Issue 400


The Aliveness Project Reaches Challenge Grant Goal

An important “challenge grant” opportunity was presented to The Aliveness Project earlier this summer. The $100,000 challenge was matched through a large number of donations received by August 31.

The Aliveness Project is a multiservice community center for men and women living with HIV/AIDS and their family members. Best-known for its hot meals and food shelf at its current facility at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis, the organization also provides integrative therapies, case management, Holiday Baskets, and other support services. Each year, approximately 1,600 individuals benefit from these services, as well as finding a community for building friendships and sharing support with others who are living with this disease. Read the rest of this entry »


Kudos to Bob Jansen

I was pleased to see “that old guy,” Bob Jansen, on your August 13 cover. I met Bob in the mid-1980s while living in Duluth. My son had just come out, and Bob was at the forefront of efforts to pass a human rights ordinance in the city. That measure was voted down in a referendum by the citizens of Duluth. Reflecting back over the decades, I am reminded that social change happens in increments, at times almost imperceptibly. I’m grateful for the audacity, vision, and perseverance of leaders like “that old guy.” Thank you, Bob.

Nancy Wangler

Letters are subject to editing for grammar, punctuation, space, and libel. They should be no more than 300 words. Letters must include name, address, and phone number. Unsigned letters will not be published. Priority will be given to letters that refer to material previously published in Lavender Magazine. Submit letters to Lavender Magazine, Letters to the Editor, 3715 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407; or e-mail

HRC Doesn’t Build Local Capacity

In its August 27 issue, Lavender announced that Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Joe Solmonese would attend this year’s HRC gala. Sorry, but I can’t get excited about Solmonese’s appearance.

Back in the mid-’90s, I was a contributor to HRC. In fact, I was a member of the President’s Circle. (I am not sure if that category of giving even still exists). Read the rest of this entry »

Fahrenheit 451: A Literary Global Warming

Because the First Amendment gives Florida’s Reverend Terry Jones the right to burn Qur’ans, it should, in the same vein, allow me to refer to him and those of his ilk as “bigoted, hate-filled, publicity-seeking scoundrels.”

This was the thought running through my mind as I left on a business trip before September 11, the day the threatened Qur’an burning was to take place. For whatever reasons, Jones did not strike a match, evidently satisfied with the emotions he had whipped up on both sides of the issue from Florida to Afghanistan. Read the rest of this entry »

Queer As Folks

Hailey Performs with Headliner Uh Huh Her at Duluth-Superior Pride Festival

Popular lesbian musician and actress Leisha Hailey performed as part of headliner Uh Huh Her at the Duluth-Superior Pride Festival on September 4 at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth, Minnesota. She played Alice Pieszecki in Showtime’s hit The L Word. In 2005, she founded Marfa Records. She was named the sexiest women in the AfterEllen Hot 100 list compiled by in 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

CARE Act Bodes Ill for Wineries Like Alexis Bailly

Wine Connoisseurs Would Suffer As Well

I have managed to hoard one dusty bottle of wine. I don’t know what type of occasion I am saving it for. That’s not what’s important. This bottle of wine is special. It isn’t available at any liquor store in Minnesota. In fact, the only place you can purchase a bottle is at the Ledson Winery in Sonoma Valley, or online. I stumbled upon this family-run winery last year. I was so impressed by the unique quality of its wines that I immediately bought a case. Read the rest of this entry »

The St. Paul Grill

Celebrates 20 Years of Superlative Cuisine

At first glance, The St. Paul Grill does not seem like an apt choice to feature in a column bearing the name “Off the Eaten Path.” If there were an “eaten path,” this restaurant, after 20 solid years in the heart of Downtown St. Paul’s theater district, is decidedly on it. It has been in business long enough to see children of patrons grow up, and start families of their own. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mighty Mojito

Olivier Azzopardi of The Sofitel Offers Suggestions

The mojito, like any worthy cocktail, has a muddled history, garnished here and there with myth and ne’er-do-wells.

Some believe the mojito is relatively young, perhaps concocted by Cuban slaves in the late 1800s to coincide with the advent of Bacardi rum. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Gay News

Local News

HRC Counters Target Money in Minnesota

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Joe Solmonese told the Associated Press that the organization would donate a total of $150,000 to a Democratic-backed political fund, a Minnesota gay-rights organization, and Democratic candidates in response to Target Corporation’s donation to a group supporting antigay Republican Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Solmonese added that HRC might contribute more in Minnesota, as it sees the state as one of the next to legalize same-sex marriage. He said, “We’ve understood long before the Target situation that Minnesota was poised, as is New York, to be the next state to win marriage equality.” Read the rest of this entry »

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