Issue 401


Hat Off to Jones

Incredibly, I wouldn’t say that I’m not a big reader, or very open about what I’m experiencing emotionally, but after reading Justin Jones’s new “Through These Eyes” column [“The Once That Never Was,” Lavender, September 24], I can indeed say that he spoke on my behalf. His column has allowed me to actually to take a little time out of my busy day to really think about the journey he describes in his writing. My hat is off to Jones. Bravo!

Damon Mason

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 Unsigned letters will not be published.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

Coming Out At Work

A Demonstration of Pride

Some people have referred to coming out on the job as taking a great leap of faith. I think it’s an exceptional demonstration of both courage and common sense.

For many of us, coming out at work is that point in time when we say to ourselves, “I’m going to stop living my life worrying about what others may think. I have paid my dues, and I deserve to be the real me!” Or perhaps we say, “I need to see where this takes me. I need to live out what I know to be true about myself, and I refuse to hide my truth any longer.” Read the rest of this entry »

Patty Keegan

Jakeeno’s Proprietor Relates Her Experience

Patty Keegan grew up in a family business that was GLBT-friendly. In 1975, her father, Jack Keegan, opened Jakeeno’s, an Italian restaurant, at 3555 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis. In the 1980s, he operated a branch at West 15th Street and LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, which closed after a few years. As well, Jakeeno’s Trattoria is now up the street from the original in the Midtown Global Market at 920 East Lake Street, Minneapolis. Read the rest of this entry »

Queer As Folks

Rexroad Named Family Equality Council Midwest Regional Senior Manager

Melanie Rexroad recently was named Midwest Regional Senior Manager of the Family Equality Council, the nation’s largest organization representing GLBT parents raising children. She was a tutoring program manager for Bolder Options, a nonprofit one-on-one youth mentoring program. She and her spouse, who have 3-year-old twins, moved to Minnesota because of the state’s second-parent adoption law.

Broadway Comes to Minnesota Concert Features Creel

On September 24, at The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, Broadway Comes to Minnesota, a concert celebrating equality for all, featured Gavin Creel, accompanied by Mary Mitchell Campbell. He is an openly-gay twice-Tony-nominated actor, singer, and songwriter. The Human Rights Campaign Minnesota Political Action Committee and the OutFront Minnesota Action Political Action Committee presented the event.

Gleason Affiliates with Residental Mortgage Group, Division of Alerus Financial

Pat Gleason recently affiliated with Residential Mortgage Group, a division of Alerus Financial, offering her customers more options and opportunities. She has been in the mortgage business for nearly 25 years. She handles all types of mortgages for purchasing and refinancing, including regular conventional, FHA, and VA. She has been working with the GLBT community for 20 years.

The Cho Dependent Tour Coming to the State Theatre

On October 15, famed comedian Margaret Cho will bring The Cho Dependent Tour to the State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis. Special guest is John Roberts. She is best-known for her no-holds-barred stand-up routines. She has won awards for her support of GLBT rights. Buy tickets at The official After Party takes place at Tickles bar in Minneapolis.

Hanging Together To Hang Us Separately

I’m appalled by the factionalism, hatred, adherence to party, and religious creed at any cost rampant in the country today.

Crusades seek to “bring America back to its Christian roots”—when the “roots” were whatever gods the autochthons embraced for 10,000 to 12,000 years before the Puritans arrived with scarlet letters, stakes, and smallpox. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Gay News

National News

Federal Judge Orders Military To Reinstate Gay Nurse

US District Judge Ronald B. Leighton ruled that an Air Force nurse, Reserve Major Margaret Witt, who was discharged under the military’s ban on openly gay service members, should be “reinstated at the earliest possible moment.” In his 15-page opinion, he stated that she “was an effective leader…and an integral member of an effective team. Her loss within the squadron resulted in a diminution of the unit’s ability to carry out its mission.” Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering Justin Aaberg

Someone once told a colleague of mine that he stopped listening to my Big Gay News podcast because the stories were always so depressing. I wondered if perhaps he had unrealistic expectations of the word “gay.” Still, I understand his reaction. Clearly, regardless of all the progress over the last generation, the world is still a pretty grim, unwelcome place for GLBT people.

I’m reminded of this fact every morning, as I scour the Internet looking for the day’s top stories. Headlines like “Attackers Sought in Beating of Gay Man,” “Man Charged in Murder of Transgender Woman,” and “Gay Activist Found Beheaded” are the norm. If it’s not a physical assault, it’s often a political or religious one. To say I’ve become somewhat numb over the past few years is an uncomfortably true understatement. I’d like to believe it’s partially an act of self-preservation. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Townsend

Sleep Deprivation Chamber
Through Oct. 10
Penumbra Theatre
270 N. Kent St., St. Paul
(651) 224-3180

Urvashi Vaid writes of “virtual equality” as the illusion of equality for queer folks. Playwrights Adam and Adrienne Kennedy show the racial equivalent in this forceful true-life drama. Lucas Bellamy gives a bravely vulnerable performance as Teddy, a racially-profiled teen of color brutalized by police. Indira Addington as Suzanne, his mother, captures the incredulity of a woman who wrongly thought her middle-class status would shield her family from racism. In an enthralling court scene, a searing Stephen Cartmell as Teddy’s lawyer deliciously exposes an abusive cop ominously portrayed by Carl Atiya Swanson. Read the rest of this entry »

The Page Boy

Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation
Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman
Seal Press

A generation ago, author, playwright, and performance artist Kate Bornstein’s groundbreaking Gender Outlaws gave voice to people whose gender and attitudes had not before found a venue for expression. Now, 15 years later, trans is not unknown, but it and genderqueer continue to proliferate, pushing the boundaries of perceived cultural, social, and sexual “norms.” These 50 pieces include an “Introduction,” “Interlude,” and “Epilogue” by Bornstein and Bergman. The contents range freely and untrammeled through cartoons (“transcension,” by Katie Diamond and Johnny Blazes); essays (“The Manly Art of Pregnancy,” by j wallace); and biography (“Glitter, Glitter, on the Wall, Who’s the Queerest of Them All?,” by local academic and performer Esmé Rodríguez, AKA T. Kupin-Escobar). In short, something will amuse, shock, titillate, please, and instruct any passing reader. As original gender outlaw Bornstein sees it, “People are STARTING from further that I got to when I’d finished writing Gender Outlaw. That’s EXACTLY what I hoped to live to see.”

Let’s Get this Straight: The Ultimate Handbook for Youth with LGBTQ Parents
Tina Fakhrid-Deen with COLAGE
Seal Press

Author Tina Fakhrid-Deen is the first to acknowledge the vital input of her participants, voices from individuals ages 8 to 36. Her “coauthor” is COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere), a national “movement of children, youth, and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) parent(s).” This book is a marvelous tool for anyone—especially children (between 10 and 14 million of them are estimated)—who have at least one gay parent. Fakhrid-Deen herself was such a child. This book has been aimed at ages 10 and up, written throughout at a fourth- or fifth-grade level, though by no means talking down or condescending to the adult reader. Parents are warned that the topics are complex and real. While issues may make LGBTQ adults uncomfortable, they are ones that parents will face with their kids: coming out to them, school bullying, couple breakups, and dealing daily with “being different.” It’s a gutsy, important, useful book.

On Location: A Rita Farmer Mystery
Elizabeth Sims
Minotaur Books

Rita Farmer is on the hunt again with her three favorite men: Daniel, her gay best friend; George Rowe, her PI boyfriend; and Petey, her 6-year-old son. From an innocuous read-through of a bad script in LA’s Griffith Park, she finds herself on a frantic hunt through flooded wilderness in Washington State, searching for her sister, Gina, and her boyfriend, lost on location for the film of said script. Like even bad scripts, life can get complicated. Gina’s boyfriend, Lance, is the brother of the would-be film director, Kenner de Sauvenard. The brothers are heirs to a timber fortune in the very forests of those Northwest wilds. Unknown to all but the perpetrators, however, dirty work is afoot: murder, skullduggery, kidnapping, and dark family secrets that only can be put right by an axe-wielding Rita and her posse—especially the preternaturally savvy Petey. Lance and Kenner’s Mom is a marvelously-drawn, not-so-minor character. Here’s a satisfying page-turner by Lambda Award-winner Sims.

Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade
Justin Spring

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

While Samuel Steward’s name (and pseudonyms) have been known to some, the full scope of his life (1909-1993) only became public knowledge through the happy circumstance of the discovery of his vast trove of papers, memorabilia, and meticulous cataloguing of sexual encounters by author Justin Spring. This “Stud File” might have been only compulsive note-taking had it not included Rudolph Valentino, yet-to-be-stage-named Rock Hudson, Oscar Wilde’s Bosie, and others. In an equally serendipitous moment, Steward earlier had crossed paths with sexual behaviorist Alfred Kinsey, with whom he formed an important friendship, and to whom he devoted many hours of documentation. A brief review like this cannot begin to scratch the surface of Steward’s life, but a reading of Spring’s remarkable book about this indisputably remarkable subject offers a view into not only a life, but also a homosexual one as lived in the 1920s to 1960s. It’s a window into a world we are fortunate to be changing (so far).

Jakeeno’s Serves Fabulous Home-style Italian Cuisine

The history of pizza is almost synonymous with that history of Mediterranean cooking, although the former wasn’t given much thought at first. Flatbread dough with assorted toppings merely was used to test the temperature of an oven. If the pizza baked correctly, then the “real” dishes could be prepared.

Pizza didn’t receive any more epicurean notice until the late-1800s, when Italian immigrants were arriving in droves in the United States. Their newly-popularized dish came with them, and the rest is foodie history. By the mid-1900s, pizza had evolved into a truly American food. Read the rest of this entry »

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