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Our Family Ties: TV Mom Meredith Baxter Comes Out as Lesbian












k.d. lang JANE
Beth Ditto LYNCH
Leisha Hailey
Ellen DeGeneres

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M o ut
la u g h

20_4_cover.indd 3 3/13/10 8:27:20 PM

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Sweet voluntourism in the Caribbean. Find out

By Margaret Coble and Fae Goodman what Sarah
Silverman is
44 Saving Sarah Silverman
How the gays kept our favorite straight comic
on the air. Plus, Silverman tells us why she
loves to butch it up and who could make her
go lesbo. By Kristin A. Smith

48 Meredith Baxter’s Family Ties

Suzanne Westenhoefer sits down for an
intimate talk with her good friend and every-
one’s favorite TV mom, Meredith Baxter.

50 A Shock in Seattle
Coming to terms with the brutal murder
of a popular lesbian. By Gina Daggett

54 Powerful Lesbian Veterinarians

Our pick of vets for your favorite furry
friends. By Jamie Anderson

Lesbian Fashion 101
Women in Men’s Wear
Sexy androgynous suits for power babes.
Photography by Jeffrey Horvitz
Our favorite
(gay) TV
mom 44
30 Top 11 Lesbian Style Icons
Ellen and Kate are great, but see who else
made the cut. By Alex Vega and Riese

34 Finland’s Top Model

Nanna Grundfeldt is gay and gorgeous.
By Erin Siegal

36 Get Your Motors Runnin’

The pinup girls we’d want in our garage.
Photography by Leslie Van Stelten
36 Girls and cars—a
Women and Wheels hot combination
39 A Girls Guide to Buying a Car
These five tips make sure you won’t get page 48
taken for a ride. By Serena Freewomyn.

40 Motorcycle Mamas
Two women head out on the open road.
By Linda Kay Nash page 12
42 Our Top Car Picks for 2010 30 page 44
From compact to luxury, a dyke’s guide
to new cars. By Diane Anderson-Minshall


2 | curve
Being ahead of your time is never easy. That’s why one of our core values is to respect
all people and value their differences. That’s being progressive. And as a company, we aim to live
up to our name. We were the first to do things like offer insurance online and the first to let you
compare rates just as easily. Because like you, we believe in change, especially when it’s for the better.

See progress at

Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. and its affiliates, Mayfield Village, OH. 09P00116.D (04/09)
We love
Departments MAY 2010
new CD

The dark drawings

of Laurie Lipton
Jane Lynch
talks back



Lesbos of
Amazing Race

11 12 Author Jessica
DuLong at work

IN EVERY ISSUE 19 Money: Tips on finding a job for the recent
queer graduate.
6 Frankly Speaking
20 Relationships: Boy chasing, jello shots
8 Letters and bachelorette parties: How to survive a
10 Editor’s Note, Contributors straight-girl party.

11 This Is What a Lesbian Looks Like

25 Celebrity Gossip
18 Lipstick & Dipstick A new Lindsay and Sam spat, a check in
22 Open Studio with Chaz and Jillian Michaels comes out?
23 Out in Front
24 AstroGrrl Entertainment Reviews
56 Music: Soulful nostalgia with Sade,
Melissa’s new Fearless album and cuddle
up with Shelby Lynne.
12 Curvatures 58 Books: Political, academic texts for the
Housing for LGBT elderly and secret smarty queer. Plus, the secret letters of
stashes for your cash. Plus, what’s Eleanor Roosevelt.
under Jane Lynch’s track suit? 60 Film: Julianne Moore’s steamy Sapphic
scenes. Plus, we go Swimming with Lesbians.
14 Politics
61 Tech: Sexy stuntwoman Karen Dyer of
Brownworth is rolling with the ladies.
Resident Evil 5 talks video games and
burlesque on stilts.
16 Dyke Drama
Want to know how to seduce a
straight girl?

4 | curve

th e b e st- s e lling le s bi a n m ag a z in e

MAY 2010 | Volume 20 Number 4

Publisher and Founder Frances Stevens

Editor in Chief Diane Anderson-Minshall
Managing Editor Kristin A. Smith
Associate Editor Rachel Beebe
Assistant Editor Rachel Shatto
Book Review Editor Rachel Pepper
Music Review Editor Margaret Coble
Contributing Editors Julia Bloch, Victoria A. Brownworth,
Gina Daggett, Sheryl Kay, Gretchen Lee, Stephanie Schroeder
Copy Editor Katherine Wright
Editorial Assistants Lisa Gunther, Sarah C. Jiménez, Stephanie Vernier

Director of Operations Flo Enriquez
Senior Advertising Executive Diana L. Berry
Advertising Sales Rivendell Media
Advertising Intern Hans Djunaidy
Marketing Assistant Rose Tachis

Hello, Mrs. Keaton! ART/PRODUCTION

Art Director Stefanie Liang
Photo Editor Hayley McMillen
Production Manager Ondine Kilker
Production Artist Kelly Nuti
In the ’80s when everyone else was crushed out on Michael J. Fox, the cute Web Producer Nikki Woelk
boy wonder of Family Ties, lesbians were agog for Elyse Keaton, the original Photo Assistant Brittany Jeffers
TV MILF (OK, Mrs. Brady might have had dibs on that title, too). Like a CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
legion of queer women before me, I hoped, but never could have imagined Jamie Anderson, Kathy Belge, Stacy Bias, Kelsy Chauvin, Bree
Clarke, Jennifer Corday, Lyndsey D’Arcangelo, Beren deMotier,
that Meredith Baxter was actually gay. Or would be gay, eventually. Ainsley Drew, Michele Fisher, Lauren Marie Fleming, Katrina
By now, most of you may have heard that Meredith Baxter is a lesbian. Fox, Serena Freewomyn Tania Hammidi, Kathi Isserman, Gillian
Kendall, Kate Lacey, Sheela Lambert, Charlene Lichtenstein, Karen
She has been living privately out for several years, but after spending a week Loftus, Sassafras Lowrey, Ariel Messman-Rucker, Candace Moore,
alongside hundreds of lesbians on Sweet’s inaugural cruise, she decided to Alison Peters, Catherine Plato, Aimsel L. Ponti, Heather Robinson,
Laurie K. Schenden, Lori Selke, Dave Steinfeld, Edie Stull, Robin
come out to the public, too. Miner-Swartz, Yana Tallon-Hicks, Kyra Thomson, Jocelyn Voo,
By the time the cruise ship had returned to the port in New Orleans, our Melany Walters-Beck, Jamie Wetherbe

offices were already atwitter with calls, texts and emails letting us know the CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS & PHOTOGRAPHERS
great TV legend had been on the cruise. A lesbian cruise. With her partner. Paul Michael Aguilar, Erica Beckman, Brie Childers, Meagan
Cignoli, Cheryl Craig, JD Disalvatore, Tony Donaldson, Sophia
I wasn’t surprised, actually, because I was on the cruise, too, along with a Hantzes, Cheryl Mazak, Maggie Parker, Elisa Shebaro, Leslie Van
few other Curvettes. Even among the celebs on board, there was buzz that Stelten, Katherine Streeter, Kina Williams, Misty Winter

Baxter was thinking of coming out but wanted to keep it low key. The curve
1550 Bryant Street, Suite 510
staff that was boatside that week was respectful and let Baxter do the coming San Francisco, CA 94103
out on her own, without us pushing her in any way. (To read curve Phone (415) 863-6538 Fax (415) 863-1609
contributor Margaret Coble’s take on other aspects of the trip, turn to page Advertising Sales (415) 863-6538 ext. 15
26.) Plus, the women of Sweet did an excellent job of helping Baxter feel Subscription Inquiries (800) 705-0070 International (818) 286-3102
Advertising Email
confident, safe and respected, too. Editorial Email
It turned out great for us to let Baxter come out in her own sweet time. Letters to the Editor Email
Volume 20 Issue 4 Curve (ISSN 1087-867X) is published monthly (except for bimonthly
The response she’s gotten from fans and Hollywood has been tremendously January/February and July/August) by Outspoken Enterprises, Inc., 1550 Bryant St.,
Ste. 510, San Francisco, CA 94103. Subscription price: $49.95/year, $62.95 Canadian
supportive. In our exclusive post-out interview, Meredith speaks candidly (U.S. funds only) and $71.95 international (U.S. funds only). Returned checks will be
assessed a $25 surcharge. Periodicals postage paid at San Francisco, CA 94114 and
with friend Suzanne Westenhoefer (on page 48) about coming out, at additional mailing offices (USPS 0010-355). Contents of Curve Magazine may not be
reproduced in any manner, either whole or in part, without written permission from the
conquering alcohol and learning to love herself—and another woman—in
gertrude & mabel photography

publisher. Publication of the name or photograph of any persons or organizations appearing,

advertising or listing in Curve may not be taken as an indication of the sexual orientation
Hollywood. I can’t think of a more eloquent ambassador for coming out after of that individual or group unless specifically stated. Curve welcomes letters, queries,
40 (or any age, for that matter). unsolicited manuscripts and artwork. Include SASE for response. Lack of any representation
only signifies insufficient materials. Submissions cannot be returned unless a self-addressed
Of course, the issue wouldn’t be complete without our ribald cover girl, stamped envelope is included. No responsibility is assumed for loss or damages. The
contents do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editor, unless specifically stated. All
comic Sarah Silverman (on page 44), who is the anti-Baxter: brash, loud and magazines sent discreetly. Subscription Inquiries: Please write to Curve, 1550 Bryant Street,
Suite 510, San Francisco, CA 94103, email Canadian Agreement
wickedly subversive. We love how diverse women really are. Don’t you? Number: 40793029. Postmaster: Send Canadian address changes to, Curve,
PO Box 122, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6S8. Send U.S. address changes to,
Curve, PO Box 17138, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-7138. Printed in the U.S.

6 | curve
The Motels’
Martha Davis
speaks out

TRANSforming Millie
television look like

Courtney and Cheron from Tool Academy

Tool Academy’s Lezzie Co-eds

In season three of VH1’s guilty pleasure Tool Academy,
The L Word Look-alikes
the series added a lesbian couple into the dysfuntional mix, For years, readers suggested we run us decide. The
Courtney Barcellos and Cheron Wilson. The duo talk a contest to find L Word cast member result? Muy
falling in love, brutal therapy sessions and representing look-alikes among the fans. We caliente!
the lezzie tool community. finally heeded the call to support the Our other top
release of the L Word: Final Season vote getter: Lucy Shutan, a 20-year-
Motels Maven Martha Davis DVD (a copy was sent to each of the old rocker from Lake Zurich, Illinois,
4 winners). Among the lucky look- who gives Katherine Moennig (a.k.a.
In our extended interview with Martha Davis, the singer talks
alikes are Millie Ayala, a New York Shane) a run for her money. Shutan,
about her transition from Air Force wife to New Wave star,
insurance broker/consultant to high who just finished two years of col-
psychic predictions and why she had to escape L.A.
net worth individuals, who not only lege, works at GameStop by day,
looks a lot like Karina Lombard (aka tutors local high school students,
Putting the “T” in Reality TV Marina, Jenny’s first girl lover), but and, “When I’m not ridiculously

After decades of being treated by mainstream entertainment she and her 21-year old daughter are busy, I enjoy playing video games
like a silent letter at the end of LGBT, the transgender huge fans of the series. The proud and rocking out on my drums and
community is finally recieving a little media attention. mom of two (her son is 17), says, guitar—but not at the same time…
Two new reality shows TRANSform Me and Boss Ladies— “I never really thought that I looked yet.” Shutan was told she looked like
bring fashionable trans ladies with big hair and bigger like anyone on the show, those Shane often enough that she hoped
personalities to the mainstream—and we’re loving it! ladies were just way too hot.” But her pictures would score a season
after her friends insisted, she let six set. Indeed it did.
LGBT Financial Struggles in Motor City U.S.A.
It isn’t just the auto industry feeling the economic crunch in
Detroit, the LGBT community in Eastern Michigan has been
hit hard, too. Find out what you can do to help out. VoteFOR YOUR FAVORITE COVER
So many hot celebs, so little time—er, covers. Let us
A Honduran Getaway know who you would rather have seen on the cover.
Eco-tourism, zip lining in the Email your vote to
jungle and sumptuous exotic and be entered to win a lesbolicious gift.
cuisine. Read about one
Curvette’s adventures in
Central America at

Karen Loftus zip

lining in Honduras

May 2010 | 7
20 years.
150 trips. Ed Note: We love Venice and couldn’t agree
more, which is why we sat down with star
100,000 travelers. Crystal Chappell when the show premiered.
Read our interview at
This is Olivia! Wanting a Better Reflection
Why are there never any articles or columns
Amazing Galápagos Adventure written about gay women in rural areas? We
May 29-June 7, 2010
don’t care about the big city life or we wouldn’t
Provence to Burgundy be here. Most people think that women from
Riverboat Cruise the sticks are backwards or uneducated, but
July 20-27, 2010 that isn’t the case. We enjoy all the things
that city women enjoy, only our contentment
Cruising the Greek Isles comes from the solitude that the masses can’t
and Turkish Coast provide. I would like to see curve have more
October 3-10, 2010 stories about us and the way we live.
— Deb Campbell, Avard, Okla.
Palm Springs Spa Escape
October 13-17, 2010
Not a Victim I am a fan of your magazine. However, I rarely
African Safari Adventure After reading the article“Survivor or Victim?” see myself in your pages. I am a 35-year-old,
October 15-22, 2010 [Vol. 20#1] by Victoria A. Brownworth I lesbian, married, stay at home mom of three
felt the need to respond. The last paragraph living in rural upstate New York. I have no
Columbus Isle Resort
states, “rape creates physical, psychological interest in reading about the fashion-obsessed,
October 16-23, 2010
and emotional wounds that cannot heal, no clubbing, career chasing L Word type of
Caribbean Sun Cruise matter how much time has passed.” Well, lesbian. I understand that you have to report to
October 30-November 6, 2010 pulling from my personal experience, I don’t all aspects of the lesbian demographic, but I am
agree. I have gotten through it. I have healed asking that you please consider the rest of us—
Costa Rica Cruise
January 22-29, 2011
in so many ways and I am a survivor. That is the non-glossy side of the lesbian community.
empowering. You find the inner strength of — Rachel Bednarek, Blossvale, N.Y.
Mexican Riviera Cruise who you are and don’t allow them to destroy
March 26-April 2, 2011 you. Each day it will get better. There may Glad You Were Around
be set backs but you never give up and you Coming out to my friends and family was much
Amsterdam Tulip Riverboat
April 16-23, 2011 surely don’t go around telling people they easier for me to do since I had a lot of media, both
cannot, no matter how much time has print and TV, that dealt with the issue. I hope
Romantic Danube Riverboat passed. Anyone reading that article needs to see many more media sources incorporate all
April 17-24, 2011 to know—you are going to make it. There people on the basis of race, gender and sexual
Punta Cana Paradise Resort is light at the end of that dark tunnel and orientation as being equal. Not to encourage
May 7-14, 2011 keep lifting your head up. You will find it! competition for you, but I’d also like to see even
— Angela, Lawrenceburg, Ind. more magazines with lesbian content.
— Kendra Ball, Antioch, Calif.
Otalia Overlooked
Hey, Tech Girl’s “Ten Must-See Lesbian- Corrections:
themed Web Series” [Vol. 20#2] left out the The correct website for Seal
best one of the year—Venice! Wow girls, you Press, publishers of Women are way behind the times not having more on Open Up About Moving On is
(800) 631-6277 the hottest web series and ladies on the web. Bored to Death
— Trace Price, Seymour, Ind. is actually on HBO. Oopsie!

Send letters to: curve magazine Subscriber Services are now available at
1550 Bryant St., Ste. 510 San Francisco, CA 94103
EMAIL: • subscribe • get missing issues
WRITE FAX: 415-863-1609 • renew • change address
TO CURVE! GO TO: • pay your bill • give a gift
October 30-November 6, 2010
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From the Editor “Rarely am I as affected by a news story as I was by what happened
to Teresa Butz and her partner last summer,” says contributing writer
Gina Daggett. “It has stayed with me nearly every day.” The serious tone
of Daggett’s article, “Emerald City Tragedy” (page 50) isn’t something
We have so much
readers are accustomed to, since she normally writes under the pen-
happening behind- name “Lipstick” in the humorous Lipstick & Dipstick column, but
the-scenes at curve Daggett says, “I was deeply moved by what happened and felt
this month. We have compelled to tell their story. Rest in peace, Teresa Butz.”
not one, but two
great celebs—Sarah “I’m not shy about being a crazy cat lady, so speaking with K. Kelly Jones was a
Silverman and blast, ” says editorial assistant Lisa Gunther, who interviewed the veterinarian and
Meredith Baxter—in
fellow feline enthusiast for her article, “A Purrfect Career,” (page 55). A
graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Gunther is no stranger to the written word. She
this issue. Plus,

received her bachelor’s in English literature, and is currently working toward a
our editors crafted master’s degree in the same subject. While she initially thought about teaching,
a lesbo fashion bonanza (what she has recently discovered that her passion lies in editing and writing. “I never
thought that I would have a job that I actually love, but my experience at curve has been amazing.”
other mag offers queer women
You can also check out her review of Julianne Moore’s new film, Chloe, at
in suits, flannel, silver studded
bras and even a sweet lil’
dress?) that makes me want to Contributing writer and blogger Beren deMotier describes
herself as a Carol Brady in Levis meets tattooed lesbian mama in
shop—immediately. We also
a minivan, who is obsessed with safety, doing the right thing and the
asked readers what kind of amount of dog hair on her wood floors. On her curve blog, Gayby
cars you drove and which ones Boom, she writes about all things parenting. She is a regular contributor
you want to drive, and we’ve to Black Lamb, and has written for Hip Mama, Pride Parenting, ehow.
com, and for her own blog, That Lesbian Mom Next Door. Her multi-award-winning book,
come up with our 2010 Top Car
The Brides of March: Memoir of a Same-Sex Marriage, recounts her giddy leap through a legal
Picks. But for managing editor window straight onto the barbeque pit of public debate when she and her partner married in
Kristin A. Smith, the highlight Oregon in 2004, their three children along for the raucous ride.
of the month was talking with
comic Sarah Silverman. A former
Check out
Scene at
for more lezzie
hippie, Kristin is not our most snaps

pop-culture savvy staffer, but

when Silverman’s name came up
she literally lept at the chance
to talk to her. Days after the
3 4
interview, she’s still regaling us
1 2 1 6th Annual Hmong LGBTQIA New Year cele-
with anecdotes, including a song bration in Oakdale, Minn. 2 Tegan & Sara
about Sarah’s “penis.” You’ll have with Curvette Diana Berry 3 Training Rules
release party (from left) Cheryl Mazak, Sara
to read her interview on page 44 St. Martin Lynn, Dee Mosbacher, Michelle
to understand. Enjoy! Mattos & Wolfe’s Jenni Olson 4 Crystal
Chappell (left) and fans at the Venice premiere
6 in St. Paul, Minn. 5 The AVN Awards (from
left) April Flores, Jiz Lee and Dylan Ryan
6 7th Annual Womyn Unlimited Minnesota
Gala 7 At Mariah Hanson’s JETSETTER in
Diane Anderson-Minshall L.A. (from left): Shannon Kampa, Briana
Editor in Chief 7 Stockton, Jenn Regenstreich and Tracie Ayala

10 | curve
This Is What a
Lesbian Looks Like
Roopa Singh, poet-at-law, on
being a Hip Hop yoga warrior.
By Alison Peters

ON HOME: I was born in America after my parents

immigrated—but it doesn’t mean that I’m any less
Indian than my brother, who was born there. I feel
blessed and also obligated to be a bridge between
cultures. I have a deep love of both cultures that I

ON IDENTITY: Growing up in a multicultural

environment where my culture wasn’t repped, I
experimented with being a lot of different races. I had
to inform my identity in other people’s reflections.

ON HIP HOP YOGA: Hip Hop helped me to deal with

overwhelming feelings, like anger, passion, like
aloofness, like subversiveness. Hip Hop Politics is
a course I designed. I won an award for being an
innovative professor. Part of what Hip Hop tells us to
do is honor our roots. I recently started training to be
a yoga teacher, and what I want to do is do yoga for
differently-abled people, survivors of violence, and
do Hip Hop yoga—to use the warrior positions that
are thousands of years old with Nas instrumentals,
and make it entertaining.


Law is narrative to a highly nationalized degree. Law
is one of the ways a nation tells its stories.

ON STYLE: My style is being in high school wearing

a jersey with a bindi to match. My style is getting a
necklace with bling that stands out, but the bling is
an elephant pendant. My style is part gangsta, part
traditional, and part natureish. My style is my own.


May 2010 | 11
the rundown
Thinking of going on a family trip? Despite
the divorce and Rosie O’Donnell leaving the
company, R Family
Vacations, the first
//cur vatures
cruise and tour
company catering to Offering a Helping Hand
LGBT families, is
going forward. “It’s The first thing you notice about Kathy
been a challenging year for my family [but] Weiner is her hair. Wild, unpredictable
R Family Vacations is based on families, curls defy gravity and convention, jubilantly
and families stay together forever,” wrote bouncing as she loads power tools and heavy
Kelli Carpenter on the company’s website… equipment into her truck. She works hard—
For those of us not interested in traveling harder than most. But despite her deeply
farther than our couch—the 16th season of tanned face, faded jeans, dirty boots and
The Amazing Race on CBS featured awkward shyness, her hair betrays her real
a lesbian couple. Carol Rosenfeld personality.
and Brandy Snow of L.A. who Weiner is one of those silent heroes who The Hands on Housing crew

competed against other pairs in quietly, earnestly go about making the world
a race around the world… Rich a better place every day. She serves as the in common,” she says over coffee at a shop
lesbians are losing more money program manager for Hands on Housing, an named, appropriately, Progress.
than straight women! Federal Estate Austin, Texas based initiative that repairs the Asked if she experiences any resistance to
Tax Disadvantages for Same-Sex homes of the elderly and disadvantaged and her sexuality or her gender among some of
Couples, a new study from the leads an army of interfaith volunteer teams as the more staunchly conservative religious
Williams Institute, shows that wealthy they demonstrate the vision of Austin Area groups that she works with, she smiles. “No,
LGBT folks are the hardest hit by tax laws… Interreligious Ministries. not at all! I do feel like my expertise in home
Are you sick of beaver jokes? If not, you will Pairing such diverse groups as local Jews repair gets questioned because I’m a woman,

be soon. Lesbian icon Jodie Foster is set to star and Muslims, Weiner’s program doesn’t just but I basically just make suggestions and let
in a new film called—you guessed help the aging householder. “It’s so awesome them try things themselves. Eventually, they
it—The Beaver. Alas, the film has to watch the volunteers work together doing see that I know what I’m talking about.”
nothing to do with lesbians and is physical labor. On the job site they begin to It is precisely her low-key humility that has
about a man whose life is changed just talk amongst themselves, and by the end allowed her to overcome barriers, and serve as
by a beaver hand puppet… Have of the day they realize they have so much a facilitator for the kind of social revolution
you given any thought to your retirement
plans? The Elsie Frank House (named after
Rep. Barney Frank’s late mother) has just
opened in Mass., providing a safe place for
LGBT seniors. “Everyone deserves to live and that Jane Lynch isn’t getting?
receive care in a place that is filled with respect
for who they are, ” CEO Barry Berman told LYNCH: I’m pretty damn
The Golden Rainbow Times… Services and happy with the state of all
Advocacy for LGBT Elders (SAGE) received my close relationships, and
I believe it’s because I know
a federal grant totaling $900,000 in order to
that I am responsible for my
establish the first national resource center to own happiness. That way
assist communities that provide services to you don’t waste much time
LGBT elders… Still missing The L Word? whining about what you’re
The much anticipated The L Word Book is not getting.
finally available for purchase. Put together by
Jennifer Beals, it includes over 400 behind-
Because we need to know—
the-scenes photos from the six years the show
what’s under that tracksuit?
was on the air, and much of the proceeds go

to support charities, including The Matthew LYNCH: Double spandex.
Shepard Foundation. You
can even order the book
with a custom dedication.
that happens on her job sites. “It’s not just
the religious differences that get resolved,”
she says. “Volunteers get to meet and work
with people who are disadvantaged. They see
that these are good people who just happen
to have been born into a situation that didn’t
afford them a lot of opportunities.”
While other people talk about making
a difference and improving the lives of the STEALTHY SAVINGS
disadvantaged, Weiner is making it happen. Tucking money under the mattress is
She gets the satisfaction of watching her so passé, but you can still stash some
program change lives on many different levels. cash at home. offers an
Her passion for justice and her relentless desire array of great options. The Secret
for a better community shine through in her Candle’s bottom unscrews to reveal a
easy laughter, her enthusiasm for her work and hidey-hole, their Hidden Wall Safe is
her irrepressible curls. [Amanda Quarashi] perfectly camouflaged as an ordinary

electrical outlet and

the Book Vault keeps
the literary lesbian’s
treasures secure
in a hollow tome
that’s imperceptable
on your book shelf.’s Sprinkler Hide-A-Key
looks like a regular pop-up sprinkler
head, but can hold multiple keys—
great for party girls who often find
Kathy Weiner (right) with client
themselves locked out. ■

The Gaydar
Here’s a taste of lesbians in pop culture this month.
Who missed the mark and who was right on target?
Built Shot Desperate for More
Machines Julie Benz and Dana Delaney lock
Love ‘em or lips on Desperate Housewives.
hate ‘em, Benz confirms what
these girlie we already suspected:
gizmos are “Dana’s a great kisser”
showing up
at lesbian

Cynthia Nixon Sex and

the City star launches
ACLU campaign to end
Florida’s ban on lesbian
and gay adoption

Dykes of a Feather
In New Zealand, two
lesbian albatrosses have
set up a nest together

Head of State
E. Denise Simmons,
Lesbian former mayor of
Cambridge, Mass., joins
the state Senate race

Boy Scout Bigotry

Lesbian moms in Vermont are
denied the chance to be leaders of
their sons’ Cub Scout troops

the concomitant guilt it produces has put a

dent in our love affair with cars. No American
wants to think about how every time we get
in our cars we are killing the planet. But it’s
true, isn’t it? The Danes have their bicycles,
the Italians have their Vespas, the Welsh have
their Clydesdales, but we have our cars.
Climate change notwithstanding, there’s
more to the relationship between women and
cars than just a piece of the American dream.
Cars are escape. Cars are power. Cars are
Prior to the fall of the Taliban, a fatwa made
it illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia.
And in Afghanistan, women could only drive
with a male relative in the seat beside her. That
would put a crimp in anyone’s car fantasies.

Take Me for a Ride

In October 2008, a fatwa in Malaysia,
a majority-Muslim nation, banned both
lesbian sex and “masculine behavior”—
including women driving alone. The pro-
Freedom, fantasy and fatwas: The complicated relationship scriptions against women driving in Muslim
between women and cars. By Victoria A. Brownworth nations derive from the link between cars
and sexuality. Islamists argue that cars lead
to promiscuity because they allow too much
Americans and cars are inextricably hideous tri-color junker that was perilously freedom of movement.
connected. Many of our childhood vacations out of alignment. An old friend (who had These current prohibitions against women’s
were spent crowded into the family car, seeing clearly had her own lesbian car fantasies) saw auto autonomy may be egregious, but they are
“The U.S.A. in a Chevrolet.” Of course “sucker ” light up on my forehead and sold it just the most recent in a long line of similar
it’s been a bad couple of years for the auto to me for an outrageous price. My sweet little prohibitions. The history of women and cars is
industry in America. But that hasn’t made us junker was named Esmeralda. She drove like definitely checkered. In America and Europe,
drive any less or spend any less time yearning a tank, had a broken gas gauge, and when it was long thought that women weren’t smart
for the perfect vehicle. parked, tended to drift if I didn’t put bricks enough to handle cars. And “woman driver”
I came to cars late. As a teenager in the inner behind her rear tires. has been epithet for bad driving since before
city, I traveled by foot and public transit, or Despite Esmeralda’s lack of charm, she was most of us were born.
rode my bike. Taking the green route before my car and I had an inordinate amount of fun Yet women drivers are statistically the safest.
it was trendy was not actually my first choice. with her. Finally, I was able to be the one in We abide by the rules of the road more often
I wanted a car, but those were the days before the driver’s seat. What young dyke doesn’t than men, have fewer accidents and, when in
the mid-priced compact, and as a struggling aspire to that? There really is nothing quite the driver’s seat, are killed far less frequently.
writer a car was a luxury I couldn’t afford. like kissing your girlfriend in the front seat of In short, we use cars responsibly. We also
Which was a shame, because so many of my an old junker. Except maybe doing it in a Rolls feel safer with cars. The independence that
lesbian fantasies entailed having a sexy woman Royce or a Bentley. comes from being able to travel alone is very
on the seat next to me. Sadly, Esmeralda died too quick a death, different for women than men. Often, for
The first time I was in a car with only which was, in the end, best for the environment women, having a car means being able to
women was also the first time I went to a if not for my car-fantasy life. She devoured oil escape from men.
gay bar. I was 14, had a fake ID in my pocket and transmission fluid like a binge eater and So in 2010, I try to balance the American
and was going with two older lesbians. Jackie spewed a toxic cloud if she went over 50 mph. car dream with environmental responsibility. I
drove. Maria sat next to her and Jackie had But I loved her, and still think of her with have a fuel-efficient car and I drive only when

her arm across the seat. That’s when my car fondness. I’ve often wondered if women love necessary. But there are more issues than the
fantasies were born. Alas, I was destined to cars the same way men do. I think so. It seems environment with regard to women and cars.
be on the seat next to someone else for a very that lesbians and straight men want cars to be Which means, for now, I think women still
long time. It was fun, but it wasn’t my lesbian the same sexist thing: a chick magnet. need cars, because, for women, cars represent
car fantasy, it was someone else’s. Therein lies one of many quandaries about freedom. And in the majority of the world,
I was 31 before I got my first car. It was a car lust in 2010. The greening of America and women just don’t have enough of that. ■

14 | curve
Curve Magazine is a proud sponsor of San Francisco Pride

Commemorating Love
40 years of •
San Francisco •
values Diversity

Celebration and Parade

June 26-27 2010
This ad space generously
donated by Curve Magazine

How to Seduce a Straight Woman

Tips for getting her on your team or into your bed. By Michele Fisher

Ignore her. Really, hetero women can’t resist straight woman? Never. Technically, only two types of straight
being ignored, and I can’t resist ignoring them. When I was a struggling, baby-dyke women will get into bed with a girl. The first
Just kidding. You don’t seduce a straight artist, I lived in a studio apartment with this are those you pay for sex and the second are
woman, every dyke knows that, but I love struggling straight-girl artist who looked like gals who are trying to please their man with
taunting the straight media. One of them out a cross between Sade and Vanessa Williams. some girl-on-girl action. Now, if having some
there will do a web search someday and use Yes, she was fine. We slept in the same bed chick wearing six coats of gloppy lip gloss
the title of this column as proof that we are for over a year, many times drunk as skunks, make kissing noises around your nipples while
after their women. The irony of the title will and it never occurred to either one of us to some guy plays with his junk is your idea of a
elude them, just as common sense does. do anything but sleep…and occasionally good time, then you are going to make some
Women who have never been with a vomit. Not because I didn’t want to ruin the freaky little hetero couple very happy.
woman but really want to, or women who friendship or because she was saving herself And by the way, straight folks, if you
are bisexual—those you can seduce. But a for marriage, but because she was straight. think that straight women don’t flirt with us,
you are in denial. Humans flirt. Gay dudes,
straight guys, bi folks, dykes, everybody
flirts with everybody. Who doesn’t want to
be wanted?
Separating the flirts and freaks from the
genuinely interested can be a challenge, but
it can be overcome by just asking, or leaning
in for a kiss. Either one is effective, as it is
the follow-through that determines where
individuals fall on the sexuality spectrum.
I was never bold enough to do either, so I
would just wait—and wait. We all know
that this stage of “is she or isn’t she?” can
last for centuries.
If I am truly unsure about a woman’s sexual
bearings, I keep waiting until she throws me
down and tries to mount me. Until then, I
ignore her like a straight girl. Hey, she knows
where I stand—why should I be like Charlie
Brown trying to kick the football? No way,
Lucy, you can just bring the football to me or
go play with yourself.
So what do you do once you have figured
out that she is willing and able to follow-
There is nothing like the thrill of having a
desirable woman who you never thought in
a million years had any Sapphic tendencies
hitting on you. It is wonderful and scary and
absolutely life-affirming.
But how do you proceed?
katherine streeter

This is where we go wrong. This is her

struggle—or not—but it isn’t yours.
It is not on your shoulders to make sure
she makes it as a homo. If she decides it ain’t
the life for her, it doesn’t mean you are a bad

16 | curve
dyke and will have to give back the toaster. Over time, she will probably fall into
Why stress out about whether she might her own comfort zone with gay life. Then
go back to men? How are you supposed to again, being with you may be the extent
predict the future, Nostradykus? Cheer up. of her involvement in the gay community.
She might leave you for your ex-girlfriend. Leave the TV on Logo, put the curve on
Now that would really prove she’s lesbian, the coffee table and keep playing those Lady
wouldn’t it? Gaga tracks. She will figure it out.
And don’t overanalyze the situation by What if she turns out to be a total closet
getting all caught up in wondering if your case? How very retro. Once again, you can’t
lady is really gay or just attracted to you drag a girl out of the closet. Ranting and
as a person. A woman doesn’t need to tell raving and giving ultimatums isn’t sexy.
me that she wants me because she loves Nothing like a little emotional blackmail
women—she just has to tell me that she to warm her to the gay life. Even if it looks
wants me. like you succeeded at first, you will regret it
We worry that she will blame us for her in the end, when she resents the hell out of
being gay. How very flattering, but utterly you and tanks the relationship. But at least
impossible. I would like to think that my she will be out, right?
vajayjay has hypnotic powers, but alas I What if she is a bisexual? Well, if she’s bi,
know otherwise. she’s bi. Whoever she could be with if you
What if she is not comfortable in the were not around really isn’t important. She
gay community? Excellent. Then you have is no more likely to leave you for a boy or
an excuse to eat and run. But if you want a girl than you are to leave her for another
more than a quickie, you must remember woman, so get a grip.
to take a woman as you find her. People And that is how you get a woman who
don’t change. If you are hoping that you is not straight but has never been with a
two will be the grand marshalls of the woman, or has been with a woman but
Queertown Gay Pride Festival, then you’d doesn’t realize that makes her just a little
better think again. gay, to seduce you. n

Celebrating Our “Down There” Diversity

For the past nine years, artist adorning the walls of her project because she wants
Alexandra Jacoby has been Manhattan apartment. They to document the broadest
photographing women’s feature women, ranging in range of female experience
most private selves. So age from 19 to 60, of various and beauty possible. She
private, she says, that most ethnicities. Jacoby has put is still surprised at the lack
women haven’t even seen out a call for survivors of of hair “down there,” so
their own, much less others. female genital mutilation she circulated a request for
Vaginas, that is. as well as transgendered women with hairy cha-chas
The mission statement women to participate in her to participate.
of Jacoby’s project, vagina “I’m here to document,
vérité®, is as much to not to promote any particular
overcome women’s fear point of view,” says Jacoby.
and loathing of their vaginas But, clearly, her intent is to
(and vulvas) as it is for make a statement.
Jacoby to investigate and “A statement about what
interrogate society’s erasure is in the eye of the beholder,”
and commercialization of she says ironically. Jacoby
women’s sexuality. Jacoby also indicates that every
believes the “pornification” vagina she has photographed
of our society has negatively is unique. “That point is most
impacted the way women surprising to the women I’ve
feel about themselves. worked with because I don’t
Thus far there are 107 v- think any of us look that
portraits, as the artist refers often.” (
to the striking close-ups, [Stephanie Schroeder]
ADVICE Lipstick & Dipstick

God or Girls? Either way you’re on your knees.
By Lipstick and Dipstick

Dear Lipstick and Dipstick: I’m a 25-year-old woman who has dated Lipstick: Dipstick, do you have a penis? What
women in the past. After dabbling in lesbianism, I decided to dedicate you’ve got here is a woman who doesn’t know
my life to God. Despite my best efforts, I still yearn for a woman’s touch. what she wants. Get in one last romp and
I think women are sexy, but they can’t get me pregnant. Another problem when she dumps you this time, lock the door!
is that women my age never ask me out at all. Should I just stay celibate?
Dear Lipstick and Dipstick: The other night, after
—Godly Do-Gooder
fooling around, my girlfriend said to me, “I think
I’m tired of sex. It feels like a job and I always
Lipstick: Celibacy shouldn’t be an option, Dear Lipstick and Dipstick: I’ve been seeing a have to start it.” She may be right. Because I’m
Do-Gooder. How much fun is that? Listen woman for the past nine months. Every time shy and introverted, I never start anything sexual.
here: Take a deep breath. Everything’s going we’re intimate she can’t get enough of me, but I’m not even sure I’d know how to start. What
to be okay—it’s just going to take time. I can within 24 hours she breaks up with me. Then, should I do? — Wet (Behind the Ears)
only imagine the weight of the cloak you’re two days later, she comes back loving me more
wearing, as I dressed up as a nun once for than ever. She left me once for a guy, and six Dipstick: Plan a big night of rollicking sex-
Halloween and I was sure ready to kick the days later she came crawling back to me in capades? Pick out a sexy outfit, some mood
“habit.” That said, it’s possible to have the best a very public forum, and for a girl that is very music, clean sheets and juicy finger foods.
of both worlds. Dipstick, remember when closeted, that was something. She was with Oysters and champagne seem to always get my
that sister showed up at our event at the hundreds of men before she was with me, but gal in the mood. (I’m easy. I’ll drop my drawers
University of Wisconsin? She was queer and now she’s mine. — Blind as a Bat for a burger and a Bud Light.) Pamper her with
was still wearing those awful nun shoes. a foot rub and a hot bath with aromatherapy
Dipstick: Why do you need advice? This is salts. Get a fun, flirty game like Sex Casino
Dipstick: Lipstick, that nun was really cool, but the perfect set-up. You have fantastic sex, she or Chocolate Body Pens from Babeland or
I don’t think she had the best of both worlds. goes away for a few days, you get your space Good Vibrations. Lead her from the door, to
She was thinking of leaving the Church and then she comes back for more. What else the table, to the couch, to the bath, to the bed.
because it no longer aligned with her beliefs. could you want? Just make sure you’re having Don’t let her do any of the work, even if you
She still believed in God, but couldn’t support safe sex. have to tie her to the bedposts.
the anti-gay stance any more. My advice
is to join a nice church that welcomes gays.
Try to find one near you. You
certainly don’t need a man to get pregnant. All
you need is some sperm. But before you bring
a child into your self-loathing world, I suggest
you get some therapy to work through the
shame you have around your sexuality. You
can’t wish yourself straight. Lipstick, can you
explain why women aren’t asking her out?

Lipstick: Women aren’t asking you out because

a smart lesbian can smell shame like a German
shepherd sniffing for drugs at the airport.
Do-Gooder, you need to get things clear
within yourself before any hot babe will come
knocking. Instead of concerning yourself with

how you’re going to have a baby or how you’ll

attract women, focus on self-acceptance and
self-love—the unconditional kind, you know,
like your man Jesus taught.

18 | curve
Careers ADVICE
Lipstick: Dipstick, you’ve got it all wrong. If Wet has a plan of
attack, it will be awkward and forced. Part of the magic in the
bedroom is spontaneous combustion. What Wet needs to do
is just dive right in—there’s no better training ground than on
(or inside) the job. Mad sex skills come from practice, confi- Embracing your queer identity while on the hunt.
dence and trusting yourself. You’ve got to be reckless between
the sheets. Throw those cautionary excuses out the bedroom Congratulations, graduate! You made it
window and give yourself permission to be a filthy tramp. through four (or five, or six or a dozen)
years of school. You have a degree, a
Dear Lipstick and Dipstick: My girlfriend of 12 years came home cap and gown and a giant student loan.
about six weeks ago and told me that she had kissed someone What now? How do you land the job
that reflects your skills and hopefully
else and that she was confused. We spent a few weeks apart
provides a big enough paycheck to
and since then she has been asking to spend more time with
cover the aforementioned loan? For
me. She leans into me, touches me and wants to enjoy our free everyone, finding a job is a challenge,
time together. It doesn’t seem like she spends any time with this but for queer women, there are even
other girl. She made me a care package, and told me the other more issues to consider.
day that she loves me and only thinks of this girl as a friend. I Your search should include more
love her more than anything, but I really don’t know what to do than just looking at Fortune 500 compa- concerned about whether they should
anymore. — Patient Pamela nies or the standard “Best Companies be ‘out’ on their resume or during their
to Work For” lists. For instance, you may job interview. Sometimes they will
Dipstick: After 12 years, she kissed a girl? No big deal. Everyone want to explore companies that provide create different resumes depending
is tempted from time to time. The important thing is, she told healthcare for domestic partners and on whether they feel the employer is
you, and she knows she wants to be with you. claim diversity and fair treatment in LGBT-friendly. The ‘skinny’ resume
their annual mission statements. Decide may leave out their LGBT involve-
if you want your sexual preferences and ment, while the ‘fat’ resume includes
Lipstick: Of course it’s a big deal. You don’t kiss someone else if
gender identity to be known at work. it,” says Tubbs. The bottom line is be
things are happy at home. There are underlying issues here. Some basic information you need to strategic, do your homework, get the
know: Being asked about your sexuality job you want by honoring who you are
Dipstick: Yes, Lipstick, after 12 years, sometimes you do. Just (as well as age, marital status and in your entirety.
for a bit of excitement. I think if we simply relaxed about gender identity) shouldn’t be a part For trans-identified lesbians and
fidelity and got honest about attraction to others, the divorce of the job interview. If a potential other gender-variant folks, there are
rate would really drop. employer asks or implies about organizations to coach you through
these private details, it should raise workshops and active one-on-one
Lipstick: We should be honest about our attraction to a red flag. According to University of consultations. The San Francisco-
other people. One caveat: if you make a commitment to California, Riverside career counselor based Transgender Economic
monogamy, you stick to it, you leave or you change the Jan McCorkle, the job interview is Empowerment Initiative (TEEI) is a
the time to “emphasize your training, nonprofit organization addressing the
parameters of your relationship. P.P. and her girlfriend need
skills, and why you are the right massive un- and under-employment
to figure out why it happened in the first place and how to
employee for the job.” Refocus all of trans and gender-variant people
move forward in a healthy way. If they don’t, history will in the nation. Discussing subjects
questions on this agenda.
just repeat itself. ■ But what about your past queer ranging from dress choices for the
experiences? If you have been an active interview to whether an employer
Tune in to to watch member of LGBT affinity groups, you is “acting weird” because they may
the The Lipstick & Dipstick Show. Or, write to tv@ might wonder what to put on your be processing your gender variance. resume. Do you bullet-point the TEEI, as well as are
“Lesbian Ladies Film Collective” or going to be vital resources.
mention how you formed the “LGBT The Human Rights Campaign is a
WHERE DO LESBIANS FIND UNDERCOVER LOVERS? Hiking Team” because each experience great place to keep abreast of gains
At school helped you build a skill set directly made on policies that protect workers,
5% applicable to the job for which you are as does Out & Equal Workplace
On the 5%
road applying? McCorkle says yes, and your Advocates.
At the level of comfort about your sexuality will For new queer graduates, the sky
14% office
determine how you want to describe is the limit. We are an inventive and
At the bar

these experiences. “Everything on a intelligent people, and whether you

resume is open for discussion,” she says. decide to start up a new tech company,
16% On the
In the world According to Nancy Jean Tubbs, push your creative skills into full tilt,
of past lovers Internet director of the UC Riverside LGBT shoot for a job at the local hospice,
27% Center, this issue is a major concern vegan ice-cream parlor or music studio,
for many undergraduate students. remember, that there are many people
According to a poll on “Students during the job search are most who’ve got your back. [Tania Hammidi]

May 2010 | 19
ADVICE Relationships

Straight Girls Gone Wild 10 ways to survive a hetero ladies’ night out.
By Kelsy Chauvin

It always starts out sounding like an OK idea.

You’re invited to go hang out with some gal
pals—they could be old friends from the
neighborhood, or maybe relatives, perhaps
coworkers. An evening of revelry is planned.
No one’s threatening Chippendales, but they
are a bunch of straight gals teaming up for a
night on the town, which inevitably means
chasing boys.
You relent, without considering what a
minority you’ll be among breeder gals ready
to party. The next thing you know, you’re
slurping tequila shots and listening to a
gaggle of girlfriends (the other kind) playing
“who would you do?” at 2 a.m.
For you to survive, and even enjoy your
evening in the face of hard-line heterosexuality,
you’ve got to rediscover tolerance.
Here are some ways to survive a night out
with a gang of straight ladies on the prowl. can be vast. You don’t want to alienate them yourself suckered into attending a straight
by bragging how much better the sex is when bachelorette party, be prepared to subvert
Anthropology 101, anyone? You’re in their both partners have the same junk. Or maybe the penis-shaped cake by decorating it with
habitat already, so why not get all Jane you do. In any case, you’re the ambassador for some breast-shaped candles.
Goodall-with-the-apes on them? Here’s your lesbos everywhere—so put on your diplomat
chance to do some cultural research on how hat and inform. Flirt with the bar staff. Just because you’re
the other half lives. Ask questions, look for out with a bunch of breeders doesn’t mean
trends, get opinions—engage these girls and Get advice. We may not have the same taste you have to stick with them. Find the cutest
have some fun. in dates, but straight girls often have good drink slinger and have your way with her—at
fashion sense, and always have an opinion least verbally. It never hurts to befriend the
Drink. Or if you’re on the wagon, get them on what women want. Get into it! Topics person pouring your cocktails. If there are
lubed up. Any party revs up when the ladies can range from hair products to fabulous any hired dancers around, definitely cozy up,
get loose and the gossip starts flying. Drinks footwear, skin care, and bargain shopping. since they’re most likely to be the lezzies in a
will help your gal pals entertain you. Of In return, tell them the best women-friendly straight joint.
course, keep an eye out for those getting too places to buy sex toys (and naturally, which
loose. You don’t want to end the night in a products will please). Make a movie in your head. Your next creative
stall holding someone’s hair back. writing project has arrived, so jot down those
Make your own game show. You’re out for choice lines. Heard on a recent all-girl beach
Try a little tenderness. Women get weary. the night, surrounded by the T.G.I. Friday’s vacation: “That overweight Hulk Hogan reject
Wouldn’t you, if your dating pool involved the version of the Mating Game. If this were should not be playing soccer in that under-
Y chromosome? Men can be real boobs, and a Japanese game show, you’d be watching sized banana hammock.” The only way it
not the kind we like. Your straight girlfriends women with helmets crash into giant padded gets better is with a tape recorder.
have to put up with all that cluelessness, always mushrooms. Instead, see if you can dare
having to weed through the lesser qualities to your friends to tell the yo-yo at the bar he Turn on the gaydar. Like a heat-seeking missile,
find the good ones. Listen to the ladies gripe needs to lose the hair plugs and button up a lesbian can sniff out her own kind in two
and exercise your empathy gene. that disco shirt. seconds flat. Whether they’re bi-curious or
randomly crushing on some friend of a friend,
Enlighten. Tell your gal pals about the queer Word-replacement therapy. When they say you are the main attraction tonight, and the
world you live in. Everyone loves talking “guy,” you hear “girl”; when they say “dick” woman they can test the waters with. So dive

about sex, and what a het lady doesn’t know you hear “dildo.” And if, God forbid, you find in and enjoy yourself. n

20 | curve

Lipton’s leanings (clock-

wise from left): Leashed
Passion; Mirror, Mirror; On
(inset); La Huesera (The
Bone Woman); Death and
the Maiden; When She Told
Her Parents,They Had Her
For Lunch.

A Rainbow in Black and White

Laurie Lipton’s evocative drawings. By Lana Gentry

Out lesbian Laurie Lipton is at the center of the art world amateurish sketchbooks. Lipton’s work transcends the
right now. A new book about her work, The Extraordinary boundaries of the genre. Through her years of drawing, she
Drawings of Laurie Lipton, which features her graphite has created and mastered a layering technique that helps
and charcoal drawings, was published this year by beinArt to create breathtaking luminosity in an art form otherwise
Publishing, and she has a highly-anticipated solo show devoid of color.
entitled Weapons of Mass Delusion opening this month at Lipton’s atmospheric and macabre drawings often include
the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California. motifs of death, and she certainly doesn’t shy away from the
In a world of color, Lipton’s stark black and white dark images. “I was brought up in the nice, neat suburbs of
drawings stand out. Dubbed “the New York where anger and fear and
pencil painter,” she once wanted other messy emotions were hidden
to be like the oil masters, but ulti- behind the flock of wallpaper and
mately found herself connected to pulled up with the weeds,” says Lipton.
graphite. Lipton has reconstructed “I was a perfect little girl with imperfect
Melissa Williams (lipton)

and reinvented the way pencil feelings. I had to do something with the
drawing is seen—gone are the shit I felt inside of me. If I hadn’t had
notions that pencil work is only my artwork, I would have become a
found on beach boardwalks or in mass murderer.” n

22 | curve

Fearless We say that our struggle is important and

difficult, but we choose to go to the gym or
and the first Member of Parliment to come
out, called Brown “the next Prime Minister of

a party over knocking on doors or phone Jamaica.”
banking for a fair-minded candidate.” That ”I am not too sure about that,” she says, “but
needs to change, Migita insists. “Our own until LGBT rights are recognized in Jamaica
daily choices and small sacrifices can move or I turn over, God forbid, I will be working to
Three women on the front us closer to equality.” improve the lives of LGBT persons here.”
line. By Sheryl Kay
Taking a Stand Everyday Activism
For Kemone Brown to be out and gay in her Caitlin Breither has lived in both New
mother country, Jamaica, means living in England and the Bible Belt, and she says she
constant fear of daily aggression that includes witnessed a lot of the prejudice against gay
“corrective” rape and mob beatings. people in both areas. And while she says it’s
And yet, without equivocation, 22-year-old often harder being gay in the South than in
Brown will tell you in a heartbeat that she’d more liberal places up North, it also depends
never leave her picturesque tropical homeland. on the particular location.
“The Prime Minister wants to enjoy the “I feel like it’s more of a rural versus urban
beautiful Caribbean island and so do I, and thing, rather than a South versus North thing,”
I’m sure all other LGBT persons do, too,” says Breither, a 21-year-old junior at University
Brown says. “Whether Jamaicans wish to of North Carolina, Wilmington. “If there are
accept it or not, LGBT persons add value to, more people, you’re more likely to have diversity
and enable the growth of, the Jamaican society and thus more acceptance of diversity.
as [much as] any other Jamaican.” As president of PRIDE on campus, Breither
helps spread awareness of LGBT issues and
Actions Speak Louder Than Words makes sure that queer and trans students
“There is no doubt that it’s much more difficult feel safe and welcomed at UNC. Breither
to be gay and Asian because of the layers and also oversees educational events, including
complexities of cultural pressures and values an annual drag show, and works with others
in the Asian community,” says Gwen Migita. at the University promoting and lobbying for
“There is a great sense of shame and dis- various LGBT issues, including hate crimes
honor if one acts or lives a life that is outside legislation and gay marriage.
of the homogeneous bubble,” she says. According to Breither, you don’t have to
But Migita is an outstanding example do activism work or be a community leader
of someone who has persevered, and to be an activist. “Having a conversation with
excelled. Today she’s the director of corp- a friend about LGBT issues and educating
orate social responsibility with Harrah’s them makes you just as much of an activist
Entertainment in Las Vegas, a billion-dollar Brown has contributed to the island as someone who spends their day lobbying
company leading sustainability strategy nation’s culture in a myriad of ways. In the Congress,” she says. “I encourage everyone
and policies for the environment, corporate organization Women for Women, Brown to take the time to talk to at least one unin-
philanthropy and employee volunteerism. helped set up social and personal develop- formed person every month about LGBT
Migita serves as co-chair of HRC’s Las ment programs, often bringing hope to issues and let them know why it’s important
Vegas Steering committee and is on the women who experienced coming out as a that they support equality.” n
executive committee for the National Board virtual death sentence in Jamaican society.
of Governors. She also serves on the executive She has also worked with Gays Lesbians All-
board as an officer and member in several Sexuals and Bisexual Community, a group
environmental and sustainability organiza- that works through Jamaica AIDS Support
tions, including the Water Conservation for Life on targeted intervention.
Coalition of Southern Nevada, Green Chips, Currently Brown is working on a project
and Conservation International’s Business to equip lesbian and bisexual women with

and Biodiversity Council. the basic secondary education necessary

“What holds back the LGBT civil rights for matriculation to college or seeking basic
movement,” explains Migita, “are people employment in Jamaica.
complaining, rather than actively and Svend Robinson, the former parliament
productively working toward a solution. member in the Canadian House of Commons,

May 2010 | 23

Bold and Brash

The planets push us out of our shells and into the frying pan. By Charlene Lichtenstein

Taurus (April 21–May 21) Scorpio (Oct. 24–Nov. 22)

Sex: Shower her with lavish gifts and she will return Sex: You are so sexy and alluring this month it is
the favor. There is nothing that money can’t buy. But almost criminal. Spread your pheromones around
don’t squander all that you have. May leads to June and see who picks up your scent. Then create a body
and June has very expensive tastes. Career: If you of evidence. Career: You are a mover and a shaker in
need to work from home, do so. But don’t blend the your career. Plot a new scheme to get to the next
colors of your domestic and professional lives. You rung in the corporate ladder. Then toss some water
will just wind up with a muddled gray. balloons down.

Gemini (May 22–June 21) Sagittarius (Nov. 23–Dec. 22)

Sex: You are sexy, sultry and very attractive to every- Sex: Cement partnerships by being affectionate,
one you meet. So carefully choose your circles and passionate and loyal all through the month. I know
make them into your orbs of desire. Career: Don’t that is difficult, but I think you can do it. Career: You
talk yourself out of a promotion this May. Use your ache to travel now. Try to set up some—ahem—
gift of gab to oil the big corporate cogs. Just avoid “business trips” to quench your wander lust. And it
extra grease. may lead to wandering lust.
Megan Fox turns 24 on May 16

Cancer (June 22–July 23) Capricorn (Dec. 23–Jan. 20)

TAURUS Sex: You have a secret admirer. Pull the covers off Sex: Will you discover love on the job? Only if you
Hubba hubba. Lesbian Bulls are
and see who she is. Will you want to join her under insist on grinding your beans around the communal
arguably one of the sexiest gals
in the zodiac. Ruled by Venus,
the covers? Career: You rake in the money this May coffee machine. Add extra sugar to taste. Career: Those
the planet of love, beauty and through your innate creativity and overall charm. Is in control seem to have extra control on you. Gently
art, Taurus girls have an unfair that really all that you need? Uh oh. buck authority and create your own professional
advantage in the look and feel magic. Can you make those in control disappear?
department. When they are Leo (July 24–Aug. 23)
inspired, they know how to dress Sex: Gal pals can become so much, much more if you Aquarius (Jan. 21–Feb. 19)
for sexcess and seem to know let them. The real question is—will you let them? See Sex: May is full of fun. See how much romantic
just what buttons to push to get if you want to mix some passion into your platonics. mischief you can get into before your party is crashed.
a gal overflowing with lust. Rub Career: You are a professional whirlwind. Use the The more the merrier—until it isn’t. Career: Shore up
her tummy and kiss her face month to meet as many of the corporate big wigs as all business relationships. Lunches, dinners and cock-
(especially on either side of her possible. Schmooze it up, sister! tails will warm their cockles and make you a bigger
nose and under her eyes) and
player. But beware of big bills.
she’ll follow you anywhere. She is
Virgo (Aug. 24–Sept. 23)
inexhaustible and, like that pink
bunny, can keep going and going Sex: You’re a charmer, especially in the office. Will Pisces (Feb. 20–March 20)
and going. Hop on…hop off… you use your charismatic gifts for personal enrich- Sex: Feather your nest and make it into a love nest.
hop on…hop off. Phew! ment or for just fooling around? Have fun no matter Before you know it you will have all the birds vying
what you choose. Career: Be crafty and very political for a place to snuggle in. Career: You find yourself
in your career now. You can gain the upper hand in especially busy this May with an array of work related
anything and everything. Why start with one hand? tasks. Maybe it’s time to find a good right hand gal to
Put both hands to work. help you out. Her left hand isn’t bad either.

Astrologer Charlene Libra (Sept. 24–Oct. 23) Aries (March 21–April 20)

Lichtenstein is the Sex: You might meet an exotic stranger in May. Sex: You talk the words of love, but is it all just hot
author of Herscopes: How exotic is up to your own personal taste. The air? Tell her how you feel but back it up with action.
A Guide to Astrology spicier the better. Career: Girlfriends in high places And then feel away. Career: You find ways to have
for Lesbians. Get more at thestarry can give you a lift up the corporate ladder. Will you fun at work this May. Of course what is fun to you or check out her blog at bump your head on a glass ceiling? Pack a hammer may not be to the big bosses. At least try to look just in case. serious and hardworking. ■

24 | curve

Jane Lynch is getting hitched Jillian Michaels gets our hopes up Samantha Ronson gets feisty

Harmony and Heartache

Wedded bliss, a public spat and one woman peeks a toe out of the closet. By Jocelyn Voo

Wedding Bells Pretty friggin’ great: “Our relationship a bit (sorry, Tila, yours is just too insane).
First thing’s first: our congrats to Glee star always modeled a heterosexual relationship, Thankfully, Lindsay Lohan keeps it interesting.
Jane Lynch and her partner, Dr. Lara Embry, emotionally and intellectually. So now it does According to, Samantha
for making their love official! physically as well,” he tells Entertainment Ronson was DJing her usual night at an L.A.
After this year’s Golden Globes, Lynch let Tonight, of his relationship with girlfriend club when Lohan showed up, reportedly
the cat out of the bag to the New York Times, Jennifer Elia. downed a few vodkas, then became set on
whose Carpetbagger blog reported that the “I feel like I’m living in my body for the getting her ex’s attention. When her initial
actress summed up her show’s award and her first time, and it feels really good.” attempts failed, Lohan resorted to dirty
impending nuptials succinctly: “It’s good to be Bono also revealed that his decision wasn’t dancing with another girl in front of Ronson.
on the winning team.” a surprise to Elia, either. Bono says his desire This, apparently, was the provocation needed.
If Lynch’s new leading lady sounds like to have the operation was “something she “Sam just got sick of it all in the end
a familiar name, you’re right. Last year, knew about shortly after we met.” though and started taunting Lindsay about
Embry, a psychologist, won a widely pub- Aw, we love a happy ending. being all drunk and messed up,” a source told
licized same-sex custody battle with her RadarOnline. “She said to Lindsay, ‘Why don’t

former partner over their two children. Grammar Check you just have another drink?’ And told her,
Embry and her then-partner each gave birth As much as we like gossip around these parts, ‘You’re a disgrace.’ ”
to one child, then adopted each other’s child, we always try to be respectful when it comes And that, ladies and gents, is when Lohan
agreeing to share custody of both children. to someone coming out. (Uh, fauxmosexuals, shifted into jilted lover mode and threw a
When the adults split, Embry’s ex also decided you don’t count. We’ll mock you till the cows drink in Ronson’s face, only to have Ronson
to split the kids up, severing ties with Embry come home.) So we’ve stayed pretty mum return the favor by picking up DJ equipment
and Embry’s biological child. However, with on Biggest Loser coach Jillian Michaels—who to chuck at Lohan.
the help of the National Center for Lesbian some have speculated to be gay—until now. Ordinarily the story would end there. But
Rights (NCLR), it was ruled that Embry In Ladies Home Journal, Michaels started in this case, Ronson was allegedly so worked
was to be given the same rights as any other dropping some Sapphic hints, “Let’s just say up that she ended up going to a different
adoptive parent in Florida. I believe in healthy love. If I fall in love with a club, kicked the house DJ out of the booth
For this, Embry was awarded the NCLR’s woman, that’s awesome. If I fall in love with a so that she could spin, and proceeded to play
Justice Award in May 2009. But the biggest prize? man, that’s awesome. As long as you fall in love.” a mix tape rather than perform. Once club
Meeting Lynch, who was also at the event. One step at a time, one step at a time. management asked her to leave, Ronson
complied—but only after taking the audio
Check-In Drink’s On Us cables with her. Sadly, there’s no good cop or
So what’s life like post-op for Chaz Bono? I’ve been missing me some LiRo drama for bad cop in this one. ■

May 2010 | 25
Cruising with
Saving the world, one
tropical port at a time.
By Margaret Coble

a Conscience and Fae Goodman

Photos by Alison Terry-Evans

n a blustery fall Sunday, Norwegian the Toulouse Street Wharf in the French Quarter.
Cruise Line’s Spirit set sail out of the port of New At the end of the weekend, we joined women (and a
Orleans with 1,200 lesbians and their friends on handful of men) ranging in age from 20 to 91 from all over
the inaugural Western Caribbean cruise from lesbian the U.S. and 10 different countries in boarding the massive
travel company Sweet. Though the first 24 hours or so cruise liner, which hurried out of port early in hopes of
were challenging, thanks to Hurricane Ida, the rest of the getting out of the path of Hurricane Ida. That first evening,
seven-day adventure would prove to be a once-in-a-lifetime we gathered in the main theater for a rousing welcome from
experience filled with top-notch entertainment, wild parties, Sweet’s founders, Jen Rainin and Shannon Wentworth, two
endless on-board activities, many tasty piña coladas, four long-time friends who brainstormed their “travel with a
beautiful tropical ports to explore, and daily opportunities to conscience” vision while walking their dogs. Greeted like
give back to the communities we were visiting. rock stars by the eager-to-have-fun-while-doing-good crowd,
Both my partner and I were cruise virgins. We’d heard they were followed by a brief set by lesbian comic Suzanne
about other LGBT cruises, but Sweet promised a new kind Westenhoefer. It was a great kickoff.
of travel experience, one that married a fun vacation with Meanwhile, the ship was beginning to really experience
a chance to make a difference. On top of that, Sweet had what our captain jokingly referred to as “rockin’ and rollin’”
picked one of the most eco-conscious cruise companies in the from Hurricane Ida. As the night went on, the ship was
world—Norwegian Cruise Lines—and had also arranged via tossed back and forth on 10 to 15 foot waves, leaving fully one- to offset the carbon emissions of the entire third of the ship’s passengers and crew seasick. Thankfully,
trip by planting 65,000 trees in Louisiana, my home state. most of us were recovered enough by later that second night
We were impressed—and excited. to enjoy a very cathartic evening of comedy from Erin Foley
Before we set sail, Sweet had been in our hometown of of Last Comic Standing. For the rest of the week at sea, all the
New Orleans for two days, offering Sweeties—as cruisers comedians would follow her lead and incorporate jokes about
were called—a pre-cruise package to enjoy everything the our collective sailing-through-a-hurricane experience, with
city has to offer, as well as get a jump start on volunteering. hilarious results. Nothing like a little trauma to bond folks!
These early participants helped restore some of the battered With the bad weather behind us, the next day found us
wetlands by planting 600 native grasses in a marsh devastated arriving just a few hours late to our first port destination, Costa
by Hurricane Katrina, and later enjoyed a huge street party on Maya, Mexico. It would be the first of many opportunities for

26 | curve
Sweeties to participate in a “voluntour” excursion. Here it was discover each port on their own or take other excursions. Each
a beach clean-up project, followed by cocktails and a Mexican port swarmed with bikini-clad lesbians scuba diving, touring
buffet. We joined 150 women who collectively filled over 200 the local sights or relaxing on the beautiful Caribbean beaches.
giant contractor trash bags with an array of trash in just 45 We, for instance, didn’t participate in the latter two voluntour
minutes. There were contests to see who could pick up the most opportunities, instead choosing to spend those days exploring
flip-flops (the winner found 24), the item that came from the Roatan Island via a driving tour and taking a glass-bottomed
farthest away (China beat Greece), and the most bizarre item (a boat snorkeling tour in Cozumel.
vacuum cleaner nozzle won, though the toilet seat, lawn chair, However, a full third of the women on the ship did
kitchen sink and Buddha statue were all strong contenders). participate in at least one of the voluntours, giving Sweeties
This excursion may have had a small impact on Mexico’s a shared sense of accomplishment. One couple described their
coast, but it had a huge impact experience in Belize as “the most meaningful, wonderful thing”
on those of us who partici- they’d ever done, a sentiment reiterated throughout the week.
pated, with many of us vowing Meanwhile, back on the boat, there was so much going on
to never buy disposable water it was often hard keeping up with it all. Throughout the week
bottles again. As Wentworth there were poolside parties, wet T-shirt contests, curve
pointed out, “People saw where contributor Jennifer Corday and her rockin’ cover band making
their trash goes—85 percent of the gals go wild and hot tub mania going on on the upper decks.
this trash is not from Mexico. There were mixers, meet and greets, karaoke, networking, and
Things don’t disappear just happy hour events, including several hosted by curve’s own
because they disappear from Lipstick and Dipstick.
our view.” Every evening there were amazing musical performances
At our next port, Belize City, from the likes of dyke favorites Edie Carey, Natalia Zukerman,
Belize, there were two different Adrianne, Jen Foster and many others, as well as comedy from
voluntour excursions. The first Gloria Bigelow, Kate McKinnon and Sandra Valls. And every
was at a children’s hospital night, there were different theme parties hosted by the ten DJs
ward, where Sweet partnered brought on board by Sweet. The ’80s Party had the best
with Lifeline, a philanthropic costumes (Ghostbusters jumpsuits and inflatable backpacks),
organization run by the first but the Lingerie Party and Champagne and Bubbles dress up
lady of Belize, Kim Simplis night were also great for fashion—and girl-watching.
Barrow. Sweeties painted in cartoon character drawings on the The ship was a virtual who’s who of the lesbian nation, too.
walls of the formerly drab pediatric hospital, and donated toys Aside from all the billed entertainers, there were super-secret
and clothes. “Having spent time in pediatric wards with my celesbians aboard (we now know that recently-out Meredith
own kids, it’s good to have something to look at,” Rainin said, Baxter was on board, though we never ran into her); less-
pointing out the positive impact of the colorful pictures. secret but no less interesting stars including Dani Campbell,
The other community project in Belize City was at an actors Cathy DeBuono and Jill Bennett, dyke culture movers
underprivileged school across town where Sweet teamed up and shakers like Club Skirts’ Mariah Hanson, Babeland’s
with non-profit Hand Wash Hand. Sweeties painted the walls Rachel Venning and Laura Weide, superstar trainer Shawnee
and decorated with stencils, and then filled the bookshelves Harkins, Wolfe Video’s Kathy Wolfe, and, of course, reps from
with thousands of books that Sweet cruisers had donated. every major lesbian publication, website, podcast, web series
Afterwards, Sweeties read the kids stories. It was heart- and blog. Giving Back (far
left to right): Sweet
warming to see how happy the kids were to see their school A book could be written about all the sights, sounds and voluntouristas
collect trash on
transformed in the course of a day. scenes on this cruise. And, in fact, there were several films the beach of the
In Roatan, Honduras, Sweeties repainted a children’s and web series being shot on board. There truly was some- Parque Punta Sur
Ecological Reserve
e-learning center and donated two new computers as well as thing for everyone. in Cozumel,
Mexico; Sweet
$600 from their own pockets to sponsor But through all of it, Sweet’s CEO Shannon
Wentworth plays
four kids’ access to the center for a year. biggest accomplishment may have with kids as
And in Cozumel, Mexico there was been that of building commu- visitors install
computers at a
another beach clean-up project where nity amongst those onboard. As Roatan, Honduras
e-learning center;
Sweeties also replanted mangroves and Wentworth pointed out, on the women, including
beautified a park by cleaning up, painting final day of the cruise, “When you Elizabeth Birch
(middle) painting
and replanting community gardens. put good out into the world, you a children’s ward
at a Belize City
Although it might seem that this get it back, and that’s what we’ve hospital. Left:
seven-day cruise was all work and no been feeling all week.” Dalilia Ali Rajah,
from SheWired’s
play, that couldn’t be further from the Fun with a conscience—it’s the hit lesbo talk show
Cherry Bomb,
truth. Each community project was wave of the future, and Sweet puts helps clean up
paired with a party of some kind. And Uvero Beach
lesbians right at the forefront of in Costa Maya,
each day, Sweeties still had time to this soon-to-be travel trend. n Mexico

May 2010 | 27
Sapphic FasHion

Women in “menswear” is all the

rage on runways these days,
though most of the designs are
highly feminized versions of the
classics. Our queer models—
power women in their own
right—deserve to don dapper
men’s suits, reclaiming their
power the way butches have
been doing it for years.

Photography by
Jeffrey Horvitz
Makeup and Hair by Michelle Lagos

suit You may see more of Team
Oregon body-builder Erin Yates
at the Gay Games in Cologne
this August, but we think she’s
just as at home in this gorgeous
suit, silk shirt and red power tie
from Colliers of Portland, Ore.
The exclusive Colliers threads
are matched only by the pulchri-
tudinous babe wearing ’em (with
her own heels). Yates looks like
a CEO who demands a thorough

job from her partners…if you

know what we mean.

28 | curve
We feel a fever coming on. Dr. Noel Thomas,
a naturopathic physician, ditched the white
coat for a custom suit from Colliers of
Portland, Ore. Owner Brent Collier loves
the fancy Italian threads. And so do we.
Accented by the modern metalic tie and
striped shirt, we’d be the doctor’s date to
any soirée. And when paired with a pair of
aviator glasses (Thomas’ own), we’d join the
mile high club for this power dyke.

Dee Leiber, founder of the

organic branding firm Sol(id),
is button down and pure sex
appeal in another Duchess
exclusive. This three-piece
pinstripe suit and accompanying
shirt and tie are made for the
aspiring circus ringmaster—or
any dyke who wants to look
sharp (and knows how to keep
the wild beasts at bay).

>> For buyer’s guide, go to page 63. May 2010 | 29

Sapphic FasHion

Who better than the hip chicks at super cool to tell us which
lesbians are the top fashion and style icons? Writers Alex Vega and Riese
top ELEVEN style icons
for bringing lesbians to the forefront of fashion.
explain who makes the grade and why we should thank them ELLEN DEGENERES, 52
Why her: DeGeneres’ classic suits, crisp button-downs, body-
conscious sweaters and vests are tailored in youthful, trendy
and flattering cuts. Matched with playful colors and her
signature sporty sneakers, DeGeneres proves lesbian mens-
wear isn’t just for smoky-eyed twenty something waifs. And
speaking of smoky-eyes, she’s got the CoverGirl contract to
prove her mainstream moment has truly arrived. On The Ellen
Show s website she talks about her wardrobe each
DeGeneres Show’
day in her “My Wardrobe…and I do Have One section. We
love it. Her style: Smart-casual veteran lesbian who knows
how to work a blazer—with sneakers. Quote: “Whenever
Portia and I are on the red carpet, they’re yelling out for
her to tell them what she’s wearing. But nobody cares
[about what I’m wearing] because I have a suit on,
even if it’s a Gucci suit.” Designers: Jil Sander, Marc
Jacobs, Viktor & Rolf, Neil Barrett.

Why her: Though it’s her character Shane from The
L Word who sparked The Look that Launched a
Thousand Copycats, the apple doesn’t fall too far from
the tree where Kate Moennig’s personal style is con-
cerned. At 5’8”, pouty, slouching and sinewy, Moennig’s
signature look includes layers of tissue-thin T-shirts,
classy fitted blazers, low-slung designer jeans, chunky
belts, metallic vintage jewelry and always some leather,
somewhere. Her punky just-out-of-bed hair, inspired by
Sally Hershberger, is perhaps the definition of the “Alternative
lifestyle haircut.” Moennig collects sunglasses, hats and jewelry
and has said if she wasn’t an actror, she’d like to be a designer.
Kate Moennig does not bend gender, she transcends it.
Her style: Effortlessly disheveled and always edgy hi-lo/boy-
girl androgyny. Quote: “I like to find men’s clothing in the
smallest possible size and then have it altered. Because I don’t
like what designers do to women’s clothing.” Designers: Generra,
Stella McCartney, Jill Stuart, Dior Homme, Gucci, Libertine.


Why her: Beth Ditto is best-known

as the singer-songwriter for indie
rock band Gossip, the outspoken
feminist has launched her own
plus-sized fashion line for Evans.
Her style: Über-femme, loud
patterns, bright colors and curve-
hugging, take-notice girly glam.
Long before she started her own
line, Ditto was known for her
brash, bright and arty dresses—
the kind of thing that the weird

30 | curve
drama girl in your high school would wear. Now she’s grown
up and she’s just as hot and interesting as you imagined she
would be. Quote: “When you’re my size or you don’t have a lot
of money, one reason punk is so appealing is because it tells
you that you don’t have to have anything to be somebody.”
Designers: Jeremy Scott, Karl Lagerfeld, Charles Anastase,
Louis Vuiton, Gareth Pugh, Vivienne Westwood.

K.D. LANG, 48
Why her: Ariel Levy said it best: “Never before had
Americans seen female masculinity so overtly and
unapologetically on display, and we couldn’t take
our eyes off it.” ’Nuff said. Her style: The original
butch: classic, dapper, sophisticated and eternal.
Quote: “I don’t feel like a woman, and I don’t feel
like a man; I feel like both, simultaneously. Suits
help me achieve some kind of balance, because I
have a very voluptuous, womanly shaped body—a
Botticelli sort of body—and I have a mind and
an emotional self somewhere in the middle.”
Designers: Miuccia Prada, Richard Tyler, Helmut
Lang, Gaultier.

Why her: Though Queer Eye For the Straight Girl lasted for about
one hot minute, Bravo’s selection of Honey Labrador was a
significant moment for a franchise previously based on the
gay man’s intrinsic ability to dress, fashion, feed and culture
the people of less enlightened sexualities. Labrador has been
modeling since she was 16 and as an adult has seemingly set
out to singlehandedly prove that “lesbian” and “stylish” aren’t
mutually exclusive. Among her list of successes: Hosting Q
Television’s fashion show XCess/Access, founding Honey
L Designs (to match celebrity endorsed branded products
while benefiting charities) and creating a limited edition

jeans line for the fourth season of The L Word. Her style: At
5'9" with an athletic model physique, Honey can rock just
about anything. She’ll stay on the cutting edge.

Why her: MTV News correspondent, political activist and
former reality television star Kim Stolz was a revelation when
she ushered a new wave of sexy androgynous style into prime
time on America’s Next Top Model. Stolz can rock hoodies
with pearls, and make plaid look high fashion with Park
Avenue understatement. Her style: Stolz is sometimes boyish,
sometimes girlish, from prep school boy to Brooklyn hip-
ster and back again. Gender binaries are so over. Quote: “I’ve
always fluctuated my look. It just depends on how I feel…
no matter how I dress or look, I will always be really gay.”
Designers: Balenciaga, J. Mendel, Marc Jacobs, and Theory.

May | 31
2010| 31
Her style: Downtowny romantic, with
a side of “Dark Glam” refined rock
star. Her cheeky bright T-shirts,
bold jewelry and punk-ballerina
skirts are like gothic bohos on acid.
Quote: “In my 20s, I was punk-slash-
feminist-slash-club kid. It was really important to look
as weird as possible. I wanted to look like I was from a
different planet to set myself apart from other people.
When I’m playing a different character I get a chance
to be someone else and change myself on a daily
basis. Before, the only outlet I had was through my
clothes.” Designers: Rick Owen, Isabel Marant, Miu
Miu. She is dating Free City fashion designer Nina
Garduno and has “a huge collection at home.”

Samantha Ronson, 32
The epitome of West Hollywood lesbian hipster cool,
British DJ Samantha Ronson comes from a fashionable family
(sister Charlotte is a fashion designer, brother Mark is a DJ),
and often has a scantily clad girly bad-girl girlfriend to match
(or does she? We haven’t checked Twitter yet today). The
Ronson look is almost the anti-sex, but somehow that goes
all the way past blah and back again, to comforting-sexy. Her
style: The very definition of a Modern WeHo Andro Lesbian
Joan Jett, 51 Hipster. Designers: Dior Homme, Filth Mart LA, Blue &
Why her: Joan Jett’s unique don’t-fuck-with me rock ’n’ roll Cream, Charlotte Ronson, SUPRA sneakers, Converse.
style—and her hip-hugging vintage T-shirt wearing ’70s
getup—is getting a revival with the release of The Runaways, Charlene Borja, 28 and the Gimme Sugar Girls
the Kristen Stewart flick about Jett’s eponymous ’70s all- The cast of both seasons of Logo’s reality show Gimme Sugar
girl band. Jett’s black hair crop, spandex fetish-wear, leather is the most visible group of actual lesbian friends on TV. For

ABIGAIL CRUZ (borja), Robin ROemer (hailey), Vivian Zink (warner), fame pictures (ronson)
pants and diesel-arm-bearing street style tanks have defined better or for worse. Charlene Barja shows that the next-gen
a kind of glam-goth punk for generations of runaway dream- lesbian style works on diverse body types as well, matching
ers. Her style: Black. Tight. Leather. Rock ’n’ Roll. Quote: “I find trendy pieces with timelessly flattering combos like motorcycle
fashion sometimes to be a little overwhelming…I have to boots and shorts. She loves V-necks and has mastered edgy
really focus and hone my vision to find things that will work club-style girl power comfort-chic. The cast is one of TV’s
for me.…I don’t wear dresses which really cuts out a lot of most racially diverse and sexy (check out Davonee and Angel)
stuff! And it’s too bad cause I can really appreciate the styles, and season two brought on even more women, including fash-
and the beautiful clothes. I kinda wish I did wear dresses, but ion obsessed Maisi. Quote: “I think some of us are an example
it’s just not in my thing.” Designers: Prada, Roberto Cavalli, of the different kind of lesbians that you can find,” says Maisi.
Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Versace, and “street stuff from St. “And you don’t necessarily have to look like a lesbian.”
Mark’s” (a neighborhood in New York that’s legendary for
punk vintage second-hand stores). Jackie Warner, 41
Why her: It must be nice to be Jackie Warner, the star of
Leisha Hailey, 38 Bravo’s reality show Workout, who is credited with seducing
Why her: Hailey’s had her finger on the pulse of lesbian fashion straight housewives nationwide. Warner actually has a degree
since she first burst onto the scene in the early ’90s, rocking in Fashion and Illustration, which has come in handy when
hot pink dreadlocks with her band The Murmurs and doing designing her own line of athletic wear for her gym, Sky
the girly-grunge thing in the coming-of-age flick All Over Me. Sport & Spa. Her style outside the gym is equally noticeable
Hailey regularly sported men’s blazers and playful pantsuits in —fusing weight training to sleek, futuristic downtown edge
the late ’90s while dating the iconic k.d. lang, but by the time for the ageless, shiny Outsiders-gone-fancy icon. Her style: An
she hit the mainstream with The L Word in 2004, her style athletic, timeless clean-cut style that makes even cargo shorts
had officially evolved. look fashion-forward. n

32 | curve
photo credit

May 2010 | 33
Sapphic FasHion

Tomboy Takeover
Skateboarder Nanna Grundfeldt wins Finland’s Next Top Model. By Erin Siegal

Among all of the photos that have been taken of model Nanna Anne Kukkohovi, judge the contestants. Like the American
Grundfeldt, it is the photo to the right that is most famous. version, which deliver news and messages to the aspiring
In it, the Norwegian beauty seems most herself—a mixture models via “Tyra mail,” contenders received Posti Annelta, or
of the serious and jovial. Her chin is raised, and the defiance “Anne mail,” at their shared apartment.
in her playful expression is unmistakable. Grundfeldt’s stare “It was pretty tough to live with the girls and spend time
is direct, and could be challenging, if it weren’t for the glimmer with them 24/7,” Grundfeldt says. “There were a lot of strong
in her eyes. And in her sweatshirt, emblazened with the word personalities around. I really like the production team, but we
“Homo,” she lets everyone know she has nothing to hide. She is weren’t allowed to spend time with them.” The contestants’
an adorably sexy combination of bravado, tease and in-your-face quarantine included a media blackout. During the show’s taping,
queerness. But Grundfeldt isn’t just another lesbian beauty— the women weren’t even allowed to listen to the radio. After each
she’s Finland’s top model. episode, one or two contestants would be sent packing.
The feisty blonde, a passionate skateboarder since age 12, On screen, the tomboy’s style remained unchanged, even
hadn’t even considered modeling before her friends goaded her as she rose through the ranks of the competition. Grundfeldt
into trying out for the television show Suomen huippmalli haussa could be typically found in slightly sagging jeans and a T-shirt
(Searching for Finland’s Next Top Model). She’d never worn or hoodie, her straight white-blond hair stuffed beneath skate
high heels or a skirt before, and a tattoo trailed across her left beanies or trucker caps. Onscreen, her upbeat, affable per-
shoulder blade. Most of her spare time was spent cruising sonality was well received by fans, leading to scores of faithful
around Helsinki, Finland on a neon yellow and pink skate- followers.
board. In fact, after auditioning for the show Grundfeldt never Throughout the show, judges ragged on Grundfeldt for her
thought she’d make the cut—let alone actually win. awkward movements. “The hardest part was learning to walk in
“It all started as a joke,” she says.“I thought, Hey, we live once. those lovely high heels,” she says, sarcastically.“I really had a lot of
I have nothing to lose.” problems with them. It was so hard, and I fell so many times.”
When producers asked each contestant to choose a word And yet, to her chagrin, she made it, cut after cut, from the
that represented them, she says she didn’t hesitate about show’s start last year, all the way until the end. Praise for her
her choice. “In Finland, the word homo is also used as an improvements and sunny disposition usually accompanied the
insult,” she explains. “I wanted to show it didn’t matter. I’m shoe concerns.
still proud.” At the end of June, Grundfeldt was crowned Top Model and
Searching for Finland’s Next Top Model is based on its scored a contract with Paparazzi Model Management, Finland’s
predecessor, America’s Next Top Model. The round-the-clock oldest modeling agency. During the last episode, before the
reality show pits young women against one another, vying for the results were announced, the three finalists stood side by side
“Top Model” title through several rounds of competition. Most in front of the panel of judges. All three contenders wore black.
involve themed photo shoots: Two of the finalists, Anna-Kaisa Tyrvåinen and Riina Roms,
Women competed to look stood stiffly, with carefully blank expressions. Grundfeldt,
““ The hardest part was thirsty in an advertisement on the other hand, grinned out from beneath her pom-pom-
learning to walk in those for Bonaqua, a bottled water
company owned by Coca-
topped gray skate beanie. “I didn’t expect to win at all,” she says.
For most Finns, though, the surprise was ruined by one of
lovely high heels Cola, and were glammed up the show’s backers. Bonaqua unveiled a series of 35 billboards
in another episode backed featuring a huge photo of Grundfeldt crawling through a
by Max Factor make-up. For the show’s first photo shoot the desert and congratulating her on the win days before the show

contestants were required to wear their own clothes, and for actually aired in Helsinki.
the second shoot, each was made over for a mock cover shoot In an emotional post-season video clip on the show’s
for the Finnish edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. website, Grundfeldt’s heartfelt reaction to the win brings her to
The Top Model format has been copied across the globe, tears and back as she talks about how proud her mother, who
and spinoffs currently exist in over 30 countries, including the passed away from cancer four years before, would have been.
Philippines, Ghana, and China. The Finnish edition is now in She also mentions wanting to be a role model for girls every-
its second year. where, wanting people to quit smoking and wanting them to
Each week, a panel of three, led by former Finnish model Tomboy Takeover continued on page 63

34 | curve
Sign: Libra
Birthday: September 25, 1984
Born in: Halden, Norway
Current home: Helsinki, Finland
Favorite bands: Glass Candy, CocoRosie,
Heartsrevolution, Hot Chip, MGMT, Coldplay
Skate deck: ASTE ice cream series
Favorite photographer: Mario Testino
Favorite magazines: Vice or Voltti (the Finnish gay mag)
photo credit

Inspiration: My mother inspires me the most. She taught

me to never give up, and to always think positively.
Motto: Be yourself, and be proud of who you are!

May 2010 | 35
Sapphic FasHion

GEt Your

Photography by Leslie Van Stelten @

Makeup by Kate Woods | Styling by Jet Olivia

36 | curve
The walls of most auto shops are covered
with scantily-clad women bent over car
hoods, but we wanted some photos that
really spoke to our queer sensibilities.
Here’s a series of pinup shots at MotorGrrl,
a lesbian-owned garage in Williamsburg,
Brooklyn. Owner Val Figarella wanted to
offer an inclusive environ, centered around
the love of lube and fast machines where
motorcyclists gather to work on their bikes.
“Motorgrrl’s aesthetic,” says photographer
Leslie Van Stelton, “is an interesting
combination of dirt and grit mixed with a
countercultural rock ’n’ roll vibe that inspired
this photoshoot. Who doesn’t like hot chicks
around bikes and machine parts?”

Dyketastic! Natalia atop a sea

of bikes could not be hotter.
She’s sporting a vest by Project
Runway’s Stella Zotis; necklace
by the Jetrophelia; sequin bra
(model’s own); Levi’s 501 Cut Off
Shorts; black Angle Bangle by
Alexis Bittar; Pyramid Cuff from
one of the seminal punk and
goth stores of NYC, Trash and
Vaudeville; pink bangle (stylist’s
own). Oh, and don’t forget the
Steve Madden suede Fiesstaa
peep toe T-straps and room

fragrance by Royal Purple

May 2010 | 37
Sapphic FasHion

Lesbian performer Jackie Carlson makes us

crave a cold PBR and so much more. She’s
sporting her own star earrings and navy trousers
with a vintage plaid shirt by FIVEBROTHER;
brass skull necklace by Tomoko Igarashi; brass
and glass necklace by Draugsvold; fragrance
BVLGARI Black and vintage boots.

Want to take a
ride with bi babe
Nitty Scott? You’ll
have to cozy up to
MotorGrrl owner Val
Figarella, because
this Plymouth is all
hers. Nitty’s wearing
vintage earrings
and Comme des
Garcons 2 ‘Glitter’
fragrance. Just
imagine the rest.

>> For buyer’s guide, go to page 62.

38 | curve
Does This Stick Shift

women + wheels
Make My Ass Look Fat?
How gender can influence your car shopping experience. By Serena Freewomyn

f you’re in the market to buy a vehicle and you happen 5. Learn from other people’s mistakes. I made two big errors
to be a woman, you may be nervous about stepping onto when I was shopping for a car. The first was that I didn’t print
a car lot. You’re not alone. Women make or influence 85 out the True Market Value from the factory websites. The
percent of car-buying decisions, but we’re still treated as second mistake was randomly picking a dealership out of the
junior players. A study by revealed that women phonebook.
are routinely quoted higher prices on cars than men. As soon as I walked into the first dealership, I was at a
According to a survey by J.D. Power & Associates, women disadvantage because of my gender. I was ignored until I
look at safety, reliability and price when they shop for a car, approached a salesperson. The guy took me outside before
while men are more focused on the look and how it feels to he even knew where the cars were parked. On top of that, he
drive the car. Yet dealerships often act under the assumption didn’t have the keys with him. When we finally got into the
that women will want to buy a car that matches their purse, car, the salesman only allowed me to drive the car for one mile,
and that they don’t want to talk about what’s under the hood. then I was told to get off the freeway and take surface streets
But you don’t have to accept second-class treatment. By arming back to the dealership.
yourself with the knowledge that you need to make a decision,
you can get as good of a deal—if not better—than any man.

1. Select your criteria. What are you looking for in a car? Is

price the most important factor? Or will gas mileage be your
decision maker? Are you a staunch believer in labor unions?
Or are you only willing to buy cars made in the United States?
All of these are important questions that you will need to
answer before you do anything else.

2. Do your research. Once you know your criteria, research

different brands. There are many sources available to help
you—Motor Trend, Consumer Reports, and Edmunds are all
helpful. is written from a woman’s perspective,
and they’ll even help you find a woman-friendly dealership.
You should also go to the factory websites to look at the True
Market Value for the models you want to buy.

3. Decide on a dealership. Do you want something close to

home so that it’s convenient to get your maintenance? Or are After “test driving” two cars, I told the salesman I had
you more concerned with the dealership’s reputation? some questions. The sticker price was almost $3,000
higher at the dealership than it was on the factory website.
4. Know your bottom line. Arrange your financing before you go When I asked about that, he asked for my proof. At this
shopping. Know the total amount that you can borrow from point, he took an aggressive posture and said that if I was
the bank in order to avoid high-pressure tactics at the dealer- accusing the dealership of marking up the price to rob their
ship. Be firm about your bottom line, and don’t look at cars that customers, I could leave. I told him to kiss off, and I left.
are outside of your price point. Ask to see the dealers’ invoice, My experience at the second dealership was 100 percent
and then use that as a guidepost for your negotiations. different. For starters, they had a female sales rep. She talked
The wheeling and dealing doesn’t stop once you shake the to me like I was an adult, and she let me have an actual
salesperson’s hand. You still have to go back to the financing test drive. Once we were back at the dealership, we started

department, regardless of whether or not you plan to finance negotiating. I stuck to my price point and walked away
your car. This is the dealership’s last chance to make money with a brand new car for under invoice.
off of you, and this is when the real pressure starts. My guy Buying a car can be a very empowering experience for a
was slick. He had visual aids, charts and graphs to convince woman. I made an educated decision and I’m proud that I
me that I needed to buy LoJack and OnGuard. If you’ve got did it by myself. I stuck to my guns and didn’t allow anyone
comprehensive insurance, you don’t need that. to talk to me like I was stupid, and you can do it, too. ■

May 2010 | 39
women + wheels
Harley Way
Two biker women take to the road.
By Linda Kay Nash

t was the Harley road trip of my dreams—cruising ride beside me. On Christmas day, I gave her a black
through the mountains, side by side with the woman I Harley Sportster 1200 Custom, a quick and agile 500-
love, en route to Street Vibrations, a huge motorcycle- pound motorcycle. During the next eight months of
flavored street fair in Reno, Nev. The journey itself was riding together, Dawn and I shared excitement as well as
just one benefit of being invited inside the realm of a group trepidation about the forthcoming Reno Run, a four-day
that even today is imbued with misunderstood mystique. excursion from our home in Bakersfield, California. For
The group of bikers, who I affectionately refer to as “The most of the trip, we’d be in the mountains, with challenging
Band of Bad Boys,” are a local Harley-Davidson motor- steep passes and tight switchbacks.
cycle club that welcomed me into their brotherhood. They On the chilly morning of our departure, we joined 40
weren’t a gang who created anarchy in its path, but, rather, other Harleys, becoming part of the pack on our way to
like modern-day cowboys on steel steeds, they thrived on Reno. We traveled from Bakersfield to Coulterville, then
the camaraderie of the brotherhood and relished their north on Hwy 49 through Jamestown and Angels Camp,
leather-clad rebel image. arriving at our first day’s destination, the town of Murphys
And they had taken me into their fold. With each ride, in the central Sierra Nevada foothills.
they schooled me in the nuances of staying upright on my After unloading our gear, we walked to dinner and
Harley and how to meet the challenge of keeping up with the then to throw a few back at the local saloon, where we
experienced riders. I’d been on lots of trips with them before, were unexpectedly entertained by a bare-breasted woman
but this was the first time I had a woman by my side. dancing on the bar (she was an exuberant wife of one of
It was an exciting aspect of Dawn’s nature I discovered our members).
the day I invited her to join me on the back of my Harley. We awoke to frigid mountain air and after breakfast
She wrapped herself closely and tightly around me, and I headed farther northeast on our 76-mile trek up and over
hoped that the exhilaration of the ride, and the Sierra Nevada Range via Ebbetts Pass.
the endorphin rush that it could provoke, would Soon after the ascent began, the road dipped
stir a deeper level of attraction, beyond the into a valley, then rose to a one-lane summit
friendship we had forged over the last few at 8,730 feet on a zig-zagging course that
months. I knew that the physical intimacy plummeted down through an adrenaline-
of holding onto someone so tightly and the pumping series of switchbacks, with at least

bonding that occurs from sharing the thrill a dozen blind hairpin turns. The fright and
of the ride could be a powerful aphrodisiac. the thrill of the challenging route made it
And it was. clear to me why this is one of the least-traveled
Our relationship evolved into a passes in the Sierras. At the bottom of the
romance. And while I loved having her mountain range, we followed Highway 89
arms around me, I also wanted to see her The author (left) and girlfriend to 395 north, then on to Highway 80,

40 | curve
leading us into Reno by mid-afternoon.
The annual Street Vibrations Motorcycle Festival
is a celebration of music, metal and motorcycles.
Ranked as the sixth largest motorcycle event in
the nation, it often draws more than 40,000 riders.
Virginia St. in downtown Reno is transformed into
a mall, with hundreds of vendors selling everything
motorcycle related. But most enticing is the enter-
tainment value of the event: music everywhere and
women galore—some alone on Harleys, others
holding tight on the back.
On the final morning, the wind ramped up to a
velocity that would make the ride home even more
challenging, especially since we didn’t have wind-
shields to deflect it. In hindsight, I think it was
the influence of the Harley-rider rebel energy we’d
been steeped in for days that enabled us to make a
brave decision. Dawn and I opted to stay behind,
have windshields installed and add a ride through

Yosemite National Park to our trip. Most impor-
tantly, we decided to go it alone, without our band
of bad boys.
We didn’t know until we reached our destination indigo girls • the butchies • sia
that night, that the winds were fronting a snow-
storm that would chase us all the way home, making marga gomez • nicole reynolds
the air more frigid with each passing day. We headed
west out of Reno on Highway 80 to 395 South, just elvira kurt • anais mitchell • skim
stella! • men • chris pureka
east of Lake Tahoe, arriving in Bridgeport, Calif.
exhilarated, yet relieved that we completed our first
independent day on the road. We found a cozy little
restaurant to celebrate our day’s accomplishment. bitch • nedra johnson
We continued beyond Yosemite via Highway
140 to Oakhurst for our final night’s rest, where
betty • slanty eyed mama
we reflected on the wonderment of our journey—it
was so much more than we had imagined and we felt
reina williams • staceyann chin
empowered by our self-sufficiency. I remembered dance brigade • holly near
one of my overriding thoughts two days before when
we were discussing whether to embark on the return ferron • toshi reagon • mirah
trip alone. It had fostered my courage to make the
decision: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. erin mckeown • sistas in the pit
chix lix ’76 • mary gauthier
The next morning, we headed west and enjoyed
the luxury of venturing off alone: the romance of a
leisurely ride along the long, winding road through
the beauty of Yosemite, with the chilly air against
karma mayet johnson • ubaka hill
my face, the wafting scent of the pines and visual
panoramas—all with the woman I love beside me.
cris williamson • michele balan
This road trip gave me a simple realization. A
journey is more fulfilling on a Harley Davidson
julie goldman • tender forever
Motorcycle. The road feels wider and the scenery aleah long • ruth barrett
more picturesque; as you cruise along, the air on
your face is more invigorating as you cut through laura love • mimi gonzalez
it, drinks are more refreshing and food is tastier
as you refuel from the exhaustion
cocomama • micia mosely
and exhilaration of mastering see how
the auto
the power of the steed you industry slump
have mounted and tamed
has affected
Detroit lesbians w w w. m i c h f e s t . c o m
for the day. n
go to WWTMC • Box 22 • Walhalla • Michigan • 49458
231• 757 • 4766
women + wheels
Top Picks for 2010:
Which Car is Right For
Whether you’re cruising for pleasure, commuting to work or toting kids around, finding the right
ride is a must. Curve offers up 15 vehicles that are perfect for you. By Diane Anderson-Minshall

up, it’s a steal. If you want a tiny bit less, What’s your next ride going to be?
but a similar features package, a runner up
would be the Kia Soul which has one thing Bio-Diesel
more: a frivolous but party-perfect feature I Don’t 3%
that lets lights around the speakers change Drive A Hybrid
colors and blink to the beat of the music. 15% 25%
Perfect for cruisers. or Trailer
Pickup Small, Cute
Even with the bad rap Toyota has gotten & Economical
Truck The
lately over recall of non-Prius models, the 19%
Prius is still the grand dame of eco-forward
16% Lesbian
cars. U.S. News & World Reports called 11%
the 2010 Prius “Best Car for the Money”
and it won Popular Mechanics Fuel Efficiency
What’s your dream vehicle?
Excellence Award. It’s not just the amazing
gas mileage (51 mpg!), the low price
($23,000 and up) and it’s lower carbon foot- SUBARU FORESTER or Trailer Motorcycle 9%
print, the Prius has lovely unexpected little Face it, no single carmaker is more classic-ally 2% Bicycle
touches like heated outside mirrors, a Solar lesbian than the Sub! ALG awarded Forester 4%
Powered Ventilation System, Bluetooth, their top resale ranking in the Compact
voice-activated DVD player and more. Utility Class and it was MotorTrend’s top SUV or Luxury
SUV last year. The price is easy: $20,000 Minivan 34%
NISSAN CUBE and up, mileage decent (27 mpg), handing 10%
Winner of Automobile Magazine’s Car most carlike, reliability great, and it’s a
Design of the Year Award and Top Safety safety monger (standard side curtain air- Eco-Forward Asian &
Pick by IIHS, the Cube is one of the coolest bags and the 2010 IIHS Top Safety Pick). 9% Dyke-y Affordable
looking cars in the under $20,000 category. It also has a remote engine starter and best Truck 12%
The sort of anthropomorphized, asymmetrical of all, it can tow a massive 2,400 pounds 10%
vehicle (with waves and ovals inside, and a back (because nothing is more lesbian than Something
Mini The Lesbian Classic
door that hinges like a refrigerator), the Cube towing a U-Haul behind your Subaru). No
has foldable rear back seats, Bluetooth, push wonder it was Consumer Reports top pick
4% 6%
button ignition, USB/iPod compatibility, for small SUV. According to a poll
Satellite radio, speed-sensitive volume control,
illuminated steering-wheel-mounted audio CHEVY SILVERADO 1500 the styling, you can go for the GMC Sierra
controls and it gets up to 30 mpg. At It’s rugged and classic and unlikely to disap- (it’s the same platform) or, a close runner
$14,000 and point real truck lovers. The Silverado 1500 up, the Ford F10 (which boasts one thing
has won a number of awards, including Car the Chevy doesn’t: a fun and helpful info-
and Driver’s “Best Pickup,” Motor Trend’s tainment system).
“Truck of the Year,” and Motor Week’s
“Driver’s Choice.” The 2010 model
offers a astonishing number of

engines, bed lengths, suspension

configurations and now a flex
fuel capability is now offered
on all engines. Costs start at
$21,000 and it gets 20 mpg.
If you like the system but not

42 | curve
= A Hybrid = Asian & Affordable
= Bio-Diesel Baby = Eco-Forward
= Small, Cute & Economical = Something Mini
= The Lesbian Classic = SUV or Minivan
= Dyke-y Pickup truck = Motorcycle
TANGO T600 the open road, top down, wind in your hair
= RV or Trailer = Bicycle
Combining the speed and agility of a motor- getting 25 mpg. It costs $44, 000 and up. = Luxury
cycle (it’s actually five inches narrower than
many bikes!) with the security of a car (it has
four times more side protection bars than VOLKSWAGEN GOLF TDI
the largest SUVs), the Tango is a fascinating The newest gen Golf TDI is billed as the
little electric car that can navigate traffic most luxurious, safest, and powerful Golf
like no other. You can drive between lanes TDI that VW has offered. I love it because
(when others are stopped or moving slow) it’s rumored to get even more than its
and you can share the same parking space reported 30 mpg and it runs on B5 bio-
with another Tango or motorcycle. But this diesel. Only Mercedes and Volkswagen
cute little electric car ain’t cheap: the limited allow consumers to use biodiesel in their
production vehicle costs $108,000 and up. cars without voiding the warranty. The Golf
STAR VMAX MOTORCYCLE was chosen as World Car of the Year at the
Named Motorcycle magazine’s 2009 Best New York auto show last year and I’m sure
Cruiser, the VMAX is more muscle car the Bluetooth, touch-screen CD changer,
than old school cycle. That massive horse- leather multifunction steering wheel and
power comes without being too heavy so the 30 mpg fuel economy didn’t hurt. Prices
women riders can still navigate easily. Just begin at $20,000.
ask the ladies-only Internet fan groups.
Costing about $20,000, it gets 27 mpg.


Pure frugal hybrid luxury, the HS250 is 3-WHEEL TRICYCLE BIKE
the most fuel efficient Lexus (getting 35 Trust us, you don’t have to be a fit 20-some-
mpg) and offers some nice touches— thing to bike. You can cruise around in com-
driver attention monitor, lane keep assist fort and style on this easy-to-use, single-speed
and a Pre-Collision System. If your Lexus three-wheeled Schwinn Meridian Trike.
thinks you’re going to hit someone, it The $350 bike features a low step-through
will ring the warning bells and add brake frame, padded cruiser saddle, front and
pressure if it doesn’t detect you’re pressing rear brakes and a huge folding rear basket EARTHBOUND RV
the brake hard enough while a driver that can carry two filled grocery bags. Plus, Utilizing earth-friendly, recyclable con-
monitor makes sure you’re still on the job. Schwinn, founded in 1895, is one American struction materials that are virtually
If it fails, well there are 10 airbags! Prices icon that hasn’t gone down V.O.C. (Volatile Organic Compound)
start at $34,000. the tubes. free, Earthbound helps you stay healthy

and keep your carbon footprint small. It

MERCEDES BENZ SLK350 comes with a 3-year, limited bumper
A lovely luxury convertible that, with -to-hitch warranty on a chic
the touch of button, converts to a pure RV with a funky, aerodynamic
roadster in 30 seconds. It’s a two- design. $39,000 and up.
passenger car that demands you be on Top Picks continued on page 62

May 2010 | 43
It’s hard not to fall in love with Sarah
Silverman. In her T-shirts, jeans and
sneakers, she looks more like a (girl)
friend than a celebrity. And even when
she’s talking about “doody,” making
cringe-inducing jokes about race or
singing folk songs to old people about
dying, she’s still somehow irresistible.
Maybe that’s because Silverman
is uniquely Silverman. Even among
today’s cadre of female comics,
Silverman stands out for her unique
brand of crass humor and cute style.
She’s a figure whose name will one
day be an action—young comics will
talk about “pulling a Silverman,”
telling some joke that only a girl with
a twinkle in her eye and a guitar in her
hands could get away with.
This blend of crude and adorable
has helped propel Silverman to
comedic stardom and made her a
household name. That is, if the
people in your household watch
Comedy Central or if they saw
Silverman’s full-length comic special,
Jesus Is Magic. But it was her get-
out-the-vote video, The Great Schlep,
where a smiling Silverman sat with
her bubbie, that really brought her into
our homes.
This year she’s reaching out even
more. The Sarah Silverman Program
was just picked up for a third
season by Logo. Plus, she’s got a
new book of personal essays, titled
The Bed Wetter: Stories of Courage,
Redemption, and Pee and she’s
starring in Saint John of Las Vegas,
alongside Steve Buscemi. All of this
is just to say that if you wanted more
Silverman, you got it.

44 | curve
How the gays rescued our favorite straight comic.
By Kristin A. Smith
Photo by Robyn Von Swank

I’ve been singing “The Baby Penis in Your Mind” all day. What was Not kind of, completely. I wouldn’t be on the air if it wasn’t for
the inspiration for that little gender-bending ditty? Logo.
We were working on the story and I just started singing it in What are you going to do to thank us?
the room—just messing around. And usually our head writer [Laughs] Oh, do you work for Logo?
will grab his laptop and record it and just kind of improvise it, No, just part of the larger gay community.
and whoever designs the script will kind of polish it and make All of a sudden you’re all together in one. [Laughs] Well, no,
it into a real song. that was their way of thanking me, right? They are so cool, actually.
Does it take a lot of work to make it ready for TV? I was just saying how they totally saved us, and we wouldn’t have
This one really kinda poured out of me because…we kept singing a third season if it wasn’t for them. They made no demands on
this Disney song from this really, really lame movie. Maybe the us. They just made it so we could be on the air.
one that Ariel the mermaid is from— Why do you think you have such a large queer following?
Uh-huh. [Laughs] The Little Mermaid. One of my [gay] friends said that he thinks that…their kind of
Yeah, we wanted it to sound Disney-ish. comedy is more sophisticated but like more pediatric too…sophis-
That song is in season three, when you learn that you were born ticated and childish.
intersex and had a penis and a vagina. What would you do if you At the end of season two, you marry your dog, which is the ulti-
actually had a penis for a week? mate slippery slope argument against gay marriage. What kind of
Oh, I would probably jerk off all day. I would probably intermit- response did you get from that episode?
tently masturbate, nap and eat. We didn’t get much response because the people who write letters
Is that starkly different from your normal week? are not nearly as disgusted by a woman marrying her dog as a
No. [Laughs] But it’d be more straight through. There’d be no woman marrying another woman, or a man marrying another
meeting friends for lunch. man. Think about the people who write the letters…you know,
You rock the mustache really well in that video. I was strangely attracted, they’re, like, far-right crazy, nutty nutso’s who have time to write
and also disturbed, by it. letters to people with cable shows. Most of them call me a dirty
I do wear a mustache well. I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s Jew and stuff. I love it. I think, deep down, Jews kind of secretly
black, it’s slimming. love outward anti-Semitism. Because it’s like something you can
Are we going to see you transition? Will that happen in season point to and go, See, it’s real! It’s like the gas in the air, it’s real.
three? I have to say Jesus Is Magic is one of the only movies that I actually
Well, at the end of the episode actually you find out that Laura own. I used it as a litmus test for a little while for girlfriends. Did
lied and that she had just gotten the baby penis out of the trash- they think it was funny? Were they as equally disturbed by the joke
bin at the hospital. about the diamond on the spine of the baby? So do you ever go, Oh,
Yeah, I only saw the clips. I’m one of those lesbians who only watches I went too far on that?
Internet TV. Not really. Well, with that joke, not at all. I love that joke. I don’t
I understand. That’s probably why we’re going to get canceled. think I ever think I went too far, but I think that sometimes
People don’t watch TV the same way. I’m not conveying what I mean well in the joke. Where it’s, like,
Since Logo picked up your show, it seems like the gays kind of people are interpreting it not how I mean, and it’s a bummer. Not
saved you. just not funny but maybe offensive. When people are offended

May 2010 | 45
If I were
to have
by stuff…One, I feel like I can’t control
it. It just has to do with their own life
a lesbian of my woman heroes—or even lesbian
women heroes—but it would probably
and life experience and where they’re
hearing it from. And, two, I think it’s
experience… be with, like, a blonde with big fake
tits. Like the vapid stripper-ish type.
a reaction to buzz words, without really
hearing or wanting to kind of make sense
it would When I’ve really sat down and really
thought about it—and I know that
of it through the content of it.
Tell me about your new book. probably be your question probably isn’t as severe as
my answer. The way I think you mean
Yeah, it’s called The Bed Wetter. And the
with, like, the question, like, what woman is so
amazing that I would go lesbian
for? I think the singer-song-
a blonde writer Patty Griffin, because I
love her. But in reality, probably
with big fake tits, or, no, big natural,
natural tits, fake blonde. Just,
fake tits. like, a vapid piece of woman
I’m going to get a thousand pic-
tures of blondes with big tits
sent to me to pass on to you now,
so thank you. Would you be the
butchier one in the relationship?
Maybe rock your mustache?
I would, I would. I totally am
drawn to lesbians. So many of
my closest friends are lesbians,
like separate from each other,
from throughout life. And I
know that sounds like, “Some
of my best friends are black,”
but none of my best friends are
black. Oh, no, my best friend
from high school is black. I have a
cousin that’s gay and I remember
when she picked me up in her
car, when we first hung out as
subtitle is Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee. adults, and I was, like, Oh my god, I have a football in my
I can’t believe that book title wasn’t already taken. And is it trunk, I have a basketball in my trunk and a wiffle ball—
all your writing? just like you. I love Nancy Griffith. Nancy Griffith is my
Yeah, yeah. It’s personal essays—probably 80 or 90 percent favorite. This is so bizarre. And she’s like, I know—because
true—interspersed with what I think, or I thought, were you’re gay. But it really is true. I’m like a lesbian. The only
totally obviously silly made-up stories. But a couple of my caveat is that I love penis.
friends are reading it and going, like, Wow, I can’t believe it. You know, you can buy them in the store. But really, lesbians
And I’m like, No, that’s totally fake. Like everything’s real are going to be so excited to know that it’s really only penis
in it, like all the main essays, but there are little interstitials that is standing in the way of you joining our community. So
that are what I thought were very obviously, blatantly made what else is on the horizon for you?
up. But they’re not really distinguished. Yeah. We’re praying people will watch season three while
And when is it coming out? it’s on, because I think…our ratings are in the shit. I think
April 20th. Hitler’s birthday. people watch on DVR and they watch on the Internet. I
In season two you went lez for Tig Natarro. Who would you go think this may be our last season, but I hope people start

lez for in real life? watching more, because it’s our best season. But what’re
Ooh, ooh, ooh. That’s really hard. I always think that if I you gonna do? We had a good run. I love the show so
were to have a lesbian experience it wouldn’t be with one much, we love being with each other.

46 | curve
What’s it like to work with your sister? have that person there that [knew] you
It’s awesome. It’s so good, you know. We have so when you were little. Because she’s my
much fun. Like, I had the worst day ever. I was big sister, actually, even though she plays
shooting in my bedroom with my dog and it’s the my younger sister. And then everybody
kind of thing where tears had been building for came back and I cried all over again,
days but I didn’t realize it. Like, I went to talk, and because I know they love me so much.
[the director] called “Action” and I opened my Three years of working together is really
mouth and, like, ugh, nothing could come out. I intense. I’m sure that’s your family—literally
was just like, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. And the floodgates opened. and figuratively.
And I’m not usually a crier, but it’s just one of those every-once- Totally. Everyone. The guy that makes our lunches, Antonio,
in-a-while things where…my body can’t help control it. The and the camera-ops and whatever. You know, everyone. You
director, my friend Rob, is like, Let’s take five! But the end up spending the weekends with them too, because you
producer was like, Do you want me to bring your sister? all have the same things to talk about.
Because she was just in the dressing room waiting for her Are you open to doing another season?
scene. And I was like Ye-yess. [Fake sobbing] We totally would love that, but we’re not holding our
That’s so sweet. breath. First of all, it takes so long for Comedy Central
She came into my fake bedroom and crawled into my fake to pick us up…we’ll just be another 14 months before
bed with me and Doug, my dog, and she just rubbed my we’re on again, you know, like last time. It’s just like we
head and told me stories about when I was little and just, have no momentum, people didn’t even know we’re on the
like, made me better. And it was so sweet. It was just so air. We’re like the island on Lost—we’re there, but nobody
nice to be able to have that. It was just such a nice thing to knows we’re there. ■

May 2010 | 47
America’s favorite TV mom, Family Ties star Meredith Baxter,
goes toe to toe with the first lady of queer comedy,
Suzanne Westenhoefer, for a rare look at coming out in public.

eredith Baxter and Suzanne Westenhoefer might seem like
unlikely friends. Despite the differences in their public persona—
Westenhoefer is a sexy, unbridled gay from the get-go comic,
Baxter is a quiet TV legend whose private life has largely been that—
Westenhoefer says the two are kindred wild spirits. “She’s just as likely
to say the outrageous things I say, only she just won’t say them on stage.”
The duo met at a reading for Westenhoefer’s web series, We Have to
Stop Now and their friendship deepened on the maiden voyage of the
Sweet Cruise—the one that Baxter went on, right before she publicly came
out. In fact, it was Westenhoefer’s on-stage call for everyone to come out,
be visible, to claim who they are, that prompted Baxter’s announcement.
After the moving show, she called her manager from her on-board room
and started making plans for the public announcement.
We sent Westenhoefer to Baxter’s private home in Santa Monica to
chat about her life—and let curve readers listen in on their conversation.

Westenhoefer: The two of us have talked about her sexuality and personal life
before, but she’s out publicly now, so everything is different. Her assistant opens
the door with a very polite, “Meredith is still dressing, and will be down shortly”
Still dressing? Oh crap, I think. I’m wearing jeans and a hoodie—have I already
made some tactical error? Moments later, Meredith—often known as the divine
Mrs. Keaton from Family Ties—is in the kitchen, looking spectacular in a plain
white shirt, jeans and boots. Baxter is in the process of writing a book about her life
after having come out as a lesbian on the Today Show. So I decided to ask her some
things I thought curve readers would want to know—that won’t be in the book.
What is the best reaction you’ve had so far to your coming out?
Well, I was coming out of the gym this morning, a woman got into the elevator with
me and said, “You look so happy!” I said “Really?” And she said, “Well, I saw you
recently on television”—which is now code for “I saw you come out” and she said,
“You look fabulous.” And there I was in my gym clothes, so I thanked her for that.
Do you feel happier?
I feel enormously happier, and in ways I hadn’t anticipated. In fact, Suzanne,
you said I would feel so much better. And I want to say that you were very
instrumental, just by saying how important it is to be out. At the end of
your show on the Sweet cruise, you had this great message
about coming out and I realized I didn’t want
this to be a secret any longer. Of course, it
wasn’t a secret in my daily life, but in business
and work, I was still very protective.
Were you OK with people knowing that
Meredith Baxter was on the Sweet cruise?
I was, although I was upset that I saw in magazines
Photography by that Meredith Baxter Birney was on the ship.
Judy Francesconi I want you to know I correct people all the time: “Meredith Baxter was on the ship.”
Makeup/Hair by Tami Lane And I am just that obnoxious about it, too. [Laughs]
“I feel enormously happier, and in
c. ways I hadn’t anticipated. Suzanne,
you had this great message about
You’ve been ballroom dancing more lately. Tell me about that. coming out, and I realized I didn’t
Well, you know I got started because of my therapist. She would talk about
it, because she did it and used it as examples during therapy, to explain how want this to be a secret
people learn things. So it started back in 2000, I had just gotten out of my last
divorce and I thought I was going out of my fucking mind. Not because I was
any longer.”
upset about the divorce. I knew that had to happen because I had made one
more disastrous choice, but I was howling to the ceiling in my house and was
so distraught. So one of the things I had to do was start a new life. I had very
few friends so I needed to meet other people. When I got there, it was like the
old high school gym, with the boys on one side and the girls on the other, and I
loved it. Then I stopped because I didn’t want to dance with guys. [Laughs]
You know there is same sex ballroom dancing here in L.A.
I would love to go, and Nancy [Locke, Baxter’s partner] is interested too, but
I need to lead.
That doesn’t make you a top, Meredith. You’re still a bottom.
[Laughs] I love the cha-cha. I’ve never been able to do regular dancing at clubs.
I am such a dork out there. But I have since stopped. I decided it needed to be
dance or my art, and I chose my art.
You should still dance.
Well maybe you and I can try the same-sex ballroom dancing.
I would love it.
I would have to lead.
Change of topic. Did you ever play any sports?
No, the only thing I ever did was run. I have no hand-eye coordination.
It’s very sad. You know, I was really good at playing my kids at Ping-
Pong. I even got us a table. I thought I was hot shit. And then I
played Nancy at Ping-Pong and she kicked my ass. And I just
thought, Well I am going to just set my table on fire. What’s the
use of having it? I was really bad. I had no idea. You know, I was
never around sports at all. I was in theater.
What would you have wanted to be if you weren’t an actor?
I never wanted to be an actor, I wanted to be a singer. Truth is, I
can sing OK. But I wasn’t willing to work at it, and acting was just
available to me. I was at Hollywood High [School] and I was a
nerd and I was around acting. I was not social. I had big breasts
and long hair and I was shy. I went to an event with Nancy with
her friends from high school, and she had so many friends and
everyone loved her. I never had that.
So you got work right away, as a young actor?
No, I didn’t even start looking for work until I was married.
When did you start noticing women, or gay women even?
I don’t think I noticed until I got sober. That was in 1990, and that was
when I started to see them around me—when I realized I wanted to be around
them. Paying attention to them, but still not thinking I was gay. Three years
sober, I did get involved with a woman. I liked her so much. She was so bright
and loving and generous and helpful to me. She really saw me, which was rare,
and I gave myself over, and it just seemed like the next natural thing to do
was be sexual. But still nothing went off in my head that I was lesbian. It was
just an expression of how I cared about her. No bells went off for me.
Then you got married to a man?
I got married because I was convinced that that was what had to happen.
Our Family Ties continued on page 62

May 2010 | 49

20_4_p48_49_baxter.indd 49 4/2/10 9:37:46 AM

BY Gina Da
g gett

Illustration by Paul Michael aguilar

One woman’s
quest to understand
the murder OF
Teresa Butz

“H e told us if we did what he asked us to do, he wouldn’t

hurt us. He lied, he lied,” said Teresa Butz, her final words
as she bled to death in her partner’s arms, at 3 a.m., on
the street outside their Seattle home. Ninety minutes earlier,
they’d woken up to a nightmare: a naked man standing over
The Disturbing Truth
As the clock ticked, more about the case emerged: That fateful
night, neighbors heard screams and ran into the street to help
Teresa and her partner, Jennifer*—a 36-year-old woman who’d
also been stabbed, although her wounds weren’t fatal. The man-
their bed with a knife. hunt continued, and more of what really happened inside their
The evening last summer when I first saw the report on the home came to light.
news, I was making dinner with my girlfriend, our dog at my Interim Police Chief John Diaz told the Seattle Times that
feet, when the face of 39-year-old Teresa Butz flashed across it was “the most brutal crime” he and his officers had seen in
the television screen. “Turn it up,” I said. some time. Diaz vowed to put every available resource into
“A woman was murdered in an apparent home invasion,” catching the man. At a press conference, Assistant Chief
the news anchor reported. Even though I only saw Teresa’s Nick Metz added, “It’s one of those things I’ll remember for
face for a split second, I knew she was one of us. the rest of my life.”
Not much information was given that night: a possible The details of the attack are devastating. I chagrin to even
robbery, a struggle, a murder, a mug shot. The suspect was pen them. Writer Eli Sanders of The Stranger (an alterna-
still on the loose. Police warned that he was dangerous. tive weekly newspaper in Seattle) did a valiant, thorough
That week, as I followed the investigation, I became and eloquent job of covering the case and was the only one
increasingly caught up in the unfolding story. It was a lesbian to print the findings released by King County prosecutors
couple. They were planning a fall wedding. verbatim; most media outlets summarized because the details
While Seattle police searched for the suspect, the local were so gruesome.
community was devastated, gripped by fear and confusion. “I don’t think there’s any reason to hide from public view
“At the community information meeting on the Monday exactly how horrific these attacks were,” Sanders wrote
after the attack, there was a lot of misdirected rage and sadness,” in his blog, “and exactly what these women did to try and
recalls L. Beth Yockey Jones, who lived next door to Teresa for stop them.” (I’ve scaled back on what he bravely reported,
three years. “People wanted to share their feelings about Teresa but if you’d like to forgo the details entirely, skip to “The
and her impact on their lives.” Community Reacts.”)
“The attack on Teresa and her partner hit a lot of people It was a sweltering night in Seattle and the attacker climbed
in Seattle very hard, but not just lesbians,” says Sally Clark, through an open window into the home of Teresa and Jennifer,
a pillar in the dyke community and one of two out city council who woke to him standing over them. He was naked and held
photo credit

members. Shockwaves were felt all the way to Vancouver, a knife and told the women, “I won’t hurt you. All I want is
Canada, where I live and see the Seattle news every night. some pussy.”
Even without knowing Teresa, I, too, was profoundly affected. Over the next 90 minutes, he repeatedly sexually assaulted

50 | curve
photo credit

May 2010 | 51
them—orally, anally and vaginally—ejaculating in both of “I didn’t know T as well as other people,” says Jones, “but
them, and, after the second full round of assaults, he told the I felt like I had to do something. It was a larger event than I
women that his fun had just begun. thought it would be, but I felt like it helped.”
Throughout that long hour and a half, “the man also physically
assaulted them with a butcher knife,” reported Sanders. “He Love, Loud Laughter and Purpose
repeatedly used the knife to cut the necks of both women. These words were used to describe Teresa in her obituary. As
After a time, the physical assaults intensified. The man began the days passed, a clearer picture of Teresa emerged, too.
cutting more aggressively on the necks of both women.” Known as T-Buzz, T-Butz or Twirds to those closest to
Jennifer, in particular, began losing a large amount of blood. her, Teresa Ann Butz grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. She
Eventually, Teresa was able to kick the man off the bed and graduated from Bishop DuBourg High School and the
the women tried to defend themselves, which further enraged University of Missouri. She had returned to St. Louis months
their attacker. He punched Teresa in the face and then attacked before the murder to celebrate her parents’ 50th anniversary
her again with the knife, stabbing her multiple times in the and was planning a trip to Barcelona to celebrate her own
arm and chest. Finally, Teresa broke free and fled through a 40th birthday.

Even though I only saw Teresa’s face for

a split second, I knew she was one of us.
window she smashed open with a nightstand. Jennifer escaped After college, Teresa worked in the cruise industry and then
out the front door and they met in the street, where Teresa moved to Seattle. At the time of her death, she was a general
collapsed and died in her fiance’s arms. The suspect fled. manager for Regus Group, a company that rents office space
Five days after the horrific incident, police caught the to businesses. In addition to her charitable work, she was an
monster. The arrest was facilitated by a Metro Bus driver athletic third baseman, a loving girlfriend, a cherished sister
who recognized the suspect’s face, which had been plastered and a beloved daughter.
all over the neighborhood. According to police, they arrested Like so many lesbians, Teresa loved her music. “I used to
him at a park with his pit bull. His jacket had blood stains on tease her about her taste in music,” remembers Jones. “The last
it and DNA evidence connected him to the crime. time we hung out was when Scott, my husband, and I drove
Teresa and her partner to the airport to go on some dykey
The Community Reacts music cruise with Melissa Etheridge and k.d. lang.”
Teresa Butz was the ninth of 11 children, a girl who grew up in One of Teresa’s brothers, Tim Butz, spoke with the Seattle
a family of eight brothers, including the Tony-Award winning Times shortly after the murder. The last time he had seen
actor Norbert Leo Butz. Teresa served on the board of directors Teresa was just 10 days earlier. “I told her I loved her and put
for Compass Center, a social service agency that helped low- her in a cab and never saw her again,” he said.
income and homeless people. Her death, said Compass board Tim also told the Times that he and his sister spent hours
member Bob Kuehn, was a “huge, huge loss.” playing catch as kids. “In a family dominated by boys, Teresa
It was also a huge shock to Seattleites, many of whom held her own. My sister went toe-to-toe,” he said.
spoke out. Teresa’s brother, Norbert, had been in Seattle preparing
“I heard from women who were scared,” says Clark. “I for the musical Catch Me If You Can. In response to the
heard from women who were angry. I heard from women who tragedy, the 5th Avenue Theater cancelled the first two
wanted to fight back in some way, but didn’t know what to do. performances of the show, which was scheduled to begin
There’s a feeling of powerlessness and fear that this kind of the week of the murder.
attack spreads like a germ.” Jones remembers her former neighbor as “generous, funny,
Unsure how to channel her own emotions, Yockey Jones caring, always ready with a laugh or a hug when you needed
planned a vigil. “I organized the vigil for those of us who had it.” She talks about how those close to the atrocity are doing
been impacted or helped by Teresa, to share our stories and today. “I see how Teresa’s partner is surviving and being joyful.
memories,” she says. It brought people together from both It helped a lot when they caught the asshole who attacked
the gay community and the neighborhood where Teresa and them. [My husband and I] are thankful that we knew Teresa,
Jennifer lived, South Park in South Seattle. and sad that we weren’t there to help out after the attack. We
“I think many people found some comfort in the community still own the house next door, and hearing the people who rent
gathering that took place on the South Park Community it from us talk about what happened was gruesome.”
Center lawn a few days after the attack,” remembers Clark.
“Many of Teresa and her partner’s friends spoke about them. Is Violence Ever Random?
A young girl talked about finding them in the street. The Police arrested Isaiah M.K. Kalebu—a man who was out on
Seattle Women’s Chorus sang.” bail for felony domestic violence charges after assaulting his

52 | curve
mother—for the brutal attack on Teresa and Hate Crimes Across the Globe
Jennifer. The 23-year-old bipolar man was also
under suspicion for murdering his aunt and her When Matthew Shepard was made camp, both women Eve, Lotter and Nissen raped
tenant in an arson fire, after she too kicked him killed in 1998, he became thought Carr was long gone. Teena, who reported the
out of her home. The mental health community the emblem for anti-gay So they set up camp and rape to police who lost his
was quick to say that Kalebu’s bipolar status hate crimes. But far too began to have sex, but then rape kit. When Lotter and
was not soley to blame and police indicted him many LGBT folks have been eight bullets flew their way. Nissen learned of the report,
on aggravated murder, attempted first-degree victims of violence, their Brenner was shot three the two went to Lambert’s
murder, burglary and one count of first-degree stories largely untold by the times, Wight twice—the last solitary farm house and killed
mainstream media. Here are one a fatal blow that shat- Lambert, Teena and friend
rape. At press time, he’s sitting in the King
a few stories that belong in tered her liver. To get help, Phillip DeVine—with most
County Jail on $10 million bail.
the sad annals of our history Brenner had to hike three of their brutality focused on
Police are deciding whether to seek the death books as well. miles while bleeding. Carr Teena, who had been shot
penalty and though they still hold firm to the idea claimed in court that he was and stabbed. Both men were
that the attacker didn’t know the women and the enraged by the two women’s captured and convicted in
attack was random, it’s hard to believe. Would lesbianism and that they trials that attracted LGBT
this suspect have broken into a home and stood had “taunted” him by having activists from around the
naked over a bed if there had been a woman and sex. His attorney claimed country. Nissen testified that
a man lying in it? that he had been raped Lotter was the gunman; he
“Like a lot of people, I wonder why he chose previously and that the received three life sentences.
their house,” says Clark. “I wonder if he’ll ever lesbianism provoked “inex- Lotter was sent to death
confirm why he chose their house. I don’t think plicable rage.” Carr plead row for the killings. In 2004,
Roxanne Ellis and Michelle down to life without parole. Nissen recanted his state-
the attack or the violence of it should be called
Abdill: A white lesbian couple Brenner went on to write Eight ment, saying that he alone
random, but I’m not a prosecutor or a judge. The
in rural Ore., Ellis and Abdil Bullets: One Woman’s Story of was the gunman.
attacker clearly thought out how to enter a home, juggled grandmotherhood Surviving Anti-Gay Violence.
rape, mutilate two people, and then exit. And he with running a property
carried out the attack over a period of time in the management company. On Brandon Teena: Anyone who’s
night. That’s not random to me. It’s sick and inex- Dec. 4, 1995, Ellis and Abdil seen Boys Don’t Cry knows
plicable, but not random.” showed an apartment to about the sad, senseless
Regardless of why this evil chose their house, 27-year-old Robert Acrement. killing of Brandon Teena, but
two lesbians’ lives were forever changed and the They were discovered that doesn’t make the story
rest of us should take what we can from their later—bound and gagged, any less heart-wrenching.
story. I’ve yet to find words to articulate the shot in the head and wrapped Teena was a 21-year-old
myriad of ways in which Teresa and Jennifer’s in drapes in the back of trans man who had adopted a
their own pickup truck. The masculine persona while still Sakia Gunn:
story has affected me. For starters: I double-check
mainstream news outlet and in high school, and began African American New Jersey
my locks at night and am sure to tell those close
People covered the crime. living full time as a man when teenager Sakia Gunn came
to me that I love them at every opportunity.
Acrement’s own mother he moved to Falls City, Neb. out when she was 11, so it
As with so many tragedies, light can come turned him into police, telling in 1993. Teena blossomed was little surprise when she
from darkness. reporters, “I called the police in Falls City, dating Lana told a stranger on the street
“I know Teresa’s loved and celebrated…I because I have to look God in Tisdel, and living at the home that she and her friend were
believe there is a violence-prevention program the face. I will do anything in of one of Tisdel’s friends, lesbians. Gunn, an athlete
being started in her memory,” says Jones. “I feel my power to make sure other Lisa Lambert. He also got to who dreamed of playing
terrible that this all happened, but hope that people aren’t hurt.” Acrement, explore his masculinity by for the WNBA, was at a bus
people will find a way to connect with each other admitted that the women’s hanging with Tisdel’s former stop with friends on May
and in their communities, so that this doesn’t sexuality disturbed him. boyfriend, John Lotter, and 11, 2003, when two men
happen again.” his friend Tom Nissen, both sexually harassed her. One of
To more people than she could have ever imag- Rebecca Wight and Claudia ex-cons who once embraced the men, 29-year-old Richard
Brenner: When 29-year-old Teena but later turned on him McCullough, jumped from
ined, Teresa Butz will forever be immortalized
Iranian/Puerto Rican MBA upon learning that he was his car and attacked Gunn’s
for sacrificing herself so her partner could escape.
student Rebecca Wight and transgender. On Christmas friend. As Gunn and another
To the girlfriend left behind, Jennifer, I send my

her 32-year-old Jewish girl, Valencia, fought back, he

deepest, most heartfelt sympathy—may you and girlfriend Claudia Brenner turned to Gunn, pulled a knife
your family and friends find healing and peace on were hiking on May 13, 1998, and stabbed her in the chest.
the heels of this awful nightmare. ■ Stephen Roy Carr wasn’t far The men fled and Gunn died
behind them. They encoun- later that day. McCullough
*This is her real name, but we’ve chosen to not print tered him at a restroom, then claimed he called Gunn a dyke
Jennifer’s last name so she can have some semblance later while looking at a map but that she actually “ran
of privacy when so much has already been taken (he had his .22 caliber rifle into” his knife. A professor at
from her. on him), but by the time they Crimes continued on page 63

May 2010 | 53
10 Powerful Lesbian Veterinarians

Don’t take Fluffy or Mr. Snake to just any

veterinarian—take your beloved pet to a
sister. Here are some of the top queer women 2
Where to take your loveable Fido or Fluffy. By Jamie Anderson

Carolyn VandeWiele, Indiana and Michigan

Also a relief vet, Dr. VandeWiele treats cats,
dogs and the occasional “pocket pet.” As a kid,
removed, the pooch was soon back to his old
self. In addition to treating cats and dogs at
Urban Veterinary Care, she volunteers at the

vets in the U.S. Inspired by reality TV shows, she wanted to be a sailor, but later changed Red Door Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter.
childhood pets and visits to the zoo, they her mind, partly because neighbors took her
come from all walks of life. They work in on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Bronx Erin Perotti-Orcutt, Seattle, Wash.
academia, for the government, at zoos and in Zoo and the New York City Aquarium when “Animals will heal if they can—in spite of
private practice, using conventional medicine, she was a young girl. There are many success us, sometimes. My job is to help them if
acupuncture and kisses on the head. (Fluffy’s stories in her nearly 23 years of practice, but they need it, and to empower their humans
head, usually, but some of them practice the patient that is closest to her heart is Cindy, to understand what’s going on, what their
with their partners, so there’s that kind of the little dog with chocolate brown eyes choices are…so they feel able to make a
kissing, too.) Even if you’ve got a cranky mare who was hit by a car. Cindy endured several choice.” Dr. Perotti-Orcutt currently runs a
with a toothache—or a rhino in need of surgeries, including the amputation of a hospital with her partner, Paige. “I’m really
insemination—we’ve got a doc for you. rear leg. The owner never returned, so Dr. happy to have a profession that I can combine
VandeWiele took her home. “For the next 13 with being a small-business owner. It’s a huge

Julie Teresa Garnier, Washington, D.C. years or so, she traveled with me everywhere plus right now, as the mother of a young child.
Since the age of 5, it’s been her dream to be that she could come.” Sadly, Cindy passed away Paige and I can make our own schedules…
a veterinarian. Dr. Garnier worked at Zoo recently, but she will always be remembered as and still support our family. I love that we can

Atlanta and the San Diego Zoo, specializing an inspiration to many people, their pets and work together.” She loves her patients and
in exotics, zoo animals and wildlife medicine, the vet who took her home. their owners, too. “I have amazing clients, and
before moving to the D.C. area to work with I also have the good fortune to practice in one

Jenna Promisel (orcutt), Tracy Walker (walsh), Susan Reich (schaffer), Belinda Ann Hall (darrow/mccoy)
small animals. She currently has a position Diane Dodin, Chicago, Ill. of Seattle’s lesbian meccas, so I get to talk to

with the Food and Drug Administration, Like many of us, Dr. Dodin has always loved many brilliant, gorgeous sisters every day.”
although she continues to work as a relief vet at animals. After watching surgical shows on TV
several practices. In her spare time, she renovates with her dad, she realized that she wanted to Jan Walsh, Grand Rapids, Mich.
homes, travels internationally and spends time become a vet. One of her most challenging Dr. Walsh works at two different clinics
with her partner, Charlene, their two kids and patients was a dog with intestinal obstructions. and sometimes makes house calls—often
their French bulldog. She’s also on the board of With the help of a colleague, she performed a to perform acupuncture. One of her favorite
Rainbow Families D.C., an organization for surgery that she had done only once before, patients is a poodle who suffers from seizures
LGBT parents. in vet school. After having a foot of intestine and receives a mixture of Western and Eastern

1 2 3 4 5

6 7 9 10

54 | curve

20_4_p54-55_vets.indd 54 3/15/10 2:58:39 PM

A Purrfect Career
medicine.“This seven-pound dog was vicious,
twisting in all directions, screaming bloody As a cat veterinarian, clinic. This will demonstrate to it comes to caring for your
murder, when I first began to treat him. Now non-profit worker and the them that you have an interest favorite feline?
co-author of Crazy Cat People, in animals and are willing to do “It would have to be
he…falls asleep on my lap during his treat-
out lesbian K. Kelly Jones has entry-level jobs.” nutrition. Cats are carnivores
ments.” She has no plans to stop doing the
always had a special relation- Jones herself is no stranger and their bodies cannot
job she loves. “I want women to know that ship with animals. to giving. Working as efficiently digest or
it is never too late to…pursue their passion. “As a child, I would drag a vet, she realized metabolize things

Twenty years and I still enjoy what I do.” home any animal I could find that animals were like corn, beets,
and try to nurse it back to often left behind soy, and wheat. So,
Karyn Harrell, Chapel Hill, N.C. health,” she says. “I really when women left when we add these
Dr. Harrell works in an academic setting, wanted to do something that abusive relation- things to their diet, it
specializing in internal medicine. “We are very had meaning and purpose to it.” ships, so she started
involved with our patients and our clients… But it was her particular love a non-profit called
often more than other medical professions.” of feline-kind that led to Jones’ Pets in Crisis—an
One of her favorite patients was a young collaboration, with her brother, organization that
Skot, on Crazy. provides refuge for
Great Dane who had swallowed a plastic toy.
The book is written from the pets while abused
His owners couldn’t afford extensive surgery,
perspective of cats living in women seek help in shelters.
so it was Dr. Harrell’s job to get it out with
the cat hospital where Jones “Studies show that a large
an endoscope. Luckily, the procedure was works. The characters are percentage of women will
a success, considering euthanasia would have based on real cats and their delay leaving or refuse to
been the only other answer. “I cannot even tell stories are loosely based on leave an abusive situation if
you how happy I was to be able to loop the end real events. The book includes they have to leave their pet
of our retrieval device around a little blue plastic whimsical illustrations by behind,” she states. “Almost

hand and pull that big plastic duck out!” Carlos Sandoval and every all of the animals that we have
chapter includes practical vet cared for have been abused.
Mari Morimoto, New York, N.Y. advice by Jones. It is sad to see how they react
Dr. Morimoto, who identifies as queer, stands For young women looking to us initially; they don’t trust
in for vets who are away. When asked what she to enter the male-dominated [us] and they are nervous and often gets stored as fat. I try
veterinary field, Jones’ advice scared. However, it is amazing to encourage cat owners to
loves and hates about her job, she says, “The
is clear: “Study very hard. It is to see how they respond to us read labels and select food for
joy of watching patients who first walked in
extremely difficult to get into after a few days of love and their cat that is high in meat
your door as a puppy or kitten grow up, but veterinary school. You need to safety. They have such a strong protein (not by-products), with
also sadness when they reach the end of their do something that makes you desire to love and to be loved very few fillers and a short
lives.” Because she’s USDA accredited, she stand out from all the others. in spite of what has happened ingredient list. Just because
helps clients prepare for international travel Also do things like volunteer at to them in the past.” food is a name-brand, doesn’t
with their pets. She is fluent in Japanese and a zoo or shelter, or get a part- So, what is Jones’ number mean it is good for your cat.”
helps many Japanese nationals expedite the time job working at a veterinary one piece of advice when [Lisa Gunther]

export procedure and minimize the time their
pets spend in quarantine. She’s also an active
member of LGVMA (the LGBT Veterinary the founder and president of SOS Rhino emergency clinic where she treats family
Medical Association) and the transgender and (, a nonprofit that works inter- pets. What does she love best about her job?

gender nonconformist community in NYC. nationally to preserve the five rhinoceros “Kissing my patients on the head.”
species in their natural habitat. When an If you think having a cavity is hard on you,
Karen Kowalski, Cincinnati, Ohio organization once offered to give her an award try dealing with a 1,200-pound animal that
After working as a trauma nurse, Dr. Kowalski for being a notable lesbian and mentor, she can’t tell you exactly what is bothering her.
decided she needed a change, so she went back reacted with amusement. “Ha, right, that was That’s what Dr. Darrow does on a regular
to school to become a vet. She has now been a laugh. I could see some young dyke going basis. Earlier jobs as a vet tech, horse trainer
practicing for 22 years. She spends most of to her mother and saying, ‘I got it Mom, I and riding instructor led her to this career
her days making house calls, treating cats and want to jack off rhinos when I grow up.’ Poor as an equine vet. McCoy not only turned
dogs. “I have the best job in the world—I love thing—as if she wasn’t confused already. They out to become her life partner but also a
getting up and going to work. The people I gave the award to me anyway.” mentor. “She provided me much support

meet are awesome and so are my patients.” and inspiration…it was all very unexpected
Lenice McCoy and Bess Darrow, and romantic.” Darrow offers this to anyone
Nan Schaffer, Chicago, Ill. Gainesville, Fla. considering a similar career: “Never, ever
If you happen to have a rhino, contact Dr. Doctors McCoy and Darrow met at an L give up your dream. If I had listened to all
Schaffer. She’s a vet who specializes in the Word party when both were at a vet school the naysayers along my path, I would not be
reproductive problems of rhinos and is in the Caribbean. McCoy now works at an where I am today.” ■

May 2010 | 55
REVIEWS Music Watch

New Hits From Old favorites

Editor’s Pick Melissa, Sade and Shelby give us reason to sing. By Margaret Coble

Heart of My Own, Basia

Bulat (Rough Trade): Basia
Bulat’s sophomore release,
Heart of My Own, is anything
but ordinary. The album’s
more upbeat tracks, like the
beautifully escalating “Gold
Rush,” layer Bulat’s hearty
vibrato on a lush platform of
complex yet well-orchestrated
instrumentation, which lope
and gallop along, at times
making it seem as though the
artist is being accosted by
a band of street performers.
Other standout tracks bravely
offer up her unmistakable Still soulful Sade
voice, reminiscent of fellow
Canadian Buffy Ste. Marie.
The true charm of the record Though I generally use these pages to spotlight up- Row”). “We Are The Ones” is a feel-good anthem
lies in its unpredictability as and-comers on the music scene, sometimes it’s worth tinged with world-music instrumentation, while
well as it being unusual and checking in with the veterans to see what they’ve been “Miss California” is a politically charged statement
refreshingly not front-loaded up to. Melissa Etheridge, Sade and Shelby Lynne all about California’s Prop. 8 debacle and beauty queen
with would-be hits. These have new releases that prove they are still more than Carrie Prejean’s vocal opposition to gay marriage.
qualities may cause Bulat relevant, even after all these years. My personal faves are “Indiana,” a sweet, uplifting ode
to find it a challenge to get to heartland girls and their dreams, and the playful
widespread U.S. airplay (as
Fearless Love, Melissa Etheridge (Island): In her 22- “Nervous.” I could wish for a little less produc-
compared to Canada, where
national communication laws year recording career, Etheridge has continually tion gloss overall, but it’s a pretty catchy set that
require that 35 percent of hooked listeners with her raw passion and earnest maintains Etheridge’s place in the modern rock
music aired each week be exploration of her emotions. And though there pantheon. (
Canadian), but it is certainly have been a few of her albums over the years that
not for lack of listenability or didn’t exactly excite me (Skin, The Awakening), I’m Soldier Of Love, Sade (Sony): It’s surprising to realize
talent. ( happy to say Fearless Love is one of her most solid Nigerian-born Brit Sade Adu and her band have
[Ash Goddard]
efforts since her brilliant, eponymous 1988 debut. only released six studio albums in 25 years, but
The relentlessly rocking 12-song set might easily be this latest 10-song effort does not disappoint. The
classified as midlife reflections from the 48-year-old exquisite, military-cadenced title track has been
dyke icon, bouncing between upbeat affirmations like nearly ubiquitous on radio, in clubs and elsewhere
the soaring title track—a personal manifesto that for months, and with good reason; lyrically, it’s the

boldly declares “I want to live my life/Pursuing all resilient tale of a woman who has “lost the use of my
my happiness/I want a fearless love/I won’t settle for heart, but I’m still alive,” while musically it propels
anything less”—and melancholy admissions about Sade into the 21st century by embracing a soulful
loneliness (the midtempo rocker “Company”), love but decidedly electronic sound. “Babyfather” is a
(poignant ballad “Only Love”) and life (“Gently We similarly electronic, reggae-tinged tale of fatherly

56 | curve
Martha Davis

New Wave star Martha Davis was the fierce everyone dropped acid. [Laughs] So, I went
frontwoman of the Motels. Her husky voice, to become an Air Force wife in Tampa,
passionate performances and heart-breaking Fla., which is really a culture shock from
lyrics propelled her to fame in the ’70s and Berkeley. It was one of the most horrifying
kept various incarnations of the Motels on experiences of my life.
Billboard’s Top Ten list with hits like “Only How did you transition from your life as a Lonely” has become a sort of gay anthem. Did
the Lonely” and “Remember the Nights.” young Air Force wife to a New Wave star? you anticipate that when you were writing it?
While Davis has traded in the dark L.A. All of a sudden this picture flashed in front No, because when I write songs I have no idea
club scene for rural Oregon, she’s still writing of my eyes—me on the base, 50 years old why I’m writing them. And it wasn’t until gay
music, screaming about injustice and finding with my hair in rollers, chocolates in one Pride, when I was singing it and I just went,
new, queer meaning in her old songs—she hand and a beer in the next and fluffy slippers Holy shit, this is about being gay. [Laughs] It’s
even performed at Dinah Shore this year. on my feet. And I was like, Ahh! not really, but it’s just that feeling of alienation,
Young female musicians are under the micro- of wanting so badly to be able to be in a place
What’s it like to be so far from the L.A. scene? scope in terms of their bodies and sexuality. that is comforting. And when I thought about
Well, the bottom line is that I am, and Did you feel that when you were younger? it from that perspective I went, Holy Christ, I
always have been, a tomboy. I am not a city Well, they’re not being watched. They’re get it. It does resonate.
dweller. I did my time in L.A. I made it out being made. You know what, it doesn’t have Many of your Motels songs were angst-ridden.
alive, which was remarkable in itself, and I’m anything to do with being a woman in rock, Are you happier now?
very much more at home here. it has to do with whether you’re any good or I’m at a point in my life where I’m probably
What other places influenced your music? not. Don’t separate me because of my gender. the most happy. I’m feeling pretty feisty these
A lot of my writing was coming from my That’s just doing me a great disservice. days. Yes, there’s a dance in the old dame yet!
home of Berkeley. I basically left when You have a huge gay following, and “Only The [Kristin A. Smith]

love, while “The Moon and The Sky” is a Other Licks By Margaret Coble
gorgeous slow-groove that layers smooth
R&B beats, orchestral instrumentation
and a few carefully inserted electronic
accents. The bulk of the disc is classic
Sade, though. Longtime fans will revel FREE
in the timeless sumptuousness of Adu’s DAPHNE
voice and the band’s sophisticated sound. @ CURVEMAG.
Continent Better Than Chocolate The Creatures in The What To Say

CFCF Jamie Anderson Garden Of Lady Walton Daphne Willis
(Paper Bag) (Tsunami) The Clogs (Vanguard)
Tears, Lies & Alibis, Shelby Lynne (Everso): (Brassland)
Alt-country iconoclast Shelby Lynne has Remember chill out A regular contributor The 22-year-old
been making records since 1988, first in music? Montreal to curve, Anderson This intriguing American Chicago singer and
the slick mainstream Nashville country DJ slash producer has been a traveling and Australian quartet songwriter debuts with
scene and later as a singer-songwriter Michael Silver is still troubadour for over 20 mixes classical, indie this fresh 12-cut set
exploring country, blues, pop and other making it, and his years, serving up her rock and folk into of spunky yet soulful
styles in the Americana spectrum. Her fluid 12-track debut quirky mix of humor a unique, if slightly acoustic folk-pop
latest release has her finally branching album is filled with all and insight to anyone esoteric, sound. From with jazzy and bluesy
out on her own record label and doing types of mesmerizing who’ll listen. This five- acapella choral pieces undertones. The funky
cinematic grooves— song EP, an aural treat, to the almost operatic opener “Everybody
things 100 percent her way. It’s a sparse
ambient atmospherics spans genres, from jazz vocal performance Else” and rousing “All
acoustic 10-song set that’s beautiful and
to 1980s-era Chicago (“January”) to acoustic of Shara Worden to I Know” stand out
eclectic, from the perky opener “Rains house and even a the more pensive,
pop (“Public Radio”) to as faves, along with
Came” to the moving “Alibi” as well as the highly danceable folk (the heartwarming largely instrumental, the sentimental “Jim
sweetly sincere “Something To Be Said,” update of Fleetwood “My Dad Loves to this 10-song cycle is Thornton,” a tune Willis
which is, amusingly enough, a song about Mac’s “Big Love.” Sing”), leaving the melodic, interesting, yet wrote in memory of
airstream trailers. It’s an album that is, Get lost in its sounds. listener wanting more. challenging listening. her late grandfather.
well, just very Shelby. ( ■ ( ( ( (

>> CURVEMAG.COM Log on and read the rest of our one-on-one with Martha Davis May 2010 | 57
REVIEWS In The Stacks

Tracing Our History

Editor’s Pick Books that remind us of our roots and our community. By Rachel Pepper

Two University of California pro- a place where an innovative young generation

fessors remind us of those who have of queers found their artistic, cultural and
fought for the community, and take political voice. There was anger, but there
a glance at our global lesbian history. was also excitement, hope, solidarity, humor
and inspiration, the likes of which have not
Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s been seen in such a frenzied combination
Fight Against AIDS, Deborah B. Gould since. Gould manages to capture all these
(University of Chicago Press): Deborah emotions and more as she analyzes
A Volume of Friendship:
Gould, currently an assistant professor both its successes and its failures,
The Letters of Eleanor at the University of California, Santa and recounts praise and criticism
Roosevelt and Isabella Cruz, was an insider who participated from both inside and outside the
Greenway 1904-1953, Eds. in ACT UP’s Chicago chapter, so she knows gay community.
Kristie Miller and Robert how it felt to be part of the movement. She Even after having a phenomenal
H. McGinnis (Arizona deftly uses this experience in Moving Politics, impact on LGBT culture, ACT UP
Historical Society): First the first in-depth, academic examination of eventually lost its way, splitting into
Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash several different factions; however, in
known for many things: for Power. Gould writes, “A central argument its demise it made way for other direct-
being a second-wave feminist
of Moving Politics is that emotional habits action groups like Queer Nation, and
icon, for her humanitarian
work in social causes (like of lesbian and gay communities, and shifts therein, helped usher in a new era of understanding
the Universal Declaration of shaped both lesbian and gay attitudes about, as well about LGBT issues. Using extensive research drawn
Human Rights) and for her as engagements in, distinctive forms of AIDS activism from LGBT press, interviews, artwork, primary
rumored lesbian romance. from the recorded beginning of the epidemic in 1981 source materials and her own archives. Moving Poltics
While this collection of through the early-to-mid 1990s.” is chock-full of great quotes, footnotes, graphics and
letters—written between she Thus, Gould not only covers ACT UP per se, but an index that reads like a Who’s Who of early ’90s
and her life-long best friend decades of LGBT political activism. A pivotal point in LGBT activism. This is an important, timely book,
Isabella Greenway—does not
this era was the Supreme Court’s decision in Bowers not just on the history of ACT UP but about the
address her sexuality, we do
get to see a more personal vs. Hardwick, in which the Court found that even emotions that helped create it, shape it and move the
side of this pioneering woman. in the privacy of their own homes, gay adults were LGBT movement forward.
Roosevelt and Greenway share denied the right to engage in all consensual sexual
stories of family, childbirth, activity. In comparing gay sex to “adultery, incest and Sapphistries: A Global History of Love Between Women,
sorrow and triumphs, dating other sexual crimes,” writes Gould, the Court enraged Leila J. Rupp (New York University Press): Sapphistries
from their teens into old age. the LGBT community across the country, inciting is the rare kind of history book that a reader might
Among the seemingly trivial
demonstrations and unleashing a spark that would pick up thinking of glancing at just a few pages—only
everyday occurrences there
are glimpses into the political ignite the growing anger about governmental inaction to discover a few hours later that she has effortlessly
lives they led—Roosevelt, on AIDS. That fury was already formenting when breezed through the entire book. Although not the first
of course, as first lady and Larry Kramer gave his famous speech in the Gay and text to tackle same-sex attraction between women, this
perhaps the most influential Lesbian Community Center in March 1987. Thus was is a truly global examination of what women’s intimate
member of the U.N.’s born ACT UP, which changed the queer community relationships have meant over time. Beginning in myth-
Commission on Human forever. From 1987 until the early ’90s, ACT UP was ology, winding through the ancient worlds of Sappho
Rights, and Greenway as the most notorious LGBT groups in the country. and the Biblical era, then through colonial Mexico,
Arizona’s first congress-
Gould focuses on the organization’s early development Asia, Islam, Europe and North America, this book is
woman. (arizonahistorical [Lisa Gunther] in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, where an exhaustive examination of the very essence of what it
chapters formed earlier, were larger and had the most means to be a woman who desires other women. Leila
wide-ranging political effect. Not only was ACT UP J. Rupp, a professor at University of California, Santa
a protest group that eventually succeeded in many Barbara and the author of several other history books,
of its goals (which included changing how drugs are accomplishes this primarily through written accounts
tested and brought to market), it also functioned as (many, not surprisingly, written by men), literature,
a pre-Internet town hall, a social cruising ground and sacred texts and “actual cases, sensational stories, and

58 | curve
Jessica DuLong

For centuries, storytellers have been

using a journey down the river as a
metaphor. But in My River Chronicles:
Rediscovering America on the Hudson,
Jessica DuLong goes from living in the It’s about the fine craftsmanship that is
virtual world of Web content develop- so clear in every aspect of that engine
ment to working in the engine room of a room. It’s about the machinery. I just fell
fireboat on the Hudson River, mastering completely in love with the equipment.
an old technology that is as exacting as It is just such a complex system, and it is
it is physically exhausting. such a unique boat and a unique engine
As she goes through the process of room. When I’m there it doesn’t feel like I
qualifying to become a fireboat engineer— should be any place else.
and learns what it takes to join the ranks Tell me what role your fireboat played in the
of women who work in non-traditional aftermath of 9/11?
occupations—she introduces us to many I came over from Brooklyn [and] the
of the unforgettable eccentrics she meets first thing that I saw was this boat that
on the Hudson. I loved actively pumping Hudson River
water through the deck’s nozzles.The
The book seems to be part memoir, part Hudson River water was the only water
history. How do you characterize it? that was available on site for several
My original idea came from a fascination days after the collapse of the towers.
with the history, and with the people… This boat, built in 1931, was still able to
who are just doing amazing things and are perform the function that she was built
living these lives that are largely untold— to perform—two years after she was
whether it’s the 19th century builders of sold at a scrap auction…serving a really
this canal that transformed American crucial function in the hour of the city’s
industry…or people on the river of today. greatest need.
Were you out when you were on the John What do you want readers to take away
J. Harvey? How about now? from the book?
Yes, I’m certainly not closeted with That we had something in this country, a
anyone on the boat. There’s definitely connection to our physical reality…that
not a situation where people are closeted, we seem to be steering too far away from.
or there was none of that pressure, but And I want to offer, through my own
frankly…one of the joys of working on personal hands-on experience, a taste of
the boat is that the rest of life goes away.
With working conditions like 130-degree
the satisfaction of physical work—the
feeling of having spent the day taxing your how
heat and bone-crushing noises, what drew muscles and pushing your body to its
you to a job on the boat? limits. [Katherine Wright]

scientific analyses,” making a compelling America and Europe when ideas about you
narrative of how they all intersect “in a “romantic friendship” changed, crossing over
complicated way to create different versions into something that was more likely to be
of the modern ‘lesbian.’ ” She discusses cross thought of as “a diagnosis of inversion and
dressers, mystics, heretics, witches, schoolgirl mental illness.”
Looking for the woman of your
crushes, spinsters, cultures and peoples This book is at its best when it focuses
dreams? Need a gal who loves
through time, including the American Indian on time periods less familiar to readers;
your dog, cat, ferret or Smart Car
hwame, Iraqi mustergil, Chinese zishu, Hindu other books can recount the modern years
as much as you do? You can find
sadhini, African “mummy-baby” relationships of LGBT history. The extensive reference
your perfect match on our website

and Thai toms and dees. Rupp also covers section lends credibility to the idea of a global
or at
several important time periods in women’s lesbian history, even during ancient times, as
sexual history, including those years in North a subject deserving serious scholarship. ■
REVIEWS Sapphic Screen

Madeline Davis
Madeline Davis, 70, is an activist and a archive. The
founding member of HAG Theatre, an all- film provides a Why did you choose the name—Swimming
lesbian theater company in New York state. raw look into with Lesbians?
Throughout her life, she’s participated in her the LGBT Lesbians come in all different shapes, colors,
fair share of Pride parades, demonstrations movement in cultures, ages and sizes. We are the most
and protests, but in order to really grasp the Western New fortunate of genders, because we allow each
impact she has had on LGBT rights, watch York and it’s an engaging, heartwarming other to be as we are, even in a swimsuit.
her journey in last year’s hit documentary, and gritty account of the people who fought What is the main message of the film?
Swimming with Lesbians. The film chron- to preserve the legacy of their local LGBT Without preserving the memories of the
icles how activists in Buffalo, N.Y., led by community. people who have come before us, our history
Davis, worked to create an LGBT historic just goes up in smoke. Though the film is
What do you hope people take from this film? about the people and stories of Buffalo, it
I have the same hope as [director] David represents every midsize, working-class city
[Marshall] did when he aspired to make the in the country.
movie, and that is that people will under- How has the movie been received?
stand how vitally important it is to not let It received a standing ovation at a film
LGBT history disappear. festival in Seattle as well as in Buffalo, and
Why is preserving LGBT history so important? it won an award for best filmmaker at a film
Elton and Ellen are landmark people who festival in Rochester, N.Y. When watching
have done landmark things, but they are not the film, people begin to realize that LGBT
Adam and Eve. People came before them history didn’t just happen on the coasts of
and did some extraordinary things to get us New York City and San Francisco. [Lyndsey
to where we are today. D’Arcangelo]

DVD Picks

Oh, Julianne!
Julianne Moore is heating up
the screen this year in not one,
but two lesbian-themed films. In
Chloe, a moody and suspenseful
drama by Atom Egoyan, Moore
Still We Ride A Family Is a Family Lucha Big Love: The Complete
has a sizzling onscreen love scene
(In Tandem Is a Family: A Rosie (MBreauxsia Films) Third Season
with co-star Amanda Seyfried,
Productions) O’Donnell Celebration (HBO)
Set amidst the back- and in The Kids Are All Right, a
drop of the Salvadorian film by brilliant lesbian director
While only 38 minutes Life gets even more
Civil War, this short tells Lisa Cholodenko, Moore plays a
long, this documentary Told through narration complicated for
the story of Lucha and lesbian mother raising her children
fully chronicles the by the cutest group of our fave closeted
Isabella, two lovers with her partner, played by Annette
showdown between kids you can imagine, polygamist family, the
who must decide if Bening. [Lisa Gunther]
New York City police this touching TV doc Hendricksons, as they
and the city’s Critical reminds viewers that love of country is more embark into new terri-
Mass bike riders in the only thing that powerful than their love tory, opening a casino
2004, right before the defines a family is love. for each other. Though and adding a fourth
start of the Republican It’s filled with candid it’s a mere 15-minutes wife. Chloë Sevigny
National Convention. and personal stories, long, Lucha draws shines as troubled
What was supposed to including O’Donnell’s the viewer in to its second wife Nicki,

be a routine monthly own family and split politcally-charged struggling with fidelity.
ride, turned into one of from “Mommy Kelli.” love story making this Plot twists abound
the city’s largest mass Perfect to cuddle up Spanish (with English in this subversive,
arrests in history. (still- and watch with your subtitles) an intimate highly addictive series. own family. (homebox- and beautiful must-see. (
Seyfried (left) and Moore
[Kristin A. Smith] [KAS] ( [KAS] [Rachel Shatto]

60 | curve

20_4_p56-61_reviews.indd 60 4/2/10 10:34:18 AM


Stamping out the Evil

Karen Dyer on games, music and burlesque on stilts. By Danielle Riendeau Editor’s Pick

If you’re a video game fan, chances are you’ve heard

Karen Dyer—even if you haven’t heard of her. Dyer
is the woman behind both the voice-acting and
motion capture of Resident Evil 5’s female lead, Sheva
Alomar. While she may be best known for virtual
zombie slaying, Dyer is a woman of many talents, A GATHERING STORM
dabbling in everything from stunt work to circus From its opening frames,
performance. Dyer is a daredevil performer with one Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain
of the most eclectic—and exciting—careers around. for PlayStation 3 is both
Before Dyer landed the gig as Sheva, she cinematic and gripping—
had already made a name for herself in the music a film noir thriller that pulls
influences from films like
industry, theater, circus arts and burlesque as the
The Maltese Falcon, Rear
flirtatious Eva La Dare. It was these connections Window and Seven. You play
that led to the chance to play a high-profile video as four unrelated characters
game character—adding “zombie-blasting badass” (one of whom is Madison
to her already-impressive resume. “I’ve been an Paige, a sexy soft butch
entertainer all my life,” Dyer explains. “I think as a photographer who rides a
kid, I was quite a tomboy, very athletic and I liked motorcycle and is as boldly
to be dared to do things. Whenever someone gutsy as she is clever and
foxy). All are on the hunt
presented a challenge, I rose to the occasion, because
for the Origami Killer—so
I just wanted to see if I could do it.” named for his penchant for
Resident Evil is a “survival horror” game franchise leaving origami figures in
Dyer on stilts and in Resident Evil 5 (inset)
in which players battle the living dead—the result the hands of his victims.
of either a viral outbreak or parasites—and the evil Both the story and the
Umbrella Corporation, the villains behind the chaos. dots placed on the suit and the actor’s body and atmosphere are dark, the
Resident Evil 5 introduces Sheva, an African anti-bio- computers turn that into an animation that a CGI fight scenes are spine-
tingling and the plot twists
terrorism agent, who fights alongside series regular character mimics. Dyer was up to the challenge.
are shocking. The game
Chris Redfield against a new threat that’s emerged “More has to depend on your imagination, which controls, which rely as much
in Africa. I think is very freeing. It’s like playing on a huge on quick thinking and your
It is customary with high-profile, blockbuster playground—it was so much fun. It was like going to moral compass as they do
games, for the casting process to be shrouded in play. It never felt like work.” on speedy reflexes, make
secrecy, and Resident Evil 5 was no exception. “For Right now, Dyer is focusing on launching her this game novice friendly.
the longest time, I didn’t know what the project was, music career as Eva La Dare, with performance and You decide the course of
so I was kind of in the dark for about a month. They music video ideas astir. “What’s great about playing the adventure through both
action scenes and dialog
would bring me in to test—there was a green screen around with an alter ego is that I have permission
options. However, all decisions
test, and I would do some stunt work, I would do to do anything,” she laughs. “I can always blame it on have consequences. In some
some acting, then they had me train with pistols, her! The creativity just gets opened up, because Eva cases those choices may
rifles. I had to get certified in both. Then, when we has kind of been my outlet for that.” prove fatal, and there are no
got into a regular shooting schedule, I finally got the Dyer, who frequently performs in stilts, gave a do-overs; once dispatched,
script and saw what I was working on—and then few hints about what to expect next from her live the character is gone for
realized ‘Oh, this is Resident Evil 5,’ ” she laughs. shows and music videos. “I like to push the envelope the duration of the game.
“Until then, it was like this secret mission I wasn’t with costumes and props and ideas,” she says wryly, Riveting and heart-wrenching,
Heavy Rain is a unique and
allowed to know anything about.” speaking of Cirque-inspired spectacle and one very

spellbinding whodunit game

For Dyer, helping to create the game was a blast, enticing costume that involves “fire nipples.” Dyer that has to be experienced.
even with the limitations of working on a green says that thanks to performers like Pink and Lady ($60,
screen set, where performers don motion capture Gaga, people are ready for wild women performances. [Rachel Shatto]
suits and act out the scenes in a huge empty room. “People are embracing the idea of doing these out-
Multiple cameras record the movement of small rageous feats. I think the door is wide open now.” ■

May 2010 | 61
Tomboy Takeover continued from page 34 Top Picks continued from page 43 Our Family Ties continued from page 49

After her win, the queer blogosphere lit up Mini Cooper I met this guy, and here’s the truth, I was
in delight. “I’m so proud to be a Finn!” posted Ranked among the most affordable small thinking, Eew, who is this guy? He’s such a
Koo87 on the commentary site Afterellen. cars, the sexy and ubiquitous little Cooper creep. Everything about him felt sleazy until I
com. “This feels almost as good as when Katja gets 37 mpg and starts at under $20,000. realized, Oh, he likes me, and that turned my
Nyberg won OL-gold medal in handball last Super maneuverable (its handling dynamics head. So I went with him. Why that hadn’t
fall,” wrote Cozy2. were designed by engineers at their parent happened with a woman, I don’t know. What
After spending the spring skateboarding company, BMW) and way more spacious lies I had to tell myself to be in that relation-
between casting calls in Milan, Italy, than it looks, the Mini Cooper is the perfect ship. I thought he was sober but he was not,
Grundfeldt settled back down in Helsinki in urban auto. Don’t expect to lug around a lot and he took so many painkillers. I saw it but I
time for Finland’s Pride celebration. Her new of stuff though. Prices start at $19,000. was too busy lying to myself.
celebrity status meant that she got to crown What was your first big gay event after coming
the 2009 Mr. and Ms. Gay Finland. Mazda MX-5 Miata out?
“It was kind of love at first sight,” says Jari Named the most afford- Oh, I guess the HRC dinner coming up [ed.
Leskinen, Grundfeldt’s new agent at Paparazzi able sports car of 2010 note: Baxter made an impassioned speech
Model Management. “When I first saw her, by U.S. News, the “quick, at the Raleigh, North Carolina event in
with her boyish skateboarding look and boy’s agile, great on gas and February]. There hasn’t been anything yet,
underwear, I knew it would be a challenge. reliable too” car looks cute and sporty, only but before I went public, Nancy took me to
But her unique look, combined with a lovely costs $22,000 and up and will get 28 mpg. But The [LGBT] Center Dinner. And I had been
personality, great body and amazing face, the caveat: some experts say it’s not kid safe. to The Dinah once—Mariah Hanson took
was a challenge I knew we had to take.” And good care of us. She tiptoed me into events
she’s not the only queer girl represented by Trail Manor Travel Trailer and made sure we didn’t get seen. I felt I was
Papparazzi: The agency also manages Monna The lightest, easiest-towing travel trailers taken very good care of. I felt it on the Sweet
Kosonen, who’s been featured in magazines on the market—the folding travel trailer is cruise as well. People had opportunities to
such as Numero, L’offiel and Russian Vogue. half the weight of other travel trailers—and take advantage, I guess, but no one ever did.
The twentysomething’s quick laugh and studies show it takes only one extra gallon of After the cruise, I spoke with my manager
spark come across in the media spots she’s gas to tow a 30-foot Trail Manor 100 miles. about maybe planting a little article saying I
done, whether it’s teaching Radio Wave host Their Elkmont is a 24-ft upright that weights was gay. I guess I felt it was—who the fuck’s
Olga K to skate on TV, or skydiving for the only 1,500 pounds and can be towed with business is it, anyway—but I felt I had to, just
first time alongside 70 other women from smaller vehicles like the Subaru Forester. For to be responsible.
around the world in an event called Pimp My $24,000 you get some of the highest resales Let’s ask fun stuff. What’s your favorite TV
Fly. The 4000-meter drop took place in the on the market. n show?
southern town of Hanko, Finland. *All MPG are based on highway ratings I don’t have one. I don’t watch TV. Oh, Big
Grundfeldt was picked for a Cosmopolitan Love. Oh wait, oh yes, the lovely Rachel
cover shoot, another perk of winning the Maddow. I watched her one night where
competition, and is also a new Max Factor they showed her from the side, and she was

spangenberg photography (mazda), Jeffrey Horvitz (suit), Leslie Van Stelton (biker)
spokesperson. “My brother is probably gonna in her jacket and standard shell and then, if
be a model too,” she says of Kalle, who she you looked below, she was wearing jeans and
lives with. “I’m sure you’re going to see him on sneakers. I yelled out, “Oh, this is so cool!”
the catwalks in New York!” n What’s on your iPod?
Oh, you don’t want to know—Bread, Loving
Spoonful, the Mamas and the Papas, ’60s
Style Buyers Guide T-straps ($90,; room fragrance by
music. When Nancy was at the gym and she
Royal Purple (
Pg. 28: Italian suit ($750), shirt ($125), didn’t have her iPod and I offered her mine,
Pg. 38: PBR model: brass and glass necklace by
tie ($65), all from Collier in Portland, Ore. 503- she took it and she had to give it back. She
Draugsvold ($225,; vintage
224-5473 or e-mail
plaid shirt by FIVEBROTHER ($26,; said, “I cannot listen to this and work out.”
Pg. 29: Aviator model: suit, shirt ($90) and brass skull necklace by Tomoko Igarashi (prices
patterned mettalic tie ($149) all from Collier vary,; fragrance BVLGARI
( Button down: Three- Black ($50,; vintage boots (stylist’s What are you favorite jeans?
piece suit ($1,625), shirt ($90) and tie ($149) all own); earrings, navy trousers (model’s own). I like these ones [Baxter turns, tries to read
from Duchess. Accessories are models’ own. Plymouth model: Frangrance Comme des Garcons
2 “Glitter” ($95,; vintage earrings
her butt]. Oh! Citizens of Humanity. I will
Pg. 36: Moto model: custom vest by Stella Zotis
(prices vary,; necklace (stylists own). say, these.
by Jetrophelia (prices vary,; Levi’s What’s your favorite watch?
501 Cut Off Shorts ($34 and up,; I love my Swiss Army that my son Peter gave
Angle Bangle—Black by Alexis Bittar ($50, alexis- or; Pyramid Cuff from
to me.
Trash and Vaudeville (prices vary, 212-982-3590); That’s kind of lesbian.
Steve Madden Women’s Fiesstaa suede peep toe And I’ve had it for years.
Well, let’s all enjoy the irony of that. n

62 | curve
Crimes continued from page 53

The College of N.J., Kim five people. (Another bomb Lisa Craig: In 2003, a July Earlier that year, Simangele
Pearson, did a media was found by police and 4th celebration turned Nhlapo and 16-year-old
analysis of the number removed.) The most seri- dangerous for 35-year old Madoe Mafubedu were
of stories on the murders ously injured woman was Boston lesbian Lisa Craig raped and murdered. And
of Matthew Shepard vs. Memrie Wells-Cresswell, when she and her partner in 2006, teenager Zoliswa
Sakia Gunn. Pearson found whose brachial artery was Debbie Riley took their Nkonyanawas was clubbed
that in the two months severed by a four-inch nail daughters to the Boston and kicked to death by 20
after Shepard’s death, in her arm. Prior to the Piers to watch fireworks. men for being openly gay,
there were 507 stories bombing, Wells-Cresswell Craig complained when an while soccer player Eudy
on Shepard. In the two had told few people she intoxicated teenager uri- Sizakele Sigasa Simelane was also raped
months after Gunn’s death, was gay, but as the mayor nated in front of their kids. A and killed. According to
she found only eleven announced her as a victim pack of teens began yelling an interview with lesbian
about Gunn. Filmmaker of the bombing, essentially anti-gay slurs, following the Sizakele Sigasa and activist Zanele Muholi in
Chas Brack directed and outing her, she lost her job. family through the park to Salome Masooa: One of the Herald-Scotland, many
produced a documentary, The bomber, Eric Rudolph, taunt them. Later, at an ice the most distressing things white South Africans live
Dreams Deferred: The fled to the mountains. After cream truck, a teenage girl about South Africa is that openly and safely in lesbian
Sakia Gunn Film Project his arrest, he apologized to punched Craig, who fell, and despite having one of relationships, but “it is
in an effort to get her the victims of his Olympic the others joined in, kicking the world’s most liberal being both black and gay
story out. bombing but not those and punching her, and one constitutions—with full which is problematic. I
at the Otherside or of a rammed Craig’s head into LGBT equal rights and legal have recorded 50 rape
Memrie Wells-Cresswell: women’s health clinic in the sidewalk repeatedly, as same-sex marriage—it is cases, dating back 10
The memory of the Olympic Ala. he had also bombed. In their frightened daughters still a hotbed for crimes years, involving black
bomber still looms over his post-arrest statement screamed, “Don’t die, against lesbians, especially lesbians in townships.
the American psyche but he said, “The attack itself mommy.” At the hospital, in the black townships. In The men who perpetrate
little is mentioned of the was meant to send a pow- Craig had to survive two 2007, a Soweto lesbian such crimes see rape
fact that he first set his erful message of protest operations to stop the activist, Sizakele Sigasa, as curative and as an
targets on the lesbian- to Washington’s continued bleeding in her skull. A 15- 34, and her partner, Salome attempt to show women
owned Otherside Lounge in tolerance and support for year old girl, Anita Santiago, Masooa, were raped, their place in society.”
Atlanta. Owned by partners the homosexual political was charged with assault tortured and murdered. The Joint Working Group,
of 20 years, Beverly agenda.” Rudolph received and battery but not a hate Sigasa, 23, was shot six the umbrella organization
McMahon and Dana Ford, two life sentences, and at crime, prosecutors said they times and her hands and for South Africa’s gay and
the Otherside was a popular his arraignment, Wells- couldn’t prove she made feet were bound with her lesbian associations, said
lesbian club with a large Cresswell, spoke directly anti-gay slurs. She received own clothing; her partner the murders were part of a
African American popula- to him, saying, “I am here one year of probation and was shot in the back of the growing epidemic of hate
tion. On Feb. 21, 1997, a to tell you personally today had to pay Craig a mere $65 head. Both of their deaths crimes. [Diane Anderson-
bomb exploded, injuring that you didn’t kill me.” a month during that year. were execution style. Minshall]

curve marketplace

May 2010 | 63
Stand Up and Be Counted
Why the 2010 census affects our community. By Kathi Isserman

IN 2008, Maryland residents Morgan and Rae Meneses- Census Act, citizens are required by law to participate,
Sheets married in front of 140 of their friends and family, and and the Bureau is prohibited from sharing any individual’s
they made it “official” in September 2009 when they traveled specific information with other government agencies and
to Vermont to obtain a marriage license. As of February 24, private entities. Census data is necessary and invaluable as
Maryland recognizes same-sex marriages from out-of-state, it is used to apportion congressional seats and help allocate
but the federal government (through the Defense of Marriage approximately $400 billion in federal funds each year.
Act) still does not legally recognize their union. However, that Olson stresses how important having an accurate count
same federal government is now giving them a choice as to of same sex couples, both married and unmarried partners,
how to fill out the 2010 census forms. will be to the LGBT community. At all geographic levels,
For the first time in the 230-year history of the United LGBT organizations can rely on the information for funding,
States Census, same-sex couples can mark “husband and advocacy, service needs and representation. Community groups
wife” or “unmarried partners” regardless of their legal marital that provide services such as housing, health care or legal repre-
status. Unlike the past, the raw data will not be re-coded by sentation to the LGBT community can use this data to validate
changing either the sex of one partner, even if they choose grant applications, according to Olson. In 2012, the census will
For the husband and wife, or changing the status from married to publish a special report on same-sex couples for the first time,
first time unmarried, according to Tim Olson, Assistant Division Chief, based on the 2010 data.
in the… Field Division, U.S. Census Bureau. With all of the confusion surrounding the current status of
history of The Meneses-Sheets both agree that they will check the marriage equality for same-sex couples, both Morgan and Rae
“husband and wife” category. Morgan, who is Executive doubt that many in the LGBT community will understand
the United
Director of Equality Maryland, the state’s LGBT civil rights how to fill out what the Census Bureau considers the simplest
States organization, says, “Even though we do not have the equal form to date. Morgan believes, “Without marriage equality,
Census, legal protections, we consider ourselves—and our families and many of us are put in a position of swallowing our pride and
same-sex friends see us—as married.” marking ‘single’ on all kinds of forms. Because of these contra-
couples The census is not a sampling of the population, but an dictions, many LGBT people will not even know that they have
can mark actual count of citizens and non-citizens. Since the 1790 the option to mark what most closely matches them. We are
“husband just so used to not having that choice.”
and wife” or Rae, a speech pathologist, does admit that the country is
“unmarried moving in the right direction, and there is hope reflected in the
partners” census change. “I think it could be accurate…there is still a long
regardless way to go in terms of the LGBT community. As it takes our
country time to acknowledge differences. Perhaps in the 2020
of their
Census we’ll see a more accurate picture,” she states.
legal Toni Broaddus, Executive Director of Equality Federation,
marital the national alliance of state LGBT equality groups, is more
status. optimistic. “The census can help make LGBT people visible to
the public and to our government…because we will still have
the most authoritative demographic snapshot of the LGBT
community we have ever had. We will see same-sex couples of
all races and all ages living in every part of our country. We will
know how many are raising children. Same-sex couples should
report whether they are married or unmarried partners.
Transgender people should check off the sex they most closely
identify with, because the only options in 2010 will be male or
female. Multi-racial families should consider who they want to
list as “Person 1,” because some census statistics will categorize

families by the race of the first person on the form. The most
Need advice on important thing is that every LGBT American should stand
Census 2010? Go
to and
Morgan (left)
Rae up and be counted by completing and returning the form.” ■
for a first person
account from a For more information on the 2010 Census as it relates to the
census insider & a LGBT community, visit
how-to guide for
64 | curve
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