifts Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Fantasy Gifts is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In 1980, Bob and Marlene Bertino established the business with a now-defunct store on what is now Block E in Minneapolis. Under the aegis of their daughter, Colleen Bertino, Fantasy Gifts now has nine stores in the Twin Cities metro and one in St. Cloud. Visit Read the rest of this entry »


Boycott Saloon?

I have read both articles in the June 18 Lavender related to the Reverend Tom Brock. I have also read writer John Townsend’s response to the Star Tribune article, and all the letters to the editor in the July 16 Lavender. I am incredulous. Perhaps that is a feeling that goes along with my “disorder.” Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve Got To Be Taught Carefully

“God hates….” Basically, if you listen to Reverend Fred Phelps, God hates anyone and everyone who isn’t a member of the minister’s extended-family Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) congregation. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Gay News

Local News

Catholic School President Caught in Public Sex Sting

Joseph M. Peschges, the 63-year-old President of St. Hill Murray Catholic High School in St. Paul, was arrested recently after allegedly fondling an undercover police officer in the parking lot of Crosby Farm Regional Park. He was booked on suspicion of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. St. Paul Police say they conducted the sting after a “high number of complaints from citizens of men engaged in lewd sexual acts with other men in the park.” A spokesman for the school confirmed that Peschges was relieved of his duties as President. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Townsend

The Mystery of Irma Vep
Through Aug. 1
Jungle Theater
2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls.
(612) 822-7063

This gloriously camp sensation, with Bradley Greenwald and Steven Epp, originated within a countercultural surge that expanded theatrical crossgender acceptance. Writing his 1984 hit gothic horror spoof for Ridiculous Theatre, Charles Ludlam (1943-1987) coacted with his life partner, Everett Quinton. It beckoned an era of theatrical genderbending that crystallized in the 1990s, and that now permeates nationwide. In 1984, crossdressing was seen as a ghettoized gay stereotype. Since then, out gays have stopped cringing, and the smart straight mainstream gets that crossdressing isn’t necessarily “gay.” To obtain rights to perform Irma Vep, actors must be of the same gender. It shows how a tiny off-Off Broadway production was a vital player in social change. Read the rest of this entry »

Lauding Leather Life

Interview with Steve Lenius

Esteemed Lavender “Leather Life” columnist Steve Lenius’s recently published Life, Leather and the Pursuit of Happiness: Life, History and Culture in the Leather/BDSM/Fetish Community gathers writings from 15 years of leather lore.

Lavender spoke with Lenius about this stellar achievement. Read the rest of this entry »

Imperial Court of Minnesota Hosts Coronation XIX

Founded in 1992, the Imperial Court of Minnesota (ICOM) is a chapter of the International Court System, established in 1965 in San Francisco by Empress José Sarria, the first openly gay person to run for public office in the United States.

Over the past two decades, ICOM, primarily a fund-raising organization, has brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for myriad local charities such as The Aliveness Project, as well as national ones like the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Read the rest of this entry »

Children: A Cautionary Tale

Although I have no desire to have children myself, I often have fantasized about getting involved with a single mother. Being a stepmother seemed to have all the benefits of motherhood without the hassles. You’d be the kid’s fun, cool friend; the person they’d turn to when they needed someone to talk some sense into their mother; and the adult who let them sneak sips of beer, and winked in commiseration when they needed money to buy condoms. Read the rest of this entry »

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