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Volume 21/Issue 24/2003

Rip & Marsha



by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain 
Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com

Enjoy The Ambush Holiday Shopping Guide

The holidays are upon us again and this edition is the Ambush Holiday Shopping Guide. You'll find loads of advertisers throughout the magazine. You can choose gifts, flowers, candy, books, artwork, photography, adult gifts, and even cars. If that doesn't suit you, why not get a gift certificate from your favorite restaurant, hair salon, photography studio or spa? And don't forget all those hot night club t-shirts, caps, calendars and VIP cards or membership cards. They also make great gifts. You can find a complete list on autos, bars, bookstores, florists, galleries, hair salons, photography, restaurants, retail/sales, services and spas in the Expose Classifieds center section.

"Drums, Drags & Dragons" Fetes Ms. L (Lance V. Ford) as King Cake Queen XI

The 17th Official Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss will be led by King Cake Queen [KCQ] XI Ms. L (Lance V. Ford), who will reign as The Dragon Queen. The annual bead toss is hosted by Ambush’s own Krewe of Queenateenas, headquartered at 828 Bourbon St., and is set for Mardi Gras Day, Feb. 24, beginning promptly at 2pm.

King Cake Queen [KCQ] XI Ms. L (Lance V. Ford)

The new King Cake Queen is the Founder of the Official New Orleans Gay Easter Parade and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Gay Appreciation Awards.

Ms. L will celebrate the 2004 theme of Drums, Drags & Dragons and will be presented to society at the by invitation only KCQ XI Coronation Bash on Sun., Feb. 8, 2004.

Additionally, the King Cake Queen Royalty Club will be honored including: KCQ II Jewel of the Nile, Jay A. Loomis; KCQ III The Rainbow Queen, the late Smurf Murphy; KCQ IV Pearl of the Sea, Reba Douglas; KCQ V The She Devil, Elizabeth Simms; KCQ VI The Czarina, the late Christine Cheridon [Sonny Cheridon Cleveland]; KCQ VII Sex Goddess, Stephanie Williams; KCQ VIII The Peacock Queen, Phyllis Denmark; KCQ IX The Freedom Queen, Lisa Beaumann and KCQ X The Voodoo Queen, Teryl-Lynn Foxx.

It all began back in 1987 when a group of some 400 guests joined Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain for their first Official Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss at their then, new home, at 828 Bourbon St. The following year, guests were limited to 50, thus enabling revelers greater access and movement on the balcony. The group was dubbed the Krewe of Queenateenas that year by Jay Ann Loomis, a close friend of the Naquin-Delain’s, making them co-captains of the revelers. The balcony was converted and decorated into what is now known as Queenateenas Balcony Float #69.

In following years, the balcony has taken on its own themes of Carnival. As a joke in 1994, the co-captains chose a King Cake Queen to lead the festivities Carnival day. This was the beginning of a new tradition for the Queenateenas. Now, each year the co-captains select the individual who works the crowds the best for beads as the criteria for selecting the following year’s King Cake Queen. For more on the King Cake Queens, visit the Official Gay Mardi Gras site GayMardiGras.COM.

17th Art Against AIDS Benefits NO/AIDS Task Force Dec. 5

NO/AIDS Task Force presents the 17th Art Against AIDS Gala on Fri., Dec. 5, 8pm-midnight at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), 900 Camp St. in New Orleans. The event will celebrate "Holidays in Olde New Orleans," showcasing fantastic artwork from some of New Orleans finest artists, including a series of RAIN Vodka bottles designed and decorated by several well known celebrities, holiday ornaments created by area school children, food from fantastic local restaurants, and terrific entertainment. Come and get your holiday shopping done, all while helping a great cause!

With the help of local clubs and restaurants, Art Against AIDS will transform the inside of the CAC into an eclectic, elegant holiday soiree. Having the time of your life could help someone improve the quality of life of someone living with HIV disease.

Tickets are $50 and are available at Earthsavers ( Metairie , Mandeville, Uptown and French Quarter) or at NO/AIDS Task Force, 2601 Tulane Avenue. Tickets are also available at the door. For more information, contact: Todd French, Special Events Coordinator. 504.821.2601, ext. 218, or visit www.noaidstaskforce.org.

The NO/AIDS Task Force has been at the forefront of the battle against HIV disease since 1983. The agency offers a comprehensive array of compassionate and critical services such as prevention education, HIV antibody testing and counseling, community outreach, the Louisiana Statewide HIV Hotline, primary medical care, early intervention services, peer support, mental health therapy, support groups, case management, housing coordination, medication assistance, home delivered meals and a food bank program. The NO/AIDS Task Force serves thousands of individuals through prevention education, community outreach and direct services for individuals living with HIV disease each year. Since it’s inception, Art Against AIDS has raised over a million dollars to support the efforts of the NO/AIDS Task Force.

Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory features Patricia Neal & Joel Vig

The Tennessee Willliams/New Orleans Literary Festival and French Quarter Festivals, Inc. present a staged reading of Truman Capote’s beloved story, A Christmas Memory, Tues., Dec. 9 and Wed., Dec. 10 at Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, 616 St. Peter St., New Orleans

Academy Award-winner Patricia Neal and stage veteran Joel Vig (currently appearing on Broadway in Hairspray) will bring to life Capote’s touching tale of the special relationship he developed with Sook, an aging spinster cousin, while growing up in the rural South during the Depression. This celebrated stage adaptation of Capote’s work was originally presented as an Emmy-winning television movie in 1966.

One reviewer noted, "It’s difficult to define just how this simple, nostalgic story works so well. Like a bungee jumper, Capote flirts with disaster, but by keeping just enough distance between himself and his material he prevents the story from falling into sentimentality. The result is extraordinarily moving."

Patricia Neal and Joel Vig, longtime friends, have performed together in the past. Both were in attendance at the 2002 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. They performed A Christmas Memory previously at the Actor’s Studio in New York and as a benefit for the Helen Hayes Theatre in Nyack, New York, among other venues. Ms. Neal also gave a memorable performance in the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, based on another of Capote’s most cherished works.

Curtain time is 7pm. There will be a patron party preceding the Dec. 9 performance from 5:30 -6:45pm. Patron tickets are $50 (includes reading on Dec. 9). Tickets for the readings only on Dec. 9 and 10 are $25. Tickets are available via www.ticketweb.com. For more information, call 504.581.1144.

MCC of Baton Rouge Celebrates 20th on Dec. 6

Metropolitan Community Church of Baton Rouge will celebrate its 20th anniversary with more than a week of activities beginning Dec. 6. "The celebrations are geared around the theme of ‘homecoming,’ and we hope to provide plenty of opportunities for old friends and new ones to feel they’ve truly found a home at MCC of Baton Rouge," Rev. Stephen Moore, the church’s pastor said.

The celebrations kick off with a dressy-casual homecoming dinner at 7pm Dec. 6 in the Magnolia Room of the LSU Union. That date also has been proclaimed as Metropolitan Community Church Day in East Baton Rouge Parish by Mayor-President Bobby Simpson. The dinner will provide a photographic walk through the church’s history, according to celebration organizers, who say hundreds of photos will be on display. In addition, friends from the community and as far away as Oregon are planning to be here for the festivities. Members of the community are welcome to join in the dinner celebration.

Tickets ($20 each in advance for a holiday buffet) are available through the church office or a variety of community businesses including Avalon Day Spa, Creative Teaching Tools, Four Seasons Flowers & Gifts, George’s Place, Hibiscus Bookstore and Sullivan’s Florist.

Other events include special guest preachers for Sunday services on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. Those services will begin at 11am at the church, 660 N. Foster Drive and will feature former pastor Rev. Don Clarke on Dec. 14 and former pastor Rev. Nancy Horvath-Zurn on Dec. 14. A homecoming picnic/potluck at the church also will follow the Dec. 7 service, and a pastor’s Christmas tea and open house will be held after the service on Dec. 14. The public also is invited to join in the picnic at no charge. For more information, phone the church office at 225.248.0404 or phone 225.296.5251 or e-mail tamerrill@cox.net.

The Drawings of J.B. Harter to be Unveiled Dec. 17

FAB, Faubourg Marigny Art & Books, 600 Frenchmen St., salutes the publication of The Drawings of J.B. Harter published by the Leslie - Lohman Gay Art Foundation (LLGAF) in conjunction with the J.B. Harter Charitable Trust. This homoerotic art book will be unveiled for members of the New Orleans community at special events to be held in mid December.

The first local showing of the book is scheduled on Wed., Dec. 17 from 2-4pm at FAB, and later that evening from 6-8pm at The Country Club, 634 Louisa Street. Those who may have known Burt Harter as a neighbor, friend, acquaintance or associate are particularly invited to join others who admire his work and come pay tribute and view the poignant realization of his goal of publishing a complete record of art he created over the years in the Big Easy.

He died in 2002 as he was finalizing this book which now arrives as a fitting remembrance and testament to his development as an enthusiastic and inspired illustrator of the nude male figure from his special gay sensibility. His interpretation of male nudes chronicles an important time and place in the history of gay artists. His unique approach has been described as colorful, playful, appealing, amusing and ironic.

The book includes 64 full color plates with a text written by Burt Harter and edited by Charles Leslie, one of the founders of the Leslie - Lohman Gay Art Foundation located in the SoHo art district of Manhattan. Harter’s first book, Encounters with a Male Nude, and a series of notecards featuring some of his paintings are also available at FAB and the upcoming events.

Stonewall Knights Holiday Toy-Drive Rally Set

Once again, this holiday season, the Stonewall Knights, located in Southern Florida, will collect and donate toys to be given to underprivileged children for the holidays. This year, the Knights will divide the toys between two local charities. The first is Joe DiMaggio’s "Christmas Toys in the Sun Run" and the other is "G.L.O.W.", Gays and Lesbians Offering Warmth. This toy drive is a part of The Stonewall Knights Toy-Run Rally weekend on Dec. 6 and 7.

On Sat., Dec. 6, in Ft. Lauderdale, the Knights will enjoy a club barbeque, motorcycle rides, and a Club dinner at Costello’s Restaurant. Saturday evening the Knights will make the rounds to collect the toys which have been donated by the generous patrons at Java Boys, Georgie’s Alibi, The Jackhammer Bar and Bill’s Filling Station. Please help the Stonewall Knights with your donation of new unwrapped toys at these fine businesses.

On Sun., Dec. 7, The Stonewall Knights will take part in the 16th Annual Christmas Toys in the Sun Run. This is the world’s largest motorcycle Toy-Run. Over 35,000 motorcyclists are expected to ride in a procession from Pompano Race Track at Pompano Beach, FL to Markham Park in west Sunrise, FL. This year the Toy-Run organizers expect to collect 40,000 toys and hope to raise close to $500,000.00 for Joe DiMaggio’s Childrens Hospital. The Knights will rendezvous early Sunday morning at Java Boys Coffee Shop in Wilton Manors, prior to an 8:30 departure for the Pompano starting point. The Knights gladly invite all gay motorcyclists who wish to join them for this worthy event. The entry fee for the Toy-Run is ten dollars and one new unwrapped toy.

The Stonewall Knights Motorcycle Group is Florida’s club for Gay male motorcyclists. The club’s members enjoy rides on most weekends, social get-togethers, special events and weekend rallies. In the recent past The Knights have enjoyed weekend rallies at The Parliament House in Orlando and The Atlantic Shores Resort in Key West. Earlier this month, eight Knights rode as motorcycle escorts for a two day bicycle charity ride, Bike It & B.E.A.R. It for AIDS from Miami to Key West.

Gay Men’s Health Crisis Calls for Increased Resources to Combat Rise of Syphilis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that shows a rise in syphilis rates in the United States among men, particularly men who have sex with men (MSM), for the second year in a row since 2000 (this contrasts with a declining syphilis rate each year from 1990-2000). 

This increase is of great concern to Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), as this resurgence in syphilis rates, particularly when seen in the context of previous reports on co-infection with HIV, offers more evidence that HIV transmission is continuing to rise as well.   The new CDC data in this report underscores the acute need for additional research to explore the factors that have led to this resurgence in syphilis.  It has been the experience of GMHC and other healthcare providers in New York City that drug use-and crystal methamphetamine, in particular-seems to play a key role in promoting syphilis among urban white men who have sex with men.  Additional research is also needed around the factors that are driving the disproportionate prevalence of syphilis infections among communities of color.  

There is some good news in the CDC’s reports: specifically targeted government efforts, in 2000, to reduce syphilis among women and African-Americans appear to have been moderately successful.  The lessons of this success are clear to us.  When the government strategically targets resources at localities hardest hit by an epidemic, knowledge about the disease increases, and more people come forward for testing, diagnosis and treatment.  

"It is imperative that the CDC empower local community based organizations to stem the tide of new syphilis and HIV infections," according to Ana Oliveira, Executive Director of GMHC.  "These groups know the specific realities of their communities and the best way of reaching at risk individuals with educational and other prevention efforts.  In order to be effective, prevention efforts need to be tailored to the specific populations at risk, particularly men who have sex with men and people of color.  It is also important to allow frank discussions of sexual behavior and drug use in language that has been proven most appropriate to reach communities that are at risk."  

The federal, state and city government must address the resurgent rates of syphilis and HIV in our communities through the immediate influx of new resources for STD/HIV screening, testing, mental health and drug treatment services, and community health care in the areas hardest hit by these new infections.  To succeed, we also need a sustained and coordinated plan to fight HIV and STD transmission in our communities, both in New York City and around the country.

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS.  Their mission is to reduce the spread of HIV disease, help people with HIV maintain and improve their health and independence, and keep the prevention, treatment and cure of HIV an urgent national and local priority.

24 hour Gay TV Network to Launches on Dec. 15

AEU Media Group, parent company of PNN - PrideNation Network, Palm Springs, CA, announced the company has signed a three year contract with MeTV Networks, Inc. for a 24 hour gay TV network. Scheduled to launch on Dec. 15, this new gay channel will provide entertainment programming for the GLBT community including documentaries, celebrity interviews, cooking shows, travel series, movies and more.

"This is not just a gay TV channel but a revolutionary high-tech entertainment package", said Corey White, Program Director for PNN. "Revolutionary because we are making our television programming accessible through broadband technology which allows viewers to watch wirelessly on any TV in their home, on their PDA, on cell phones and full-screen on their computers." PrideNation has been providing GLBT video content to mainstream television networks for years. They have been compiling many hours of video programming which took over four years of shooting and production.

This past summer, PNN was approached by MeTV with a proposal for an all-gay channel on their new distribution network. MeTV is a media distribution company that is using technology to redefine worldwide entertainment distribution and significantly lower distribution costs. MeTV combines Windows Media technologies and broadband networks (in place of satellite or open air broadcasting) to deliver live television broadcasts to consumers on their televisions.

How does it work? Subscribers will pay $5.95 per month for an entertainment package like no other. They receive unlimited access to PNN’s 24 hour gay tv channel, pay per view channel, 24 hour gay radio channel, plus access to PNN’s cell phone, PDA and wireless TV & radio programming. Subscribers will also receive PNN’s monthly DVD magazine, interactive game room, membership to PNN’s national gay info line, free e-mail services and much more.

"This is a multimedia entertainment package that subscribers can take anywhere, use anytime and utilize various resources & tools for the ultimate gay media experience", said PrideNation President Allen Edwards. "Here’s an example of how to get the most out of this entertainment package. At home, you hook up the wireless transmitter to your computer and watch PNN on any TV in your house. Say you’re going out of town, you can download radio or TV programming on your PDA or iTunes for that road trip or on the plane. When visiting a city, you can call the 24 hour PrideNation Gay INFO-line for the best gay restaurants, resorts, retail and more. For late night, PrideNation has hundreds of Pay-Per-View adult movies that you can watch full-screen on your computer or television. This is a suite of services that bring out the techno-geek in all of us! "

Beginning in mid December, the new PNN gay network will rotate 24 hour broadcast programming with automated prescheduling. "For the radio station, we’ve set a infrastructure that is efficient, streamlined and cost-effective", said White. "We just took this formula and implemented it to the new television network. Tasks that (ten years ago) took a staff of nine can now be done with one person". Even though PNN Radio streams live 24 hours a day, this programming is automated in so many ways. The same will hold true with the new gay television network.

The PrideNation Network is a broadcast company with offices and studios in Palm Springs, California. The on-line radio station started in 1998 and produces about 70,000 listening hours a month. Founded in 1988, MeTV Network is based in Waterford, CT with offices in Los Angeles. You can get more information about PNN Radio and TV on-line at www.pridenation.com or www.gbox.tv.

Montreal To Hold Separate Gay Games

Montreal, Quebec is severing all ties with the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) and will mount its own games in 2006, Mark Tewksbury, the co-president of Montreal 2006 announced. The city had been chosen by the FGG to host the ’06 games but in recent weeks has been at odds with the international body, based in San Francisco, over control of the event. Over the weekend, emergency negotiations to patch up the differences ended with the talks breaking down and the Montreal organizing committee walking out.

Earlier today (Nov. 10), the FGG gave the Montreal officials until Wednesday afternoon to toe the line or be removed as host of the 2006 games.

"10 November 2003 will remain for me, and for thousands of gay and lesbian athletes around the world, a day of mourning," said Tewksbury, an Olympic gold medalist, accusing the FGG of failing to bargain in good faith. "Montreal’s opportunity to bring forward the ideals of participation, inclusion and personal best as put forward by Tom Waddell have just been crushed by the members of the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) who have, after two years of negotiations, rejected Montreal’s final offer to present the Games," said Mark Tewksbury. "We realize now that it is time to break with the past and with an organization that ultimately represents little more than itself, with only 21 of the 1000 sports teams around the world being FGG members," said Tewsbury in a statement.

"Our event will take place without the FGG" declared Tewksbury. "Our vision remains the same.  We will offer the best sport games the gay and lesbian athletes of the world have ever seen." 

The announcement leaves the FGG with two major crises.  First, it must find a new host city for the 2006 games.  Among the possibilities that have been mentioned is Atlanta.  Second, it must also contend with two sets of games in 2006, likely to be the greater problem as it forces teams around the world to decide which they will support. --©365Gay.com® 2003

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