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inside

Jan. 9-22, 2010 Vol 24 No18

CLT hosts gay film fest

2nd annual festival comes

to Community Center 12

Qqnotes

arts. entertainment. news. views.

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news & features

5 Historians trace road to marriage

6 Employment next on agenda

8 The year ahead

11 New year, new qnotes

qliving/arts & entertainment

9 Fit for a queen

12 Ready. Set. Action!

12 One man’s trash…

13 Let’s do it one-on-one

14 What if: next decade

14 Cover of the Year

15 Audiophile

16 Six tips for 2010

17 Out in Print: Bitch is Back

20 Tell Trinity

21 21 events

22 Out in the Stars

contributors this issue

ARAContent, Robbi Cohn, Matt

Comer, Kelvin Jacques, Charlene

Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, Leslie

Robinson, Terri Schlichenmeyer,

David Stout, Trinity

opinions & views

4 Editor’s Note

19 General Gayety

23 T-Notes

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2010

What will the new

year bring in politics,

community 8

plus…

Wacky predictions

for the next decade 14

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editor’s

note

by matt comer

matt@goqnotes.com

Charlotte

leadership:

Curiously

silent

Curiously silent. That’s what describes

the Charlotte LGBT community’s official

response to Republican Mecklenburg County

Commissioner Bill James — the Queen City’s

own modern day Jesse Helms, albeit a less

politically savvy and successful one.

James had a serious bout of diarrhea of

the mouth in mid-December. First, he called

a fellow commissioner’s deceased son a

“homo.” Then, he refused to apologize and

further tore at the open wound by calling gays

dangerous, sick and destructive. To cap it all

off, he said police were undertaking public

park sex stings in an effort to “de-infest” us.

And the outrage from Charlotte LGBT

leadership was…non-existent. Nothing.

Nada. Zip.

Actually, I’m being just a bit disingenuous.

Perhaps I’ve over-exaggerated — “nada”

isn’t exactly accurate. To their credit, two

LGBT organizations responded with a joint

statement to media. The national, Charlottebased

Campus Pride and local Time Out

Youth called for James to apologize and

demanded an immediate reprimand from the

Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners.

Their statement alone, however, made not

a dent of difference in media coverage of

the incidents. Campus Pride’s and Time Out

Youth’s statement should have been echoed

by every LGBT group in the city.

The official silence from Charlotte’s

largest LGBT groups — like the Lesbian &

Gay Community Center, Mecklenburg Gay

and Lesbian Political Action Committee

(MeckPAC), the Charlotte Business Guild,

PFLAG and others — represented more than a

serious lack in judgment. Their unwillingness

to act on, or, perhaps, their complete

ignorance of, the situation was a lost

opportunity to build bridges with progressive

allies across racial, sexual, health, political

and religious lines.

James not only offended LGBTs in his

statements and slurs. He targeted an African-

American commissioner. He targeted her

deceased son — a gay, African-American

man who died from AIDS.

Imagine if our community’s leadership

had stepped up to the plate with a coalition of

LGBT leaders, African-American community

leaders, execs from local AIDS service

organizations, LGBT-affirming religious

leaders and representatives from local

progressive activist groups. What if they

had all spoken out together to denounce

James’ harmful and bigoted remarks, offer

accurate legal information opposing James’

absurd interpretation of Lawrence v. Texas

and state law, and be the voice of those who

all-too-often go unrecognized, oppressed and

silenced

Whether the issues to be addressed in

this embarrassing situation were racism,

HIV/AIDS stigmatization, religion-based

bigotry or outright hatred of LGBT people, the

intersections of oppression and these various

communities’ struggles for liberty, equality

and dignity were clear.

The truth is our community’s leadership

dropped the ball and missed an all-too-rare

chance to lead our current and potential allies

in educating the public by responding to,

rebuking and correcting James’ derogatory

and incendiary rhetoric.

I have no doubt our community is moving

forward with the passage of pro-equality

policies at the county-level. Hopefully

soon, the city will move on similar issues.

Regardless, we must recognize that policy

changes alone will not create a better,

more equal or more just society for the

LGBT citizens and youth of Charlotte and

Mecklenburg County. Until our community’s

leadership decides to take vocal and visible

action on our issues and be our proud

voice to the people and voters of our local

communities, we will remain mired in a city

and county full of unchanged minds and

cold, hardened hearts. Unfortunately, LGBT

youth will bear the burden of our community’s

decisions and the actions of civic leaders like

James. At least two of our local organizations

recognize this. What could we achieve if the

others took it as seriously : :

qpoll

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news notes: beyond the carolinas

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A unique 15-session

miniconference addressing “Historical

Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage” will

be a highlight of the Annual Meeting of the

American Historical Association (AHA),

scheduled to take place here January 7-10.

The 125-year-old nonprofit, which boasts

14,000 members, is dedicated to strengthening

the practice and teaching of history by

promoting historical studies, the collection

and preservation of historical objects and the

dissemination of historical research.

The miniconference sessions will involve

some of the leading figures in historical

research, including former UNC-Greensboro

Professor John D’Emilio, author of such books

as “Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities:

The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the

United States, 1940-1970” and “Lost Prophet:

Bayard Rustin and the Quest for Peace

and Justice in America.” D’Emilio founded

a chapter of the Gay Academic Union in

Greensboro in 1978 that later spawned the

Triad Business and Professional Guild.

Other presenters of note include Blanche

Wiesen Cooke, Michael Grossberg, Ramón

Gutiérrez, Alice Kessler Harris, Linda Kerber

and many others who will address a diverse

range of topics related to the changing

definition of marriage, domestic unions and

family throughout history. The sessions are

open to the public, and the AHA will publish

their findings in 2010.

“One theme that emerges across this

diverse range of miniconference panels

is that marriage is not a static institution,”

said AHA president and Harvard University

Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. “The

Puritans were actually marriage innovators,

introducing marriage as a civil contract rather

than a sacrament in the 17th Century, and

permitting divorce. In this century, it was not

until 1949 that the California State Supreme

Court struck down racial restrictions on

marriage in the state, and not until 1967 that

the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated those

restrictions for the country as a whole. We

can argue about what marriage should be

today…but we cannot argue that marriage

has always been the same.”

For more than a decade the issue of

marriage equality and partnership recognition

has been the subject of ongoing social

and political debate both in the United

States and overseas, with various courts,

legislatures and ballot referenda taking

different approaches and developing

different responses to the question of what

constitutes a “marriage.” Differing civil and

religious views of marriage and family will be

addressed in this series of panels intended to

bring historical perspectives to the discussion

of marriage equality.

The miniconference was developed

by the AHA Working Group for Historical

Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage. Among

the issues to be addressed in the 15-session

miniconference are:

• Marriage politics in the 21st Century United

States

• Perspectives of different groups who have

been denied access to marriage, including

gay and lesbian people, the disabled, racial

groups and the poor

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Historians trace road to gay marriage

• How the issues of gay marriage and gays in

the military have intertwined

• How social institutions, including

governments, communities and churches

have sought to influence, define and

regulate inter-ethnic marriages

• Relationships between historical and legal

arguments in legal cases addressing samesex

marriage

“Californians have been involved in an

ongoing debate about marriage equality

since the State Supreme Court granted, and

Proposition 8 rescinded, the right to samesex

marriage,” said AHA Executive Director

Arnita Jones. “AHA members wanted to

contribute to this conversation by doing

what historians do best — sharing research

and perspectives on how these issues have

evolved throughout history. With this year’s

special miniconference, we hope to add the

power of historical perspective to the global

conversation on marriage equality.”

“The Working Group for Historical

Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage

seeks to set the issue in broad historical

perspective: chronologically, geographically

and thematically,” said Working Group

Chair and University of Southern California

Professor of History and American Studies

and Ethnicity Karen Halttunen. “Supporters

of Proposition 8 argue that the initiative

restored the historically consistent definition

of marriage. This miniconference challenges

this ill-informed idea by presenting a history

that does justice to the complexity of human

experience over time.”

by David Stout

david@goqnotes.com

SAN FRANCISO, Calif. — In contravention

of a ruling by the chief judge of the Ninth

Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal Office of

Personnel Management has instructed insurer

Blue Cross-Blue Shield not to extend benefits

to a married lesbian court employee’s spouse.

SHREVEPORT, La. — In December, Shreveport

City Council members unanimously voted to

add sexual orientation and gender identity

protections to the city’s nondiscrimination

ordinance.

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Talk-show host Ellen

DeGeneres (who became a vegan in 2008)

and style guru Tim Gunn (creative director

at fur-free Liz Claiborne Inc., and narrator of

PETA’s anti-fur video “Fashion Victims”) have

been named PETA’s 2009 Woman of the Year

and Man of the Year.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The murder of gay

teen Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado may be the

first case to be prosecuted under the newly

enacted federal hate crimes law. Assistant

A.G. for the Justice Dept.’s civil rights division,

Thomas Perez told media the government is

focusing closely on the case.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Mexico City has

become the first Latin American city to pass

a marriage equality bill. As part of the 39-

20 vote, lawmakers also lifted the ban on

allowing LGBT couples to adopt children,

apply for joint loans and be included in

spousal insurance policies — all protections

once denied under city civil union laws.

President Felipe Calderon’s party has vowed

to challenge the law in court. : :

Jan. 9-22 . 2010 qnotes

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news notes: carolinas

RALEIGH — Equality NC (ENC) is focusing

on employment non-discrimination as its next

initiative. Currently, LGBT employees in the

state have very limited protections.

Employment in North Carolina is at-will,

meaning an employer can hire and fire an

employee at any time for any reason not

protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Most of these protections do not currently

include sexual orientation and gender

identity. At the federal level, Title VII of the

1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits

discrimination on race, religion,

sex, or national origin. There has

been limited success in using

this to bar discrimination against

transgender employees as a type

of sex stereotyping, but it does

not prevent discrimination based

on sexual orientation. Some

LGBT people have successfully

filed claims based on sexual

harassment.

People with HIV/AIDS are

protected by the Americans with Disabilities

Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination

based on real or perceived disability as

long as the individual can perform their job.

Employees and job applicants do not have to

disclose their HIV status unless it affects their

ability to do their job.

The proposed federal Employment

Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would

provide basic protections against workplace

discrimination — including hiring, firing,

promotion, or compensation — on the basis

of sexual orientation or gender identity. ENDA

would exempt small businesses (less than 15

employees), religious organizations, and the

military, and it would not require businesses to

offer equal benefits for same-sex partners.

In North Carolina, employees might

have employment protections if they have

an individual contract with their employer

or a union contract. Individual employment

contracts and union contracts usually prohibit

discharge except for

cause related to job

performance.

Many large

organizations (the

vast majority of

the Fortune 100,

and many of the

Fortune 500) have

non-discrimination

policies that include

sexual orientation

and gender identity.

As a general rule, employees in the

public sector, i.e., government jobs, have

greater protection from discrimination than

do employees of private institutions. For

discharge from a government job, courts have

generally held that the reason must relate to

job performance.

No state or federal laws prohibit LGBT

folks from holding government jobs (outside

of the military — LGBT folks are prohibited

from open military service by “Don’t Ask

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Employment next on ENC agenda

Don’t Tell”).

Locally, only a handful of governmental

bodies provide explicit protection for gay and

lesbian public employees. Visit equalitync.org/

issues/local to see the complete list.

In terms of licensing and professional

accreditation, sexual orientation and gender

identity are basically irrelevant. There are no

current cases in the state where someone has

been denied a license or accreditation due to

sexual orientation or gender identity.

ENC is committed to the ideal that

employment should be based on quality of

work and not be subject to arbitrary prejudice

and whim.

Visit equality.org to find out ways to

help champion this cause, be it through

contributions, assistance or volunteer efforts.

Charlotte

Healing for the heart

CHARLOTTE — Had a difficult breakup

and don’t know how to move on Then

join the Charlotte Gay Break-Up/Divorce

Rebuilding Group through Meetup. This selfhelp

initiative is geared toward gay men who

are experiencing the trauma of ending and/or

reconciling a relationship with a significant

partner and would like to have a group of likeminded

individuals who can offer advice and

support to one another outside of the online

and bar scenes.

The first event will take place on Jan. 10

at 3 p.m. at Caribou Coffee at Foxcroft, 7804

by Lainey Millen

lainey@goqnotes.com

Fairview Rd.

The group will be utilizing “Rebuilding:

When Your Relationship Ends,” a book written

by Dr. Bruce Fisher and Dr. Robert Alberti. It

is devoted to steps to “mend a broken heart.”

On a weekly basis, members will discuss

informally the concepts brought forth from this

guide and learn how to best deal with current

and future issues, such as pain, anxiety,

stress, divorce, separation, etc. Advanced

reading is requested in order to obtain

maximum value through shared dialogue.

It is not mandatory for everyone to attend

every Meetup due to the nature of individual

needs.

To learn more, visit meetup.com/The-

Charlotte-Gay-Break-Up-Rebuilding-Group.

Guild bound

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Business

Guild will hold its first meeting of the year

on Jan. 19 at Crowne Plaza Hotel, 201 S.

McDowell St.

Guest speaker will be Vincent Berkeley,

chief diversity officer and member of the

executive committee at Compass Group,

North America.

Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will start at

5:30 p.m., with dinner and program following.

Cost is $15 for members, $25 for guests

and non-members, with $5 added for members

without reservations.

Reservations are due by noon on Jan.

15 by calling 704-565-5075 or by email to

businessguild@yahoo.com. No shows will be

qnotes Jan. 9-22 . 2010

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charged for the event.

A social will take place on Jan. 13 at The

Bar at 316, 316 Rensselear Ave. from 5:30-7

p.m. as part of its regular second Wednesday

Social.

For more information, visit

charlottebusinessguild.org.

Movie time

CHARLOTTE — Unity of Charlotte, 401 E.

Arrowood, will show “For the Bible Tells Me

So” on Jan. 15.

Dinner is from 6-6:45 p.m. (reservations

required by Jan. 12). The movie will be shown

between 7-8:30 p.m., followed by discussion

from 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Cost is $15 for dinner and movie and $6 for

the movie only.

This ground-breaking film by filmmaker

Daniel G. Karslake, addresses the loaded

topic of Christianity and Homosexuality. It will

be followed by a discussion guided by Kate

Cameron.

Dinner will be catered by Qdoba Mexican

Grill and will include its Hot Naked Burrito Bar

(rice, beans, marinated chicken and steak,

three types of salsa, cheese, sour cream,

guacamole, tortilla chips, brownies, cookies).

For more information or to make

reservations for dinner, contact Kate at 704-

523-0062 or email coach.kate@yahoo.com.

Set ’em up!

CHARLOTTE — The Human Rights

Campaign is hosting its annual Bowling for

Equality on Jan. 31, 2-5 p.m., at the AMF

Centennial Lanes, 4501 South Blvd.

Spend an afternoon full of food, friends

and fun.

Tickets are $150 for lane captain (up to five

people); $35 singles; $25 student (with valid

ID, ages 12-21); and $15 youth (under 12) and

include bowling, shoe rental, prizes and an

annual HRC membership.

To become a lane sponsor, email

jasonmccraw@aol.com.

To get tickets, visit hrcactioncenter.org/

site/Calendarview=Detail&id=101481.

Columbia

New board announced

COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Pride

Movement announced the members of their

2010 Executive Committee on Dec. 30, just

days before the mix of new and returning

leaders are set to takeover direction of the 20-

year-old advocacy, education and community

organization.

Ryan Wilson, finishing two successful

terms as president, will hand over leadership

to Tamera Tedder, a long-time volunteer,

supporter and executive committee

member. In 2009, Tedder chaired SC Pride’s

entertainment committee.

A North Carolina-native, Tedder has lived

in South Carolina for 10 years and attended

her first SC Pride festival in 1998.

“SC Pride Movement is fortunate in having

the leadership and support of a strong and

talented group of members,” Tedder said

in a welcome letter emailed to members

and supporters. “I want to welcome all

the new board members and thank all the

previous board members for their continued

dedication to the organization. I look forward

to working with the new and returning board

members. There will be an array of issues and

challenges to arise, and I am excited about

what all we can do together.”

Other 2010 executive committee members

include Santi Thompson (Center Operations),

Glenn Pipkin (Pride Events), Elaine Townsend

(Education & Outreach), Jenny Early

(Treasurer) and Paul Scheilblich (Secretary).

Wilson will remain on the executive committee

in an advisory role as immediate past

president.

Voting members of SC Pride’s 2010 board

of directors include Ashley Baker, Neil

Bridgers, Jeff March, Amanda Straughn,

Kenneth Murphy, Amy Catalino, Stephen

Creed, Mike Scartz, Tina Torres and

Jennifer Tague.

Triad

Yummy, tummy

GREENSBORO — The LGBT-allies Pride

Greensboro Meetup Group will be hosting a

Lunch Out event on Jan. 16 at 5 p.m. at Boba

House, 332 Tate St.

This little hip place is located near the

University of North Carolina-Greensboro and

is noted for their mock meat selection.

Later on in the month, on Jan. 29 at 6 p.m.,

enjoy a movie night at a member’s home. On

the small screen will be “Butch Jamie.”

This comedy was written by

Michelle Ehlen.

To attend or to learn more about the group,

visit meetup.com/PrideGreensboro.

Triangle

Center develops partnership

RALEIGH — The Board of Directors of

the LGBT Center of Raleigh has announced

that it has formed an alliance with Triangle

Community Works (TCW).

The two organizations have agreed to

share office space (TCW already has offices

that the two will co-rent) and to work together

on creating and maintaining programs that

will benefit the Triangle LGBT population.

Although remaining independent for the near

future, it is anticipated that at some point the

two organizations will merge to create a more

efficient and beneficial operation.

The Center recently released its new

lineup of board members.

Following the resignation of Board

Chair Eddie Sartin, who is in the process

of relocation, the Board appointed Dr. Glen

Medders as Board chair. Assuming the

position of vice chair is Bobby Hilburn and Bob

Watson will become the chairman of Board

Development. Anthony Garcia-Copian and

Erin Iannachionne will co-chair the office of

Development/Outreach. Justine Hollingshead

will remain as secretary and Les Geller will

continue as treasurer.

In other news, the Crape Myrtle Festival,

Inc., has offered a $1,500 grant toward the

establishment of a community center in

Raleigh.

For more information, visit

lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.

Meeting time

RALEIGH — The Raleigh Business

and Professional Network, Inc., will hold

its monthly meeting on Jan. 13, 6:30-9:30

p.m., at the NC State University Club, 4200

Hillsborough St.

The program will be an update on the

Human Rights Campaign entitled

“HRC-101.”

For more information or to make

reservations, visit raleighnetwork.org. : :

info: Announce your community event in

Carolinas News Notes.

email: editor@goqnotes.com.

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qnotes Jan. 9-22 . 2010

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The year ahead

What will 2010 bring in politics, culture, community

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

The winter holidays…done. New Year’s

celebrations…done. Schools are back

open, holiday breaks between now and

Easter a few and far between. It’s back to the

daily grind.

Time said the 2000s were the decade from

hell. They say it was bookended by the worst

attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor

and one of the nation’s worst economic

recessions. Yet, in 2009, the LGBT community

— both locally and nationally — made huge

strides. So, what is to come in the next year

Politics

In early-to-mid 2010, expect city leaders in

Charlotte to begin discussions on extending

domestic partner benefits and expanding their

employee non-discrimination policy. Brought

to the public’s attention by Mecklenburg

County’s move on similar issues in December,

you should also expect more outspoken

opposition to these inclusive changes by

Charlotte’s anti-gay, religious establishment.

In Raleigh, conservative Democratic

and Republican lawmakers will undertake

their annual ploy to write discrimination into

the state’s constitution by introducing, yet

again, their anti-LGBT, anti-family marriage

amendment — a six-year-in-a-row failure.

On May 25, make plans to join Equality

North Carolina at their annual Day of Action.

Visit with your lawmakers and speak out

against the anti-gay amendment and for

extending employment protections for LGBT

workers and other issues. The Connie Spry

Fund, created in honor of longtime trans

advocate Connie Spry, will again assist

transgender community members in financial

need with both transportation and lodging

costs. For more information, visit equalitync.

org/dayofaction.

Put into force just one day after New Year,

the state’s new smoking ban in restaurants

and bars will reshape nightlife and dinner

outings — especially for us gay folks, who

use tobacco far more than our straight

counterparts. While non-smokers will no

longer fear coming home smelling like smoke

and ashes, some smokers say they’ll take their

cues from state legislators and take the new

law as a sign it’s time to quit.

Community

Community members in the state capital

will continue work on creating the new LGBT

Center of Raleigh. The nascent organization

recently announced it will share office space

with Triangle Community Works, and talks of

a future merger between the two groups are

already underway. Just a few miles down

I-40, community members in Winston-Salem

will likely continue talks to start their own

community center.

In late July, the Triangle area will join

Charlotte and Columbia in hosting their own,

local Black Pride. Carolinas Black Pride

Movement says they’re planning events in

Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, with their

day-long expo likely being held in Durham.

The Greenville-Spartanburg area will

hold their second annual Upstate Pride, while

Charleston ramps up its efforts to host their

first-ever local celebration.

In February, the annual Human Rights

Campaign Carolinas Gala makes its longawaited

trip from Charlotte to Raleigh. With

events slated for the entire weekend, a

special “HRC Train” planned from Charlotte

and Greensboro and the premier Gala dinner

at the new Raleigh Convention Center, the

event is again expected to reign as the

Carolinas’ LGBT community’s premier political

and fundraising event. And, being so close to

the Governor’s Mansion, maybe good ole Bev

Perdue will make an appearance

Culture & Entertainment

The Lesbian & Gay Community Center

of Charlotte kicks off 2010 with their second

annual GayCharlotte Film Festival, Jan. 28-

Jan. 31. Organizers have already announced

a showing of “Little Ashes,” starring Robert

Pattinson and Javier Beltrán, and the 2009

romantic comedy “Drool,” starring Laura

Harring and Jill Marie Jones.

Throughout 2010, the southeastern section

of the Queen City’s Uptown will experience

a cultural awakening, as the Wells Fargo

Cultural Campus holds some of their first

events and openings in new museums and

theatres, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center

for African-American Arts+Culture, which

opened in late 2009.

In February, the Blumenthal Center for

Performing Arts presents the acclaimed

coming of age musical, “Spring Awakening.”

With music written by Pop singer Duncan

Sheik and complete with its own same-sex

love scene, “Spring Awakening” is a

classical, timeless tale of the joys and

challenges of youth.

National scene

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s

Day, New Hampshire became the fifth state

to open marriage to all couples. Who will join

Granite Staters in the journey to full marriage

equality In 2010, expect debates over

marriage to continue in California,

Maine, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and

other areas.

The community celebrated the passage

of the Matthew Shepard hate crimes act

in 2009. Our friendly Congress Critters say

they’re aware of our need for the Employment

Non-Discrimination Act and repeals of “Don’t

Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) and Defense of

Marriage Act (DOMA). Regardless, it seems

legislative movement forward will remain

slow and painful. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-

N.Y.) recently told DC Agenda there will be

no effort to repeal DOMA in 2010. Although

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) says a DADT

repeal could be added as an amendment on

this year’s defense funding bill, the reality

of any proposal remains to be seen. In the

Senate, hope for more action on Sen. Joseph

Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) Domestic Partnership

Benefits & Obligations Act.

As open lesbian Annise Parker celebrates

her late 2009 win as mayor of Houston

— Carolina celebrates its own gay mayoral

victory in Chapel Hill — more LGBTs are

throwing their hats into the ring and running

for office. An openly gay Illinois man is

running for the U.S. Senate and a California

man hopes to become the fourth out member

of the U.S. House. So far, the Gay and Lesbian

Leadership Institute’s Victory Fund has

endorsed 15 out candidates facing

2010 elections.

Media

Some are saying 2010 will be the year

of social networking backlash and fatigue.

The thing is, people have been saying that

every New Year since at least 2006. Some

people hate it, some people love it and most

people likely couldn’t care less, but social

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Who’da thunk 2010’s new indoor smoking ban brings the North Carolina’s centuries-long love affair with

tobacco to its knees.

Photo Credit: Courtesy drooo, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

networking, loathed or cherished, is here

to stay. “Experts” warn of a different sort

of threat in 2010 to sites like Facebook and

Twitter: hackers. Both sites have grown so

large and so popular they’ve become sitting

ducks for shadowy computer brainiacs with

too much time on their hands.

As for changing trends, which new social

media site will be the new champ Last

January, social networking gurus predicted

Facebook would overtake MySpace. They

were right. Will Facebook die a slow,

painful death Will Twitter lose ground to

FourSquare Only time will tell.

On a more local and regional note, you

can expect to see greater cooperation

between hyperlocal blogs and news sites

— like QCityMetro.com and DavidsonNews.

net — and daily giant Charlotte Observer.

Recently announced, the Observer will

utilize thousands in grant dollars to

fund partnerships with a wide range of

neighborhood and community websites.

According to the Observer, similar

partnerships are underway with the Asheville

Citizen-Times and local blogs and websites in

the Blue Ridge.

Let’s hope 2010 treats LGBT media more

fairly than 2009. After the collapse of gay

news giant Window Media, the employees

of the former Washington Blade, Southern

Voice and South Florida Blade are working

hard to recreate new publications for their

communities. Blade staff have teamed up to

create the already-successful DC Agenda.

Atlantans will see a 2010 competition between

the new ATL Free Press and Southern Voice

staff-led GA Voice.

You can expect competition in Ft.

Lauderdale, too. After the publishers of Mark’s

List Magazine took former Florida Blade

staffers under their wings and produced some

of the first print editions of their new Florida

Agenda, Miami Herald reporter Steve Rothaus

said Norm Kent, original publisher of the now

defunct Express Gay News, is starting his new

South Florida Gay News. Kent says an online

edition will debut first, with 12,000 print edition

issues being produced this month. : :

Next issue:

Spring A&E Guide

Be sure to pick up qnotesJan. 23

print issue for our look into spring’s

upcoming arts and entertainment

offerings.

Fit for a queen

Join the Blumenthal Center for

Performing Arts for the one-day, Jan.

12 appearance of the Band of the

Irish Guards and Royal Regiment of

Scotland. Formed in 1900, the band

includes various ensembles including a

concert band, marching band, fanfare

trumpeters and more. They’ll perform

both traditional folk tunes and other

familiar songs. Go ahead, boys…play on

for Queen Charlotte!

For ticketing information, visit

BlumenthalCenter.org. : :

— compiled by qnotes staff

Jan. 9-22 . 2010 qnotes

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10 qnotes Jan. 9-22 . 2010

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At New Year,

a new qnotes

Print and online redesign accompanies change

in editorial direction

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

Wait What is that Where’d my old

qnotes go

We haven’t gone anywhere, but we’ve

got a brand new look and a fresh editorial

direction. We figured the New Year would be

an appropriate time to unveil our new self.

Here’s a few of the things you’ll see changed

and changing in this issue and in coming

weeks and months:

Logo and branding

qnotes’ revamped logo takes the best of

the old and blends it into a new, modern look.

Our staff poured over a dozen possibilities for

our new branding. We ultimately chose the

one you see gracing our front cover this issue.

We felt the new branding seems less like the

stereotypical, “serious” newspaper feel and

more like a fun, alternative newsweekly look.

Yet, the logo retains its own, unique identity.

You’ll notice our name’s branding has

changed slightly, too — no more of that

annoying hyphen in the middle of our name.

Qqnotes

arts. entertainment. news. views.

Design and layout

Our print editions now have a more

relaxed, newsmagazine look and feel. Over

the years we’ve listened to reader feedback

regarding their experiences with the print

edition. While many liked our look, many

others also felt the paper seemed old and

staid. As much as we’d like to think we

were the New York Times of LGBT news in

the Carolinas, the simple reality is that our

community is so cool, so inventive and so

cutting edge that we should reflect the same

characteristics.

Online edition

qnotes’ print edition isn’t the only

component of our company getting a

renovation. Our website, now located at

goqnotes.com, has a clean, fresh look. You’ll

notice new sections on the site, including an

in-house blog. We’re continuing our CityPages

with focus on Charlotte, Raleigh/Triangle,

Triad and Columbia. Other regional CityPages

might pop up soon.

What’s new

qnotes’ has a fresh look and direction,

including a new:

u Logo and branding

u Design and layout

u Online edition

u Editorial direction

u Online v. Print

u Event listings

Editorial direction

With our change in aesthetics comes

a change in our editorial direction. Our

bi-weekly print issues will be more futureoriented

and contain less reporting of

events past, while goqnotes.com takes up

a more robust daily presence with online

only reporting of Carolinas, national and

international events and news. The print

editions will include in-depth features on

news, arts, entertainment and politics

of Carolinas and local interest. Some

of our upcoming coverage includes

a 2010 special series, “InFocus.”

Throughout the year we’ll profile

local LGBT leaders, organizations,

businesses and issues of hyperlocal

importance in the Triad (Apr. 3),

Charlotte (July 24), Columbia (Sept. 4)

and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (Sept.

18). In our May 1 issue, our “InFocus”

series will take an in-depth look at the

largest and most influential LGBT nonprofits

in the Carolinas.

Online v. Print

In an effort to maintain our new,

robust website and editorial direction,

qnotes will be implementing a sort

of “web first” model. Stories slated

to appear in our print editions will be

published as they are completed, or as

a set of stories in the day or two after

we dispatch our content to our printer.

No more waiting the painfully slow and

long five days between press time and

street date.

From what we’ve been able to tell,

our online readership and print edition

readership don’t overlap all that much,

so publishing print content online won’t hurt

our print edition’s pick-up. Further, the early

online publishing will keep our community’s

news front-and-center. As you might

already know, the world of news is 24/7/365

nowadays. We’ll be doing our part to keep up.

Event listings

Among our most exciting changes is our

new events calendar. The QGuide “21 events”

— our new calendar — is conveniently

located on page 21 of every, single print issue.

There you’ll find at least 21 events ranging

from fundraisers and community meetings to

nightlife events and plays and musicals. The

calendar is located in goqnotes.com’s QGuide

section at goqnotes.com/qguide/events.

We love feedback

As always, qnotes’ staff welcomes

and values your input and feedback. You

can send your comments or suggestions to

editor@goqnotes.com. : :

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Jan. 9-22 . 2010 qnotes 11

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Ready. Set.

Action!

2nd annual LGBT film festival hits Charlotte in late January

The second annual GayCharlotte Film

Festival is upon us. Don’t miss the Lesbian

& Gay Community Center’s fun and exciting

winter event this Jan. 28-31.

Organizers promise the festival will be

bigger and better than last year’s.

“We have such a huge variety of hot

gay boy flicks, lesbian movies, and general

audience docs and comedies that we may

need the additional venue to fit everything in,”

explains Festival Director Teresa Davis. “We

also have movies that, while gay-themed, will

definitely appeal to our straight allies.”

Among some of the anticipated films are

“Little Ashes,” staring Robert Pattinson of

“Twilight” fame. In the film, Pattinson portrays

gay/bi-curious, Spanish artist

Salvador Dali.

“This beautifully-made movie

will certainly appeal to straight

art enthusiasts while, at the same

time, giving gay guys a chance

to watch Pattinson in sexual

encounters with other guys!”

Davis exclaims jokingly.

But, don’t worry women —

the film festival hasn’t forgotten

you. For lesbian audiences, the

romantic comedy “Drool” will

give gals the opportunity

to ‘drool’ over Laura Harring who

played the irresistible Rita in

“Mulholland Drive.”

The Center’s event kicks

off with an opening night gala,

including a special “Little Ashes”

showing with Spanish tapas,

sangria and music. A Sunday

grand finale will feature one of

the newest blockbusters to hit the

LGBT festival circuit.

For more information on

the GayCharlotte Film Festival,

schedules, tickets and more, visit

GayCharlotteFilmFestival.com. : :

— compiled by qnotes staff

Javier Beltrán and Robert Pattinson star in the Spanish-British drama “Little Ashes,” showing at the

GayCharlotte Film Festival this month.

Photo Credit: Courtesy APT Films/Regent Releasing

One man’s trash...

“An extraordinary performance! …

Dancing, Puppets, Frenzy, Joy, Humor,

Fantasy, Illusion. Everyone of all ages can

see and enjoy!”

That’s how France’s La Tribune

described the newest stage sensation,

“The Aluminum Show.” Compared to the

likes of “Stomp” and “Blue Man Group,”

the new production is more than likely to

please: Combining special effects with

acrobatics, jazz and modern dance with

puppetry and dazzling “one man’s trash

is another man’s treasure” aluminum

costumes, “Aluminum Show” create a truly

unique performance perfect for all ages.

Presenters across the country are abuzz

with the new production, and our sources

tell us they expect to see folks flying in to

little old Charlotte just to get a taste.

Created in Israel, the production will

mark the launch of its first U.S. tour at the

Queen City’s brand new Knight Theater.

The production marks another first, as well — the premiere show in the Duke Energy

Broadway Lights Series.

Want a sneak peek of the show Visit blumenthalcenter.org/default.aspid=221 for video

clips. The show runs Jan. 12-31.

For more information and ticketing, visit BlumenthalCenter.org. : :

— compiled by qnotes staff

12 qnotes Jan. 9-22 . 2010

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qliving

arts. entertainment.

Every year millions of Americans make fitness and diet

resolutions going into whichever new year. And every January,

gyms across the country see surges in memberships. The gym

floors are most crowded through February, with the crowds

dwindling by March, and often being fairly lightly used by the

summer and fall. Of course, by winter’s extended holidays there

really isn’t much point trying to play catch up, is there

Fitness should be a lifestyle, not a habit. It is also a

skill with its own body of knowledge. And, because of this,

exercisers who do not have know how to work out safely and

successfully; those who have busy lives; and those who have

not made fitness a lasting priority, will often fall off their wellintended

regimens, mired in ineffectiveness.

How then does the average person achieve improvements

in body composition (body fat percentage versus lean tissue),

endurance and self-esteem Call a professional. When your

pipes are clogged, you call a plumber. When your stomach

hurts, you call a doctor. And, when you need help improving

your fitness, you call a trainer.

There is a great deal to consider before hiring a trainer for

the long haul. You need to know that your trainer will be able

to give you the results you need for your personal

improvement and empowerment.

It is imperative to do the

same amount

of homework

choosing

a trainer as

you would a

mechanic, lawyer

or real estate

broker.

Here are some

guidelines that are

the hallmark of an

effective, professional

trainer:

First, your trainer

should be punctual,

and his/her hygiene

impeccable. Be sure the

trainer is certified through

a nationally recognized

licensure organization. Don’t

be afraid to ask how many

hours of practice/study are

required to achieve a particular

certification, nor to ask how

often it must be renewed — be

wary of programs that cost under

$300 to renew. Also, you might ask if she has a degree in

exercise science or a related field (e.g. sports science, dance,

kinesiology, physical therapy, etc.). Be wary of lackadaisical

attitudes towards certification, or dismissive conversations

concerning a background in exercise. Just because a person

knows how to work out to achieve his own results does not

imply that she knows how to train anyone else.

Your trainer should ask you about your goals and limitations,

should be receptive to and energized by the challenges of

tailoring a regimen for you as an individual, and quick to

generate a preliminary strategy to address your initial habits

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u What if: next decade


u Audiophile: Gaga-licious 15

u NEW! 21 events


want more great features visit goqnotes.com/to/qliving

Let’s do it one-on-one

Personal trainers can help you achieve your fitness goals if you lack knowledge, experience or discipline

by Kelvin Jacques :: guest contributor

and level of commitment. The trainer will

be focused on you continuously, watching

technique, and being completely engaged in

the session — try to avoid trainers who talk

to others, watch television, and/or seem to

be distracted or bored.

A good trainer will avoid routines:

From one session to another you should

be doing completely different exercises,

or implementing variations on exercises

that have already been done. The body

adapts quickly and an effective trainer will make

liberal use of muscle confusion. An effective trainer will have a

huge arsenal of activities that continuously raise the bar. Your

trainer should also be able adapt at a moment’s notice if you

are hurt or develop any type of contraindication to a specific

activity. An effective trainer will not exacerbate injuries, and

will insist that you rest if you are hurt or unwell.

Because each person is so different it might be best to find

a venue where you work one-on-one with a trainer and where

the distractions are minimized by accommodating only a few

appointments at any given time.

Fitness Together, a national fitness chain with multiple

locations throughout the Carolinas, specializes in this. Their

mantra is “One client, one trainer, one goal.”

Carry Selby, manager of Charlotte’s Fitness Together

A Fitness Together trainer works with a client during an early morning training session.

– Dilworth, has been with the company for over two years.

“I enjoy working with clients in this atmosphere, because

I can give them my full attention while they are achieving

their own progress in their own time,” Selby says. “It’s really

satisfying, because people are so much more likely to commit

to a program when they know it has been created specifically

for them. I get to watch them transform, and it makes me feel

good to help people become healthier and happier.”

Each trainer will have her own style, but at Fitness Together

there is a focus on three-dimensional, multi-joint exercises.

There is a lot of jumping, throwing and balancing, which

ultimately seems more like playing than working out. Selby’s

specialty is seamlessly combining multiple exercises into one

activity, although, as manager, she doesn’t take as many clients

as she used to. Lisa Pappanastos, another Fitness Together

trainer, is adept at combining resistance training with cardio

components. For those who prefer a male trainer, Colin Johns

creates a variety of regimens that make use of body weight,

free weights and sport-specific activities.

If gay-friendliness is a subject on your mind — with all

the hours you might spend with a personal trainer — have no

worries at Fitness Together. You’ll feel right at home, if their

early 2009 “Shower with other dudes” advertising campaign is

any indicator. : :

next issue u Spring Arts and Entertainment Guide Jan. 23

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Jan. 9-22 . 2010 qnotes 13


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What if: next decade

Queer predictions for the new decade

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

A new year is a time for resolutions. It is

also a time for dreaming. What will happen

in the days, weeks and months to come

What new and exciting changes will we

witness in our lives, communities and nation

Newspaper and magazine editors are busy

pushing their pencils and coming up with

predictions for the future, but we’ve got

wishful thinking you won’t

find elsewhere.

Imagine it is January

2020. Another 10 years

have sped past us. We’re

looking back at the LGBT

news of the ‘Teens...

Prejean named Playboy CEO

After her fall from anti-gay

grace, former Miss California

Carrie Prejean embraces her, by

now, hundreds of sex tapes and

uses them to woo Playboy’s board

of directors. She’s named CEO in

2014. She enlists an openly gay, 25-

year-old, televangelist’s grandson to

host a daily web show on Playgirl.

com.

Cruise comes out

At close to 60 years old, Tom

Cruise published his long-awaited

memoirs in 2019. A shock to some, and

a no-brainer to most, Cruise revealed

himself bisexual. Cruise’s revelation

created a tidal wave of other high

profile, celebrity coming outs.

Hollywood, it seems, has lost its

glass closet. Larry King, age 86

(or is that 186) and still going

strong, interviews Cruise and his

secret husband.

Long live the queen

After more than 60 years on

the throne, Queen Elizabeth II’s grand and

royal funeral in 2015 was presided over by

her eldest son, Prince Charles. Days later,

Charles is crowned the next king of Great

Britain and chooses to reign as King George

Photo Credit: Courtesy jsr00001, via Flickr.

Licensed under Creative Commons.

VII, in honor of his grandfather and World War

II-era monarch. The new monarch invested

his eldest son, William, as the next Prince

of Wales. But the queer world could really

care less about all that. They’re too busy

fawning over Prince Harry. In 2018, he finally

confesses: All those photos of his same-sex

palling around during his 20s were no joke.

The prince makes a fabulous queen!

Marriage saved, by the gays

If the first decade of the new millennium

was the time for gay marriage

bans, the ‘Teens were

a time for same-sex

marriage bliss. The

Supreme Court’s

2013 marriage equality

ruling couldn’t have come

at a better time. With

heterosexual divorce

rates skyrocketing

toward 90 percent,

a horde of gays and

lesbians flooded

wedding chapels.

Thanks to the queers,

the sacred institution

of marriage becomes

fabulous. As

same-sex

led families

demonstrate

their gratitude

for legallyrecognized

love,

heterosexuals

are reminded of

the true purpose

of marriage.

As divorce rates start

to decline, government

statisticians thank the the LGBT community in

a special dinner, complete with special guest,

openly gay Vice President Barney Frank. : :

2009

Cover of

the Year

The people have spoken!

Out of five choices, qnotes readers

voted for July 11, 2009 issue’s cover as

2009’s Cover of the Year.

Thanks to those who voted!

14 qnotes Jan. 9-22 . 2010

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I had originally planned to devote this

column to looking back at the most important

musical artists of the past decade, as well as

speculating about who might be the heaviest

of the heavyweights in the coming decade.

In addition, I was going to shine a

particular spotlight on the LGBT artist or act

that scored a significant breakthrough in the

Naughts and seemed to have the brightest

future going into the Teens.

That all changed once I began to compile

my shortlist for each topic and realized that

Lady Gaga, who is openly

bisexual, was on all three. To

be honest, I was a bit taken

aback because I hadn’t really

tried to contextualize Gaga’s

achievements or prospects

before — I just knew I was

increasingly becoming a fan.

If we’re going for full

disclosure here, I have to admit

that I never saw Gaga coming

in the first place. I was sent a

promo copy of her album before

it hit the streets and…nothing. I

left my unopened copy of “The

Fame” laying on a pile of CDs on

my desk for a few weeks.

You see, I had this one all

figured out just by looking at the

cover and perusing the song

titles. Another pop princess,

another throwaway release that

would end up being the musical

equivalent of Sweet’N Low,

another 45 minutes of my life I’d

never get back.

What can I say, sometimes

you get it wrong…and

audiophile

by david stout :: david@goqnotes.com

sometimes you get it wrong.

“The Fame” produced four poperfect

#1 singles and Gaga backed them up with

a string of unforgettable live performances

on any show that would have her. Perhaps

culminating with a fake-blood-smearing

showstopper at the 2009 MTV Video Awards.

(The performance would have undoubtedly

been the talk of the show had Kanye West not

decided to “borrow” Taylor Swift’s mic.)

Gaga walked the red carpet all year in

one outfit more crazy than the next, but she

continually came across as an artist who

was destined to be bigger than her shoulder

pads and was far deeper than a Kermit the

Frog dress.

In interviews, she proved that not only

is she no bland pop tart, but she’s actually a

smart, charismatic, self-deprecating young

woman; a hard worker who genuinely

appreciates her fans and is in equal parts

thrilled and humbled by her meteoric success.

Most importantly, I have recently come

to see that behind the fabulously fierce

persona of Lady Gaga is Stefani Germanotta,

a talented 23-year-old New Yorker who

started playing piano by ear at 4 and has been

songwriting since she was 13.

Going kookoo for Gaga

Numerous

clips of young

Stefani paying

dues playing

and singing

her early

compositions

can be viewed

online. Even

without

the driving

electronic

dance beats or

the spectacle

of the backup

dancers,

the outfits or

even Gaga’s trademark platinum hair, the

performances are captivating.

Somewhat ironically, it has been

discovering these lowkey, purely musical

moments that has finally and ultimately

convinced me that Lady Gaga possesses the

undefinable, elusive IT that turns an artist into

a global phenomenon. I can’t wait to see what

the next decade holds for her. : :

info: audiophile@goqnotes.com

Jan. 9-22 . 2010 qnotes 15

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Six tips for 2010

Quick tips and insights on creating a better you, pet and world

16 qnotes Jan. 9-22 . 2010

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Live more sustainably

The beginning of a new year — and a new

decade — is the time many people pledge

to live differently. For many, that change

means living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Sustainability, once only a buzz word, is now

fast becoming the way to live consciously.

Two ways to live more sustainably are to

seek earth-friendly packaging and to embrace

natural products. Alter shopping habits to look

for products with compostable packaging.

Snyder’s of Hanover, for instance, recently

introduced a new Pretzel Variety Sack of

100-Calorie Pretzels and Pretzel Sandwiches

in the market’s first 100 percent compostable

outer package made from 100 percent

renewable cornstarch-based plastic. The new

Variety Sack includes a special logo indicating

that the bag can be composted and is made

with sustainable materials. In addition to that

example, more manufacturers are switching

to cardboard packaging materials, which are

made from renewable materials and can be

recycled or composted.

Many farmers, ranchers and, increasingly,

food manufacturers, are offering foods

and beverages made using sustainable

practices. It could be a farmers market

tomato, a local dairy’s milk, an organic

snack food or any number of natural or

organic items. To learn more about Snyder’s

of Hanover’s sustainability initiatives visit

snydersofhanover.com/Sustainability/.

Budget control

Sticking to a budget is one of the top

resolutions Americans make after the

holidays, but many people aren’t sure how

to start effectively managing their household

finances. Understanding the terms of your

credit card agreement will help you better

manage your finances. Here are three things

to remember:

1. Interest — The best way to avoid paying

interest is to pay your full balance when

the bill arrives. If that is more than you can

handle, always try to pay more than the

minimum to lower interest costs.

2. Payment — Late fees are a hazard you

want to avoid, so it’s best to get your

payment out early. When sending your

payment in the mail, seven days is the

recommended time frame - even if the bill

isn’t due for a couple of weeks.

3. Fees — Keep in mind advances and other

common credit transactions like balance

transfers, can trigger fees.

Understanding how to take advantage

of all the products and services offered

by financial institutions is essential to

maintaining financial health. To help

customers better understand and manage

their credit cards, Bank of America recently

launched the Credit Card Clarity Commitment,

an easy-to-read one-page summary of certain

important account terms.

Resolve to eat healthy

After indulging during the holidays, many

people start the new year with intentions to

eat well.

“Treating yourself during the holidays and

depriving yourself in January is not healthy,”

says Anne M. Wolf, obesity specialist and

instructor of research at the University of

Virginia. “A better approach is to consider

what you’re eating and its effect on your wellbeing,

no matter what time of year it is.

To start the year off right, Wolf

recommends eating well-balanced meals

instead of obsessively counting calories. She

suggests stocking up on fresh vegetables and

fruits, lean proteins, healthy breakfast foods

and better-for-you snacks.

But practicing portion control and

choosing healthy foods over high-fat ones

isn’t easy for everyone. For those who need

some extra help, Wolf recommends FDAapproved

alli to her patients. With the alli plan,

you can lose weight gradually by learning the

right way to use food. “Because of the way

it works, alli makes you more conscious of

the fat in the foods you eat, which ultimately

helps you lose weight,” says Wolf. “It should

be used as part of a comprehensive plan that

teaches you to make healthy decisions.”

Maximize your

health benefits

By fully maximizing your health benefits

and learning the ins and outs of your health

benefits plan, you could save yourself

hundreds of dollars this year. Experts say the

most important first step is to review your

coverage documents carefully.

Here are tips to help you get the most out

of your health benefits plan this year:

• Get your preventive care, such as yearly

physicals. Many plans cover these services

100 percent.

• Use doctors and other health care providers

that are in the health plan’s network.

see New Year on 18


out in print

by terri schlichenmeyer :: qnotes contributor

The Bitch is Back

You are a maestro

of air.

Ever since you were

a teen, you played with

the best. Air guitar with

Steven Tyler. Air piano

with Billy Joel. Air

drums with Keith Moon. Air sax with Clarence

Clemons. You were good at it then. You’re

better at it now.

Life is good and fame is fleeting when you

strum / drum / key with the band in the privacy

of your living room, or in public at the bar. But

for some, fame comes easily and stays. In the

new book “Elton John: The Bitch is Back” by

Mark Bego, you’ll read about how a chubby

English boy became a mega-star.

From the time he was three-years-old,

it was obvious that Reginald Dwight was a

piano player. Little Reg, raised almost solely

by a mother who had “secretly” wanted a girl,

was encouraged by his mother and, later,

his stepfather.

Though he was sent to a tony British

music academy, Reg loved rock & roll, which

was a newly emerging musical genre. After

being hired as a “tea boy” at a recording

studio and with just a few weeks left before

graduation, Reg dropped out of school to work

and pursue his dream. He was introduced to

Patti Labelle, Rod Stewart, and a man who

would eventually tell him, point-blank, that

Reg was gay — something Reg claims he

“was clueless about.”

In 1967, Reggie Dwight (by then known as

Elton John) was introduced to Bernie Taupin

because Elton could “write music but not

lyrics” and Bernie “could write lyrics but not

music.” Arguably, they became one of music’s

most seminal duos, both benefiting from

a lifelong relationship that flirted with

“more-than-friends” but that never went

beyond professional.

It’s the rare person who can’t name an

Elton John song or sing a few lyrics, but while

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his music has topped the charts, his personal

life was open to fierce speculation. Though

it’s no secret now, Elton John “shrugged off”

queries about his love life for years, admitting

to admiring women while he quietly slept

with men.

There’s no doubt that author Mark Bego

— who has written other books about Elton

John — knows his subject completely. But

though it’s researched to the farthest corners

of stardom and thorough as can be, “Elton

John: The Bitch is Back” is dry as toast

and reminded me many times of a very long

college thesis. It’s just the facts, Ma’am,

which occasionally caused my attention

to wander.

On the “B” side, this book reads like a

Who’s Who of Music, and I found that part

fascinating. Bego draws several lines that

connect Elton John to many musicians,

songwriters, performers, and behind-thescenes

people, making the 1965-1980 music

scene seem like a small world, indeed.

If you’re looking for a lively biography, I

don’t think this book is what you want. But if

you’re a music fan — especially of ‘70s and

‘80s music and particularly of Elton John

— you’ll enjoy it immensely. “Elton John: The

Bitch is Back” is music to your eyes. : :

info:

“Elton John: The Bitch is Back”

by Mark Bego. c.2009, Phoenix Books $22.95,

375 pages, includes notes.

Jan. 9-22 . 2010 qnotes 17

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Not for Reproduction

New Year tips and tricks

continued from page 16

• If your doctor recommends any type of

tests or lab work — outside of what is

normally part of an annual physical — call

your health plan to see if these require a

preauthorization.

• Read your policy carefully if you need any

type of therapy, for instance, physical,

occupational or speech therapy.

• When Explanations of Benefits (EOBs)

arrive, review them carefully.

• Understand your rights to file an appeal or

grievance if a claim is denied that you feel

should be paid.

• Take advantage of discounts your plan

offers. You could save on gym memberships,

weight loss programs, massage therapy,

acupuncture, eyewear and more.

Visit aetna.com to learn more.

A new you, in a new year

With the New Year just around the corner,

could it be time for a new you Reinventing

your style can give you a new attitude and

outlook. With a few simple updates, you

shouldn’t have to worry about breaking

your budget.

“You can start with garments you already

have in your closet,” says Anne Hankey

Forman, fashion marketing and management

instructor at The Illinois Institute of Art

- Chicago. “Mix up the way you wear your

pieces,” suggests Art Institute of Philadelphia

fashion instructor Karen Karuza. “If you

always wear a white blouse with a black skirt,

try wearing a lavender sweater.”

Adding new accessories can bring last

year’s — or last decade’s — outfit back to life.

Mary Jo Miller, department chair of fashion

and retail management at The Art Institute of

Atlanta says. “Scarves, hats and gloves make

your current wardrobe more up-to-date.”

And, instead of looking just to your closet

for a new look, take a look in the mirror. Both

Miller and Forman agree that a different

hairstyle and new make-up can dramatically

change and update your style.

If you’re a fashionista looking for a career

in style, learn more about options at The Art

Institutes schools by visiting artinstitutes.edu.

Pet-ercise

To his owners, Moby, a four-year-old

Australian Shepherd, was a very healthy, spry

dog, so when his veterinarian told them that

beneath his thick, reddish-brown coat he had

a weight problem, they were a bit shocked.

Apparently, all that baby food licked off

the floor and the lack of activity that came

with the two toddlers who had recently joined

the family, added about 10 extra pounds on

a normally 65-pound dog. The good news is

the veterinarian was able to put Moby on a

program of diet and exercise, and he was

back in perfect shape within a year.

Studies show that pet obesity is an

epidemic in this country. According to a 2005

study, approximately 35 percent of American

dogs and cats are obese or overweight, and

some veterinarians report that they see even

higher percentages now.

Obesity can cause a number of health

problems, including diabetes and heart

problems. Diabetes in animals can be

treated successfully with diet and insulin,

but treatments are expensive and difficult to

undertake successfully with cats. Diabetes

treatments require animals to eat on a

consistent basis and cats don’t often enjoy

following a schedule. Treating obesity before

the animal becomes diabetic is a far simpler

solution.

The American Veterinary Medical

Association has partnered with Hill’s Pet

Nutrition Inc. to combat obesity by sponsoring

the Alliance for Healthier Pets — Obesity

Awareness and Prevention Program. The

initiative’s primary goal is to educate the

public on how to recognize obesity and to

suggest simple solutions. Visit petfit.com to

see examples of how common pet treats

translate into major calories. Watch as

personal trainer Gunnar Petersen teaches pet

owners how to exercise with their pets and

then take the “Pet Fit” Challenge.

For more information about animal health,

visit avma.org and visit avmatv.org for an

informative video about pet obesity. : :

— briefs courtesy ARAContent

18 qnotes Jan. 9-22 . 2010

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Not for Reproduction

general gayety

by leslie robinson :: qnotes contributor

Homo stupidicus

You’ve heard of Peking Man and Java

Man. Now meet Mecklenburg Man.

This prehistoric specimen, Bill James,

is a Mecklenburg County commissioner.

At a recent public meeting in Charlotte,

commissioners debated whether to offer

domestic-partner benefits to county

employees.

During the proceedings, James, a

Republican white man, sat next to Vilma

Leake, a Democratic black woman.

Presumably each now wishes the other had

been sitting in another country.

Leake revealed her personal tie to the

debate: “A son that I birthed that died of AIDS

and I did not know that in 2010 I would be

sitting here to defend…his lifestyle,” she said

with fervor.

After her speech, James leaned over and

asked, “Your son was a homo, really”

James is a caveman, really.

Leake responded, “You’re going to make

me hurt you. Don’t do that to me. Don’t talk

about my son.”

After the vote — where the board

approved domestic-partner benefits for

Mecklenburg County employees in same-sex

relationships — Leake briefly left her seat,

still smarting.

She wants an apology and the chair of the

commission agrees. James told The Charlotte

Observer he won’t apologize. He said he was

just asking for a clarification, wasn’t making a

derogatory comment and used a slang word

he grew up with.

Language was limited in the cave.

WBTV asked James for an interview,

but he said with all the recent talking and

interviews he’d lost his voice. Before you say

hallelujah, check out how ignorant and nasty

he can be when he types.

In an email to the TV station, James called

Leake “a religious hypocrite” who “used her

son’s ‘lifestyle’ and his death from HIV-AIDS to

justify voting for benefits to allow individuals

to use tax dollars to engage in the same

behavior that resulted in her son’s death.

“It is akin to someone whose son is an

alcoholic and died from the disease, using his

death from drinking as justification to have the

taxpayers pay for more booze.”

Somewhere, a Cro-Magnon village is

missing its idiot.

He devotes his longest paragraph to

taking Leake to task for threatening him with

violence, saying that’s her pattern. He has a

long history of shooting from the lip, but that

he omits.

It seems to me the average homophobic

politician of today makes an effort to avoid

obviously anti-gay language. James is below

average. With people calling for his ouster for

his initial insensitivity, instead of hushing up,

he spewed bile till Charlotte was knee-deep.

Not very politic for a politician. My guess

is he likes that, views himself as a straightshooter.

Or, he might simply be such a

Neanderthal that all he knows how to do is

speak his simple mind, then if there’s trouble,

automatically start swinging. He skipped

evolution or evolution skipped him.

Before he lost his voice, James spoke

on local talk radio’s “Keith Larson Show.”

He said, “If Vilma is, frankly, dumb enough

to try to use her sick and sadly-dead son as

justification for allowing more sickness and

more death, then I’ve got a right to challenge

that, in a public setting, in the arena.”

Yes, he called a fellow county

commissioner dumb. Yes, he again said being

gay is lethal. Yes, a paramecium has more

brains and compassion.

How long will the people of Mecklenburg

County put up with James His initial slur

even disturbed people who agree with him.

It and his subsequent statements should get

him booted from the commissioner’s chair.

Perhaps he’ll land in a natural history

museum, where he’ll be linked with Peking

Man, Java Man and others that — to his

intense embarrassment — belong to the

species Homo erectus. : :

Jan. 9-22 . 2010 qnotes 19

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tell trinity

by trinity :: qnotes contributor

Promiscuity: Can it make you too ripe

Hey Trinity,

My sexual appetite has been

crazy lately. Is it so wrong to sleep

with whomever I want And, what’s a

healthy sex life anyway

Yours & Everyone’s, Chicago, IL

Hey Yours & Everyone’s,

The difference between a healthy sex

life and a hedonistic one usually happens

around the full moon where even monks

and nuns have to loosen their collars. Promiscuity

is not a new word. but it does get

old. Sure, sex is grand, but the unreturned

phone calls, texts, emails and/or late

nights on the internet, in the streets or at

the bars, plus constantly ducking social diseases, eventually

turns quality to quantity and possible addiction. So, honey, for

a healthier sex life remember, moderation, patience and a bit

of abstinence now and then will keep you fresh from turning

overly ripe.

Dearest Trinity,

I’ve been married five years and love my partner, but I’ve had a

couple of affairs on the side. I’m not proud, but it happened. I’ve

been keeping a diary and don’t want him to see it. Where’s a

good place to hide it

Diary Troubles, New York, NY

Dearest Diary Troubles,

As for extramarital affairs, you know it’s wrong and I know

it happens, so now listen up, sweetie! Walk that diary to the

furthest garbage can, in the furthest state and burn it. And,

never write your wrongs in a diary again unless, of course,

Not for Reproduction

you secretly want to get caught. Everyone who keeps a diary

eventually gets caught, period.

Hello Trinity,

I’m single and want a relationship, yet my friend who has a

boyfriend always talks about being single. Can we ever win

Me And/Or We, Phoenix, AZ

Hello Me And/Or We,

Some people live alone and hate it, while others live as a couple

and hate it too. But, pumpkin, the best attitude for dealing with

any situation is,

a) accept what

you don’t have; b)

enjoy what you do

have; and, c) work

hard for what you

want. Oh, and, d)

fantasize, fantasize,

fantasize! (Let me

show you how to

work this out in my

cartoon.)

Dear Trinity,

My ex and I moved

into an apartment

together, but broke up soon after. Now we have to live together

for a while. But, we fight all the time. I need help in the communication

department, especially with this one!

Trapped In Ex-Hell, Miami, FL

Dear Trapped,

I know adventure is the key to heaven’s gate and you’ll never

get in by always doing the right thing, babe, but did you have to

move in so quickly Anyway, for now read:

Trinity’s Smart Tips For Learning

Good Communication Skills

1. Learn to let it out. Express yourself while being clear, to the

point, patient and strong.

2. Learn to talk neutrally. Speak in such a way that no one is right

or wrong, but rather “this is one possible way” of seeing it.

3. Learn to find the right moment. A safe, calm and gentle

timeslot to sit down and yell, I mean talk, is always best.

4. Learn to bite your tongue. Not always saying what you feel at

the exact time you feel it is a holy task.

5. Learn to walk away. You don’t always have to have the last

word or always win, enough said!

6. Learn to ask for outside advice. Make time to talk to neutral

friends, relatives or professionals.

7. Learn to give it a rest. Create fun, upbeat moments together

where you don’t talk about what bothers you.

8. Learn not to bring up past problems that have already been

put to sleep. Everything, eventually, deserves to rest-in-peace.

9. Learn to use humor and wit, “I love you best when…” — “I

feel like eating the dog when…” — and so on.

10. Lastly, learn to touch, hug or kiss someone you are mad at

even when you don’t feel like it. Touching is healing. : :

— With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity was

host of “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama,

and now performs globally.

info: www.telltrinity.com . Trinity@telltrinity.com

Tell Trinity, P.O. Box 23861 . Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33307

Sponsored by: Provincetown Business Guild

800-637-8696 . www.ptown.org

20 qnotes Jan. 9-22 . 2010

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Events

Jan. 9-17 • Winston-Salem

‘Night, Mother

Winston Salem Theatre Alliance presents the

1983 Pulitzer Prize winning “’Night, Mother,”

by Marsha Norman. 1047 Northwest Blvd.

Various Times. $14/adults. $12/students and

seniors. wstheatrealliance.org.

Jan. 12 • Durham

TGMC auditions

Come for Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus open

auditions and sing with us as we begin our

15th year of music. All male voice parts

welcome. Auditions are relaxed and no

prepared selecton is required. Durham Arts

Council, 120 Morris St. 6:45-9:15 p.m.

919-881-2108. tgmchorus.org.

Jan. 14 • Charlotte

LGBT band meeting

An organizing meeting for Charlotte’s first

LGBT concert band will be held. St. Martin’s

Episcopal Church, 1510 E. 7th St. 7 p.m.

Jan. 14 • Greensboro

Dining bears

Carolina Bear Lodge members host a Triad

Bear Dinner for their friends and family in the

Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point

areas. Pho Hien Vuong, 4109 Spring Garden

St. #A. For more information email triad@

carolinabears.com or visit carolinabears.com.

Jan. 15 • Greensboro

Bingo Odyssey

Join Guilford Green Foundation for their first

Green Queen Bingo of the new year, “2010

A Bingo Odyssey” — a brief glimpse into

the future of drag and all that surrounds it.

Sponsors include The Q, Custom Jewelers

Gallery, Triad Pride/ART, Fincastles and

WMAG 99.5. Sponsorships still available. The

Empire Room, 203 S. Elm St. Cocktails with

the Queens, 6 p.m. Game begins, 7 p.m. $15/

general admission. $10/student and military.

ggfnc.org.

Jan. 16 • Charlotte

Guild meeting

Sponsored by the McColl Center for Visual

Art, the Charlotte Business Guild welcomes

Vincent Berkeley, chief diversity officer of

Compass Group. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 201 S.

McDowell St. 5:30-8 p.m. For more information,

updated location and reservation/dinner

information, visit charlottebusinessguild.org.

Jan. 16 • Greenville, N.C.

Community meeting

A second LGBT community meeting is

scheduled to discuss current needs and future

goals including a center and local Pride in

2010. The Tipsy Teapot, 409 S. Evans St. Free.

Jan. 22 • Charlotte

Halcyon

Hartigan’s Irish Pub welcomes the return of

Halcyon. Deb and Steph are coming to back to

Charlotte all the way from Florida for another

fabulous show. Hartigan’s Irish Pub, 601 S.

Cedar St. Doors open at 10 p.m. Show starts

at 11 p.m. $10. hartigans.com

Jan. 23 • Charlotte

Takeover gives back

They know how to provide you with a great

party, but the guys and gals of Takeover want

to help you give back to your community.

Takeover Friday will volunteer with Crisis

Assistance Ministry’s store, sorting and

hanging clothing and remerchandising

the store. Bring clothes to donate. Crisis

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GayCharlotte Film Festival

The Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte presents its second annual GayCharlotte

Film Festival, featuring all-time LGBT film classics, new film festival circuit arrivals and other

features. Don’t miss “Little Ashes” starring Robert Pattinson of “Twilight” fame. For more

more information, including a forthcoming film schedule, visit gaycharlottefilmfestival.com.

Lesbian & Gay Community Center, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B-11. gaycharlotte.

Assistance Ministry, 500 Spratt St.

10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Jan. 28-Feb. 13 • Charlotte

Grey Gardens, The Musical

Queen City Theatre Company presents

the treasured, cherished “Grey Gardens

– The Musical,” based on the

groundbreaking, 1975 cult

classic documentary by Albert

and David Maysles. Duke

Energy Theatre at Spirit Square,

345 N. College St. Various

times. Various prices.

queencitytheatre.com.

Jan. 31 • Charlotte

Miss Scorpio Pageant

Scorpio hosts The

Legendary Miss Scorpio

Pageant featuring Miss Scorpio

2009 Beverly Iman Johnson.

Brooklyn Dior serves as

your emcee. The Scorpio,

2301 Freedom Dr.

10 p.m.-1 a.m. scorpios.com.

Feb. 5 • Durham

Vagina Monologues

Help a good cause and visit Steel Blue for a

special showing of “Vagina Monologues.”

Proceeds benefit the Durham Crisis Response

Center. Steel Blue, 1426 S. Miami Blvd. 8:15

p.m. $10. 919-596-5876. clubsteelblue.com.

Feb. 5-7 • Hickory

Anniversary time

Carolina Bear Lodge holds its “Sweet 16

Anniversary.” Weekend includes a banquet

dinner, variety show, breakfast, afterhours

dance party and Sunday church

21

events

goqnotes.com/qguide/events

service. For more information on events and

accommodations visit carolinabears.com.

Feb. 5-7 • Boone

NC Gay Ski Weekend

Join your friends and family, and Takeover

Friday, at the NC Gay Ski Weekend in Boone.

From a cocktails and receptions to dance

parties and skiing, this weekend

is sure to be a blast. For more information

on ski packages pricing, events

schedule and accommodations visit

ncgayskiweekend.com.

Feb. 12-18 • Winston-Salem

Forever Plaid

One of the most popular and

successful musicals in recent

memory, this deliciously goofy revue

centers on four young, eager male

singers killed in a car crash in the 1950s on

the way to their first big concert, and now

miraculously revived for the posthumous

chance to fulfill their dreams and perform the

show that never was. Winston-Salem Theatre

Alliance, 1047 Northwest Blvd. Various times.

Various prices. wstheatrealliance.org.

Feb. 17 • Charlotte

Charlotte Newcomer

Scorpio hosts the Miss Charlotte Newcomer

Pageant competition for drag performers new

to the scene (less than two years). Entry fee of

$20 and categories include evening gown and

talent. For entry information, contact Tiffany

Storm at 704-891-4073. The Scorpio, 2301

Freedom Dr. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. scorpios.com. : :

For more events, see Carolinas News Notes on page 6.

Welcome to the new qnotes events calendar!

As with other portions of our print and online editions, our events calendar has a fresh look

and new direction. More events with more info for you and your social calendar! Although

we didn’t quite make it this time — everybody was still busy with holiday happenings at press

time — our goal is to feature at least 21 different events each and every issue. Ideally, we’d

like to see at least one LGBT or LGBT-friendly event listed for at least two weeks! But, that

depends on you — be sure to send us notices of your events to 21events@goqnotes.com or

submit them online: goqnotes.com/qguide/events/submit.

Upcoming: HRC Carolinas

Don’t forget to grab your tickets, book your hotel rooms and pick out your fabulous dinner

wear. The 15th Annual HRC Carolinas Gala hits downtown Raleigh on Feb. 27. Join other

LGBT North and South Carolinians for a weekend’s slate of events, including a Friday

“Takeover at Tantra” (310 S. West St., 8 p.m.-11 p.m., free admission), Saturday Gala and

Silent Auction (Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S. Salisbury St.) and After-parties galore! For

more information on ticketing, accommodations and events schedule, visit hrccarolinas.org.

Jan. 9-22 . 2010 qnotes 21

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The Sun conjuncts

retrograding Mercury

sending our innocent

and not so innocent

thoughts into wayward

action. Your mind is as

sharp as a tack but be careful where you step.

Ouch! State your case proud and queer even if

others are in a fog. Maybe someone will hear

you correctly.

CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) You receive more

public attention than you are able to effectively

handle. Pink Caps may find themselves at the

barenaked center of a public exhibition. Oops.

Before you catch a chill, use the lessons of the

recent past to assess and defuse any potentially

embarrassing situation. Avoid closer scrutiny

unless you have something interesting to show.

Ahem.

AQUARIUS (01.21-02.19) Outreach is the operative

word. Generous Aqueerians are on a karmic

mission and are keen to volunteer to make the

world a better place. The secret of your success

will be your ability to prioritize and get all the

facts before you proceed. Are you listening or

just making a stand You will need more than

two legs to move forward.

PISCES (02.20-03.20) Everyone appears to be

on the same wavelength now. Everyone, that is,

except randy Guppies who are off on their own

steamy little personal tangents. If compadres

are not listening, wait until you are better able

to command full attention and everyone is ready

to reconnect. Right now, they’re screening their

messages and you have been moved to the

spam folder.

ARIES (03.21-04.20) Proud Rams charge ahead

without so much as an “excuse me.” Don’t

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out in the stars

by charlene lichtenstein :: qnotes contributor

January 9 - 22

be surprised if some of your best ideas do not

see the light of day with superiors. Chalk it up

to a combination of their lack of vision and the

way you boldly deliver the news. There will be

plenty of opportunity to toss out the pinstripped

bastards later. Now be charming and bland, if

you can.

TAURUS (04.21-05.21) If you’re in the mood to

plan something globally glorious, do so in a couple

of weeks. Queer Bulls are itching to reveal the

truth to the world. Maybe some folks aren’t ready

to hear now. Or, maybe we have not quite crafted

our message effectively. Go back to the drawing

board and fiddle around with the text. You will be

playing music to their ears soon enough.

GEMINI (05.22-06.21) Active and imaginative

pink Twins come down with a case of acute

sex on the mind. You may conjure up all sorts of

imaginative and acrobatic scenarios, but keep it

within for now. There is plenty of time to get out

there and make your hot dreams come true. For

now, let thoughts grind and percolate. You will

be ready to pour and sip in a couple of weeks.

CANCER (06.22-07.23) Partnerships get all your

attention. Weigh all the give-and-take between

the two of you and imagine what life can be like

if you are willing to make some modifications.

But, before you set the ground rules, wait until

you can fully focus and prioritize. Gay Crabs

have high expectations, but are not adept at

expressing them clearly now. Talk with your

hands instead.

LEO (07.24-08.23) A new broom sweeps clean at

work. But, are you just pushing the dust around

Proud Lion Clean-up work was never your

strong suit and neither is your ability to blithely

(and quietly) go with the office flow. You may

become a bit snarly with those oafs who do not

pitch in with the same verve. Keep your tongue

in cheek. But, whose cheek

VIRGO (08.24-09.23) This time period heralds in

a time of imaginative canoodling. Your creative

gay muse runs wild, queer Virgin, and leads you

to delightful, yet wasteful tangents. You may

think you are awash with great ideas, but they

may just be all wet. Wait until later when the fog

clears and you can see which ones are drip dry

and which are perma-press. Then press away.

LIBRA (09.24-10.23) Proud Libras are tempted to

drag out the familial artillery. You feel that it is

definitely the time to talk to relatives. But, leave

the bazooka at home. Try diplomacy before you

declare war, commander. While compromise is

not in the game plan, you may be able to get a

full surrender if you stand firm. And, you happen

to be fairly good at that!

SCORPIO (10.24-11.22) Queer Scorps may try

to get their theories and opinions across to the

unwashed masses. Can you express what you

mean clearly Try as you will, you manage to

insult and alienate practically everyone. Maybe

that is because you have a hidden agenda

What is your real beef When in doubt, keep

your opinions to yourself…at least for the next

couple of weeks.

SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) Gay Archers don’t

usually count their pennies and now they can’t

help but spend, spend, spend. Are you getting

what you pay for Try to harness this out of

control fiscal fete and funnel some of your loose

funds into long-term equity rather than mere

sweat. Of course, a few loose coins for a few

sweaty things may not be such a waste after all.

You decide. : :

© 2010 Madam Lichtenstein, LLC. All Rights

Reserved. Entertainment.

info: Visit www.TheStarryEye.com for e-

greetings, horoscopes and Pride jewelry. My

book “HerScopes: A Guide To Astrology For

Lesbians” from Simon & Schuster is

available at bookstores and major booksites.

22 qnotes Jan. 9-22 . 2010

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Not for Reproduction

t-notes

by robbi cohn :: qnotes contributor

Transgender, Transsexual and Intersex

Regarding the issue of nomenclature

and labels, there are many opinions on this

particular subject. Invariably, few agree.

I suggest a compromise, based on the

acceptance that we have differences, as well

as similarities and shared experiences.

Confusion abounds in many minds

regarding the words transgender, transsexual

and intersex. All too often they are used

interchangeably by journalists, bloggers

and others. Doing so is inaccurate and not

only leads to misconceptions, but ends up

fracturing the fragile alliance that exists

between members of these communities.

The word transgender was coined

by Virginia Prince; the original intent was

to contrast those who wanted surgery

from those who didn’t. As defined by Dr.

Harry Benjamin, a true transsexual was

someone who identified as a member of the

opposite sex and was desirous of surgery

for congruence. In recent times, the use of

“transgender” has gradually and consistently

been enlarged for the sake of inclusivity.

Consider that the word used most frequently

by clinicians and society up until the last 10 or

15 years (and today, still, some places in the

world) was “transvestite,” a word generally

carrying a pejorative connotation. That wasn’t

Magnus Hirschfeld’s intent when he coined it.

In today’s world, the term transgender seemed

far less judgmental.

Sadly, when transgender came to be used

consistently as an umbrella for all persons

whose gender identity and/or expression were

perceived to be non-normative, individual

experience became homogenized. The fallout

is that many have rebelled against the use

of the word. Rather than uniting themselves,

gender-variant people have become utterly

factionalized, each group attempting to

express a rationale for its self-validation and

self-determination. Perhaps we’d have been

better served if the metaphorical umbrella had

never been used. No one should be forced

to amend their understanding of themselves

merely to accommodate convenience.

Different persons eschew the umbrella

concept and the word transgender, with

many and varied reasons. Some consider

themselves to be transsexual. Here are

several commonly heard rationales: Those

living full-time feel their lives to be different

from persons living part-time. Or, some who

have had surgery(-ies) feel they have a

greater congruence and/or commitment than

those who desire no surgery. Others assert

that they have a birth defect which can be

fixed and that they are not transgender. Some

individuals who consider themselves to be

transsexual embrace a gender binary. Some

trangender persons eschew binaries in favor

of gender fluidity. Some are in the middle…

some don’t know…some don’t care. Most of

these viewpoints are autonomous expressions

meant to explore an individual’s individuality

and authenticity. Too often, however,

semantics and rhetoric rule; too often some

establish arbitrary rules and hierarchies and

force others to conform. This is where selfvalidation

crosses a line and becomes elitist

and separatist.

I fail to see why anyone would insist on

value judgments; all that’s needed is to accept

that there are differences and similarities. The

reason we find ourselves treated similarly is

that transgender and transsexual individuals

often receive similar treatment — jobs, health

care, discrimination and violence. We are

minorities who society has relegated to being

“different” because of what it perceives to

be gender anomalies. Yes, we are individuals

who share some common experiences, and,

yes, I believe each person alone has the

responsibility for their own self definition.

But I would hope that there’d be more of

an emphasis on being one’s genuine and

authentic self, rather than establishing a

gender caste system.

There seem to be “two sides” here: socalled

inclusionists and exclusionists. In

reality, neither has a paradigmatic mandate.

Both can be useful and/or detrimental. It

depends on our ability to see the other side

and compromise…and a little common sense.

As is often the case, when we try to

understand and define ourselves, it may imply

delimiting someone else vis a vis how they are

and are not similar or dissimilar to us. I suspect

that our intersections in this regard are both

the cause and the solution for our lack of a

common understanding; this and the fact

that society has pre-conceived notions about

gender variance and has lumped us together

as “different.” These impasses give us starting

points to honestly discuss our differences and

similarities. Questions that need to be asked

are: How can we reframe the issues Is this

possible What are the values, detriments and

limits of labels If there is a reason for using

the word transgender, what is it And, If there

is a better way, what is that

Misunderstandings between trans and

intersex are even more contentious, often

with good reason. Intersex has traditionally

referred to anatomical conditions; there can

be a variety of etiologies: genetic and/or

chromosomal, for example, or as a result of

prenatal conditions, such as the administration

of DES to the mother. Transsexuals have

traditionally not been diagnosed with intersex

conditions in cases where there appears

to be no anatomical evidence. Many trans

persons, however, make the case that there

are, conceivably, intersex factors in play

which do not necessarily show up in anatomy.

They may be genetic, hormonal or both. There

may be other prenatal factors. Science may

be getting closer to being able to substantiate

these claims. It would seem prudent, however,

to only accept “intersex” to be defined by

anatomical structure until we have further

evidence that conclusively makes the case for

hormonal, neurological and/or genetic intersex

conditions. Yet, it would be premature and

mistaken to exclude the possibility that one

day intersex may mean more than anatomy.

Disagreement appears when transgender,

transsexual and intersex issues intersect.

There is no inherent mutual exclusivity here,

but given the evident divisiveness, it’d be easy

to assume that some actually believe there is

cause for militant separatism. Again…I think

some kind of compromise is necessary. Can

we not agree that these points of intersection

are where we must set differences aside and

work together : :

— Comments and corrections can be sent

to editor@goqnotes.com. To contact Robbi

Cohn, email robbi_cohn108@yahoo.com.

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Jan. 9-22 . 2010 qnotes 23


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24 qnotes Jan. 9-22 . 2010

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