Issue 422

Wanda’s Secret Boudoir Photo Session with the Sexy Sailors.

Check out Wanda’s secret boudoir photos of the sexy sailors from the Guthrie’s performance of the H.M.S. Pinafore!

H.M.S. WANDAFORE Photo Shoot

Check out the photos you didn’t get to see in the magazine.


A few years ago, Sarah and Rich Piepenburg stumbled upon a store in Chicago that sold gourmet olive oils. Since the couple loved going to California’s wine country and sampling various vineyards’ products—including vinegars and olive oils—they were inspired to bring that experience to the Twin Cities. Since they opened up shop in 2009 on 5006 Xerxes Avenue S in Minneapolis, a number of similar stores have sprouted up throughout the greater Twin Cities area. However, if you’re looking for unique olive oils and vinegars from small family growers around the world, as opposed to products from just one large company, your best bet is probably Vinaigrette. Read the rest of this entry »

From the Editor: Beginnings

It’s 4:45am, the morning of my first photo shoot for a cover feature as the Managing Editor of Lavender Magazine. Lavender, the same magazine I can recall from my first year in college in black and purplish newsprint that’s grown into the lasting voice of the GLBT community in the region. Lavender, the magazine I’ve watched mature and become more colorful and full of content whether in times of feast or famine—the one that remains free to its community, in both print and digital formats. Lavender, the magazine that carries with it the hopes and dreams of my bleeding heart, shouldering the heavy weight of representing a multi-faceted community while requiring doses of business and whimsy as well. Read the rest of this entry »

NY: No Rights or Rites Have Been Harmed

Mike Gillis’s (KLAY AM; 1180 Tacoma), recent blog title, “Christian Privilege: Not Being Allowed to Dominate Others Doesn’t Mean You’re Being Oppressed” goes to the heart of the gay marriage matter.

The recent decision in New York to let same sex partners marry legally does not signal a new era where gays and lesbians have “more” rights than heterosexuals, merely that they have the same rights–though not, as yet, under Federal law–as their fellow citizens to choose a life partner and assume the privileges and burdens as their straight married neighbors. Read the rest of this entry »

Glimpses: 422

Duran Elected Minnesota State Bar Association Treasurer

July 2011: Phil Duran, Legal Director of OutFront Minnesota and staff attorney for Management Assistance Program (MAP) for Nonprofits, was elected Treasurer of the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA). Duran’s extensive experience advocating a variety of diversity issues includes the MSBA’s 2010 endorsement of a marriage-equality resolution.

Gen Silent Film brings GLBT Aging Issues into the Open

Gen Silent is the new GLBT documentary from award-winning director and documentary filmmaker Stu Maddux that asks six GLBT seniors if they will hide their lives to survive. Screening at St. Anthony Main Theatre at 7:00 pm on August 11, the film will be followed by a panel discussion at 8:00pm and a social hour at Wilde Roast Café at 8:30pm. Presented by Rainbow Health Initiative, register to attend at

What I Write

Some people think I don’t write enough about “happy” things.??Don’t get me wrong. There’s a shitload of stuff to be happy about- for you and me, much more than we let on. ??You and I were born into the Bright–into lives where what we consider “basic” is luxury to too many others, and because we were born this way, we know these luxuries as expectations. They come standard.

Look at yourself. You’re safe. You’re literate. You probably aren’t worried about where your next meal’s coming from. You have a decent life, friends who love you, and the freedom of ambition. Much of the world cannot say these things.??Yet, with all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for, we hardly bask in life’s brightness. Pain for us comes on another plane. Worries like “safety” and “hunger” are replaced with “insecurities” and “debt.” Our pain isn’t unwarranted or irresponsible; it’s real. It’s just different.??Every so often, a self-help book or motivational speaker comes along and reminds us of this truth, and to count our blessings. When they do, we feel good… we feel damn good. How long does that last, though??? Read the rest of this entry »

Ms. Behavior©: Queeny Son?

Dear Ms. Behavior:

My partner and I are two proud, masculine, gay men. We are socially and economically successful in the straight world. We’ve been together for a decade, and are raising a son together, who is now eight years old. We haven’t wanted Jeff to grow up in a gay ghetto, so we’ve exposed him to a broad range of people and activities, including sports and stock-car racing.

In the last year or so, Jeff has become quite nellie. He flounces, he lisps, he wears scarves on his head, and he watches “Mommie Dearest” over and over. We found a copy of “Oprah Magazine” under his pillow. He asked for a formal tea set for his birthday. Plus, we’ve heard him make his favorite Barbie doll sing the theme song to “Cats.” Jeff is a sweet, wonderful child, but we don’t understand why he’s so queeny; neither one of us is effeminate.

This feminine behavior is not offensive to us, but we’ve tried so hard to provide a loving neutral environment for our son, and we worry that outsiders will think that we’re teaching Jeff to be gay. What should we do?

—S and R

Dear S and R:

If your son showed more masculine signs of being gay (like asking for chaps for Christmas, and hiding copies of “Honcho” under his pillow), you would feel more comfortable, since his queerness would be more closeted. But trying to force him, however subtly, to be the kind of queer you find acceptable will do nothing positive for your little nellie’s self-esteem.

You can try to beat the boy into butchness, send him to a military school where they’ll do it for you, or confine him to his room every time he acts faggy. Or, you can do what the best straight parents ultimately do: accept the fact that you have a lovely poofter for a son, and be grateful for his creativity, sensitivity, and sense of style.

Don’t worry what “outsiders” think; the ones prone to judging you will do so regardless of what you do or how Jeff acts. And the loving ones will remain that way whether or not your son is a sissy.

Buy Jeff a tea set for his birthday. And throw in few pretty scarves, just to show him how much you love him.

Dear Ms. Behavior:

For the past three years I’ve been in my first lesbian relationship. I enjoy her, but she wants to make love more than I do and she feels that I do not want her like she wants me. I love this woman! But now I worry that maybe I am undersexed or inhibited. Everything else between us is good.

In a previous relationship with a man, I also didn’t feel passionate, but I stayed with him because I loved him.

I do want her, but not with the frequency or passion she needs and wants. When we have sex (about once a week) it is intense and exciting. Some negative factors influence our lives together, which affect me. But should those other problems reduce my passion? It doesn’t take hers away. If I really loved her, would I want to make love more to her?


Dear Confused:

First you say “I love this woman!” Then you wonder if deeper love would make you feel more passionate, even though your tepid response is not specific to this relationship. Does the obstacle to your passion feel

physical? Emotional? You say that “negative factors” influence your lives together. This could mean that your mother lives with you, you’re broke, the cat pees on the bed, or you have a chronic yeast infection.

You seem to have trouble identifying your feelings, or at least being honest about them. Therapy may help, but you should also rule out a physical problem. If you do nothing, you may lose your relationship, in which case Ms. Behavior would bet that lukewarm sex follows you like a bad dream to the next one. Or, to be less dramatic about it, you may find that you just have a low libido.

But if you are indeed capable of erotic ecstasy, then mediocre sex is a big drag. Ms. Behavior would suggest that you try everything — psychotherapy, an exorcism, prayer, pelvic exercises. This is not just to please your girlfriend, but so that you can see how magnificent unbridled passion will feel to you. Even if it’s just for a moment or two.

Scissor Sex

“What the hell are they doing?” my girlfriend asked, taking a long sip of her strong drink and squinting at the TV.

“I think they’re having sex,” I said. We were watching the latest episode of The Real L Word, a completely unnecessary reality epilog to the equally unnecessary fictional series that ended a couple years ago. I refuse to watch this program without getting drunk. We tried watching it sober once, and turned it off after 10 minutes out of sheer boredom.

For some inane reason, the women involved in this bizarre exercise have agreed to allow the show producers to install night vision cameras in their sad bedrooms, allowing us to watch loads of sloppy, drunken sex. In this episode, two of the women were lying end to end with their legs wrapped around each other. This allowed them to bump hoo-haas together while scissoring their legs. It looked incredibly uncomfortable. Read the rest of this entry »

Leather Legacies

Two leather/GLBT activists leave us

It has been sobering and sorrowful to learn recently of the passing of two significant GLBT and leather activists—George Wong of Los Angeles on June 6, 2011, and Roger “R.J.” Chaffin of Chicago on June 17, 2011.

Both made significant contributions, at both local and national levels, to the GLBT and leather communities. You might not know their names but, if you’re reading this column, their accomplishments have touched your life.

Wong was Public Relations Officer for Avatar Club Los Angeles since he joined the club in 1995. He presented educational seminars, judged or worked behind the scenes at many local and national leather contests, and produced events including the Mr. Los Angeles Leather Contest in 2007 and 2008. He also was one of the producers for Leather Leadership Conference VI in Los Angeles in 2002 and, on a personal note, his advice, mentorship and encouragement was a huge help in putting together Leather Leadership Conference XI in Minneapolis in 2007.

Chaffin was one of Chicago’s most prominent gay businessmen and activists for over 30 years. He started and ran several retail businesses including R.J.’s Video, Gay Mart and Ragin’ Rae Jean’s. He held several positions with Chicago’s Gay Life newspaper. He produced many leather and non-leather fundraising events for AIDS-related and other charities. For 18 years he directed the International Mr. Leather Weekend’s Leather Marketplace, building it into the world’s largest vendor fair of its kind. Among many notable awards and honors, he was inducted into Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1997.

Both men have created huge and inspiring legacies. They leave very big boots to fill. And they leave many, including your humble columnist, who miss them tremendously.

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