ISSUE 1173____________ WWW.HOUSTONVOICE.COM ALL THE NEWS FOR YOUR LIFE. AND YOUR STYLE.________ APRIL 18, 2003
Faisal Alam, founder of the gay
Islamic group Al-Fatiha, said a
democratic Iraq may not have
much effect on gay Iraqis.
Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) said
the RAVE Act passed by
Congress is aimed at event
promoters who 'knowingly'
allow drug use.
Nundini Food Store's deli is an
unexpected delight with memorable
TX Senate passes DO MA
Measure that activists call
'slap in the face' to gay Texans
next up for a House vote
By PENNY WEAVER
A Texas Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) is close to becoming law after
receiving Senate approval this week.
The full Texas Senate passed Senate Bill
7 on Tuesday, and the proposal now goes to
the Texas House of Representatives. The
measure would prohibit the state from recognizing
same-sex civil unions or marriages
performed in other states.
“It’s nothing more than a slap in the face
to the LGBT community of this state,” said
Randall Ellis, executive director of the
Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas (LGRL).
“The passage of DOMA by the Texas Senate
illustrates a fact that gays and lesbians know
all too well: Texas discriminates.
“Gays and lesbians are denied literally
Sen. Jeff Wentworth (left), R-San Antonio, said his Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) bill — approved by the full
Senate on Tuesday — is designed to 'encourage and protect' traditional marriage between one man and one
woman. One senator argued that Wentworth's DOMA bill is unnecessary, pointing out that Texas Attorney General
Greg Abbott (right) recently said that current Texas law does not recognize civil unions issued in any jurisdiction.
hundreds upon hundreds of rights and privileges
— everything from tax exemptions to
hospital visitation rights,” Ellis added.
Originally filed as S.B. 630, the measure
was re-filed by Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San
Antonio, at the request of Lt. Gov. David
Please see TX DOMA on Page 3
Intersexed novel, priest scandal garner Pulitzers
Awards have history of nods
to gay authors, subjects
By MIKE FLEMING
Two 2003 winners of the coveted
Pulitzer Prizes that were announced April
7 touch on gay and transgender issues,
highlighting the awards’ increasingly progressive
record supporting excellence in
journalism, literature, music and drama
regardless of the sexual orientation or
gender identity of its topics or authors.
“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides,
which follows a family across eight generations
through the eyes of an intersexed
narrator, won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for
Fiction. The Boston Globe won the award
for Public Service Journalism for its coverage
of last year’s Catholic priest sexual
“Middlesex” tells the story of a Greek-
American family from the perspective of a
protagonist first called Callie, then called
Cal, who has genitals of both sexes, was
raised as a girl and later identifies as male. Please see PULITZER on Page 5
Author Jeffrey Eugenides
won his first Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for
'Middlesex,' an eight-generation family saga told
from the perspective of an intersexed narrator who
changes his gender identity halfway through the
book. (Photo by Petr David Josek/AP)
“I take things that are a little bit freaky,
and I de-freak them,” Eugenides told
National Public Radio. “This story, when you
read it, becoming a hermaphrodite is not
something that we all don’t experience. It’s
really closer to what everyone feels in puberty
and what everybody feels growing up. It’s
sort of a symbolic story for... an experience
that is very common to all of us.”
Eugenides, a heterosexual biological
male, is also a National Book Critics Circle
Finalist and a Transgendered Fiction
Finalist for the Lambda Literary
Awards, which focuses recognition
each year on books with gay or transgender
The “Lammys” are scheduled to be
awarded May 29 in Los Angeles.
The Boston Globe won its Pulitzer
for “courageous, comprehensive coverage
of sexual abuse by priests, an
effort that piereced secrecy, stirred
local, national and international reaction
and produced changes in the Roman
Catholic Church,” according to a statement
from the Pulitzer board.
2 APRIL 18, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
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I local news
House panel already has OK'd its own DOMA
TX DOMA, continued from Page 1
Dewhurst, according to Ellis. That was a
strategic move to allow the bill to be
assigned a lower number, indicating a
higher priority, Ellis said.
Wentworth has said S.B. 7 is essential to
clarify existing law. Texas currently limits
the issue of marriage licenses to people of
the opposite sex but the state does not
specifically address other “civil unions,”
the senator said.
“I believe Texas should adopt as its public
policy that traditional marriage is
between one man and one woman, and that
this state should not recognize civil unions
entered into in Vermont and possibly
other states in the future,” Wentworth told
the Houston Chronicle.
Vermont is the only state that recognizes
same-sex civil unions. Since Vermont
approved its bill in 2000, lawmakers in five
states — California, Connecticut, Hawaii,
Rhode Island and Washington — have introduced
civil union legislation, according to
the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.
On the other hand, 36 states across the
country have enacted laws in recent years
that limit legal recognition of marriages
to heterosexual couples.
“Clearly the point of the bill is to encourage
and protect the institution that is fundamental
to our whole society and that is traditional
marriage,” Wentworth said.
“People talk about discrimination as
though it were a bad thing,” he said in
defending the bill. “It is something we do
all the time.”
Wentworth said the bill does not diminish
“my feeling of respect and even love for
friends and acquaintances and people that
I know who are gay. I have great respect for
those people,” he said. “This bill has nothing
to do with that.”
Two other senators challenged
Wentworth, the Chronicle reported.
“Some people would say this is just mean-spirited,”
said Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston,
the newspaper reported. “It’s directed
at elements of our society that most of
whom just want to be left alone, go to work,
Randall Ellis, executive director of the
Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, said bills such
as the state Defense of Marriage Act show that
Texas Senators Gonzalo Barrientos (left), D-Austin, and John Whitmire, D-Houston, challenged the Senate's
DOMA. Barrientos said, 'Because of little ol' Vermont, big ol' Texas has to pass this piece of legislation?'
Texas Senators Rodney Ellis (left) and Mario Gallegos, both Democrats and both from Houston, were among
those who voted against the DOMA approved by the state Senate this week.
pay taxes and not create problems for anyone.
“You’ve introduced legislation that
speaks to their lifestyle, tries to change a
law that doesn’t need changing,” he added.
Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin,
said, “Because of little ol’ Vermont, big ol’
Texas has to pass this piece of legislation?”
the Chronicle reported.
Whitmire pointed out that Texas
Attorney General Greg Abbott, citing existing
law, recently persuaded a Beaumont
judge to reverse his decision granting a
divorce to two men who had been joined in
a Vermont civil union. Abbott argued that
Texas law “does [not] recognize civil
unions established in other jurisdictions.”
“Your law is not necessary,” Whitmire
told Wentworth, the Chronicle reported.
But Wentworth argued that the attorney
general does not write state law.
“Only the Legislature may do that, and
that’s what this bill does,” Wentworth said,
according to the Chronicle. “It sets state
The Senate DOMA passed on a vote of
22-7, with “no” votes cast by Democrats
Whitmire, Barrientos, Rodney Ellis and
Mario Gallegos of Houston, Eliot
Shapleigh of El Paso, Royce West of Dallas
and Judish Zaffirini of Laredo.
■ Federal legislation already allows
states to refuse to honor same-sex unions.
Congress approved and President Bill
Clinton signed the federal Defense of
Marriage Act in 1996 to prohibit federal
recognition of gay marriages. DOMA also
purports to grant states the right not to
recognize same-sex marriages performed
in other states.
The federal law also creates a definition
of marriage as a “legal union between one
man and one woman as husband and wife.”
Last session, a Texas Defense of
Marriage Act was passed out of the
Senate, but failed to make it out of committee
in the House, LGRL officials noted.
Lobbyists contend that the shift in the balance
of power in the House after the
November elections increases the possibility
of this session’s bill passing both chambers
of the Legislature.
S.B. 7’s House companion, House Bill 38,
already has been approved by the House
Committee on State Affairs. Authored by
Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, H.B. 38
soon will be scheduled for a vote by the full
Texas House of Representatives.
Ellis said he has doubts whether the
Texas DOMA would hold up to U.S.
Supreme Court scrutiny in the coming
years if it did become law, according to a
LGRL press release.
“In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court struck
down laws that prohibited interracial marriages,
because they deprived individuals
of the fundamental right to marry,” Ellis
said. “This bill clearly violates the fundamental
rights of gays and lesbians.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
O MORE INFO
Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas
P.0. Box 2340
Austin, TX 78768
APRIL 18, 2003 3
LOCAL NEWS.... -.................................... 3
NATIONAL NEWS.................................... 4
OUT ON THE BAYOU................................ 15
COMMUNITY CALENDAR......................... 21
MY STARS............................................ 26
RAVE ACT: President George W. Bush has said
he will sign an anti-drug bill that gay events promoters
say could curb popular circuit parties.
UNDER FIRE: Rev. Steve Van Kuiken is on trial
for shunning Presbyterian ban on gay marriages.
VIEWPOINT: Columnist Mubarak Dahir says
regime change in Iraq does not necessarily
translate to greater freedom for gays. Page 12.
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4 APRIL 18, 2003
| national news
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Congress passes bill targeting rave scene
'Chilling effect' on circuit
parties feared, opponent says
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
WASHINGTON — An anti’-drug bill
that gay and straight event promoters say
could subject them to criminal prosecution
for drug offenses committed by their customers
passed in the House and Senate on
April 10 by overwhelming margins.
The legislation, formerly known as the
RAVE Act and later renamed the Illicit
Drug Anti-Proliferation Act, sailed
through Congress with little public notice
and almost no debate after a House-Senate
conference committee on April 8 attached
the bill to the popular Child Abduction
President Bush said he plans to sign the
Gay event promoters, including organizers
of gay circuit parties, have warned
that the anti-drug bill could subject them
to criminal penalties and stiff civil fines, a
development, they said, that could prompt
them to consider discontinuing the popular
Circuit events have long served as fundraisers
for gay civil rights causes and
The bill broadens the scope of an existing
federal law, known as the Crack House
Act, which gives the federal government
authority to criminally prosecute owners
of properties in which drug use and distribution
The new legislation authorizes federal
prosecution of organizers or promoters of
one-time events, such as circuit parties or
rave events, in which alleged drug use or
distribution occurs. The bill also allows
federal authorities to file civil charges
against event promoters who allegedly
allow drug activity at their events.
Critics have said the civil offense
Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) said the bill is aimed at
unscrupulous event promoters or club owners who
'knowingly' allow, encourage or promote drug use
and sales on their premises. (Photo by AP)
clause in the bill could be used to
bankrupt promoters because they could
be ordered to pay a $250,000 fine for each
charge filed against them. Civil charges
require a lower threshold of evidence
than criminal charges, making it easier
for prosecutors to obtain a conviction.
“It is important to remember that
this legislation punishes business owners
and event producers and sponsors
for the actions of event attendees,
despite their efforts to discourage or
prevent illegal drug use,” said gay event
promoter Mark Lee.
“Essentially there is no way for special
event producers or circuit events to adequately
protect themselves or their events
from possible prosecution under the terms
of the law,” he said.
Lee said he was especially concerned
that the law allows authorities to use
“harm-reduction” efforts by circuit party
promoters as evidence of the promoter’s
“knowledge” that drug use is occurring at
these events. Promoters of the D.C. Cherry
Party, for example, have provided medical
services and drug information literature
for their patrons, services that Lee fears
could be used against event promoters by
an overzealous prosecutor.
William McColl, national affairs director of the
Drug Policy Alliance, which lobbied against the
RAVE Act, said the legislation could embolden federal
prosecutors to target gay circuit parties as
well as rave music events for drug investigations,
creating a 'chilling effect' for party organizers.
'This legislation punishes business
owners and event producers and
sponsors for the actions of event
attendees, despite their efforts to
discourage or prevent illegal drug use.'
-Gay event promoter Mark Lee
Unscrupulous promoters targeted
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), the author
and chief sponsor of the Illicit Drug AntiProliferation
Act, has denied the legislation
would harm legitimate nightclubs or
events. Biden said the measure is aimed at
unscrupulous event promoters or club
owners who “knowingly” allow, encourage
or promote drug use and sales on
their premises. .
Biden noted that the club drug ecstasy
is widely used in nightclubs that offer rave
music as well as at one-time events that bill
themselves as rave parties.
While disputing assertions by the
ACLU and rave party enthusiasts that his
bill would violate First Amendment protection
of free expression by singling out
a specific type of music, Biden nevertheless
agreed to remove the term “RAVE”
from the bill’s title, which was an
acronym for Reducing Americans’
Vulnerability to Ecstasy.
Biden also deleted from the bill a
preamble or “findings” section that linked
the distribution of glow sticks, the sale of
bottled water, and the offering of air conditioned
“chill rooms” by event promoters
as potential evidence that the events were
encouraging the use or sale of ecstasy on
The ACLU and a coalition of disc jockeys,
musicians, rave enthusiasts, and club
and event promoters that opposed the legislation
argued that the “findings” section
was especially unfair because it stigmatized
what they called a legitimate form of
music and entertainment enjoyed by large
numbers of Americans.
The child abduction measure, known as
the Amber Alert bill, establishes a national,
federally funded alert system to help
local law enforcement agencies and the
FBI rescue abducted children.
The bill received overwhelming bipartisan
support, making it difficult for opponents
of the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation
Act to persuade colleagues to vote against
the combined legislation.
The Senate passed the combined measure
by a vote of 98 to 0. The House passed
the legislation by a vote of 400 to 25, with
eight members not voting and two members
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who
is gay, was among 25 House members to
vote against the Amber Alert bill. Frank,
who voted for an earlier version of the alert
measure, said the Republican-controlled
conference committee’s decision to add the
RAVE Act to the bill prompted him to vote
against it last week.
Frank called the former RAVE Act
and its new incarnation another example
of the nation’s “overly punitive
approach to drug use,” which he dubbed
Opponents would have been able to
line up many more votes against the measure
had Republican leaders allowed it to
reach the House floor as a freestanding
bill, Frank said.
The other two openly gay members of
the House — Reps. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) and
Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) — voted for the
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who also
voted against the Amber Alert bill,
opposed a decision by the conference
committee to attach several unrelated
bills to the measure, in additiou to the
RAVE Act, turning the measure into a
“Christmas tree” bill for ultra conservative
causes, according to a Nadler
William McColl, director of national
affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, a
group that lobbied against the RAVE
Act, said the version that Congress
passed last week is broadly worded. He
said the legislation will likely embolden
federal prosecutors to cite the use of
glow sticks and chill rooms as grounds
for launching a drug investigation into
rave or circuit parties.
McColl added that prosecutors might
also consider the practice of circuit party
organizers to arrange for paramedics and
private ambulances to be present outside
circuit party locations as evidence that the
organizers are aware of and condone the
use of illegal drugs at such events.
Circuit party organizers have said they
do not approve of drug use but feel dutybound
to have emergency medical teams
available in case patrons of the events
become seriously ill from a drug overdose,
a development that sometimes occurs at
The Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act,
as passed by Congress, prohibits “an individual
from knowingly opening, maintaining,
managing, controlling, renting, leasing,
making available for use, or profiting
from any place for the purpose of manufacturing,
distributing, or using any controlled
McColl credited Reps. Robert Scott (D-Va.)
and John Conyers (D-Mich.) with
strongly opposing efforts by the conference
committee to add the illicit drug measure
to the Amber alert bill.
“Unfortunately, they were outvoted and
RAVE Act provisions did become part of
the bill,” McColl said.
The Amber Alert system is named after
9-year-old Amber Hagerman of Arlington,
Texas, who was kidnapped and murdered
in 1996. The system, which has already
been adopted in various forms by 39 states,
uses media broadcasts, highway road
signs, and law enforcement announcements
to instantly disseminate information
about child abductions.
o MORE INFO
Drug Policy Alliance
92515th St, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
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| national news
APRIL 18, 2003 5
Gay issues touched on in Pulitzer wins
PULITZER, continued from Page 1
Gay playwright edged out
Two plays by gay writers were 2003
finalists in the Drama category but did
not win the Pulitzer. Edward Albee, a
Houston resident who is the single most
recognized gay Pulitzer winner in history,
and Richard Greenberg were the finalists
who bowed to “Anna in the Tropics” by
“Take Me Out,” Greenberg’s fictional
tale of a star Major League Baseball player
who comes out as gay, follows a string of
the writer’s popular plays that tackle gay
When the awards were announced,
Greenberg didn’t expect to win and went to
Yankee Stadium for opening day amid a
new passion for baseball that inspired the
play, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I was planning to leave my cell phone
at home, because I didn’t want anything to
ruin the day,” Greenberg told the paper.
“But my agent made it very clear that I just
couldn’t do that.”
Greenberg said that he was “really
not at all convinced” that he would win
“Anna in the Tropics” also edged out
Albee’s “The Goat or Who is Sylvia?” — the
writer’s fifth finalist nod for the Pulitzer
Prize for Drama. He has walked away with
awards three times — in 1967 for “A
Delicate Balance,” in 1975 for “Seascape”
and in 1994 for “Three Tall Women.”
In a controversial decision, Albee’s
most famous play was recommended by a
jury for a Pulitzer but didn’t become a
“In 1963, the Drama jury nominated
Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia
Woolf?,’ but the board found the script
insufficiently ‘uplifting,’ a complaint that
related to arguments over sexual permissiveness
and rough dialogue,” according to
Seymour Topping, administrator of the
(Photo by AP)
(Photo by Brad Fowter/AP)
(Graphic by John Nail)
"A Perfect Ganesh"
by Terrence McNally
"The Destiny of Me'
by Larry Kramer
(Photo courtesy the
Wall Street Journal)
"Three Tall Women'
by Edward Albee
"One of Ours”
by Willa Cather
by Edward Albee
"The Play About
by Edward Albee
"A Delicate Balance'
by Edward Albee
by Michael Cunningham
"Cat on a Hot
by Tennesee Williams
by Jonathan Larson
"Angels in America:
-by Tony Kushner
by Tennessee Williams
"Sunday in the Park
Music and lyrics by
Stephen Sondheim International Reporting
"AIDS in Africa" series
by Mark Schoofs
by Margaret Edson
"The Goat or Who is
by Edward Albee
"Take Me Out"
The Pulitzer Prizes has a history of recognizing
gay Writers and topics in its 86-year
history. A partial list: Poetry (Finalist)
--------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Pulitzers' gay history
(Photo by AP)
(Photo by Susan Ragan/AP)
(Photo by Cindy Sproul)
Pulitzer Prizes until 2002.
As is its purview, the board elected
not to offer a 1963 award in Drama
despite the jury’s recommendation of
Albee for the award.
The panel sometimes chooses not to
give awards in all of its 21 categories.
Not 'captive to popular inclinations'
The Pulitzer Prizes Board reviews recommendations
from expert panels of
jurors in any given category. Board members
only vote on works they have read or
“Over the years, the Pulitzer board has
at times been targeted by critics for awards
made or not made,” Topping said.
“Controversies also have arisen over decisions
made by the board counter to the
advice of juries.... The board has not been
captive to popular inclinations.”
The Pulitzer Board, a collection of
professors at Columbia University’s
Joseph Pulitzer School of Journalism as
well as newspaper executives and scholars
from around the country, has grown
less conservative on social issues,
The contrast between the views of the
board against Albee in 1963 and a sweeping
win for another gay playwright points up
the difference, he said.
“In 1993, the prize went to Tony
Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium
Approaches,’ a play that dealt with problems
of homosexuality and AIDS and~
whose script was replete with obscenities,”
The list of gay Pulitzer winners probably
started with the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for
a Novel to “One of Ours” by Willa Cather,
whose lesbian inclinations were proven by
scholars after her death.
After Albee, the most recognizable
name on the list of gay winners is
Tennessee Williams, who won two Pulitzer
Prizes for Drama: “A Streetcar Named
Desire” in 1948 and “Cat on a Hot Tin
Roof” in 1955.
The 1980s and ‘90s saw a surge in gay
winners as news coverage and arts dealt
with the AIDS epidemic. The Pulitzer
Prize Board has recognized 14 Journalism
winners for coverage of AIDS issues since
1985, and the Drama prize in 1993 was dominated
by AIDS plays. Kushner’s “Angels in
America” won out over “The Destiny of
Me” by Larry Kramer.
The ‘90s also saw an uptick on the winner’s
list for other gay issues and gay writers.
Four Journalism prizes for gay topics
went out, including articles on civil
unions, gay male culture and domestic
Terrence McNally’s “A Perfect
Ganesh,” Jonathan Larson’s “Rent” and
Atlanta resident Margaret Edson’s “Wit”
all pulled Pulitzers for Drama in the ‘90s.
Michael Cunningham’s “The Hours” won
the prize for Fiction in 1999.
In 2000, gay former Village Voice
reporter Mark Schoofs won for
International Reporting on AIDS in Africa.
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Minister tried for marrying, ordaining gays
Presbyterian Church could be
on brink of 'crisis,' minister says
By CHRISTOPHER SEELY
CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati
Presbytery held court April 8 to try Rev.
Stephen Van Kuiken on charges of ignoring
church rules and marrying same-sex
couples and ordaining gay men and lesbians
as deacons by elders in Mount
Auburn Presbyterian Church, where he
serves as pastor.
A verdict is expected no later than April
22, according to Martha Sexton, chair of
the seven-member judicial commission
that presided over the trial.
Van Kuiken submitted a written statement
at the trial outlining his defiance of
church law, freely admitting guilt to the
charges brought against him. The pastor
cited Martin Luther King, Jr.’s doctrine
that breaking an unjust law and being willing
to pay the price is the highest respect
for the law, according to the statement.
“Disobeying these unjust provisions is
necessary for reform and progress in the
[Presbyterian Church (USA)]. Instead of
avoiding the conflict that is in our denomination,
we need to continually and openly
address the root causes of our conflict,”
Van Kuiken wrote.
Dozens of people, including members of Soulforce, turned out to support Rev. Van Kuiken during his trial April 8,
but none of them were allowed to watch the legal proceedings before the Cincinnati Presbytery. (Photo by AP)
At trial, a prosecuting committee presented
charges filed by an investigative committee
that accused Van Kuiken of ordaining
and marrying gay men and lesbians in
violation of the Book of Order of the
Constitution of the Presbyterian Church.
According to the church code, gays can be
ordained as deacons or elders in the church
only if they do not admit to having sex, in or
out of a relationship. Heterosexual married
couples are not required to be celibate.
“It’s a double standard,” Van Kuiken
said in an interview with Southern Voice
this week. “Gay people can’t be married.
Any gay person in a committed relationship
is, by definition, excluded from being
an ordained leader of the church.”
Until the year 2000, Mount Auburn was
known to perform holy union ceremonies
using the same liturgy as it would use for
heterosexual couples, Van Kuiken said.
Jennifer and Cheryl McKettrick were
the first same-sex couple that Van Kuiken
united in Mount Auburn, and the couple
started attending the church because of its
Mount Auburn issued a “Statement of
Inclusive Ordination” for 11 consecutive
years declaring that “gays and lesbians are
part of God’s good creation.”
“We didn’t come to Mount Auburn
because it was Presbyterian,” Cheryl
McKettrick said. “We came because of
what it stands for. It was important for us
to have a religious ceremony in front of
our friends and family in a sanctuary.”
But marriages such as McKettrick’s put
Van Kuiken in violation of church code
because he equated same-sex unions with
The church code does not place an
ironclad ban on gay “holy unions,” but a
ruling in 2000 by the church’s General
Assembly Judicial Commission decreed
that same-sex unions are acceptable only
if “they are not considered the sarnie as a
Crisis in the church
Paul Rolf Jensen, an attorney, filed the
disciplinary case against Van Kuiken on
Please see PRESBYTERIAN TRIAL on Page 7
’J’ Community Gospel I communitygospel.org_______________
I national news
Gay marriages could lead to pastor's removal
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 18, 2003 7
PRESBYTERIAN TRIAL, continued from Page 6
March 13, 2002, on behalf of St. Andrew’s
Presbyterian Church of Newport Beach,
An elder anywhere in the U.S. may file a
disciplinary case, according to Michael
Adee, national field organizer for More
Light Presbyterians and gay elder at the
First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe, N.M.
More Light Presbyterians, a national
group that strives for the full participation
of gays in the Presbyterian Church, monitors
constitutional wrangling and works
' with ministers and congregations to be
Adee said that more than two dozen
cases similar to Van Kuiken’s are on file,
the majority brought by Jensen.
“This is a remarkable invitation for the
Presbyterian Church to remove prejudice
and bigotry that exists,” Adee said.
But Alexander Metherell, an ordained
elder at St. Andrew’s in California and
Jensen’s neighbor, views the current state
of affairs in the church as a result of misinterpretation
of scripture through a “secular
lens” and a meltdown of traditional
Metherell called for a special assembly
of the church’s leaders last year to confront
the “breakdown of the constitution
of the church.” But the call for action was
not granted by Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel, the
Rev. Steve Van Kuiken, tried last week on charges of
ignoring the ban on gay marriages in the
Presbyterian Church (USA), awaits a verdict that
could remove him from the ministry. (Photo by AP)
elected moderator of the 2.5-million member
church and an Atlanta, Ga., pastor.
“There is definitely a constitutional crisis
of the church,” Metherell said. “If this
judicial commission finds him not guilty
they ... will effectively be shredding the
Adee argues that the Presbyterian tradition
calls for unity and not for the uniformity
that Metherell and Jensen seek to
maintain through court trials and special
assemblies, he said.
“If someone else’s personal life is not
harmful to anyone else, it is not anyone
else’s business,” Adee said.
Hurdle to gay integration?
For groups like More Light
Presbyterians that attempt to work within
the confines of the church’s constitution
to enact change, Van Kuiken’s outright
defiance of church law can be problematic,
said Chris Glaser, gay Presbyterian
author of “Coming Out to God” and
“We are all chained at the hip and if
one decided to jump over the cliff, he or
she would pull everyone with them,”
Gay-friendly church groups “are afraid
[Van Kuiken’s trial] will have deleterious
effects on us all,” he added.
Glaser began working to integrate
gays into the Presbyterian Church nearly
30 years ago, when the predecessor
group to More Light Presbyterians
formed in 1974.
If Van Kuiken’s trial ends with a guilty
verdict, the church court could redefine
the code to be more restrictive in allowing
gay men and lesbians to become elders or
deacons, Glaser said.
“The more ambiguous the language, the
better off we are,” he said.
Rev. Harold Porter, pastor emeritus at
Mount Auburn, follows the More Light
movement method of working from within
for change “just like gays have to attempt
to become first class citizens of the U.S.
without leaving the U.S.,” he said.
Porter has a case pending for performing
a holy union service years ago when he
served as the church’s pastor. He said he
does not plan to see the case to trial or to
make the same bold statement made by
“I’m mostly concerned with trying to
work within the constitution, although I’m
fully in agreement with the theological
attitudes of Steve Van Kuiken,” he said.
If Van Kuiken is found guilty by a two-thirds
vote, the Cincinnati judicial commission
can punish him with public
rebuke, temporary suspension and
removal from the ministry. Van Kuiken
can appeal the decision.
O MORE INFO
Presbyterian Church USA
100 Witherspoon St.
Louisville, KY 40202
AND INVITES YOU TO ATTEND OUR EASTER SERVICES
Christ Church Cathedral
Good Friday, April 18
7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer, Golding Chapel
12:00 pan. Pruger Liturgy for Good Friday, Cathedral
5:15 p.m. Stations of the Cross (Spanish) *
6:15 p.m. Stations of the Cross (English)*
-EasterEve, April 19
8:00 p.m.The Great Vigil of Easter *
Easter Day, April 20
7:0 m. Holy Eucharist and Sermon Rite I
Festival Eucharist and Sermon Rite II*
00 a m. Festival Eucharist and Sermon Rite I*
p.m. Domingo de Pascua, Cathedral
00 p.m. Holy Eucharist and Sermon Rite IL Chapel
* Infant care prcRSed in the Jones Education Building
Music this Easter
The Day of Resurrection will be greeted at
Christ Church Cathedral with brass and organ, choirs and
timpani. At 9 o’clock the Parish Choir will sing the joyous
anthem Most Glorious Lord of Life by Williams Harris.
Communion music will include carols and anthems by Alice
Parker and Melchior Vulpius. Choral music at the 11 o’clock
celebration will feature the Cathedral Choir singing the
brilliant Festival Te Deum by Ralph Vaughan William\and the
Missa Brevis by Simon Preston, former Master of the
Choristers at Westminster Abbey. As in the past, an ensemble
of brass and percussion second to none will join the Choirs
in providing music at both services.
Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) is located at 1117 Texas Avenue, Houston,TX, 77002.
For mo on, please call 713-222-2593 or visit us online at www.christchurchcathedral.org.
Saddam's fall may mean little for gays in Iraq
8 APRIL 18, 2003_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Scant lobbying for gay
rights in post-war Iraq
by U.S. activists
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
As Iraqi community and exile leaders
met this week in Iraq to map plans for a
new government, officials with gay civil
rights groups in the U.S. said they have no
immediate plans to lobby the federal government
or Iraqis for gay rights protections
in the post-Saddam Iraq.
“In the absence of existing groups contacting
us for assistance, we are reluctant
to get involved with our moral guns blazing,”
said Sara Moore, an official with the
San Francisco-based International Gay &
Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
Moore, like representatives of several
other U.S. gay civil rights groups, said
IGLHRC strongly supports the creation of
a democratic, pluralistic government in
Iraq and believes democratic institutions
are the best means to achieve human
rights protections for gays and other
minorities in Iraq.
But Moore said IGLHRC would not
become involved in Iraq’s quest to form a
new government unless gays in that coun-
Faisal Alam, founder of
the gay Islamic group
Al-Fatiha, said his
group favors a democratic
Iraq as a means
of improving conditions
for gay Iraqis,
but warned that many
Iraqi leaders are suspicious
of U.S. intentions
in the country. (File
photo by Clint Steib)
try contact IGLHRC and ask for assistance.
The Human Rights Campaign, the
nation’s largest gay civil rights group, limits
its work to domestic U.S. policies pertaining
to gays and will not take a position
on a post-war government in Iraq, said
HRC spokesperson David Smith.
Sheri Lunn, a spokesperson for the
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, which
opposed U.S. military action in Iraq, did
not respond by press time.
Faisal Alam, founder of the gay Islamic
group Al-Fatiha, and Ramzi Zakharia, an
official with the Gay & Lesbian Arab
Society, both based in the U.S., said their
groups also favor a democratic Iraqi government
as a means of improving the lives
of gay Iraqis. But the two cautioned that
large numbers of Iraqi civic and religious
leaders are suspicious of U.S. motives for
Zakharia said that large anti-American
demonstrations this week in Baghdad and
the city of Nasiriya raise concerns that
U.S.-led efforts to form a new government
in Iraq could backfire by strengthening
the hands of anti-gay Shiite clerics.
“Saddam, however bad he was, had a
secular government,” Zakharia said. “Now
we seem to be going from that to a religious
type government. And that is not good for
gays and other minorities in Iraq.”
Amnesty to push for reforms
Amnesty International, while steering
clear of issues surrounding the U.S.
invasion of Iraq, plans tq seize on the collapse
of Iraq’s government to push hard
for human rights reforms, Amnesty
spokesperson Alistair Hodgett said.
Hodgett said Amnesty, which advocates
for human rights for gays and other’
minorities in countries throughout the
world, is seeking U.S. permission to dispatch
members of its staff to Iraq as soon
as possible to begin assessing the status of
human rights in the war torn country.
He said that, among other things,
Amnesty would push for inclusion of
human rights protections in the framework
of the interim Iraqi government that
Iraqi leaders are expected to develop over
the next several months.
“We will speak out, as we did in
Afghanistan, to use this window of opportunity
to ask a new government to put in
place protections for the rights of women
and minorities,” Hodgett said.
Although the U.S. government has no
Please see GAYS IN IRAQ on Page 9
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HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
APRIL 18, 20031 9
May be too soon to address gay issues in Iraq
GAYS IN IRAQ, continued from Page 8
official position on gay rights in Iraq,
Secretary of State Colin Powell and the
Bush administration believe a democratic
government in Iraq will lead to human
rights protections for “all people,” according
to State Department spokesperson Jo
“The State Department will monitor
the new Iraqi government’s record on
human rights along with the human rights
records of countries around the globe,”
Prokopowica said, as part of the department’s
Congressional mandate to prepare
annual human rights reports for countries
receiving U.S. foreign aid.
Too soon for gay rights
An official with the Iraqi National
Congress, a U.S.-backed Iraqi exile group
that hopes to play a key role in a future government
in Iraq, said his organization is
urging international human rights groups
such as Amnesty International to come to
Iraq to monitor human rights issues.
But the official, Mazin Youssef, the
IRC’s U.S. West Coast representative, said
his organization has no position on gay
rights in Iraq.
“That becomes more of a touchy situation,”
he said. “It will take a few more years
before we can address that question.”
Youssef said Hussein decreed a law in
the early 1970s that made both homosexual
acts and incest capital offenses punishable
by death. He said he doesn’t know if anyone
was actually executed in Iraq under
The Iraqi National Congress, Youssef
said, is calling for a democratic, secular
government for Iraq. The INC and other
Iraqi exile groups have said a secular state
is needed to prevent radical Shiite clerics
from forming a repressive religious state
like Iran, where gays and other minorities
“We feel religion should be respected but
not integrated into the state,” Youssef said.
Zakharia said many Iraqis view the
INC as a “stooge” of the U.S. government
and would never support the organization
or its leader, Ahmad Chalabi, whom the
U.S. brought to Iraq last week on a military
“Unfortunately, for gays, I don’t see
much change coming in Iraq,” Zakharia
said. “Change must occur through a
truly grass roots democracy, not from a
top-down government imposed by the
Gay journalist and Arab American
Mubarak Dahir, who writes commentaries
for the gay press, said he shares
Zakahaia’s pessimism over the prospects
for meaningful improvements for gays
“To think any government change in
the short term will secure the rights of
gays and lesbians in Iraq is unbelievably
naive,” Dahir said. “In the Middle East, it’s
the family unit that dictates the direction
of a country.”
Dahir, who travels frequently to the
Middle East, said families and tribal communities
in Arab countries have widely
differing views about democracy and individual
rights. He said the U.S. lacks credibility
among pro-democracy Arabs who
see the U.S. backing repressive regimes in
countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia,
which openly persecute gays, while claiming
to favor democracy in Iraq.
“They think all of this talk of the U.S.
being the big democratizer of the Middle
East is a lot of baloney,” Dahir said.
Youssef, of the Iraqi National Congress,
disputes Dahir and Zakharia’s assessment
of the Iraqi people. He said a large portion
of the Iraqi population viewed the U.S.
invasion as a necessary evil to rid the
country of Saddam and his despised Baath
Party henchmen, who were responsible for
the imprisonment and murder of hundreds
of thousands of Iraqis.
“You can’t say for a fact that all Iraqis
oppose our group,” Youssef said. “People
who are happy with the liberation of Iraq
would rather see someone close to the U.S.
be in charge. We lobbied the U.S. to help
Moore, of the IGLHRC, said the group’s
longstanding policy has been to become
involved in gay issues in a country after
gay residents seek the group’s help.
“We put out action alerts only after
someone on the ground informs us of a
problem,” she said.
Moore said IGLHRC has not received
any requests from gay Iraqis, although it
routinely receives requests for help from
gays in other Middle Eastern countries
like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt. Most of
the requests come via e-mail, she said.
One of the group’s greatest concerns,
Moore said, is that it not impose a “Western
import” of sexual orientation on gays with
cultures that differ greatly from that of the
U.S. and other Western nations.
“Our top priority is not to seem like we
are importing Western values on indigenous
peoples,” she said.
But Moore added, “It is everyone’s hope
that we can help to establish a representative
democracy in a country like Iraq,
which has never had this before.”
O MORE INFO
1375 Sutter St, Suite 222
San Francisco, CA 94109
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APRIL 11 - MAY 10 LARGE STAGE
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Production Co-Sponsors 2002-2003 Lorge. Stage Season Sponsor
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& Touche Airlines^!
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10 APRIL 18, 2003
rWEA."Ti>t HEW WtS“T
‘Silver at his Naughtiest and most Hysterical’
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April 16th thru May 24th Previews April 16th & 17th,
Friday and Saturday evenings April 1 8th thru May 24th,
Saturday Matinees May 10th & 24th
Evening Perforrhanefe‘s*at’8:00PM, Matihees’2:00pm
' Previews-$1O, Saturday matinees $15,
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1415 California St
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Houston Area Community Services
3730 Kirby Dr. Suite 1165 • Houston, TX 77098
713-526-0555 ext. 226
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
around the nation
Rocker has new contract, eyes return to Major League Baseball
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — John Rocker, the former
Atlanta, Cleveland and Texas relief pitcher, hopes his
new contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays will lead
to his return to Major League Baseball. “I’m not really
here to focus on the past. I really want to move forward,”
said Rocker, who played for the Atlanta Braves,
when he made insensitive remarks about minorities,
gays and others in a 1999 Sports Illustrated article. “I’m
definitely a much different, much better person now
than I used to be,” he said. Rocker signed with the Devil
Rays on April 10 and was assigned to Triple-A Durham.
He said he hopes to be pitching in the majors in a
month. Devil Rays General Manager Chuck LaMar,
who was in the Braves’ front office when Rocker signed
with Atlanta, said the team “is not condoning any bad
actions, whether it be John Rocker or anybody else. It is
the past.” In the Sports Illustrated article, Rocker said
he didn’t want to ride the New York subway and have to
sit “next to some queer with AIDS.” Rocker also apologized
last summer after allegedly calling gays “fruitcakes”
during an altercation at a restaurant in Dallas.
Relief pitcher John Rocker's troubled
career may be on the rebound.
He signed with the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays earlier this month.
(Photo by AP)
III. judge denies trans
man custody of child
CHICAGO (AP) — A judge ruled April 8 a
transgender man can’t have custody of a
10-year-old because the man was born a
woman and has no standing to seek custody
of the boy. Cook County Circuit
Judge Gerald Bender granted the mother
sole custody of the boy. The couple,
unidentified for the child’s protection,
married in 1985 without disclosing that
the groom was born a woman and underwent
hormone therapy but still had
female genitals. The mother became
pregnant through artificial insemination.
In his 13-page opinion, Bender said
he could not violate state law, which does
not recognize same-sex marriages. But
because the boy has established a bond
with his father, the judge ordered continued
visitation for the child. County
Public Guardian Patrick Murphy, representing
the child, contended that gender
and marriage are irrelevant to a boy who
accepts and loves his father. “Of course
we will appeal it,” Murphy said.
Planned AIDS memorial
in L.A. sparks controversy
LOS ANGELES — A planned AIDS
memorial in northeast Los Angeles
sparked protests that some say are based
in homophobia, the Los Angeles Times
reported. The City Council is scheduled
to consider this week a proposal by The
Wall/Las Memorias that has won
approval from the Recreation & Parks
Commission. It would create a 9,000
square foot memorial with eight panels,
including six with art and two with
names of people who have died of AIDS.
The mostly publicly funded memorial
would also feature benches, a rose garden
and a path. While environmentalists
have opposed the plan because it would
be created from existing parkland, new
fliers signed by the Coalition to Save
Lincoln Park claim that an organization
of “Latino gay men has been covertly
trying to make a monument to themselves”
and the memorial could cause
children to visit the group’s Web site,
where they “will not only read about the
gay lifestyle but will also see invitations
to participate in gay pool parties.”
Key West to display mile-long,
three-ton rainbow flag
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — The artist who
created the rainbow flag is sewing a 11/4-
mile long, 16-foot-wide version of the
internationally recognized gay pride
symbol to be unfurled in Key West on
June 15, the final day of the city’s upcoming
PrideFest festival. Gilbert Baker’s
mammoth creation is to be displayed
along the entire length of Duval Street,
the island’s main thoroughfare. Baker
created the original rainbow flag in San
Francisco 25 years ago. “Some of my
friends call me the Betsy Ross of the gay
community,” Baker said. The Key West
flag commemorates the 25th anniversary
of the original rainbow flag’s creation.
Its debut will also kick off rainbow flag
anniversary events around America.
Sections of the banner are to travel to 100
cities. Baker, a San Francisco resident,
estimates the full flag will weigh more
than three tons.
Calif, lesbian couple sues
over country club rules
SAN DIEGO — Despite registering as
domestic partners in San Diego and
California, B. Koebke and Kendall
French, lesbian partners for 10 years, are
not treated as spouses at the pricey
Bernardo Heights Country Club. The couple
has sued the golf club, arguing
Koebke’s $700-per-month membership
should entitle her partner to receive the
full playing privileges awarded to spouses,
according to the Los Angeles Times.
The club said its bylaws restrict the
memberships to “the member’s legal
spouse.” A lower court dismissed the lawsuit
in June, but the couple has appealed,
charging the club has violated a
California law barring discrimination in
public businesses. “Basically, they don’t
want gays,” Koebke said.
From staff and wire reports
HP medical report
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 18, 2003 11
From staff and wire reports
AN EVENING WITH
ON SALE NOW!
Harold Jaffee, director of the
CDC's National Center for HIV,
STD & TB Prevention, said a
'resumption of risk behavior' is
fueling a national rise in syphilis
cases. (Photo courtesy CDC)
CONVENIENCE & OTHER CHARGES
ARE ADDED AND ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
Patients in developing world
get 'recycled' HIV drugs
MANHATTAN, N.Y. - A group called
AIDS for AIDS takes HIV medications
donated by patients in the United States
and Canada and distributes them to people
with HIV in the developing world, Reuters
Health reported. The “recycled” drugs
come from patients who died, changed
their treatments or are temporarily stopping
taking the drugs, under doctors’
supervision, to give their bodies a reprieve
from side effects. “If I can take half as
much therapy, and give the other half of
that therapy to someone in South America
or Haiti, then for the same amount of
money two lives are being saved instead of
one,” said Mike Barr, a participant in the
program that serves 520 people in Africa,
the Caribbean and Central and South
America. Clients receive a medical assessment
and HIV activists and educators
“who are making a difference in their
countries” get priority, according to Jesus
Aguais, who founded the program in 1996.
End of smoking settlement
could hurt gay programs
WASHINGTON — The probable end of
payments under the massive settlement
agreement signed by tobacco companies
has some gay health advocates worried
about cuts to programs aimed at preventing
gays from smoking, according to the
American Legacy Foundation. The foundation
received its fifth and likely last
payment from the Master Settlement
Agreement’s National Public Education
Fund earlier this month. The foundation
is so far the only national group to use
the funds to target gays, who it says
“have much higher smoking rates than
the general population.” Payments under
other parts of the settlement will continue
for five more years, but the NPEF
accounted for 80 percent of Legacy
Foundation’s funding and most of the
money for the gay programs. Cheryl
Healton, American Legacy Foundation
president and CEO. called on the tobacco
companies to continue the funding “not
because they’re required to but because
it’s the just thing to do.”
Half of AIDS deaths at Texas
hospital weren't taking meds
DALLAS (AP) — Nearly half of HIV-infected
patients who died at Parkland Hospital
from 1999 to 2000 were not taking antiviral
medications, a finding that surprised
researchers at the University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Mamta
Jain, lead author of the study published
April 8 in the journal Clinical Infectious
Diseases, said he was startled that so few
patients were taking advantage of HIV
therapy because they need not have insurance
to receive HIV medications at
Parkland. The study, which also compared
the number of HIV-related deaths in 1995 to
those in 1999 and 2000, showed a significant
drop consistent with a nationwide decline
that followed the release in 1996 of highly
active antiretroviral therapy medications.
Jain said many patients in the study were
prescribed HIV therapy but chose not to
take the medications. Others were diagnosed
too late to be prescribed drugs. Most
of the patients not taking medications
were African-American or Hispanic.
Dispute may force AIDS
patients out of Va. clinic
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Hundreds of
impoverished AIDS patients could have to
find new doctors within the next week
because of a contract dispute between the
city and physicians at Eastern Virginia
Medical School. The impending crisis
stems from the way health care for uninsured
patients is administered. Because of
the high number of people infected, the
region is eligible for money provided by
the federal Ryan White Act, which pays
for medical care for patients with no other
insurance. Shirley Tyree, the city employee
in charge of Ryan White funds, said
EVMS uses a billing method that is not
allowed by the federal government. Dr.
Edward C. Oldfield III, director of the
infectious disease division at EVMS, said
he has billed the city the same way for
three years. He contends there is nothing
in federal law that prohibits from doing
so. EVMS sent letters to its patients
Monday notifying them care may no
longer be available. EVMS treats about
1,200 AIDS patients, including 400 through
the Ryan White program.
Syphilis prevention outreach targets Calif, circuit party
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — State STD prevention educa-tors
will target the White Party with a new campaign
designed to curb the spread of syphilis, according to
the Bay Area Reporter. Dan Wohlfeiler, a spokesperson
for the state health agency, said patrons at the massive
gay circuit party, set for April 17-21, will receive a simple
message: “Get tested, get tested, get tested.” The
non-profit Desert AIDS Project plans to distribute
10,000 safer sex kits containing condoms and STD te£t>*.
ing information at the event. Health officials are concerned
about a rise in syphilis cases that may be fueled
by men who have sex with men. Cases rose 63 percent
among white men and 50 percent for Latino men,
according to the Centers for Disease Control &
Prevention, and continued increasing last year.
“There’s clearly a resumption of risk behavior,” said
Harold Jaffee, director of the CDC’s National Center.
for HIV, STD & TB Prevention.
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APRIL 18, 2003
won't free gays
Gay hawks like to claim that regime change
in Iraq will mean greater freedom for gays,
but that's not the case even within our own military.
By MUBARAK DAHIR
□ GAY MEN AND LESBIANS
who endorse the war in and
occupation of Iraq — and possible
future military action
against other countries like
Syria — need to stop using the
guise of caring about the plight of gay
Arabs to rationalize their support. It’s an
argument fraught with emotional manipulation,
hypocrisy, intellectual dishonesty
and factual error.
Even the most dovish opponents of
military intervention in Iraq rightly concede
that there were plenty of reasons to
topple Saddam Hussein and his government.
He was a harsh and brutal dictator,
and it is near impossible to find anyone
who is sorry to see the rogue gone.
Gay and lesbian proponents of the war
and the occupation should stick to this
core truth when arguing their case.
Invoking the supposed freeing of gay
Iraqis actually weakens their position.
THE TRUTH IS THAT THE PLIGHT OF
gay and lesbian Iraqis — just like that of
gay and lesbian Afghanis — will change
little under whatever new government
There is no denying that gays in Iraq
and other Arab countries are persecuted.
But the forces of oppression that keep
them down in the Arab world are complex,
and cannot be altered by simple
“regime change.” Religion, tradition, culture,
family pressures, ignorance of the
contemporary understandings of modern
psychology and other factors make life
extremely difficult for gay Iraqis and
those in other Arab nations.
To believe that life for gay Iraqis will
be better — or different in any real way —
than it was under Saddam Hussein is
willfully naive. The social, religious and
cultural forces that oppress gay Iraqis
will not have changed one iota under a
Furthermore, the line that invading
Iraq, and now possibly Syria, will “free”
gay people there is heaped in hypocrisy.
The forces that are supposedly emancipating
our downtrodden gay Iraqi brethren
are themselves hyper-homophobic. How
can anyone seriously argue that the
United States military is an instrument
for gay liberation?
From there, the layers of hypocrisy
But the most infuriating
hypocrisy to the claim that we
are invading foreign countries
in the interest of freeing gay
people is the way we treat gay
Arabs and gay Muslims here
in the United States.
Gay hawks mouth the mantra of gay
liberation in Iraq and Syria, and go to
lengths to point out how oppressive those
regimes are to homosexuals. Yet what
about other neighboring countries that
Saudi Arabia is probably the most
socially backward nation in the world,
run by unsavory dictators who are infamous
for their suppression of freedoms.
Saudi Arabia even allegedly executes
openly gay people. If ever there was an
argument for overthrowing a country,
Saudi Arabia should take the prize.
But the Saudi leaders — who are sitting
on what is by far the world’s largest
oil reserve — are our political allies.
Hush, then, any talk of invading them.
And what about Egypt? Right now, the
Egyptian government is carrying out a
choreographed crackdown on gay men in
that country, arresting and jailing dozens
through entrapment, Internet stings,
informants and possibly even telephone
International human rights groups
have documented torture, threats and
beatings against gay Egyptians. Even our
own government has spoken up against
the outrageous persecution.
But are gay hawks urging that we send
the Marines to Cairo to “liberate” the gay
men suffering there? Hardly.
BUT THE MOST INFURIATING HYP-ocrisy
to the claim that we are invading
foreign countries in the interest of freeing
gay people is the way we treat gay
Arabs and gay Muslims here in the
Most gay Arabs and gay Muslims in
this country come here specifically seeking
the incredible social freedom to be
gay that they would never have at home.
But particularly since the Sept. 11,2001
terrorist attacks, gay Arabs and gay
Muslims have felt under attack here, even
from other gays.
I have been personally spared most of
that prejudice. Though I was born in
Jerusalem to a Palestinian father, I had,
an American mother, and I was primarily
raised in this country. I don’t have dark
skin or an accent or any of the other telltale
signs of my Arab heritage, other
than my name.
But in the past two years, and particularly
as the propaganda on the Iraq
war went into overdrive, I know from
friends and colleagues and dozens of
sources I’ve interviewed that gay
Americans have often been prejudiced
and unwelcoming to Arabs and Muslims
To talk about “liberating” gay Iraqis in
Baghdad while we mistreat gay Arabs and
Muslims in our own midst is just too
much to stomach.
columnist living in
New York City and
can be reached at
is a syndicated
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 18, 2003 13
point LESLIE ROBINSON
I didn't let on that our tennis team was
all-gay. If our opponents knew, would
their onlooking husbands express disgust,
or suggest a party after the match?
Lesbian love on the court
AFTER MORE THAN 20 YEARS AWAY
from competitive tennis, I was recently
convinced to join a team. An all-lesbian
team. I thought I’d died and
gone to Wimbledon.
Actually, what I
really like about
playing on this
team, called the
Alliance, is that
it’s fun, not the
stuff I remember
from high school.
That we’re all gay is
simply a nice bonus.
That we’re all gay also
injects a note of drama when we
face other teams.
Take what happened a few days
ago during our first match. As my doubles
partner, Victoria, and I walked onto
the court, one of our opponents asked
what the Seattle Tennis Alliance is.
Though eight feet apart, Victoria
and I exchanged a glance quicker than
you can say “grand slam.”
In doubles when a player chooses not
to hit the ball and leaves it for her partner
to hit, she yells, “Yours!” Victoria’s eyes
I blurted out something factual but
vague for which Victoria would later
tease me. I did not mention that those of
us on the team all have something in
common, and it ain’t a special fondness
for the crosscourt forehand.
In the one fat second I’d been given to
decide how to answer, I’d felt a
bulge of anxiety in my
stomach that seemed
to encompass all
the possible reactions
be horrified that
they were facing
they be dumbfounded
of us roam about
freely like this? Would
they be embarrassed to
know we’re all women-lovers?
Would they giggle?
Would the news travel
from court to court under
the guise of picking up
balls? Would their onlooking
husbands express disgust,
or suggest a little
party after the match?
OF COURSE, IT’S POSSI-ble
they would have had no
reaction, or a positive one, or
that some of them were gay, but tell it to
my stomach. Compounding the anxiety
was the realization that if I outed Victoria
and myself to these two women, I’d be
outing our whole team.
So in that moment I opted for a jumbosized
lie of omission.
Only later did it dawn on me that
telling them we’re lesbians might have
had advantages. For a start, they might
have assumed we were terrific athletes —
Martinas, one and all.
We lost the match. Obviously we could
have used a little intimidation.
Afterwards we adjourned to a Mexican
restaurant for a postmortem and margaritas.
When I told my teammates about my
predicament — to out or not to out — one
player suggested we make out on the
court with our doubles partner. Or grab
our partner’s butt at an opportune time.
Like when we’re losing.
This opens up a raft of possibilities.
Just before serving, I might yell to
Victoria at the net, “Sweetheart, let’s have
a baby!” Ace!
Or when the other team is lining up to
serve, she could turn to me and bellow,
“How could you hurt me like that? How
could you sleep with Susan? Look at her
over on court 3, pretending you two didn’t
do the nasty last night! I don’t care if she
is on our team, I want her to lose! And
you better keep your head low. No telling
where I might hit this return of serve!”
The wide-eyed stares from across the
net would be worth it all by themselves,
never mind that the opponent’s serve
would wind up in the Puget Sound.
After we left the restaurant, I realized
we hadn’t come to a group decision on
what to say the next time any of us is
asked about our team. This will not do.
It’s all my body can handle to be playing
tennis again after so many years. I
decline to put it through these other contortions
I Leslie Robinson is a Seattle-based free- I lance writer and can be reached online at
©ykefi T® Watch. Chi by Afeai BechcM
©2003 By ALISON BECHDEL
THE SITUATION IS TERRIBLE HERE. AS
AN AMERICAN, I'M EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE.
ITS _ VJELL, ITS SKKENNa-
man. thank god I'm unemployed, or
I DON'T KNOW HOW I'D STAY ON TOP
OF THINGS. I SPENT THE WHOLE
morning e-mailing congress and
FORWARDING PETITIONS. THERE'S ALL
THIS corporate MEDIA coverage to
MONITOR. I'VE GOT A DIE-IN AT FIVE-HANG
on. rr sounds uke
of these boot-licking
EMBEDS is actually
GONNA TALK about THE
broke up with
Me for bringing
home A VCR.
^COMING up next, coalition
FORCES SHELL A HARDENED
PLATOON OF NON-COALITION
HOW ARE You
DONT COST VERY
IN THREE WEEKS.
suggested that the pesticide
methyl BROMIDE COULD BE A
VEGETABLE IN SCHOOL LUNCKS...
HDTV^l 1 LVEN
BAByl 1 KNOW WHAT THAT ^1x4 means.
'ltT HEAVY DENIAL
LOOK AT THIS. BUSH HAS CREATED
SUCH A DIVERSION IN IRAQ, NOBODY
NOTICES THE DOMESTIC SITUATION.
HE’S USING HIS TAX CUTS AND HIS WAR
TAP TO STARVE THE GOVERNMENT.
HE'S RE-INSTTTUTING FEUDALISM’
HELLO? WHAT ABOUT YOUR domestic
SITUATION? YOUR LOVER'S
HAVING SURGERY NEXT WEEK’
E: ! ’l
1 j J I
SHE WONT BREAK W’
WTH MET I HAVE
CANCER.’I CAN DO
WHATEVER I WANT.
14 APRIL 18, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Ion the record
Monday, April 21 •
A free video presentation on
“Homosexuality and the
Bible.” at 7 PM.
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“Some GOP leaders seem intent on cutting
off their right arm in order to reach out
with their left. This is foolish and will not
go unnoticed by the party’s conservative -
Robert Knight, director of Concerned
Women of America’s Culture & Family
Institute, on the appearance by Republican
National Committee Chair Marc Racicot
before the Human Rights Campaign (Culture
& Family Report, April 9)
“It would be like Al Gore meeting with
the John Birch Society.”
Knight, further opining on Racicot’s HRC
appearance (Washington Post, April 11)
“Have You Had Sex with Colin Farrell
The provocative headline on a recent story
in Details magazine about “Phone Booth”star Colin Farrell, which the New York Post
found “odd”for a “non-gay” men’s magazine (Details, April issue)
“What is Maer [Roshan] getting his panties in a twist about? Details is a magazine
for men — all men. I’m not going to get caught up in a whole butcher-than-thou standoff
with the cookie-cutter men’s magazines. Those other books are squeamish about
running stories with any gay content; Details isn’t. So, what’s the big deal?”
Dan Peres, editor of Details magazine,
reacting to a gossip item by editor Maer
Roshan in the newly launched Radar magazine,
alleging that Peres has turned
Details into a “fey” men’s magazine (New
York Post, April 11)
“We’re not talking about locker-room
patting-on-the-butt. We’re talking about
behavior that’s really extreme. And it’s not
in the locker room. It’s in the workplace.”
Deborah Zalesne, law professor at the
City University of New York, on a recent
rash of lawsuits alleging same-sex sexual
harassment (Oregonian, Portland, Ore.,
“There is one extremely famous
Hollywood actor who’s gay and doesn’t
like being in the same room as me.”
Gay actor Sir Ian McKellan, in an interview with a British gay magazine
(Attitude, April 7)
“We don’t know much about Shakespeare’s private life. He was certainly married,
and I think he had four children. But once they were born, he left his wife in Stratford
and came to work in London. Did he sleep with another man? On the balance of things
I would say, ‘Yes.’”
McKellan, speculating on the Bard’s sexual orientation (Attitude, April 7)
' “I found my voice in the eyes of my children. I just want you to know that you are
looking at a miracle now. I am living that
picket fence.... No more lies.”
Former NFL player Esera Tualo,
speaking to 100 students at Indiana
University (Bloomington Herald-Times,
“I’m taping ‘Cher’ and watching ‘Idol.’
That’ll show ‘em!”
An irate Internet posting by a gay TV
viewer, angered by a decision by NBC to air
two “Will & Grace” with Cher episodes
opposite Fox’s “American Idol”finals
“Kelli Carpenter, Rosie O’Donnell’s life
partner, has legally changed her last
name to O’Donnell. The two celebrated by
Comedian Tina Fey on “Weekend
Update” (NBC’s “Saturday Night Live, ”
BOOKS: New book set during the Harlem Renaissance tries to
shed light on gay life while focusing on Atelia Walker. Page 19.
FILM: Now on DVD, 'The Children's Hour' and ’Victim' offer
compelling reminders of past cinematic repression. Page 17.
By STEVE WEINSTEIN
The rumors began circulating
during last month’s Winter Party. DJ David
Knapp would not be appearing at the after
party; another DJ would be subbing for him.
Several hundred miles away from the
crowds partying on the makeshift dance
floor on the sands of Miami Beach, Knapp
and his partner, Scott Bell, were in a hospital room
in Ashville, N.C., where they were awaiting the
birth of their son. In a few minutes, they would be
cradling Ryan Belknap, and David Knapp — one of
the most prominent DJs in the club world — would
enter the ever-increasing legions of gay parents.
Knapp’s odyssey began when he first began seeing
Bell. “Seeing” is the operative word here,
because the two have known each other for seven
years but in “When Harry Met Sally” fashion, the
two only began a relationship three years ago.
Knapp was then living in Miami and not long
after, moved to New York. He has since relocated yet
again, this time to Atlanta, where Bell lives.
Using Atlanta as a base, Knapp travels nearly
every weekend for his club gigs. Originally trained
as a lawyer (he passed the bar and can practice in
Florida), the native Californian Knapp established
his reputation in the hothouse club scene of
Miami’s South Beach.
The White Party, which he played annually,
helped solidify his standing as one of the hottest
DJs on the circuit. More and more gigs in New
York’s competitive club scene initiated the move
there. He now spins around the country and the
world, including a 2000 tour of Japan.
IN NOVEMBER 2001, KNAPP WAS IDLY LOOKING
through Creative Loafing, a local alternative weekly,
and saw an ad for a meeting to learn about open
adotion. He and Bell intrigued enough to attend an
April 2002 mandatory two-day workshop.
There, they learned how rigorous the process
would be and the difficult choices involved. One of
Superstar spinner David Knapp had it all —
but he wanted something more. Meet son Ryan.
Please see DJ DADDY on Page 16
AFTER PAYING THE CONTRACT FEE, SOCIAL
workers came to visit. The couple had to sign a
stack of papers. Did they smoke? Was there a gun in
it. In Georgia, there’s no law forbidding or allowing it.
So you find a friendly judge, with the help of a good
lawyer. Adoptions are sealed, so legislators will never
know how many gay adoptions go through. As long as
no law is on the books, there are no statistics.”
Even so, one person is listed as the principal
caregiver, the other — Knapp, in this instance — the
the most difficult would be deciding how much contact
to allow the mother or whether to reveal the
birth mother to their child.
The two decided they were ready to become co-dads
and signed a contract. The entire process ends
up costing somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000,
including lawyers’ fees. But, Knapp adds, he is eligible
for a $10,000 rolling tax credit. If two people are
willing to take a child who is a ward of the state,
they can even receive a subsidy worth hundreds of
dollars a month until the child is 18 (although the
child probably has suffered some emotional or physical
abuse along the way).
“My mom’s a social worker,” Knapp says. “I
learned some things from her. She counseled us a
little bit. And inspired us, too.”
Ironically, according to Knapp, in Georgia, gay coparent
adoptions have managed to fly under the radar
of conservative state legislators. “We can both petition
for adoption,” he says. “Some states don’t allow
out on the bayou
Famed DJ joins ranks of country's gay parents
16 APRIL 18, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
DJ DADDY, continued from Page 15
the home? Had the cats been vaccinated?
Next came a “Dear Birth Mother” letter:
a one-page note to prospective moms
with text and pasted-on photos. After
numerous rewrites, the letter was sent out
to agencies and put on a Web site.
Eight days later, they got their first
contact, a woman in Hawaii. They met her
and it seemed a done deal, but she pulled
out. Knapp suspects that she might have
put the germ of an idea into her own gay
brother to adopt.
How did people in the agency and the
mothers-to-be react to a gay couple? Knapp
says everyone was completely supportive.
“We got e-mails from people saying their
daughter would be such a princess having
two dads,” Knapp says. “A woman was so
impressed with us, she offered to donate an
egg” — but not to carry the child to term.
Still, they were devastated. Then, a week
later, a woman in North Carolina e-mailed
them. “We talked to her for three days,”
Knapp recalls. They met in Charlotte,
where they took her to lunch and, wisely it
turns out, gave her dog lots of attention.
The woman was an animal lover who
spoiled her dog. They were accepted as
the parents of her child-to-be.
She was due to give birth on March 1.
But, as babies often do, this one took his
time. On March 9, the day of the Winter
Party, she went into labor. “I had to make
a choice,” Knapp says. “I wanted to be
there for the birth of my son.”
RATHER THAN A DETRIMENT TO HIS
FATHERhood, the insane hours a DJ
keeps has actually been a godsend. Bell
works a 9-to-5 job at Atlanta Medical
Hospital as a cardio tech, so Knapp stays
at home weekdays. On weekends, while
he’s flying to his gigs, Bell becomes Dad.
How are people in the child-free universe
of gay clubs reacting to Knapp’s
new status? “If you went into the straight
club world, a lot of people who bartend,
DJ and work the door have kids already,”
he says. “In the gay world, there’s an extra
disconect, just because they’re not used to
it.” DJ Victor Calderone is probably the
best-known example of a dad, but party
promoter Johnny Chisholm is also gay.
He hopes that he and Bell will even be
able to step onto the dance floor once in a
while. “I think parents lead by example,”
Knapp says. “They should still live their
lives. I saw my parens socializing in the
community and having lots of friends. We
wouldn’t give everything up.”
He looks forward to Ryan being old
enough to take him along when Dad spins
at Gay Disney.
For now, Knapp is at the top of his
game, and he has no intention of quitting
the turntables. He does, however, harbor a
fantasy of practicing adoption law to gay
couples in Florida when the legislature
there gets around to amending its laws
banning gay-couple adoption.
Mostly, he hopes to lead by setting an
example. Ryan Belknap’s last name, by
the way, reflects Daddy David’s mixture
of artistry and practicality: Not wanting
to saddle Ryan with the burden of a
hyphenated surname, the two men
agreed on a hybrid. Since then, Knapp
has been researching “Belknap” and has
found it is the result of the joining of
two clans in Ireland.
Independant Adoption Center
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O MORE INFO
Home Vision Entertainment
DVD Retail $19.95
The Children's Hour'
MGM Home Entertainment
DVD Retail $19.98
film MATTHEW FORKE
Now on DVD, The Children's Hour,'
'Victim' offer compelling reminders
of past cinematic repression.
Gay cinema, circa 1961
TASKED WITH PROTECTING THE
public morality, the stringent Motion
Picture Production Code was an almighty
and powerful force in the motion picture
industry for many years. Refusal of the
Code’s seal of approval could doom a
film’s distribution chances and box-office
success. Subversive filmmakers beware.
But by the early ‘60s, successful adult
fare such as “Suddenly Last Summer” and
“Psycho” stretched the limits of what the
Code deemed “appropriate” viewing.
Suggestions of sex and violence were fine,
to a degree, but open discussion of homosexuality
was still a big no-no. Case in
point: Basil Bearden’s “Victim” and
William Wyler’s “The Children’s Hour,”
both of which are now available on DVD.
“Victim” is a British film starring Dirk
Bogarde as Melville Farr, a respected
London barrister who’s married but hiding
a questionable past. A handsome and
popular British movie star, it was undeniably
brave of Bogarde to play one of the
cinema’s first openly gay lead characters.
In 1961 — or even 1981 — most actors of
his stature, if not all, would have treated
the part as if it were radioactive.
The plot is fairly straightforward.
Farr’s former lover, “Boy” Barrett (Peter
McEnrey) commits suicide after police
suspect he’s a target of a blackmail ring.
At the time, Britain’s harsh laws against
homosexuality made closeted gays an
easy target for blackmail.
Farr must decide whether or not to help
the police, knowing that exposure may very
well cost him his career and marriage.
Some may quibble with the ending, but
“Victim” is a solid, well-written and acted
thriller - - and far ahead of its time in its
clinical discussion of homosexuality. In
fact, the film helped bring attention to the
antiquated laws that condemned this
“social problem,” eventually leading to
Viewers today can only imagine the
ulcers it must have given American censors
back in 1961, when “Victim” was
denied Code approval and surely suffered
at the box office as a result.
LESS PROGRESSIVE, AT LEAST BY
comparison, is Wyler’s “The Children’s
Hour” adapted by Lillian Hellmann from
her play of the same name. Here we see
Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine
as schoolteachers accused of having “sinful
sexual knowledge” of one another — a
lie told by a vindictive student.
The film is an affecting drama, skillfully
shot and acted. But it’s sometimes frustrating
to watch, as if the filmmakers go
so far out of their way trying to create a
Due to now archaic film rules, Audrey Hepburn (left)
and Shirley McClain dared not speak the name of
their forbidden love in The Children's Hour,' but the
DVD is required viewing for its history lesson.
“tasteful” story about homosexuality that
today it feels cowardly and insincere.
And that flaw is a direct result of the
Code, which restricted audiences from
hearing words like “homosexuality,” “lesbian”
or “gay.” In their place, we get “this
thing,” “it” or “a great, awful lie.”
At one point, Audrey Hepburn uses
the word “lovers.” Hopefully, viewers
don’t go to the bathroom during that particular
scene, or they may find themselves
hopelessly lost as to what the film
is actually about.
And what exactly is “sinful sexual
knowledge” of each other? Sharing tips
on oral sex? Just say it, for heaven’s sake.
WHAT SADDENS ME THE MOST IS THE
tragic decision of one major character near
the end of the film. Every time I see it I
want to yell at the screen, “It’s not that bad!
Move to the city! Trust me!”
But unfortunately, the Code wins for
the last time, and the one “guilty” character
is forced to pay dearly for her sin.
Both films are presented in their original
wide-screen version, and both include
their original theatrical trailer. Sound is
presented in a satisfactory mono track.
A nice bonus, “Victim” includes a vintage
20-minute interview with Bogarde at
the time of the film’s release, plus a linear
essay. As drama or as social history,
these films are required viewing.
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1440 Harold Street at Mulberry ’Houston, TX 77006 • 713.526.1017 • www.beringunic.org
18 APRIL 18, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
MARGOT KIDDER joins
Amy J. Carle & Starla Benford
FINAL HOUSTON ENGAGEMENT
THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES w EVE ENSLER
1 BONI FIDE
TIE NEW YORK TIMES
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music ARJAN TIMMERMANS
Farewell tour and 'Best Of' compilation
remind fans of remarkable career that
makes parting such sweet sorrow.
CHER ONCE AGAIN EMERGES FROM
her time capsule with another concert
tour and greatest hits record. Viciously
enduring and infectiously appealing,
this gay icon simply seems to be
Her fine sense for hit potential,
provocative style and empowering persona
has fascinated audiences for almost
40 years — despite mixed rumors and
truth about plastic surgery, outrageous
fashion and cheesy infomercials.
The diva, 57, is said to be finally
ready to retire in peace and is on her
“Farewell” stadium tour. Last week, she
released “The Very Best of Cher” greatest
hits compilation in conjunction with
The singer put together a collection of
21 songs that take listeners through all
phases of her career — from pop folk
singer in the ‘60s to disco chick in the ‘70s
and from rock vixen in the ‘80s to gay
club diva in the ‘90s.
The compilation not only includes solo
hits but also “The Beat Goes On” and “I
Got You Babe,” two of her first and greatest
hits with first husband Sonny Bono in
the mid ‘60s.
WHILE STILL MARRIED TO SONNY,
Cher struck gold as a solo artist in the
late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Songs from that
era included the cover of Bob Dylan’s “All
I Want To Do,” “Bang, Bang (My Baby
Shot Me Down)” and “Gypsies, Tramps
and Thieves,” which debuted at number
one and marked the singer’s artistic
maturity just as the couple’s TV show
reigned supreme in the ratings.
Cher wasted no time after she broke
off her personal and business partnership
with Sonny in 1974 to pursue her
own career in music, television and
film. Her second number one smash
“Half Breed” from 1973 is also featured
on this CD.
“Half Breed” highlights Cher’s trademark
vocals and Snuff Garrett’s rocky
production. The singer’s chart triumphs
in the ‘70s continued with “Dark Lady,”
which also appears here.
The compilation album doesn’t miss
the singer’s disco phase in the late ‘70s
with the flaming “Take Me Home,” which
bears a slight resemblance to some of her
big clubs hits in the ‘90s when it comes to
melody and message.
CHER RESURFACED ON THE MUSIC
scene after a successful turn in movies
with a string of pop rock hits in the ‘80s.
She again redefined herself with hits like
World famous and indestructible diva Cher calls
it quits after 40 years in the public eye with a
final tour and a new CD. (Photo by Michael
“I Found Someone,” “If I Could Turn Back
Time,” “Save Up All Your Tears” and her
duet with Peter Cetera on “After All.”
She shunned the spotlight for a few
years and made another miraculous
comeback in the late ‘90s with her global
sensation “Believe,” which became the
best-selling achievement of her career.
Follow up songs such as “Strong Enough”
and party anthem “All or Nothing” are on
the compilation as well.
As a bonus, the CD includes radiofriendly
remixes of “One by One” (by gay
DJ Junior Vasquez) and “A Different
Kind Of Love Song,” which is revamped
by Rodney Jerkins into an infatuating
The CD booklet includes full-color photos
and detailed booklet notes from famed
Rolling Stone writer and MTV News host
Kurt Loder, who concludes that the most
attractive aspect of Cher’s career is her
“utter lack of naked show-biz ambition.”
With “The Very Best of Cher,” the diva
presents her fans the ultimate swan song,
a worthy testament of her diverse and
remarkable music career. She leaves fans
a rich musical legacy and tabloid gossip
history that will keep us entertained for
many years to come.
O MORE INFO
'The Very Best of Cher'
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 18, 2003 19
bOOkS TAMARA ADRINE-DAVIS
Ben Neihart's effort to shed light on the life
of Atelia Walker offers speculation about what
gay life was like during Hariem Renaissance.
Mixing fact and fiction
THE PROBLEM WITH “HISTORICAL
fiction” is that it is often difficult to tell
where history begins and fiction ends.
This is a major drawback with novelist
Bob Neihart’s “urban historical,” “Rough
Amusements: The True Story of A’Lelia
Walker, Patroness of the Harlem
Renaissance’s Down-Low Culture.”
The book’s title claims to be a factual
account of the life of the daughter of
Madam C.J. Walker, who made a fortune
selling black hair care products to women
in the days before beauty shops. Her
estate reportedly was worth more than $1
million when she died in 1919, making her
daughter, A’Lelia, who was 24 at the time,
one of the country’s richest black women.
Neihart’s book centers around A’Lelia
Walker and “The Faggots Ball,” an infamous
Harlem drag ball held during the
’20s. In addition to black gay partygoers,
white gays would also attend.
A’Lelia was something of a party girl
who counted among her circle of friends
such luminaries as poet Langston Hughes,
socialite and heiress Mayme White, artist
Harold Jackman, Vanity Fair social critic
Carl Van Vechten and writer Richard
“People routinely referred to her as
stupid, as ugly, as boring, as superficial,”
Neihart said in a recent telephone
“I think she had an incredibly playful
sense of humor, and was genuinely interested
in the arts that she followed, and
was quite a genius at self-promotion,” he
said. “And that worked out well with her
Such rich, lively and complex characters
of the Jazz Age could make for serious
and fascinating study. But “Rough
Amusements” misses the mark because it
involves the author’s speculation about
people and events for which there is very
little historic record.
Nevertheless, the seminal work on the
Walker family, “On Her Own Ground: The
Life & Times of Madam C.J. Walker,” by
A’Lelia Bundles, a family descendant,
does not mention much about A’Lelia
Walker. And few of her personal letters
remain, leaving Neihart to draw on the
papers and work of A’Lelia’s contemporaries
to fill in the blanks.
In 'Rough Amusement,' Ben Neihart uses the literary
device of historical fiction to fill in the blanks
about the life of black socialite A’Lelia Walker.
really didn’t think it would be offensive.”
He said he tried to follow the
“cadences of voice” that he found in writings
by Hughes and others. He compared
what he did with “Rough Amusements” to
Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” and
“The Executioner’s Song” by Norman
Mailer. It also is similar, he said, to
Edmund Morris’s historical novel,
“Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan.”
Any speculation about A’Lelia Walker’s
sexual orientation is left unanswered. The
book provides no proof and the author
found little else to help.
But in “Rough Amusements,” he mentions
A’Lelia’s close friendship with
Mayme White. A most revealing scene
plays out at a New Jersey resort when
A’Lelia is on her deathbed.
“In the bedroom they shared, Mayme
asked A’Lelia, ‘Baby, what’s wrong?”’
“I’m so glad you’re here, Mayme,”
A’Lelia replies. “Look at me. I’ve had
everything I wanted in life. I just didn’t
have it long enough.”
A’Lelia died of an apparent stroke the
Despite such morsels, “Rough
Amusements” isn’t about A’Lelia Walker
as much as it is speculation about black
gay culture during the Harlem
SOME READERS MIGHT OBJECT TO
Neihart, a white writer, interpreting
events and speculating about black
American icons. But Neihart defends
“There’s a lot of historical fiction, or
speculative narrative history, that reimagines
conversations,” he said. “So I
a FOR MORE INFO
’Rough Amusements: The True Story of
A’Lelia Walker, Patroness of the Hariem
Renaissance's Down-Low Culture'
By Ben Neihart
a different kind of
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6575 W. Loop South, Ste. 185
Bellaire, TX 77401
Nundini Food Store
500 North Shepherd
Houston, TX 77007
Food: !•!!•! !•)
Service: MW MM
Value: M Ml MM
Scene: MM Ml
r= Stay home and eat cereal
M M= Well, if you really must
M M M= Fine for all but the finnicky
Ml M Ml M=Worth more than a 20-minute drive
Ml Ml Ml Ml Ml=As good as you'll find in this city
dining ja. chapman
Nundini and its delicious Italian
sandwiches a pleasant surprise
Expect the unexpected
EVERY SO OFTEN WHEN I’M RESEARCH-ing
new restaurants, I come across an unexpected
gem. That’s what happened when I
walked into the Nundini Food Store. I’d
noticed their red sign advertising Italian food
and gelato for some time, but never stopped in.
One day recently, the sign offered a free
gelato with meal purchase. That was it. I
had to go see what this place was all about.
As I pulled into the parking lot of the
rather uninspiring industrial office park on
North Shepherd just past White Oak Bayou, I
wondered what kind of place would be here,
just on the edge of such a busy thoroughfare.
A couple of tables with umbrellas on the
deck by the front door seemed pleasant
enough, but I still didn’t know what to expect.
I opened the door and walked into a funky
mix of an imported food store, Italian deli, gelato
and pastry shop. I wasn’t even sure where to
order; but headed to the deli in the back. A
sumptuous assortment of Italian meats and
cheeses, along with bowls of olives, peppers, and
salads filled the cooler, while meats and cheeses
made of foam hung overhead. It seemed strangely
authentic and contrived at the same time.
The simple menu is on a white board and
offers salads for $5.95 and panini for $6.95. That
includes a bag of chips and a 12-ounce drink, •
plus the free small gelato. It seemed like a pretty
good deal to me. I ordered the muffaletta and
took a look around the place while I waited.
And return I did, to try the Italian salad —
mixed greens with roasted peppers, cucumbers,
olives, onions and the best feta cheese I’ve
had in ages. Okay, so the dressings are in little
packets and there isn’t much selection; I can
work with that. Most of their deli business is
take-out, so they’re geared in that direction.
The prosciutto and mozzarella panini
was excellent. Fresh, crusty bread so good I
asked where it came from (it’s flown in daily
from an Italian bakery in Dallas) is lightly
toasted, and the high quality prosciutto and
mozzarella blend perfectly together. I can
also recommend the tuna salad panini, a
mix of tuna, onions, egg and sun-dried
tomatoes again on that fabulous bread.
THE SHELVES BY THE DOOR DISPLAY A
respectable selection of Italian foods like
pastas, and olive oils. Incongruously, they
also contain a large assortment of ceramic
serving dishes. The middle of the large space
holds about seven chunky dark wood tables
that seem right out of an old Steak and Ale.
The drink coolers flank the tables on one
side and on the other sit the pastry display
cases holding cannoli, imported Italian
cakes, and an assortment of Greek favorites.
The gelato and sorbet are next to the pastry
case, and in the back are more shelves
with Italian cookies and chocolates. It’s a
fun place to peruse and you might even
want to pick up an item or two.
Eventually my muffaletta was ready, and I
took a seat at one of those clunky tables. The
round bread was thick with a chunky olive
mix and generous servings of excellent quality
ham, provolone, mortadella and salami. It
was toasted just enough to melt the cheese,
creating a warm, delicious sandwich. If it
wasn’t quite up to New Orleans’ Central
Grocery quality, it was a reasonable approximation.
I’d opted for a side of pasta salad
instead of the chips, and found it to be a tasty
combination of penne pasta with yellow peppers,
black olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
When I finished my sandwich, I headed for
the gelato case, which boasted about 10 different
flavors. You get two scoops in a small serving,
and after tasting all of them, I settled on
the chocolate and a coffee and caramel mix.
Wow! Rich, delicious and bursting with flavor,
the gelato was a real luxury I knew I’d be back.
AFTER SEVERAL VISITS, I WAS STILL
uncertain what this little shop and restaurant
was all about. The food was quite good,
but the space devoted to the deli and tables
was only about half of the large room. So I
decided to ask. Marion Jones, the general
manager, told me that most of their business
was gelato, which they sell to various restaurants
around town. The space was originally
designed to be a showroom to demonstrate
their products for chefs, and they added the
deli and other items as they went along.
So I guess that explained it The deh was
something of an afterthought. Well, it’s a delicious
gem of an afterthought The Nundini Food
Store offers some of the best Italian sandwiches
in town, and their gelato is a real treat. It’s funny
how the best food can be hidden in the most
unexpected places. I guess that’s part of the fun.
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
| community calendar
SATURDAY, APRIL 19
Annual Retrovirus AIDS Update. 930 am to 230 pm Keynote speaker is
Shannon Schrader, MD. Co-hosts are Houston Buyers Club, Montrose Clinic,
Ryan White Planning Council, Thomas Street Clinic and Houston Area
Community Services (HACS). Holiday Inn Select at Kirby and Highway 59.
Houston Area Bears. Social. 9 p.m. Mary’s, 1022 Westheimer.
Houston Outdoor Group. Bird watching on High Island. Jeff,
713-729-5072. HOGIine: 713-KAMPOUT.
All-Spanish Worship Service/Noche Espiritual. 6 p.m. Resurrection
Metropolitan Community Church, 2026 W. 11th. 713-303-3409 or
After Hours. KPFT 90.1 FM. 1-4 a.m.
Dignity mass. 7:30 p.m. for gay Catholics. 713-880-2872.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic 11 pm-2 am at Viviana's 713-830-3000.
Gay & Lesbian Breakfast Club. 9:30 am. 281-437-0636.
Houston Wrestling Club. Practice. 1:30 p.m. 713-453-7406.
Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous. 1130 am. Eye Opener Group,
8 p.m. Saturday Night Live, 930 pm. Willing Ones Group. 1201W.
Clay. 713-521-1243 or 713-528-9772. www.lambdahouston.org.
QPatrol. Volunteers walk the streets to help prevent hate crimes 930 pm-
Convene at community center. 713-528-SAFE. E-mail: email@example.com
St Stephen's Episcopal Church. Rosary 8 am. 1805 W. Alabama.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, noon-5 p.m. • 3400
Montrose, Suite 207 713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
SUNDAY, APRIL 20
Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Services at 8:30 &
10:50 am. Sunday school 9:45 am. 713-526-1017.
Center for Spiritual Living. Services at 11 am., for children at -
10:50 am. 6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808. The center also has commitment
ceremonies, metaphysical bookstore and classes.
Community Gospel. Service at 11 am. & 7 pm. Sunday School for
children 10 am. 713-880-9235 or www.communitygospel.org.
Communityof Kindred Sprits itiBeaomonLWorsliip at 6 pm 1575 Spindietop
Ave., Beaumont, Texas. 409-813-2055. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Covenant Church, Ecumenical, Liberal Baptist Service 9:30 am. &
education hour 11 am. 713-668-8830.
Emerson Unitarian Church. Adult education, 10 am. Service,
11 am. Lunch at noon, www.emersonhou.org.
First Congregational Church (Memorial). Service at 10 am.
Christian Education, 11:30 am.. 713-468-9543 or fcc-houston.org.
First Unitarian Universalist Church. Services at 9:30 & 11:30 am.
Brunch at 10:30 am. 713-526-5200. email@example.com.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 9 pm.-midnight at Club Inergy.
Gay Bowling Leagues. 7 pm. Palace Lanes, Bellaire Blvd. 713-861-1187
Gay Catholics of St Anne’s-Houston. 5 p.m. worship service.
Dinner and social, firstname.lastname@example.org. 713-623-0930.
GLOBAL. Gay Lesbian Or Bisexual Alliance. University of Houston
GLBT student group meeting. 2 pm. at the Houston Lesbian & Gay
Community Center, 3400 Montrose, Suite 207 713-524-3818.
www.uh.edu/~global. E-mail: email@example.com.
Grace Assembly Church. Gay/gay-affirming congregation. 11 am.
service. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 77351.936-646-7214.
Grace Lutheran Church. Sunday school for all ages 9 am. Service
10:30 am. 713-528-3269.
Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 4-6 p.m. For more
information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Houston Tennis Club. 9 a.m.-noon. Memorial Park at the Tennis
Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous. 930 am. Came to Believe Group.
1201W. Clay. 713-521-1243 or 713-528-9772. www.lambdahouston.org.
Maranatha Fellowship Metropolitan Church. 10 am. service. 3333
Fannin, Suite 106.713-528-6756.
Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church. Services at 9:45 &
• 11:15 am. Sunday school 9:45 am. 281-298-2780.
Resurrection MCC. Services, 9 and 11 am. Children and Youth
Sunday School, 10 am. Children’s service, 11 am. 713-861-9149.
St Stephen's Episcopal Church. Holy Eucharist, Rite 1,7:45 am.;
Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 8:55 am.; Education hour, 10 am.; Choral
Eucharist, 11 am. 713-528-6665.
Sunday Brunch. For HIV-positive men. 11 am. Riva's, 1117 Missouri
St. Paul, 713-880-0690. e-mail: PoznBuff@aol.com.
The Women's Group. Meeting and discussion. 10:45 am. 7I3-529-857L
Tnoreau Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Adult discussion, 9
am. Service, 11:15 am. 281-277-8882. www.tuuc.org.
Unitarian Fellowship of Galveston County. 502 Church St. Service,
10:30 am. 409-765-8330.
Unitarian Fellowship of Houston. Adult forum, 10 am. Service, 11
, am. 713-686-5876.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, 2-6 p.m. • GLBT
Community Church with Rev. Melissa Wood: Bible study, 10-10:45
am., worship 11 a.m. www.geocities.com/glbtcc • 3400 Montrose,
. Suite 207.713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
MONDAY, APRIL 21
Houston Outdoor Group. Pre-camp meeting for Enchanted Rock Campout
from April 25-27 7 pm. Cafe Express on Kirby between Alabama
and Richmond. Howard K„ 713-528-6174. HOGIine: 713-KAMPOUT.
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 am.-l pm.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 9 am.-noon at Joseph-
Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25th St 713-526-0555, ext 231,227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 8 pm.-midnight Keys West
Frost Eye Clinic. Free eye exams for people with HIV. 713-830-3000.
Gay Bowling Leagues. 9 pm Palace Lanes, Bellaire Blvd. 713-861-1187
Gay Fathers/Fathers First Support group. 8-9:30 pm. Bering
Memorial United Methodist Church. Tom, 713-726-8736.
Grace Assembly Church. Gay/gay-affirming congregation. 7 p.m.
aerobics class. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 77351.936-
646-7214. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grief & Divorce Support Groups. 7 pm. Bering. 713-526-1017, ext 208.
Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
For more information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Kolbe Project Eucharist 7:30 p.m. 713-861-1800.
Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous. 8 pm. Beginners' Group. 1201
W. Clay. 713-521-1243 or 713-528-9772, www.lambdahouston.org.
Montrose Clinic. Offers weekly peer support groups for gay and bisexual
men with HIV. Spanish speaking group meets, 630 pm 215 Westheimer.
713-830-3050. Grupo de Apoyo para Latinos gay y bisexuales VIH positives
Lunes 630. Para mas informacion llama al 713-830-3025.
Queer Voices Radio Show. 8-10 pm. KPFT 90.1.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in 2-9 pm. • 3400
Montrose, Suite 207 713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
TUESDAY, APRIL 22
Houston Area Bears. Dineout at Hooters on Kirby, 6:30 p.m. H.A.B.,
Bering Support Network. Lunch Bunch Gang, 11 am. 713-526-1017.
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in),11:30 am.-l pm.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Houston AreaCommunity Services 10 am-2 pm. at
Joseph-Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25th St 713-5260555, ext 231227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 8 pm.-midnight at Club
Houston. Also 4-8 p.m. at 611 Club, 611 Hyde Park. 713-830-3000.
Gay youth. New program for young gay males, ages 18-29.7 pm.
614 Avondale. 713-533-9786.
GLBT Pentecostals Bible study, prayer, 7 p.m. in the Heights. For
info: 936-931-3761; e-mail: www.Wgbl947@cs.com.
Houston Women's Rugby Team. No experience necessary. Practice,
6:30-8:30. Westland YMCA. Kay, 713-208-1529.
Introduction to Buddhism. All welcome at 634 W. Temple in the
Heights. 7 pm. Carlton, 713-862-8129.
Rainbow Ranglers. Free C&W dance lessons. Brazos River Bottom.
No partner needed. Beginner 2 Step, Waltz, Shuffle & Swing. 830
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in 2-9 pm. • Lesbian
Coming Out Group, 7 pm. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
Center for AIDS Women's mixer, 7 pm. 1407 Hawthorne 713-527-8210.
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 am.-l p.m.;
SOM Discussion & Exploration, 7 pm. 6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA). 8:15 p.m. meeting. Montrose
Counseling Center, 701 Richmond Ave., Room 15.
Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Support Network Pot
Luck Dinner, 6:30 pm. Various support groups, 7 pm. 713-526-1017
Bible Study. Noon & 630 pm. St Stephen's Episcopal. 713-526-6665.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 4B pm at Mary's 9 pm-midiight at
Ripcord; 10 pm-1 am at EJS10 pm-1 am at Midtowne Spa 713^30-3000.
Free HIV Testing. Thomas Street Clinic. 9 am.-l pm. 2015 Thomas
St. OraSure method. Call for appointment Sharon, 713-873-4157
Gay Bowling Leagues. 630 pm. Palace Lanes, Bellaire Blvd. 713-861-1187
Grace Assembly Church. Gay/gay-affirming congregation. 7 pm.
aerobics class. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 77351.936-
646-7214. E-mail: email@example.com.
Houston Pride Band. Open rehearsal, 7-9 pm. 1307 Yale. 713-528-4379.
Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
For more information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Houston Tennis Club. 7:00-9 p.m. Memorial Park at the Tennis
Spiritual Uplift service. 7 p.m. Resurrection MCC. 713-861-9149.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, 2-9 p.m. • Free HIV
testing, counseling, 6-9 p.m. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-
THURSDAY, APRIL 24
BiNet Houston. Group for bisexuals; everyone welcome. 730 pm. Hobbit
Cafe, 2240 Portsmouth, www.flash.net/-bihouse. 713-467-4380.
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 1130 am.-l p.m.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Community Gospel. Service. 730 p.m. 713-880-9235.
Free HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 10 a.m.-2
p.m. at Joseph-Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25® St. Also 11 a.m.-3:30
pm. at Gallery Medical Clinic, 5900 North Freeway, and Club Toyz
from 9 p.m.-midnight. 713-526-0555, ext 231,227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing Montrose Clinic. 4-8 pm at The Outpost 8 pm- midnight at
Brazos River Bottom and Cousins; 10 pm-1 am at Tqyz Disco. 7138303000.
Free HIV Testing. 7-9 pm. at All Star News, 3415 Katy Freeway.
Health clinic with free testing for HIV and syphilis. 713-869-7878.
FrontRunners. Running club. 630 pm 713522-8021 Web site:
http://liome.swbell.net/larathon/houfr.htm. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gay Bowling Leagues. 9 pm. Palace Lanes, Bellaire Blvd. 713861-1187
GLOBAL Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Alliance at the University of Houston-
Central Campus. Weekly meeting, 6 pm e-mail: email@example.com
Hep C Recovery. Support group. 630 pm. Bering. 713526-1017, Ext 211
Houston Women's Rugby Team. No experience necessary. Practice,
6:30-8:30. Westland YMCA. Kay, 713-208-1529.
Lake Livingston GLBT Support Group. 7 pm. dinner and discussion.
Grace Assembly Church, 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas,
77351 936-646-7214. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lambda Skating Club. 8 p.m. Tradewinds Skating Rink.
Montrose Clinic. Offers weekly peer support groups for gay and
bisexual men with HIV. English speaking group meets, 6:30 pm.
215 Westheimer 713-830-3050.
Rainbow Ranglers. Free C&W dance lessons. No partner required.
Brazos River Bottom. 8:30 pm. 713-528-9192.
Recovery From Food Addiction (RFA). Meeting for 12-step program
open to all. Noon-1 pm. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church,
1805 W. Alabama St RFA: 713-673-2848.
www.geocities.com/rfa77235/. E-mail: email@example.com.
Spanish Charla Conversation Group. Cafe Agora, 7 p.m. E-mail
Women's Clinic. Montrose Clinic. 713-830-3000.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop in 2-9 pm • Montrose
Writers' Project 10 am. • Houston Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus
Board of Trustees meeting, 7 pm. • Monthly volunteer meeting, 7 pm. •
3400 Montrose, Suite 207 713524-3818. wwwhoustonglbtcenter.org.
FRIDAY, APRIL 25
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 1130 am.-l pm.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 10 p.m.-2 am. at The Meatrack;
10 p.m.-l am. at EJ's and at Midtowne Spa. 713-830-3000.
Free HIV Testing. Thomas Street Clinic. 9 a.m.-l pm. 2015 Thomas
St. OraSure method. Call for appointment. Sharon, 713-873-4157.
Frost Eye Clinic Free eye exams for people with HIV. 713-830-3000.
Grace Assembly Church. Gay/gay-affirming congregation. 7 pm.
aerobics class. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 77351 936-
646-7214. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Houston Area Teen Coalition of Homosexuals (H AT.C.H.) Meeting,
7-10 pm. 713-942-7002.
Houston Tennis Club. 7:00-9 pm. Memorial Park at the Tennis
Kolbe Project Morning prayer, 10 am. 713-861-1800.
Mishpachat Alizim. GLBT Jewish congregation. Sabbath services
at 8 p.m. on the second Friday of each month at Baby Barnabys,
602 Fairview. Monthly study groups with Congregation Beth
Israel, 5600 North Braeswood. Mishpachat Alizim, P.O. Box
980136, Houston, TX 77098.866-841-9139, ext. 1834.
Q-Patrol. Volunteers walk the streets to lielp prevent hate crimes. 930 pm.
Convene at community center. 713528-SAFE E-mail: email@example.com
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in 2-9 pm. • Lesbian Film
Night with "Treading Water", 7 p.m. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207
ECHOS. This non-profit ministry of the Episcopal Church of the
Epiphany is dedicated to helping people access health and social
service systems. Free medical services include HIV, STD and hepatitis
testing. Call for dates and times of services. 9610 S. Gessner.
713-270-0369. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gay & Lesbian Switchboard Houston. Volunteers offer a friendly ear to
callers in need of information, nonjudgmental support, crisis intervention
and referral services, emergency shelter and advocacy services to crime
survivors who may need someone to accompany them to a hospital for
medical attention or assistance in filing a police report 713-529-3211
HoP-ON. Anyone can join this non-profit moderated email announcement fist
that helps facilitate advocacy work and organizing efforts for gay
Houstonians Quantity of postings is strictly limited Postings include press
releases and action alerts from national, state and local gay and allied organizations
Rar info or to join, access www.groupsyahoo.coni/group/HoP-ON/.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Volunteers perform a variety of
critical tasks which include staffing the information desk during drop-in
hours; helping with center programming and events; working on
community outreach efforts, fund-raising and publicity. Card players,
writers and artists in particular are needed. 713-524-3818.
Peer Listening Line. Youth only. Staffed by GLBT youth for gay,
lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. 5-10 p.m.
Monday-Friday. 800-399-PEER. ■
Pride Committee of Houston. Volunteers sought for Pride 2003
preparations. This is the 25® Pride celebration, www.pridehous-ton.
org. E-mail: email@example.com. 713-529-6979.
To list an event, call 713-529-8490, fax
at 713-529-9531, or e-mail editor@
houstonvoice.com. Deadline is Monday at 5 p.m.
APRIL 18, 2003 21
a weekly guide to arts & entertainment
activities for gay Houstonians
Jungle 11 Weekend is presented through Sunday
by the Bayou City Boys Club Inc. Multiple-day
passes are: 3-Day Pass: $95; 3-Day Gold Pass:
$125; 3-Day Platinum pass: $200. Events include
"Gather the Tribe" from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday,
April 18, at Rich's Houston, 2401 San Jacinto, at a
cost of $20 at the door. "Tribal Heat" from 10 p.m.
to 4 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at Verizon Wireless
Theater, 520 Texas Ave., at a cost of $45 in
advance or $55 at the door. "Tribal Communion”
from 3:30 to 9 a.m. Sunday, April 20, at Boaka
Bar, 1010 Prairie, and Mercury Room, 1008
Prairie, at a cost of $20 at the door. "Tribal Lust"
from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday, April 20, at South
Beach, 810 Pacific, at a cost of $15 at the door. 1-
SUNDAY, APRIL 20
Bunnies on the Bayou presents its 2003 Easter Event
to raise funds for non-profit local charities. Cost $25
at the door; VIP Pass: $100.2-7 p.m. at 500 Texas
Ave. in downtown Houston, www.bunnies.org.
FRIDAY, APRIL 25
Author Patricia Nell Warren is the guest speaker
at the Spring Dinner Party, a fund-raiser for the
Stonewall Democrats of Houston. Warren's topic is
"Being a gay Democrat in a post-9-11 world:
Getting our issues heard." The event includes a
reception, dinner and silent auction. Tickets: $40.
6:30 p.m. River Cafe, on Montrose near Alabama.
For tickets, call 713-854-8773.
GLBT Night at the Opera will be presented by
Houston Grand Opera as Grammy Award-winner
Renee Fleming sings her first-ever Violetta in
Verdi's popular "La Traviata." Cost of $100
includes two cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres by
don Carlos Catering before the Opera at Keys
West, transportation to and from the opera by
Ron's American Limousines (limited seating available
to first 20 paid reservations), and orchestra
level seats. Tuesday, April 29.713-546-0248.
FRIDAY, APRIL 18
GoGirlsRock brings Cheyenne, a finalist on NBC's
"America's Most Talented Kid," and other female
musicians to Houston. A 12-year-old from Plano,
Texas, Cheyenne makes her Houston debut on Friday.
Also performing are Elizabeth White, The Googe and
Rebecca Torrellas. $5 cover. 7 p.m. The Rhythm
Room, 1815 Washington Ave. 713-863-0943.
Lone Star Volleyball Association hosts the Houston
Classic XIV Tournament The beneficiary of this year's
tourney is Houston Buyers Club. Players must a current
NAGVA membership to play, and divisions
accepted are AA, A, BB and B. Pool play is Friday,
April 18. Championship play is Saturday, April 19. All
matches will be held at Willowbrook Sports Complex.
Cost $299.95 tournament fee. www.lsva.org.
Gulf Coast Archives & Museum of GLBT History
Satellite Exhibition. The first exhibition from the
GCAM collection presented at the Houston GLBT
Community Center honors the NAMES Project
Houston. Community Center, 3400 Montrose,
Positive Art Workshop Photography Exhibition.
Artists living with HIV/AIDS created these pictures
with accompanying text. Houston GLBT
Community Center, 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.
22 APRIL 18, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
REAL ESTATE SERVICES
Coastal Connection, LLC
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$419,000. Contact Jerry Jaggers (713) 501-7076, Independent
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STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD is your home special?
Tell our readers about it. Guarantee they will see it with our
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Contact our customer service reps for more details. (877)
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RENT IT FAST with our new features. Draw attention to
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NEAR MED CENTER Priv BR/BA, kit & laundry priv. quiet
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bills paid. $400/mo. (713) 941-4646.
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ANNOUNCE YOUR UNION The Houston Voice is proud to
announce the addition of a "Commitment Ceremonies" category
to our Classified listings. When making arrangements for
your Union, don't forget to include the most important aspect
of all...announcing the date. Publishing your union is easy &
simple. Call (877) 863-1885 ext 223 to put the finishing touches
on your ceremony.
DYNAMIC BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY! Good income. Hot
markets. No door-to-door sales. Free no obligation info.
www.BuildBigDreams.com. (888) 304-1643.
FLORAL DELIVERY / pTwest Houston / Katy. Must haveTve-hicle
w/ AC, Key map knowledge. Call M/F (9am- 5pm). (281)
PRINTING ASSISTANT PT/FT. Full job description online
at www.txshirts.com/employment.asp. Texas Shirt Co is located
in the Heights. No phone calls please.
RENTAL SALES 'AGENT Aggressive local car/truck rental
company seeking customer-oriented person for counter sales.
Applicants should have customer service & computer exp &
non-smoking. Excl benefits incl paid medical, pension & more.
For more info call PV Rentals (713) 295-7169.
SERVICE AGENT Aggressive local car/truck rental company
seeking person who enjoys the outdoors. Duties include cleaning
& delivering vehicles. Applicants must have a valid TDL &
good driving record & non-smoking. Excl benefits include paid
medical, pension & more. For more info call PV Rentals (713)
CARE GIVER Dependable & experienced GWM, 33yo ISO work
as care ‘giver. Great personality & very caring. Contact at
HILDEGARD VON BINGEN Medieval chant performed for
your ceremony or celebration. A cappella soprano also sings
classical & Celtic music. Leisa McCord (713) 899-2814 or
MONTROSE INN On your next visit to Houston stay w/ us!
We offer a 7 room B&B incl queen beds, CATV & phone. Convenient
to 15 gay bars. (713) 520-0206 or (800) 357-1228.
Visit our website @ www.montroseinn.com.
THE LOVETT INN Distinctive lodging & catering accommodations.
Corporate meeting rooms, banquet facilities, jacuzzi
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TRAVEL / U.S