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Volume 20/Issue 20/2002
Rip & Marsha

by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain

Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com

Being Out Rocks is Natl. Coming Out Day Theme

Being Out Rocks is the theme for National Coming Out Project 2002, celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender musicians who have achieved their dreams while living open, honest lives. On National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11, a benefit CD featuring the songs of openly GLBT musicians and straight allies will be released. Cyndi Lauper, Queen, k.d. lang, Jade Esteban Estrada and Sarah McLachlan are among the artists who have donated songs to the album. All proceeds will go to the HRC Foundation. Look for it at your local music store, GLBT bookstore or order on-line at www.hrc.org/cornerstore.

"I hope that efforts such as this one will help teenagers feel that they can be themselves - and not worry that their sexual orientation may be made an obstacle to their success," said Grammy Award-winning artist Melissa Etheridge. Etheridge’s name appears on a poster celebrating the 2002 theme along with 18 other openly GLBT artists, including Ani DiFranco, Michael Stipe, the Indigo Girls, RuPaul, Rufus Wainwright and the Butchies. As the poster declares: You may feel like just a face in the crowd, but coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender makes you a star! Why Come Out?

If you are questioning whether you really need to come out to others, remember that it is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. It is also a powerful thing you can do for others, as public opinion shows that people who know someone gay are more likely to support our quest for equality. Coming out may be one step in your life but it contributes to a giant leap for all GLBT people, today and in the future.

Coming Out to Yourself: Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, has said that some of the most difficult and important decisions in the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people relate to coming out. That is because the only way we will stop the discrimination gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face is to reveal our true selves to our friends, families, neighbors - and elected officials who have the power to change the laws that affect our lives.

Coming out to yourself is the first part of your journey. If the idea of coming out is new to you, however, you may wonder what exactly does "coming out" mean? How do you know if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender? What are the facts about sexuality and gender identity? How can you tell if you are bisexual? What does transgender mean?

Coming out to Others: After coming out to yourself, a common next step is to come out to others. Some people find that testing the waters before coming out to friends and family is helpful. Others find that coming out on-line is a good way to begin talking to others. Some GLBT people also must navigate how to come out to their children.

Coming out Throughout Life: Even after coming out to yourself and the important people in your life, you will find that coming out is a lifelong journey that requires that you make frequent decisions about whether to come out to someone new. For example, GLBT people must make coming-out decisions in the workplace, the military, with a health care provider and in a place of worship. Coming out truly is a never-ending journey.

Human Rights Campaign’s National Coming Out Project promotes honesty and openness about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender on campus, in the workplace and in the community. It is an extension of HRC’s National Coming Out Day - founded by activists who believed that GLBT people needed to be visible and that equality could not be achieved from the closet. The goal of this project is to educate America about the lives of GLBT people, to dispel the myths and misconceptions and to help GLBT people live fuller lives. Today, the National Coming Out Project’s public education and outreach programs open a dialogue and urge GLBT people to come out and get involved.

October is Gay & Lesbian History Month

Gay and Lesbian History Month is October. In January of 1994, Rodney Wilson, a high school teacher in Missouri, was dismayed about the lack of gay and lesbian history from textbooks. He organized community leaders and teachers to educate the public about gay and lesbian historical figures and events. A nationwide grassroots network began to work on an education and celebration campaign that continues into today.

The month of October was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversaries of the first two gay and lesbian marches on Washington, October 1979, which drew over 200,000, and October 1987, which drew over 500,000 and had the first public viewing of the NAMES Project AIDS Quilt, as well as the fact that National Coming Out Day is on October 11th.

Since its beginnings, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and other national organizations have endorsed it. The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Oregon, as well as the mayors of Boston and Chicago, declared October National Lesbian and Gay History Month in 1995. And in July of the same year, the National Education Association passed an amendment supporting Gay and Lesbian History Month.

Gay and Lesbian History Month has served not only as a time to study and celebrate gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered history, but also to focus the public’s attention on GLBT issues, such as discrimination, marriage rights, AIDS, domestic partner benefits, and more. It also helps to provide mainstream America with a more positive view of GLBT people.

Anthony Kelley Gallery sets Oct. 5 Grand Opening During Art for Arts Sake

Artists Beau Stahl, Elizabeth Clement, Matthew Davey and Bill Santelli may not necessarily be household names within the New Orleans arts community. However, former Northwest Florida resident Anthony Kelley hopes to change that as he unveils the work of these and other painters and sculptors during the Grand Opening of the gallery bearing his name on Sat., Oct. 5 during Art for Arts Sake.

Located in a quaint nine-hundred square-foot space on Sophie Wright Place in Uptown New Orleans, Anthony Kelley Gallery will feature works by seventeen artists working in a variety of mediums and styles. The gallery will host a series of monthly lectures to generate interest in the works offered and will offer the space for community events for local non-profits.

Kelley moved to New Orleans from Pensacola this past April. While there, Anthony was the owner of SOHO Gallery, one of the most celebrated galleries ever to exist in Northwest Florida. His accomplishments while in that community were many. Kelley not only worked as a Board of Director for The Arts Council of Northwest Florida but he also played an active role with numerous highly visible groups as chair of several fund-raisers held annually, having raised over $800,000 for various groups including Hospice of Northwest Florida, Inc., Escambia AIDS Services and Education, The Wildlife Sanctuary, PETA, and others.

In 2000, Anthony was Keynote Speaker for World AIDS Day where he spoke.

In 1995 and 1998 Anthony was awarded the prestigious Ars Longa, Vita Brevis Award for Arts Supporter of the Year, given by the Arts Council.

In 2000, Secretary of State Katherine Harris appointed him to the Visual Arts Grant Review Panel for the Division of Cultural Affairs, State of Florida. His work with Hospice of Northwest Florida, Inc. was endless as he made several of their fund-raisers some of the most successful in the area.

In 1999, Anthony’s gallery in Pensacola was nominated a Top 100 Gallery of American Craft. The now defunct Independent Newsweekly named him the Number Two Philanthropist of the year.

Works in Anthony Kelley Gallery will range from large-scale abstract paintings by Elizabeth Clement, to contemporary landscapes by South Carolina-based artist Henry Mitchell to wall-relief clay sculpture by Connecticut-based Betty Gerich. Most of the artists in the gallery hold a Master’s in Fine Art and/or have received Statewide Grants for their work. Four of the painters have received the highly-coveted Fulbright Grant. A limited selection of fine craft will be offered. Other artists include Bill Santelli of Rochester, Matthew Davey, Bob Landstrom,, JoAnn Cox and Beijing artist Lui Liu.

"I’m extremely excited about the opportunity New Orleans holds for the artists in my gallery. The potential for developing an international following and the quality of galleries already in the area is what prompted my move here," Kelley says. "I am grateful to be among some of the most respected dealers in the U.S. and look forward to working with them as time goes on."

Anthony Kelley Gallery is located two doors down from DK Clay Studio at 1933 Sophie Wright Place. Anthony is open Tues. through Mon. from 10am until 6pm, and by appointment. For more information call 504.529.4443 or akno1965@yahoo.com.

Forum Issues Endorsements

The Forum For Equality is a political action committee and civil rights organization dedicated to the establishment of a society free from discrimination and to the support of good government. We believe that the fastest and most efficient way to achieve these goals is to constructively participate in the political process.

The Forum For Equality has endorsed the following candidates: Mary Landrieu - U.S. Senate; Dale Atkins - District Attorney Eddie Jordan - District Attorney; Sidney Cates - Court of Appeal, Division A; Ed Lombard - Court of Appeal, Division A; Leon Cannizzaro - Court of Appeal, Division B; Clara Toombs - Court of Appeal, Division H;

Herbert Cade - Civil District Court, Division K; Mavis Early - Civil District Court, Division K; Patrick Quinlan - Criminal District Court, Section B; Harry S. Tervalon - Criminal District Court, Section C; Dennis Waldron - Criminal District Court, Section F; Tim McElroy - Criminal District Court, Section J; Gerard J. Hansen - Magistrate;

Ernestine Gray - Juvenile Court, Section A; Sherry Watters - Juvenile Court, Section A; Larry Lagarde, Jr. - Juvenile Court, Section D; Gasper Schiro - Register of Conveyances; Marie Bookman - Municipal Court; and Lambert C. Boissiere, III - Constable 1st City Court.

The Forum For Equality has been in existence since 1989, issuing endorsements in all elections, participating in governmental reform efforts, and working to pass legislation at the local, state, and national level.

LACPAC Announces Oct. 5th Endorsements

The Louisiana Lesbian and Gay Political Action Caucus has issued its endorsements for the upcoming Oct. 5th election. The caucus is the state’s oldest and most effective organization dedicated to full civil equality for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. In addition to its lobbying activities, LAGPAC coordinates a huge political grassroots campaign for its endorsed candidates. A 2/3 majority of the voting membership is required to issue an endorsement.

District Attorney, Dual Endorsement of Dale Atkins and Franz Zibilich; Constable, First City Court Lambert Boissierre, III; Recorder of Mortgages Desiree Charbonnet; Register of Conveyances Gasper Schiro; Judge, Civil District Court, Division K Dual Endorsement of Herbert Cade and Mavis Early;

Judge, Criminal District Court, Section B Patrick Quinlan; Judge, Criminal District Court, Section C Harry S. Tervalon; Judge, Criminal District Court, Section F Dennis Waldron;

Judge, Criminal District Court, Section J Darryl Derbigny; Judge, Juvenile Court, Section A Ernestine Gray; Judge, Juvenile Court, Section D NO ENDORSEMENT; Judge, Municipal Court Marie Bookman;

Judge, 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, Division A Dual Endorsement of Sidney Cates and Edwin Lombard; Judge, 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, Division B Sonja Spears; Judge, 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, Section H NO ENDORSEMENT.

5th New Orleans Breast Cancer Walk set for Oct. 19

The American Cancer Society will host its annual walk to fight breast cancer on Sat., Oct. 19, 8:30am-12noon at the New Orleans Lakefront. "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" is a 5K walk raising awareness and funds during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

The money raised at the walk will benefit the people of the Greater New Orleans area by allowing the American Cancer Society to continue its efforts to fight breast cancer through research, education, advocacy and patient support programs.

This year in Louisiana an estimated 3,500 women will learn they have breast cancer and 700 will lose their lives to this disease.

In the last 9 years, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer has raised more than $102 million dollars nationwide ($26 million in 2001 alone). In its fifth year, New Orleans is one of more than 70 cities currently hosting this event. Over 3,000 walkers are expected to participate.

More info: 504.472.0500 or 800.ACS.2345.

Mega Circuit Party Wknd. Halloween XIX Is Here

New Orleans mega circuit party weekend, Halloween XIX is just around the corner, Thurs., Oct. 24-Sun., Oct. 27. Events benefit Project Lazarus.

Olympus Dinner and Silent Auction kicks off this year’s festivities at the new Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel, 739 Canal St., 7:30-11pm. Tommy Elias and his fabu band will keep revelers dancing. The silent auction is huge here with exciting vacations, hotel stays, restaurant gift certificates, artwork and many other items.

Guest admission $75, cocktail attire, open bar, valet parking.

Friday night brings revelers to Hades at the Contemporary Arts Center Warehouse, 900 Camp St., 10pm-3am. Revelers will be welcomed to Hades, God of the Dead and Ruler of the Underworld.

Entrance for the party will be on the St. Joseph St. side of the CAC. You’ll enter the party through a tunnel [the underworld] and then cross over a bridge to the main warehouse [the kingdom] guarded by Cerberus, Hades’ guard dog.

In the kingdom, you’ll find DJ Michael Tank from Houston spinning, with lighting by Ross Berger from Miami. Come meet, greet and dance the night away with friends from all over the country.

Guest admission $35, casual attire, open bar.

The big event is Saturday night’s Mythos costume bash at the Municipal Auditorium, 10pm-4am. Entrance to the party will be on the St. Ann St. side of the Auditorium. Armstrong Park and Congo Square will open for admission at 9:30pm and the Auditorium will open at 10pm.

Mythos, referring to Greek or Roman Mythology, will be incorporated into the decorations for this event, with large white architectural structures suspended above the entire dance floor as well as behind the stage. The floor of the Auditorium is obstacle-free and has been completely cleared of the ice hockey rink, so the dance floor will actually be as large as it was last year at Robin Street Wharf.

Featured DJ is Roland Belmares from Los Angeles with surprise spectacular entertainment.

The photo booth will be located on a stage outside in Congo Square, so groups can get their photos taken as soon as they arrive.

Paid parking is available in the Auditorium Parking lot.

Guest admission $60, costume required, open bar.

Fruit of the Gods closes out the weekend at the House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 12noon-4pm. The fabulous brunch menu includes Caesar salad, bar-b-que chicken, pasta primavera, chicken & Andouille sausage jambalaya, rolls and bread pudding.

Like last year, there will be a separate host entrance at the Parish Room entrance, for hosts and any guest that accompany them.

Lyle Henderson will return as emcee and two Gospel groups will provide entertainment on the main stage, with other entertainment in the Voodoo Garden outside.

Come ready to give thanks for the Fruit of the Gods and raise your glasses to toast the conclusion of another wonderful Halloween in New Orleans.

Guest admission $35, casual attire, bar: bloody marys, screwdrivers, mimosas, daiquiris and beer.

Corporate sponsors include Miller Lite, Oz, Skyy Vodka, United Airlines, Genre, Destination Management, Agouron Pharmaceuticals and Ambush. For VIP weekend passes, visit www.HalloweenNewOrleans.COM.

NO/AIDS Walk Raises $125,000 in New Orleans

The 13th annual NO/AIDS Walk raised $125,000 in New Orleans. Benefiting the NO/AIDS Task Force, funds generated provide critical services including HIV testing, a statewide HIV/AIDS hotline, community education and outreach, food pantry, meal delivery services, mental health and HIV counseling, support groups, housing coordination, case management and primary care for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Mega Team went to Gap, Inc. [Gap, Old Navy & Banana Republic] raising $9,598, with Top Team of 10 or Less Members going to Law Office of Deborah Degas/Napoleonville with $1,101 and second to Macy’s with $910.

Tulane took home the Chancellor’s Cup as top collegiate entry with $1,848 with second going to UNO with $1,169. Ursuline Academy again took home the Principal’s Cup as top high school with $1,662.05 followed by Brother Martin in second place with $175.

Top individual walker for the tenth year went to Rip Naquin-Delain raising $6,765 with 138 sponsors. Naquin-Delain has raised $88,812 since 1991 for the Walk.

Another individual, Bob Rivas raised $1,921 in three days.

Team NO/AIDS raised $4,714 in their challenge against NO/AIDS Task Force Board of Directors who claimed victory with $9,618.

The next big fund-raising event for NO/AIDS Task Force is Art Against AIDS on Fri., Dec. 6 at the Contemporary Arts Center.

For more information on the NO/AIDS Task Force call 504.821.2601.

Monica Storm Wins Miss Gay Louisiana America

New Orleans own talented beauty, Monica Storm won the Miss Gay Louisiana America crown in stiff competition out of a field of 11 entries. The pageant was staged at popular Sound Factory in Lafayette, LA. According to pageant promoter Rick Martinez, their was only a five point difference between Storm and 1st Alternate, Jayda Alexander, also of New Orleans. Both contestants will now compete in the upcoming Miss Gay America Pageant.

3rd Alternate went to Dominique DeLorean/New Orleans, 4th to Ayana Alexander/New Orleans and 4th to Maya McNeil/Lafayette. Category winners included Monica Storm in Male Interview, Dominique DeLorean and Monica Storm tied in Evening Gown, Jayda Alexander in Talent and Ayana Alexander in both Creative Costume and On-Stage Interview.

Other contestants included Fallon DeLorean/New Orleans, Erica Rodriguez/Baton Rouge, Jade Stevens/Lafayette, Lacey Rene’ Taylor/New Orleans, Amber Nicole Welch/New Orleans, and Brooke York/New Orleans.

The three day event brought reigning Miss Gay America Sabrina White and Miss Gay Louisiana America Asya Alexander to the stage. Other former Miss Gay Louisiana Americas joined the entertainment spectacle including Tiffany Alexander, Raquel Chevallier, Jessica Daniels and Taylor Stevens.

Judges were Charity Case/Texas, Charley Stewart/Louisiana, Antonio Edwards/Virginia, Nicole Du’Bois/Mississippi and John Beebe/Oklahoma.

Sasha Iman Starr Crowned Miss Gay Pride Louisiana

Out of a field of four contestants, Sasha Iman Starr was crowned Miss Gay Pride Louisiana. The pageant is hosted by the Krewe of Armeinius, one of the most popular krewe’s in New Orleans. First Alternate went to Tiara Dominique with Princesse Stephaney and Tatianna DeLorean rounding out the competition.

Starr and Dominique now qualify to participate in the Miss Gay Louisiana Pageant set for Alexandria later this year.

Pageant emcees Aunt Ida and Delta Louise were a scream with dazzling performances from Miss Gay Louisiana Mercedes Starr, Miss Gay Pride Louisiana Monica Storm, and Miss Gay Louisiana Pageant promoter Opal Masters.

And we can’t forget the showstopper performance by King and Queen Armeinius XXXIV, Charles and John.

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