Categories
outtakes

03.09 “COLAGE” Your World

Resources for Kids (and Adults) with LGBTQ parents

By Meghan Ennes

“I grew up in a granola-lesbian ranch home with chickens, dogs, a turtle, and a hedgehog,” says Debra Rosenberg, 21, “so growing up in an upper middle class white town was interesting.” Today, the Framingham State art student is not only still proud of her unconventional pets, but also her two moms, Miriam and Diane, who adopted her the day she was born. She tells The Pulse, “It was hard to be out about my parents in middle school, but now it’s a great conversation starter… My family is quite unique.”

CNN.com tells us that nearly 10,000 same-sex couples have tied the knot since gay marriage in Massachusetts was legalized in 2004, and now more are finding it easier to settle down. With the increased occurrence of gay marriage, there’s a growing population of kids with LGBTQ parents ~ and this is where COLAGE comes in. COLAGE stands for Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere. This community works toward a world in which “all families are valued, protected, reflected, and embraced by society,” as their website states. “I couldn’t imagine what I’d be without COLAGE,” says Rosenberg, who still lends a hand at her local Boston chapter, where she says she’s made many of her current friends.

One of COLAGE’s contacts in the Worcester area is Abbie Goldberg, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Clark University. She conducts research on children of gay/lesbian parents and receives many of her participants via the COLAGE online community. She finds that regardless of shame often experienced during childhood, adult children of LGBTQ parents tend to feel a sense of pride in their unique families, as well as closely identify with the gay community. Children of these distinctive families usually feel that it’s their duty to educate others: “The biggest tool towards greater understanding and respect for our families is education,” she tells us. “Folks should learn more about LGBTQ families and especially let their opinions be informed by the youth and adults from these families”

COLAGE offers a variety of resources for people of all ages with LGBTQ parents. Their publication, Just For Us, has been running for nearly 20 years and publishes articles on tough issues like marriage, schools, and coming out. The web site offers online communities which are only open to children of LGBTQ parents, of which COLAGE program director Meredith Fenton says, “Often once youth are connected to a vibrant community, they want to find ways to make change on behalf of that community.” COLAGE offers a Speak OUT program to help make that change through media advocacy. Speak OUT provides education and training in public speaking to young adults with LGBTQ parents. COLAGE then will put them in touch with certain media contacts (for example, The Pulse Magazine!) so they can start combating intolerance by recruiting others and spreading awareness about their families.

COLAGE has 32 chapters across the country ~ in Boston there are meetings every month in addition to special events like the annual family weekend in Provincetown. At chapter meetings, kids will find a safe environment to talk about their “moms” or “dads” without fearing judgment. Rosenberg says her chapter helped her get through some of the tougher times: “Having a safe space like this has been so great for me and has definitely changed my views to become more proud and out about my family.”

To find out more about COLAGE, visit www.colage.org.

Categories
outtakes

03.09 On DVD

Jey Crisfar as Otto
Jey Crisfar as Otto

The Bruce La Bruce helmed gay zombie flick Otto; Or, Up With Dead People is now available on DVD following its MOMA debut and nationwide theatrical run.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Canadian director Bruce LaBruce, the man behind such gay-themed, controversial films as Hustler White and The Raspberry Reich, recently premiered his latest and most accomplished film to date, Otto; Or Up With Dead People at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art (with, of course, John Waters in attendance).

The film is a brand new, exceptional addition to the zombie genre that renounces the most obvious clichés, with LaBruce letting his protagonist ~ gay punk zombie Otto ~ ramble and roam the streets of Berlin until he finds himself cast for a low budget flick. Just wrapping up a traveling nationwide theatrical run, Otto will make its debut on DVD this month.

www.ottothezombie.de
www.myspace.com/brucelabruce

Categories
outtakes

12.08 Get Away Without Going Away

By Matt Shaw

pupleroof.jpg
If you’re looking for a quiet getaway from the hassles of Main St., America, or even if you just want a simple, elegant, perfect dinner for two at a rustic inn, there’s only one web site you need to visit. PurpleRoofs.com is an online directory of GLBT-owned and –friendly hotels, inns and B&Bs organized by state and region with brief descriptions, room rates, and links to the hotels’ web sites. A quick search turned up two wonderful little B&Bs, each of which is less than an hour from Worcester.jenkins inn.jpgIn 1986, when partners Dave Ward and Joe Perrin bought the building that was to become the Jenkins Inn and Restaurant in Barre, it was in shambles. “The floors were painted gray,” Ward recalls, “and most of the house didn’t have heat. When the windows were closed the curtains still fluttered. And that first winter was cold.” Fastidious do-it-yourselfers, Ward and Perrin got to work. A few creative choices in wallpaper, a handful of antiques, and a precocious attention to detail put the final touches on the renovation. The Jenkins opened the next year with four magnificently appointed bedrooms, a comfortable front porch, and a pristinely manicured garden.

248-Konigzimmer.jpgBut where to send the guests for dinner? “There were several restaurants in town when we opened, but most of them closed down, so we started cooking for our guests,” Ward says. And cook he does. The dinner menu runs the gamut from Tuscan eggplant ravioli to grilled Kangaroo loin. Ward and Perrin also grow their own apples, peaches, blueberries, and herbs for cooking. The dessert menu alone is worth the drive.

Delightfully decorated, and with all of the modern baubles to keep you in touch with the real world (if you really want to), the Jenkins Inn and Restaurant is an absolutely superb gem in northwest Worcester County.

If you happen to be near the Connecticut border and in need of a good meal and a comfy bed, the Vienna Inn of Southbridge should be at the top of your list. Upon checking in, Jonathan and Lisa Krach treat their guests to hors d’oeuvres and a complimentary beverage. Breakfast is included in an overnight stay in one of the five luxurious rooms (which run between $195 and $235 per night), each of which has its own ambiance. The Konig Zimmer (King’s Room) is palatial, boasting some of the finest accoutrements this well-traveled journalist has ever encountered. The Freud Zimmer, named after the famous Viennese psychologist, is laden with intimate sexual undertones and tasteful nudes adorning the walls. For the less hedonistic, there is a room with a jaw-dropping view of the nearby Notre Dame Church. Everything about the B&B screams luxury, from the early 19th century antique furniture to the ornate wall hangings right down to the supple 600-thread count linens.

More impressive than the rooms, though, is the food. Jonathan Krach prides himself on owning the only (as far as he knows) Austrian restaurant in MA. The fare, which he describes as mainly “protein-based central European peasant food,” also includes high-end seafood dishes. Jonathan goes out of his way to find the freshest seafood in New England because, as he puts it, “Life’s too short to eat bad fish.”

I had the opportunity to take a quick peek into the Vienna’s labyrinthine wine cellar, which houses about 1,700 bottles. The cellar wraps around to a dark and charming speakeasy-style bar. Beside the bar is a false wall that leads into a small, intimate spa complete with a massage table, sauna, and plush parlor for general relaxation. While this part of the inn is not yet open to the public, it will certainly be the pièce de résistance of any weekend getaway and the envy of many B&Bs statewide.

For other GLBT-friendly locales in your area, or to find information on booking either the Jenkins Inn and Restaurant in Barre or the Vienna Inn in Southbridge, please visit www.purpleroofs.com.

photos: Jenkin’s Inn & The Konig Zimmer (King’s Room) at the Vienna Inn

Categories
outtakes

10.08 Transgendered Comedian Ian Harvie

By Jesse Sader

IanHarvie1_KevinNeales.jpgTransgendered comedian Ian Harvie is the creator of his own live comedy talk show, “The Ian Harvie Show,” that he performs at the music and comedy club Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles.

His show is similar to late night TV, but all the guests are queer or queer-by-proxy (supporters of the GLBTQ community). You can check it out on YouTube (youtube.com/ianharvie).

Ian was born female, and believes that sex and gender are two separate things. “Gender is something I get to craft and modify as I see fit, not something that is defined by science,” says Ian. “Other than being held under the same topic umbrella by much of mainstream, non-queer and some queer culture in conversation, I don’t believe that biological sex and gender are necessarily even related.”

Ian knew at six years old he was transgendered, but he didn’t have the language for it. “I only began learning language for my masculinity when I came out as queer when I was nineteen,” says Ian.

It wasn’t until Ian was at a community forum in Lewiston, Maine, hearing two transgendered men speaking about their lives, that he found his first clear words for himself. “Going there, I had no idea what to expect, but when they opened their mouths, they spoke to my heart,” exclaims Ian. “I looked at them and saw myself. I kept thinking, ‘Oh my God, that’s me!’ and I began to cry with fear and elation.”

Ian was bitten by the comedy bug seven years ago. As a kid he was obsessed with “The Carol Burnett Show,” Flip Wilson, “Hee Haw,” “Laugh-In,” and “SNL.” “As I grew older, I tried several different types of artist performance mediums, I learned how to play guitar mediocre and I sing poorly, but comedy just clicked for me,” he says. “It’s an honor to make people laugh and educate them at the same time; I don’t think I could do one without the other, for me it’s important they are linked.”

Soon after, he left Maine and headed to Hollywood, where his motto was: “Say yes to everything!” “From open mic night to performing on television, I’ve said yes to everything that has come my way.”

He has performed on “Outlaugh on Wisecrack” on LOGO and just filmed “Byron Allen’s Comics Unleashed” for ABC. He has acted in some short independent films and music videos and was the executive producer of numerous music videos that have landed on the Top 10 of the “Click List” on LOGO. He is currently working on short scripts that are in pre-production, which he hopes to submit to festivals.

His favorite project? His own comedy show, of course! He has been doing the show for about a year and half and has had the pleasure of entertaining guests such as Jorja Fox, Jane Lynch, Buck Angel, Ant, Margaret Cho, Alan Cumming, and Rex Lee. “I’m super lucky to have interviewed each of these talented people,” says Ian. “Eventually I’d like the program to be on Bravo, Oxygen, or a large, queer friendly, cable network.”

Has this star ever been star stuck? Only by all the stars on his show! But there was one moment in particular he remembers on a gay cruise where he was performing with Margaret Cho: “Kyan Douglass from ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ was on board the ship. I was gaga and begged Margaret to nonchalantly introduce me to him and then when she did I was without words. He was so authentic and kind… and cute! So I got all silly and couldn’t really talk, but I did get a photo and it’s proudly on my MySpace account.”

Ian is currently booking a college tour and hopes to be in the Northeast soon. For more information or to check tour dates, visit www.ianharvie.com.

Categories
outtakes

10.08 GoodAsYou Better Than Anyone

jeremyroom2.jpg

By Matt Shaw

At first glance, www.goodasyou.org is not unlike many mainstream weblogs of its kind. It’s strongly opinionated, highly biased, and takes full advantage of the first amendment. It’s witty, irreverent, and pointedly controversial. It’s a single-minded, all-out assault on anti-GLBT advocates and legislators, gift wrapped and served up piping hot to your computer through a RSS feed. Yes, there are thousands of blogs out there with the same goal as Good As You (GAY). But not one of them handles GLBT issues with the singularly unprejudiced mindset with which Jeremy Hooper, the founder of and blogger for GAY, conducts himself. Pulse Magazine had the opportunity to pick this up-and-coming GLBT-rights advocate’s brain about the upcoming election and its impact on the national GLBT community.

Pulse Magazine: Bill Clinton gave an impressive and whole-hearted endorsement of Barack Obama during the DNC. Many GLBT voters believe that, on the face of it, Obama is a good vote for GLBT issues. But not only has Obama downplayed GLBT issues, he also accepted a high-profile endorsement from the man who signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act. How good do you think Obama will be for GLBT rights if he is elected?

Jeremy Hooper: He’s with us in some very key ways. While he’s not yet with us on marriage equality, he supports civil unions, inclusive hate crimes legislation, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, equal benefits for same-sex couples, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, key HIV/AIDS provisions and programs, equal adoption, fair-minded judges, and the Uniting American Families Act. And he’s against constitutional marriage bans on either the state or federal level. There is simply no comparison on the issues between Barack Obama and John McCain.

PM: When, if ever, do you think we will see an amendment to the constitution that defines marriage as the union of any two people, regardless of gender and/or sexual preference?

JH: After we win at the polls in California, Florida, and Arizona this November — and we will win — we will see the state amendment efforts severely crippled. In short time, states like New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York go to full marriage equality. Then we will surely win a few more court battles, and over time, the bluer states will start to repeal their bans. Ultimately, the matter will be settled in the Supreme Court. That’s why the matter of justices is SO important.

PM: Certain Republican spin artists have categorized Sarah Palin as pro-family, while others call her an “inclusive” Republican. Where do you think Palin falls on the GLBT-friendly scale?

JH: This is one area where we actually have some concrete knowledge of Palin. Here’s what we know as of now:

She supported Alaska’s 1998 ban on marriage equality. One several occasions, she has very strongly indicated that she is against spousal benefits being offered to same-sex couples. In a 2006 questionnaire for the Alaska Eagle Forum, she said she was opposed to LGBT-inclusive hate crimes legislation, using the conservative talking point that “all heinous crime is based on hate.” In that same survey, she also said that one of her top three priorities as Governor would be “…Preserving the definition of ‘marriage’ as defined in our constitution.” So while I am certainly eager to learn all I can about Gov. Palin’s stances, there is not even the beginning of a reason to assume that she is our friend.

For more on these and other pressing social and political issues, as well as up-to-the-minute coverage of GLBT news and insight, please visit Hooper’s website at www.goodasyou.org.

Categories
outtakes

09.08 Celebration of Diversity

l_d041af01f8c0e38e037bdb9d0f77dc8e.jpg

By Annette Cinelli

Worcester Pride Association, an organization that has been active in Worcester for over 30 years, will hold their 6th Annual Block Party event in September and WPA co-chairs Sean Fitzpatrick and Maria DePasquale are excited about this fun-filled weekend. Fitzpatrick notes that for a long time Worcester Pride was “just about gay men” and it was when DePasquale echoed those same sentiments that he suggested she join him as co-chair person. The focus has shifted over the years and now it is centered on the entire GLBT community. In fact, the theme of this year’s Worcester Pride Weekend is just that ~ community.

WPA has expanded the event with the hopes to attract people from all walks of life. With an attendance of nearly 3,000 people last year, people are certainly taking interest!

The weekend promises to be a huge success. It will start on Wednesday, September 10th with a business networking meet and greet and run through Sunday the 14th with a variety of activities. The fun continues on Thursday at the MB Lounge with the flag raising, a new ceremony that officially kicks off the festivities. It’s a great chance to talk with people, hang out and gear up for some fun.

The party gets started Friday at Blu Ultralounge and Night Club.

“It was a great success last year,” said proprietor Tim Desantis. He hopes to maintain that success this year. Stop by to have a drink, chat with some old friends, make some new ones.

Saturday brings the Beer Garden opening at noon. Tents will be set up and they will be selling liquor as well as beer. The event is sponsored by Consolidated Beverage and is always a big hit. Dan the Hot Dog Man, whom you may know from your Friday and Saturday late night strolls on Water Street, will be working the event.

There will be family events including trampolines, face painting and maybe even a clown or two!

Before you have too many drinks at the Beer Garden, be sure to swing by the business expo from 2 p.m. ‘til 6 p.m. with non-profit organizations as well as local businesses. Some businesses you will see there are Wings Over Worcester and Sovereign Bank. The non-profit organizations that will be in attendance include Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders of Boston, Mass Equality of Boston, Elderly Services of Worcester, YWCA of Worcester; Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Unitarian-Universalist Church of Worcester, Gay Men Domestic Violence Project of Cambridge, Safe Home of Worcester, North Star Church, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and AIDS Project Worcester. The WPA hopes that events like this will help rebuild the Central Massachusetts Business Council.

Providing their MC skills for Saturday’s events will be Al Capone’s grandson Chris W. Knight, the author of Son of Scarface, and local drag talent Miss Crystal. There’s also a fashion show with local boutiques including Tush. Later in the day, State Representatives and City Councilors as well as State Senator Harriette Chandler will be speaking. Blu will be open from noon on and there will be no cover charge before 7 p.m. The dance party will start at 6 p.m. and continue ‘til close (2 a.m.).

Things start to wind down on Sunday with a drag brunch at 86 Winter Street, which is always a ball. There will also be a pianist at the MB Ultralounge at night.

Local residents are really looking forward to the Worcester Pride Weekend. Jessie Pack, who will be attending the weekend celebration, thinks the whole weekend is about “community, connection, support and celebration.”

“It’s also a time for the whole community, not just gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender, but the whole community, to network and meet each other and learn more about the GLBT community,” he said.

For more information on this and other GLBT events, visit www.worcesterpride.net.