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Twelve years ago I left Kenosha and headed south towards the Kansas City area. I looked at a lot of colleges but not a one in Wisconsin. I wanted something different, something new, something that would force me out of my comfort zone. Missouri was that place.

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It’s funny how naïve you are when you dive into the music business. I spent years under the impression that if I played music then people would listen. I remember begging venues to let me perform there. This went on for years. I had this vision that if I recorded an album and then sat in a coffeehouse with my guitar then people would be drawn in by the music, start a conversation, build a connection and I’d be well on my way to success. That’s never how it goes down.

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Ohio is not an easy place to be gay, but there are a lot of people working to change that. In both Toledo and Cleveland I was hosted by progressive minded, LGBT friendly churches. As someone who has been very scarred by the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church and the Christian religion as a whole, I tend to proceed with caution. What I found was that both the Village Church in Toledo and the Pilgrim UCC Church in Cleveland were on the forefront of not only LGBT rights but also social justice as a whole.

New York City, Place »

Fed up with the faltering same-sex party scene and uncertain career paths, two friends – Tony Fornabaio and Brandon Voss – recently set out to change that dismal after-dark future. Armed with nothing more than a dream and prayer, the duo formed FV Events in 2009 with the solitary goal of resurrecting the long dead and breathing new life into the city that put so many once-lauded queer clubs on the map.

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Oil City, PA, is an extremely rural town in between Erie and Pittsburgh. The site of the first oil boom in America there was quickly a rush of people and money in search of more oil, then a depression as the oil ran out and the people and money left. It breaks my heart to say this, but what’s left is a pretty typical Pennsylvania town, where its best days as a city are the thing of the past.

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The rate at which Sioux Falls is growing is making its statewide political clout ever more significant. That works to the LGBT community’s advantage. The time is rapidly approaching when major statewide issues may well be determined by the Sioux Falls progressive voting bloc. This is unnerving to other areas of the state but they will have to get used to it. The prospects for moving our agenda forward, although it will still be slow, are brightening as time goes on. We must not only have the patience and perseverance to follow it through but the ability to carefully maneuver through the minefield that goes with it.

Friday Staff Survey, Place »

What are the top 2 things that keep you in the city you live in? Friends, family, job, weather? If you aren’t happy in your city, and are looking to move to another city, what’s the number one requirement for you to find happiness in your new city?

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Homo/Sonic: Natty Boom Birthday Explosion

Not Your Average Prom Queen, Place »

Whether or not we want to admit it, a good percentage of us city-lovin-car-free-care-free city gays will eventually end up in the burbs like everyone else. We’ll desire pets, kids, cars and home-ownership. We’ll be sick of riding the bus, or paying too much for groceries, or iffy heat in our noisy apartments. We’ll stop thinking of gay-and-suburbs the same way many of us think of gay-and-conservative or gay-and-Catholic. We’ll do like the breeders do.

The question is not whether it will happen to some of us, the question is: Will we survive?

Global Gaze, Place »

For better or worse (usually worse) the issue of public and/or shared bathrooms seems to come up a lot in the discourse of gay rights and culture. The idea that straight military personnel would have to (gasp!) shower and share a restroom with their openly queer colleagues was an argument that came up repeatedly during the debate over the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. And who can forget the much-publicized potty-related shenanigans of figures as varied as George Michael and Senator Larry Craig? Even when not robed in sensationalism and scandal, however, the issues surrounding shared spaces as simultaneously intimate and public as restrooms and sexuality rarely fail to spark controversy.

The latest site of this uproar is Brazil. A few of the country’s extensive networks of samba schools, popular clubs or academies dedicated to teaching and performing the African-Brazilian dance, have recently instituted a policy setting aside bathrooms expressly for use by homosexuals and transvestites. The policy has incited protests and outcry on both sides of the issue.