Issue 421

Letters

Volleyball Clarification

First off, I want to thank Brian Cheese for mentioning the tennis and volleyball programs GLASS sponsors (“Sports,” Lavender, June 16). It’s good to get the word out to a wider audience.

I wanted to provide some additional information regarding the part of the column about volleyball. GLASS provides pickup volleyball nights year-round, not just fall and winter. We provide four different nights at three different skill levels: Monday Intermediate at MSC at the Midtown YWCA in Minneapolis, and three nights at Sabathani Community Center in Minneapolis—Tuesday Beginner/Rec, Wednesday Advanced, and Thursday Intermediate. Wednesday Advanced is suspended during the summer.

The section regarding the GLBT volleyball league was substantially correct, except for the lead statement that there isn’t one. The league mentioned that’s run through City of Minneapolis (Park and Rec) is a GLBT league.

Brian VanderWaal

GLASS Treasurer

I Heart New York

The venerable Empire State Building was aglow in rainbow lights the night of June 23, as New Yorkers celebrated the signing of the historic Marriage Equality Act.

New York became the sixth—and largest—state to enact same-sex marriage, following Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont, along with the District of Columbia.

On June 26, tens of thousands of Manhattanites bearing rainbow flags and “Thank You Governor Cuomo” posters took to the streets for New York City’s Gay Pride Parade. Read the rest of this entry »

It Takes a Village to Raise a Drag Queen

I imagine the feeling I have following Pride each year is rather similar to the one felt by Santa Claus after Christmas: exhausted, gratified, and grateful to get the heck out of drag for a while.

Wanda was the first and only drag queen in the history of Twin Cities Pride to hand out Fleet Naturals enemas to parade-goers.

This year was no different. It took me an entire week to recuperate, both mentally and physically. My feet still aren’t talking to me. It also took me a week to stop waving and yelling “Happy Pride!” every time I entered a room. Still, I wouldn’t trade being in the parade for all the cheap hair in Thailand. A drag queen just isn’t a drag queen without a parade.

The feeling you get the first few moments your float turns onto Hennepin Avenue is pure, unadulterated magic. Whether or not the tens of thousands of people cheering and celebrating even know who you are, their effervescent joy is intoxicating. The entire experience is practically a blur, as you get lost in wave after wave of undulating adoration. At least that’s how it plays out in my head.

Most importantly, it’s safe to say I would have been just another man in a dress parading down Hennepin Avenue were it not for incredibly talented people like Robb Grier and Wayne Laberda. Additional big thanks to Matt, Adam, all my trolley tramps, Lavender, Twin Cities Trolley, and The Firm. Their hard work and determination prove that it really does take a village to raise a drag queen!

Commentary: It’s Important To Know Our History

The Minneapolis GLBT-plus community’s annual Pride Celebration just ended, and according to recent items in Lavender, it was a time to party!

In Lavender’s Pride Edition (June 2), a column by Justin Jones, (“Sugar & Spice”), recounts a conversation among several 20somethings, as they discuss their plans for Pride: drink, dance, drink, meet new friends, drink, take pictures, drink. Notice a theme?

As I read his article, I felt a twinge of disappointment. Not with Justin. I have met Justin. He is a very nice and likeable young man. So, this is not a criticism of him. Read the rest of this entry »

Glimpses: 421

Hennes Art Company Debuts Identities Explored

On June 24-26, Hennes Art Company in Minneapolis hosted an Opening Weekend Gala for its exhibition Identities Explored: A Celebration of Art from the GLBT Community. Featuring a cornucopia of GLBT artists, it continues through July 30. For more information, visit www.hennesart.com, or call (612) 436-2077.

Stinson Is New OutFront Minnesota Organizing Director

In June, Christopher Stinson joined OutFront Minnesota as Organizing Director. He is proud of his seven years of experience integrating high-volume voter contact with issue organizing and leadership development. He is excited at the prospect of using the same-sex-marriage constitutional amendment to build a permanent proequality majority in Minnesota.

Tangletown Garden and Art

Tour Donates Proceeds to Various Beneficiaries

The Tangletown Gardens Seventh Annual Garden and Art Tour, with the theme “Discovering the Neighborhood,” will showcase contemporary and traditional art by dozens of the region’s finest artists installed for the day throughout a number of stellar private gardens in surrounding South Minneapolis neighborhoods.

As in previous years, Tangletown owners Scott Endres and Dean Engelmann will donate proceeds from the tour to help fund public art, charities, and garden projects throughout the Twin Cities area. Read the rest of this entry »

No Bullies in My Garden

Not unlike junior high school, the garden can be a breeding ground for bullies—plant bullies. If left unchecked, certain plants will take over, making it difficult for neighboring, less-vigorous plants to succeed. Here are a few tips to keep these more vigorous plants in check, while giving the slower-growing and dwarf plants their best chance at success.

Don’t be afraid to prune back suspects throughout the season that seem to be growing a bit too fast, or that don’t seem to understand the rules of cohabitation. Just like the playground, sometimes, bullies need to be put back into their place for the underdogs to succeed in life. Read the rest of this entry »

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Taylor Campione and Kelsi Culpepper, two lesbian women, have always felt at home in Minneapolis. While celebrating Campione’s birthday at a Twins game, the couple was served a harsh reminder that not everyone is comfortable with their relationship.

The women were confronted by a Target Field security guard after they exchanged what Campione called a brief kiss. The guard scolded the women saying, “we don’t play grab-ass in here” and to “adhere to the Ten Commandments” while at the stadium, Campione recalled.

They spoke to the security guard’s manager and Campione said they were unsatisfied with how the manager handled the situation. The couple turned to the media to tell their story. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Gay News

GLBT-Inclusive Immigration Bill Reintroduced in US Senate

The Human Rights Campaign’s Back Story reports that in June, a group of Democratic senators reintroduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011, which includes the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). The bill would allow citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners. Currently, 26 other countries recognize same-sex couples.

Arkansas Paper Omits Partner from Gay Man’s Obituary

Reuters reports that the Batesville Daily Guard newspaper in Arkansas is now considering changing its obituary policy after allegations that it discriminated against a local gay man. Terrence James said the paper omitted his name from the obituary of his partner, John Millican. Oscar Jones, a spokesperson for the paper, said it has a policy of not listing names of unmarried partners, regardless of sexual orientation, in free obituaries. Jones said that since James’s complaint, he has talked with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) about changing the newspaper’s policy. Read the rest of this entry »

Bring Up Same-Sex Marriage

Now that the Fleet-ing fun of another festive Pride has flown by (if you saw what my good friend, Wanda Wisdom, was handing out during the parade, you’d get the joke), the dog days of summer are well under way. You might be relaxing up north at the family cabin; heading off to some far-flung tropical island paradise; or maybe, like me, just sitting in the backyard with a tall glass of iced tea watching your tomatoes blossom.

In your warm and sunny respite, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that we in Minnesota are in the midst of fighting off a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that if you brought the topic up at your next summer barbecue, you’d likely get an ample helping of eye-rolls and hrumphs in response. Still, I hope you will bring it up. Bigots don’t take a holiday, so why should we? Read the rest of this entry »

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