The Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 2, September 14, 1994


Dublin Core


The Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 2, September 14, 1994

Alternative Title

Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 2


Gay culture--United States


The second issue of The Watermark was published on September 14, 1994, and focused on a wider spectrum of LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and others) topics. Kicking off the news was the cover article covering the "Gayby Boom," which was the push for LGBTQ+ members to have children. Continuing a more family-focused set of articles was an article covering the harassment of gay teens at Apopka High School, a look at the LGBTQ+ community housing market, and a new section of restaurant reviews. This issue also included a larger selection of national news stories, including Oregon’s Anti-Gay initiative, Seattle’s Domestic Partnership Registration, North Carolina’s attempt to keep records of unmarried couples, and the U.S. Navy’s reinstatement of a gay sailor are among the highlights. Notably missing are articles covering the nightlife of the area, through advertisements are still present. As the publication ages and spreads, nightlife becomes one of its primary sections so seeing an early issue without demonstrates the evolving nature of the publication during its early years.

Since 1994, The Watermark has been the cornerstone source of LGBTQ+ centered news for the Central Florida region. Founded by Tom Dyer in Orlando, the publication began generating bi-weekly issues beginning August 31, 1994. Since then, The Watermark has consistently published newspaper-style issues every other Thursday. Gaining traction, the publication expanded in 1995 to include Tampa and, in 1997, The Watermark became a permanent piece of LGBTQ+ culture when the publication initiated the first large-scale Gay Days Weekend event, the Beach Ball at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. Before 1999, the publication printed 20,000 copies every week, distributing them to over 500 locations between its two major cities. Following 1999, the publication launched shifting to an online publication style. In 2016, Rick Claggett purchased The Watermark.


Barber, Keith
Brenner, Harmony
Crescitelli, James A.
De Mattels, Stephen
Dyer, Tom
Maines, Ted
Newman, Lesléa
O'Lay, Lola
Sloan, Rosanne
Toscas, Dimitri


Original 24-page newspaper: The Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 2, September 14, 1994: Publications Collection, GLBT History Museum of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida.


Date Created

ca. 1994-09-14

Date Copyrighted


Date Issued


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original 24-page newspaper: The Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 2, September 14, 1994.

Is Part Of

The Watermark Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




24-page newspaper






Orlando, Florida
Apopka High School, Apopka, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Salem, Oregon
Seattle, Washington
Carrboro, North Carolina
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Des Moines, Iowa
Tallahassee, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
San Francisco, California

Accrual Method



History Teacher


Originally published by Watermark Media.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Watermark Publishing Group and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.


Smith, Robert
Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

External Reference

"About/Contact.", accessed July 11, 2016.


Gay teens are threatened, abused...often ignored.
Vassel JBBliil
Each time Brandon Ethridge returned to " school jt bet^meA-#tat hipi ijjore ^ afraid of the next. What started off as an occa- .. sionai occurrence became a daily thing. A ra-
School and certain students were not w illing to j
let if go, he said. 1
“Ever since seventh grade, minors had been 1 spread and kids started saying things and occa* sionally doing things like flicking me on die ears. But it was my last year at Apopka that things got really bad,’* said Ethridge, 18.
“My close friends knew I was gay, but 1 had tried to keep it secret otherwise. But people I didn't even know would grab me in die halls and punch me. It got so I didn't want to go back/’ he added.
fared, 17, is in the process of studying for his G.E.D. (General Education Diploma) after dropping out last semester from Dr, Phillips >' High School Jared said he was daily taunted jf for being gay and, because of his perception that the administration was both uncaring and able to do little to help him, he never pursued complaints and insteadchose to leave/
Michael (not his real name), a 16-year-old student at Lyman Hign School in Longwood, said he witnessed a fellow student being repeat- I edly harassed because of his “feminine” de- ||g meaner. Although he never witnessed any . physical abuse, he said tie graduating senior was regularly taunted by being called a “child molester”, “germ” and “fag”.
“It happened a lot and people didn't talk to him. I didn't talk to him. I felt very sorry for Mm hut I never said anything,” Michael said.
Several educators interviewed said harassment of kids by other kids is, unfortunately, a regular part of school life. And, in a reflection of the general society, kids will use sexual ori-
Continued Page 5
More and More, Lesbians Are Choosing To Be Mothers
by Harmony Brenner
Janice and Marcia.
Janice is 36 years old and seven months pregnant. She works as a healthcare manager at a local medical facility. She explained her initial reaction when she discovered she was carrying a child: “I got pregnant on the first try, which is extremely unusual. We were afraid it was too easy.. .like if something comes too easy, it must not be true or important. But this experience gets more significant every day^ Janice’" pirtne : wed zr •
vant, nods in agreement.
This may be a common reaction among expecting couples, but Janice’s situation is unusual. She and her partner Marcia are among the increasing numbers of lesbians who are choosing to be mothers. Like many lesbian couples, Janice and Marcia chose to conceive by means of artificial insemination. Marcia will fully participate in the birth and co-parenting of their unborn baby girl, whom they have decided to name “Taylor”.
To initiate the process of conception, a nurse practitioner at a local birthing center referred Janice and Marcia to The Sperm Bank of California, in Oakland. Reflecting recent trends, this sperm bank states in their marketing literature: “The donor insemination program at our center is for all women, regardless of race, marital status or sexual orientation. Lesbians, single women and women with in-
fertile partners are encouraged to participate.” But Marcia said that at first, “it was hard to find a place to serve lesbians.”
Janice and Marcia’s total cost for the donor insemination process was $276.00, including specimen, shipping, and evaluation fees. This cost was unusually low, however, because Janice conceived after the first insemination.
They first considered asking a friend to donate, but both
women ar* satisfied with their choice to use
dbhbr. Both legally and emotionally, anonymous donors »an make the process less complicated. Taylor’s donor wants no contact with the child until she reaches 18.
Anonymous donors also offer more flexibility and choice. For instance, since Marcia is a redhead with fair complexion, and Janice is brunette, they attempted to blend physical characteristics when choosing a donor.
Awkwardly, Janice will be their daughters only legal parent. Thus far, only two states have allowed lesbian partners to legally adopt their partner’s biological child(ren). Janice and Marcia have no desire to test Florida law in that regard. Instead, they are presently using a local attorney to draft several legal documents which evidence Marcia’s parenting rights in the event Janice dies or becomes incapacitated. They have also drafted detailed wills reflecting their wishes and the nature of their relationship. To avoid
Continued Page 4
WATERMARK / September 14,1994 2
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Election Results
Orange County Chairman
Linda Chapin Eton Pignone Tom Dorman
wmii»s: 22,W®m
Orange County Deborah Ble
Bruce Nants
Roger McDonald Bob Wattles
2BABS (33%)
Stele House, District 35, Democrat
Susan Pickman %53
Dan Spoone lt30.
Four of five candidates who have openly embraced the gay community made strong showings in the primary races held September 8. Of the five candidates, three won positions in run-off elections to be held November 8, including Orange County Chairman candidate Fran Pignone. One candidate - Susan Pickman - won her election outright.
State House Democratic candidate Pickman won her District 35 race handily against Dan Spoone and will face Republican Bob Brooks in the November 8 election.
Of the five candidates, only Insurance Commissioner candidate Karen Gievers failed to gamer enough votes to claim a spot in the run-off elections.
Orange County Judge Group 5 candidate Deborah Bleckman surprised many political observers by her strong showing in a primary race against George Winslow, Jr. and Bruce Nants. Blechman finished first in the race with 42 percent of the vote, compared to 41 percent for Winslow and 17 percent for Nants. Blechman will face Winslow in the Nov. 8 run-off. (In these primary races, if no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote or more, the top two finishers compete in a runoff election.)
Roger McDonald, candidate for 9th Circuit Court Judge, Group 28, also qualified for the run-off election. His 34 percent placed him above competitors Dan Mathews (32 percent) and Bob Wattles (33 percent).
In the Orange County Chairman race, the most hotly-contested local match-up in this
election, Orange County Commissioner Fran Pignone garnered 31 percent of the vote in an effort to unseat incumbent Linda Chapin. Chapin finished first in the primary with 42 percent, while Republican Tom Dorman finished a close third to Pignone, collecting 27 percent. Dorman is expected to support Pignone in the run-off election.
According to Pignone campaign manager Linda Stewart, Pignone’s chances in the November 8 election are good, although she concedes there is a lot of work to be done.
“We are going to concentrate on areas where we didn’t do quite as well as we should have,” Stewart said. This includes heavily African-American areas such as Washington Shores, Eatonville, Apopka, and Azalea Park, as well as Chapin strong-holds in Winter Park and Maitland.
“Of course we won’t ignore the areas where Fran did well: the working class neighborhoods all across Orange County,” Stewart said.
While Stewart recognized the contribution the gay and lesbian community made to Pignone’s success, she said that without adequate statistics, it would be impossible to discern what impact the gay and lesbian vote had on the outcome of the election.
Strangely perhaps, the Orlando Sentinel stated in a September 10 article that a strong gay and lesbian voting block in east Orange County helped Pignone. The article, however, did not list which communities would be included in that block.

The ACLU of Central Florida will voluntarily dismiss its action for declaratory judgment in a lawsuit it filed challenging the constitutionality of a Florida Statute which prohibits same-sex marriages.
The suit was filed in July 1993 on behalf of two Central Florida women, Shauna Underwood and Deina Davis, who were denied a marriage license by an Orange County Clerk. Although the case had been recently argued before Orange County Circuit Judge James Hauser, a number of interested groups agreed that voluntary dismissal was an appropriate strategy at this time.
ACLU Cooperating attorney Peter Warren Kenny, who represents the two women says, “We want to coordinate our efforts with theirs as much as we can. After recent discussions with the Florida and national ACLU offices and the LAMBDA Legal Education and Defense Fund, we decided that our efforts in Florida were duplicating the same-sex marriage suit brought by LAMBDA in Hawaii several years ago. We expect a final decision in that lawsuit long before we could get a final decision in Florida.”
Marti Mackenzie, Chairman of the Central Florida ACLU says, “We intend to follow developments in the Hawaii suit closely. Since the lawsuit was dismissed voluntarily, it can be refiled whenever we choose to do so. The ACLU will continue to support the right of any two consenting adults to marry and have the protection and
benefits that a legal marriage can guarantee.”
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A Broward County prosecutor accused of shouting anti-gay slurs and trashing a gay bar with a group of fellow rugby players won’t be tried on disorderly conduct or hate-crime charges. Mark McHugh, a felony division supervisor in Broward’s state attorney’s office, and three other men were arrested after about a dozen men wearing women’s clothing raided the Paradise Club in Boca Raton on June 17.
There is insufficient evidence to pursue any charges against McHugh, Palm Beach County Assistant State Attorney Moira Lasch concluded Wednesday in a nine-page report. Christopher Hynes will be charged with disorderly conduct, and Edward Murphy faces a charge of resisting arrest without violence. Both charges are misdemeanors. Charges were dropped against a fourth man.
Lasch, the losing prosecutor in the William Kennedy Smith case, said in a report she could not prove “that any one individual was targeted as a victim because of his sexual orientation.” But the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Association of South Florida believes the state should pursue the charges. “If during the course of a disorderly conduct they say things that evidence prejudice, that’s the definition of a hate crime,” said Mark Leban, a Miami attorney and board member for the 60-member group.
A dozen men were accused of jumping on tables, shouting anti-gay insults, smashing picture frames and pulling down plants at the bar. They went bar-hopping after finishing their rugby club’s annual cross-dressing golf tournament. Hynes was identified as wearing a black cocktail dress with spaghetti straps. Bartenders and a patron described the incident as “a mob scene”.
The Parliament House and the Full Moon Saloon sit contiguously on N. Orange
Blossom Trail, near Colonial Drive. Those visiting the adjoining properties this month noticed a new feature; a wire fence, ostensibly separating the two gay entertainment complexes. Although no official explanation has been offered, few seemed willing to accept the barrier as a logical division between separately owned and managed properties. Many patrons were outraged, calling the action childish and further evidence of divisiveness within the gay community.
When contacted by Watermark, representatives of both the Parliament House and the Full Moon Saloon stated that the fence was constructed in compliance with a legal settlement agreement between the establishments. Both parties also indicated that the settlement restricted them from discussing the nature of the disagreement or the terms of the settlement.
The wire fence constructed between the Parliament House and the Full Moon Saloon has not yet been closed off.
WATERMARK / September 14,1994 4
From Page 1
unnecessary complications, Taylor will use Janice’s surname.
Perhaps surprisingly, Janice is concerned about how their gay friends will react to Taylor. “Having a child will drastically change our lives. We just won’t be able to get up and go like we used to. Also, typically in the gay community, kids aren’t around or their parents share custody. There aren’t many women in our church (Joy MCC) with babies. I wouldn’t be surprised if we lose some friends.”
Marcia is more optimistic. “I don’t worry about the gay community, because if anybody should be supportive it’s them. As gay people, we know what being different is like.”
Janice and Marcia are also concerned about Taylor’s acceptance in school. “Children can be cruel,” observes Janice. To prepare her, they plan to involve Taylor in counseling before she attends classes. “We want to be totally honest, and counseling will help us do that. We want her to know that we love her and God loves her,” Marcia explained.
Both Janice and Marcia’s families are pleased about their pregnancy. “They are thrilled.. .ecstatic, really,” Marcia said, and Janice added, “They started sending baby gifts when I reached my first trimester.”
Joy MCC, their church, has also shared their happiness, holding a baby shower for them. Both have received gifts and showers at work, as well.
Lynn, Cathy and Wayne.
Donor insemination via sperm bank is only one method for lesbian couples to get pregnant. Lynn and Cathy decided to ask their close friend Wayne to father their child.
Wayne is a 40 year old gay male, recently separated from a longterm relationship. Lynn is 36 and three months pregnant. They met at a work-related seminar. “Lynn was wearing a shirt with a pink triangle on it,” Wayne smiled. “It’s always been a dream to have a baby. It’s something that’s missing in my life.” Lynn also shared this dream, and after six months of discussion, Lynn, Cathy and Wayne decided to try to conceive.
Wayne feels his desire to father a child contributed to the end of his relationship. “He didn’t want a child. This dream of mine made him look at his own issues,” Wayne explained. His ex-partner was also concerned that the child’s legal rights would supercede his own.
Lynn and Cathy discussed parenting for more than two years. Ultimately, they agreed to share in a mutual parenting relationship and iron out the issue of roles as they went along. But first they had to decide how to father the child. They originally planned to use an anonymous donor, but changed their minds. “My father died when I was very young,” Lynn explained, “and I really missed having that connection.” They also considered using a straight male friend as donor, but Wayne’s circumstances seemed ideal.
Wayne and Lynn inseminated at home without medical assistance. “At first we tried using a turkey baster. Then we used a medical syringe,” Lynn said. Ultimately they were successful by inseminating one day before ovulation, the day of ovulation, and the day after ovulation. It took 19 attempts.
By mutual agreement, Lynn and Cathy will assume custody and support responsibilities and Wayne will have liberal visitation. With the assistance of an attorney, they drafted a co-parenting contract that specified, among other things, that Wayne would never seek custody of the child and Lynn

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would never seek child support from Wayne. Wayne will be listed as father on the baby,’s birth certificate.
Wayne initially hoped that baby would be a girl, but as the pregnancy evolved, he states, “gender preference was no longer an issue.” Lynn however, is hoping for a girl, feeling this would be easier since the child will be living primarily with two women. Cathy hopes for a boy, but has some fears that a boy may be rejected by their lesbian friends. “After a boy reaches a certain age, lesbians may restrict his presence at their events.” A recent sonogram suggests that the baby will, in fact, likely be a boy.
Wayne observed, “I really see this as an ongoing process. We’re going to learn and experience things as we go along.” Lynn
ability to be his or her own person, whatever that will be.” She plans to discuss these issues, “according to the child’s level of maturity and understanding. “Wayne feels, “Since Lynn, Cathy and I are all friends, our child will understand what friendship is about and how important it is. It’s golden.”
The Donor Insemination Process.
Donor insemination, also called artificial or alternative insemination, refers to the process whereby semen is donated by volunteers who remain anonymous to the recipients. These donors are rigorously interviewed and tested for a battery of communicable diseases and for sperm viability. Genetic histories are evaluated, and addi-
agreed. “We have an open enough relationship to discuss anything that comes up and we’ll address these issues accordingly.”
Addressing the subject of potential discrimination, Wayne stated, “As a gay man of color, I will know how to help my child deal with prejudice.” Lynn appears less concerned. “I haven’t thought about it that much. The people I deal with are my true friends, and my family accepts my pregnancy.”
Wayne added, “Lots of family and friends have opinions [about the baby]. It’s a struggle to differentiate between what someone else wants and what we want. I have to act as an advocate for the baby and myself, and not get caught up in other people’s issues.” He believes the child will be, “healthy in all respects and have lots of opportunities because he or she will have three important people loving and caring for it. This child is wanted and cared about.”
As regards any speculation they may have about the child’s sexual orientation, Lynn said, “I want my child to have the
tional testing is done if indicated. If a donor meets all requirements, their specimens are quarantined for six months and then retested for HIV antibodies. The specimens then remain frozen, available for purchase by a doctor or nurse practitioner.
Recipients can select donors for certain physical characteristics, such as height, weight, hair and eye color, and ethnicity. Recipients are asked to choose at least four donor candidates in case a certain donor is unavailable. The Sperm Bank of California limits each donor to contributing to six live births, but this policy varies with each provider.
Currently, about 65,000 annual live births each year result from donor insemination. It is likely that, as technology improves, prices decrease, and success rates soar, donor insemination will be an increasingly popular option, particularly for potential gay parents. As Janice, Marcia, Lynn, Cathy and Wayne demonstrate, all that’s needed is a little extra motivation and flexibility, and a lot of love.
WATERMARK / September 14,1994 5
From Page 1
entation against someone whenever they feel they can get away with it.
“In the 20 years I’ve been with the school system I’ve only had two children actually talk to me about being gay and getting harassed. The other kids dealt with it and tried to keep it quiet. They did not want to get us (staff) involved,” said Tom Johnston, a guidance counselor at Boone High School.
Ethridge, during his final year at Apopka, did begin complaining to the school administration. But, according to Dr. John Edwards, principal at Apopka High, at no time during his complaints did Ethridge say he was being harassed on suspicion of being gay.
“Brandon never said he was gay or he was being harassed for being gay. This is the first time I have even heard that mentioned. My understanding was he was being bothered because of the clothes he wore and the fact he kept coming to school with different colored hair,” Edwards said.
Ethridge said his clothes and hair were a factor, as he often wore baggy, “skaters” clothes and at one point had his hair dyed purple. However, those were not the only reasons for his torment, he said, and the administration knew that.
He accumulated a lot of absences and his parents talked to Edwards about what could be done to ensure he graduated. Ethridge credits Edwards with being willing to work with him so he would not flunk out of school, but said he resents the fact that nothing was ever done against his tormentors.
“I honestly don’t think they did all they could. They would just tell the kids bothering me ‘You shouldn’t be doing this,”’ Ethridge said.
He eventually finished the last few weeks of school by combining schoolwork done at home with attending classes for final tests.
Edwards said he was unable to discuss specifics of Ethridge’s time at Apopka High but noted, in general, it is difficult to take disciplinary action if specific individuals are not identified and all the details are not given to the school administration. For example, Ethridge alleges he was often hit by other students and at one time was beaten up.
“The only harassment I mostly heard about was verbal. I also heard he’d been pushed and someone flicked the back of his head. Nothing about being beaten up,” Edwards said.
The 130-school Orange County School System annually racks up its share of assaults and battery. According to the system’s 1992-94 incident reports, there were 423 incidents of battery (physical attacks with harm) and 321 incidents of assault (threat of physical harm), said Orange County Pub-
lic Schools spokeswoman, Patty Villane. But during those two school years there were zero incidents of sexual harassment listed.
“I don’t know why that is so. I wouldn’t even speculate,” said Villane, adding that she had no way of knowing if sexual harassment based on sexual orientation was a regular occurrence in the schools. The annual report lists only incidents resulting in some type of disciplinary action, suspension or expulsion, Villane said. Therefore, any sexual harassment complaints not resulting in any of those would not be reported to the school board.
“I’ve overheard talk of individual cases but I don’t know if there’s an actual report anywhere,” she said. “There is no way to track such incidents without it being in reports.”
Rick Johnson, an assistant principal at Lyman High School, said he has the perception it happens everywhere.
“Kids are kids,” Johnson said. “I can’t speak for the school or the school system, but I, personally, don’t know of any incidents at Lyman. We try and keep our eyes and ears open but if they (students) don’t come and let us know, we can’t do anything. If they come to us, we always investigate,” he added.
Villane said the school system, in its training of teachers, seeks to impart respect for the sexuality of students, but said she does not know how focused it is on sensitizing educators to the issue of sexual preference. Within the schools students are sensitized in courses such as Humanities and Life Management, she said.
The stated policy of the Orange County School Board is that no student is to be disparaged or offended because of their “race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, marital status, handicap or any other reason prohibited by law.”
The state Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s colleges and universities, goes further in its Code of Ethics by including “sexual orientation or social and family background” as factors no student should be harassed for or discriminated against.
Ethridge said, in the claustrophobic world of the schools, being gay is not something you talk about.
“I wasn’t ever really out. I told my close friends and that was it. I didn’t even tell my parents until recently. The other gay kids kept it real secretive,” he said.
Michael, the Lyman student, said witnessing the other student’s harassment made him paranoid about being thought to be gay.
“I’ve never had a girlfriend. I just can’t bring myself to do that, although I know other gay guys who do that to cover up. But,
I’m very masculine in appearance and I have two best friends who are girls so they (fellow students) assume I’m dating them,” Michael said.
Gay and lesbian Community Services (GLCS) of Central Florida reports it receives calls from gay teenagers on an almost daily basis. “Unfortunately, I get a lot who have been abused physically, psychologically, and emotionally,” said Larry, a GLCS Center volunteer.
Locally, teenagers who are seeking to have contact with other gay teens are referred to the Delta Youth Alliance, which sponsors a weekly discussion group, the Center volunteer said. Up to 30 teens regularly attend the group which, for their protection and privacy, does not meet at the Center.
While Delta has individuals up to 21 years old attending, the Center recently started a new group called Rainbow Con-
nection, a social and discussion group, for 18 to 25-year-olds. It meets Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Center, 714 E. Colonial Drive.
Such groups are important, Ethridge said, for young people who are trying to come to terms with their sexual orientation in an often hostile world where their friends and, often, their parents and families are in the dark about who they are.
It is through talking that Ethridge can find himself laughing at the irony of an incident he was recently involved in.
“I just started at U.C.F. (University of Central Florida) and I went to the event where you try to get into fraternities. I have a lot of buttons on my backpack that indicate I’m gay. I was going to try for this one fraternity but one of the members pulled me aside and said he’s seen my buttons and I’m not the kind of person they are looking for,” Ethridge said.
SSP policy forbids the sexual harassment of students. It defines such harassment* in part* as any action which “,..cre-afes an intimidating, hostile or offensive school environment,” and this can he from “repeatedremarks to a person with sexual or demeaning implies-
It suggests that signed complaints be made in writing to the principal and include the precise nature of the objection. The principal will acknowl-edge the complaint and collect information relevant to it. After a review, the principal will decide the issue and inform the complainant of the dect~
the district's equal opportunity officer* the policy states,
Patty Villane, an Orange County Public Schools spoke*.......
: : ■ : * ' % : r
with counselling and referral to other organizations.
. AH educators interviewed said any complaint, whether written or ver~
^,.:baj|would beil&en seriously and investigated,
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SALEM, Ore. (AP) - An anti-gay rights measure will be on Oregon’s ballot in November after a court challenge failed.
The Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday unanimously reversed a lower court’s decision that the proposal unconstitutionally contains more than one subject. Opponents of the measure decided not to appeal to the state Supreme Court.
“On to the campaign,” said Lon Mabon, chairman of the Oregon Citizens Alliance, which sponsored the measure. “I feel really vindicated. Being unanimous says something about the argument they have been pursuing.”
The initiative is a revised version of a more harshly worded measure defeated by Oregon voters in 1992. It would forbid spending public money in any way that promotes or expresses approval of homosexuality. It also would outlaw teaching children that homosexuality is a classification similar to race, religion, gender, age or national origin, and it would allow adults-only access to library books on homosexuality. Opponents contended those prohibitions were separate subjects.
SEATTLE (AP) - Carolyn Sue enjoyed a celebratory piece of chocolate raspberry cake with Linda Gonzalez outside the city clerk’s office after the couple registered as domestic partners. “It’s about time,” said Sue, a 57-year-old health educator for Group Health. “Now it’s official: We are a family.”
The city officially recognized their domestic relationship for the first time when a new Seattle ordinance went into effect, allowing homosexual and heterosexual live-in couples to register at the clerk’s office as domestic partners. About 90 couples, mostly gay or lesbian, registered Tuesday, said Judith Pippin, city clerk.
Mayor Norm Rice signed the Domestic Partnership Registration ordinance Aug. 5, after it was unanimously approved by the City Council. Seattle follows a dozen or so other cities that have similar domestic-partnership laws, including New York, San Francisco and Madison, Wis.
Registrants must certify they are not married, are at least 18 years old, are not related by blood in a manner that would bar their marriage in Washington, are in a relationship of mutual support, caring and commitment, and are each other’s sole domestic partner. The cost to register is $25. Terminating a partnership requires only one notarized signature and costs nothing more. For the $25, the couples receive a certificate, but the document provides no legal benefits. It is not official acknowledgement of a gay marriage, since marriages are regulated by the state.
One of the few opposite-sex couples waiting to register said they wanted to support the concept behind the ordinance. And, they said, domestic partnership suits them better than marriage now.
CARRBORO, N.C. (AP) - Carrboro aldermen, who will decide next week whether to allow unmarried heterosexual and homosexual couples to register as domestic partners, heard religious arguments from both sides.
“God’s word teaches us that fornication and adultery are a sin,” Jack Godley said at a Tuesday hearing. Gary Webb, pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Carrboro, said the board will break both the laws of God and North Carolina if it passes laws that condone adultery and homosexuality. “Each of you, when you took office, swore to uphold the laws of North Carolina,” he told the aldermen.
A number of those in favor of the proposal said they are Christians who regularly attend church. Gay activist Doug Ferguson said voting for the measures will promote family values because it would strengthen the commitments of unmarried couples. Gloria Faley, a lesbian activist, said the ordinances would help bring people together in an accepting way. “Let this ordinance be the first step toward what Jesus tried to teach us,” she said.
About 25 cities and a growing number of corporations provide for health benefits to their workers’ domestic partners. An ordinance in Seattle, which went into effect earlier this month, provides for no legal benefits.
The board will vote on whether to approve or reject three measures. The first would allow the town clerk to accept and record statements of domestic partnership of unmarried Carrboro residents. The unions would be considered similar to marriages. The second proposal would require elected officials who are registered as domestic partners to file financial disclosure statements that include their partners. The third proposal would extend health and other benefits to the domestic partners of town employees. Carrboro does not pay health benefits for employees’ dependents, but it would allow employees to pay for their partners’ health insurance through the town’s plan.
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The reinstatement of a homosexual sailor to the Navy is a legal boost for a Camp Lejeune Marine who admitted he was homosexual, the Marine’s lawyer said.
The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals last week upheld the reinstatement of sailor Keith Meinhold, who was discharged after revealing his sexual preference on television after President Clinton announced his intention to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military. The court ruled that the military can bar homosexuals for sexual acts, but not for merely saying they are homosexuals.
“Clearly the Meinhold decision will be very helpful to us,” said attorney Lanny Breuer, who represents Marine Sgt. Justin Elzie. “The court found exactly what we’ve been arguing.”
Elzie disclosed his homosexuality on national television in 1993 after hearing Clinton’s announcement about lifting the ban on homosexuals in the military. An administrative board at Camp Lejeune voted in March 1993 to remove Elzie from the Marine Corps. Elzie filed a lawsuit against the government, claiming that the discharge violates his rights to free speech and due process.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin of Washington, D.C., forbade military officials from discharging Elzie or taking any other “adverse action” until Elzie’s lawsuit is resolved. “He continues to serve and do his job every day,” Breuer said.
WATERMARK / September 14,1994 7
WASHINGTON (AP) - A survey indicating that nearly one in five Americans has been attracted to someone of the same sex at some time since age 15 illustrates that sexual orientation isn’t a simple question of gay or straight, one of its authors says. “I think in most individuals there is some sort of range,” said David Wypij, a Harvard University statistician and co-author of the study. “You may be more heterosexual, you may be more homosexual.”
The research, conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Center for Health Policy Studies in Washington, has been criticized by some statisticians but touted by gay rights activists. The study found that between 6.2 percent and 20.8 percent of American men and 3.3 percent and 17.8 percent of American women could be considered “incidentally homosexual”. The lower estimates are based on reported same-sex sexual behavior during the previous five years. The higher numbers are based on reported homosexual behavior or attraction since age 15.
“Our perspective is that sexual orientation isn’t just a yes-no, heterosexual-homosexual (question),” Wypij said.
Research that might help define the size of the homosexual community plays directly into the debate over extending civil rights protections to this minority. Congress is considering legislation that would outlaw job discrimination based on sexual orientation. Opponents have cited research that they say shows only 1 percent of the population is gay, suggesting that gay people have little political clout.
The study, which was presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Toronto in August and is being published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, is the first national survey to look at the question of homosexual attraction. Interviewers spoke with 1,288 American men and 674 women, ages 16 to 50, and asked them each to complete questionnaires. The study said 1,200 men completed face-to-face interviews, which included 100 questions, and 1,130 answered 68 questions in the written survey. A total of 634 women completed the interviews and 588 finished the written portion.
Other studies that have examined sexual attraction - such as those published by Alfred J. Kinsey in 1948 and 1953 - were not based on samples that could be extrapolated to the population as a whole. More recent national surveys have focused on behavior, not same-sex attraction.
Randall Sell, lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate at Harvard, said he hopes the research will help elucidate the complexity of sexual orientation. “It’s more than just behavior; that’s only one measure,” he said.
Tom W. Smith, a statistician at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, called the study useful, but warned that the question on attraction was imprecise. “They basically asked whether you were ever attracted to a member of the same sex at any time since you were age 15 - which can mean one very fleeting, very trivial sensation or feeling,” Smith said.
Despite such caveats, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force immediately seized on the report, noting the figures are much higher than those last year from the Battelle Human Affairs Research Center, which reported 2 percent of the men surveyed had engaged in same-sex sexual behavior and 1 percent identified themselves as exclusively gay. That report has been used by religious conservatives to argue that homosexuals are a far smaller minority than previously believed.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - They say it’s silly, unrealistic and would hurt students who need help the most. But they’re not pushing for anything to be done about it. That, Iowa school leaders say, would start a public debate, and that’s just what ultraconservatives want about the amendment they’ve added to a federal funding bill to take money away from schools that teach acceptance of homosexuality.
Cedar Rapids Superintendent Lew Finch says there’s no doubt about it - the amendment would hurt some students’ performance in school. “I’d hate to call it catastrophic, but it would be, at the least, devastating,” he said.
U.S. Sens. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., and Bob Smith, R-N.H., got the Senate in August to add the amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which would give $12.5 billion to the nation’s schools. Under the amendment, schools that distribute instructional materials or offer counseling services that have “the purpose or effect of encouraging or supporting homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative” could lose that federal funding. So could those that refer students to gay organizations for counseling.
The U.S. House also put a similar statement in its funding bill, and now the legislation has been sent to a conference committee that will work out the differences.
But how do you know a school is “supporting” homosexuality? Iowa leaders say that depends on who is doing the interpreting.
“We’re saying that someone isn’t an evil, sick person who has these tendencies,” said Janelle Cowles, a high school counselor for the Des Moines School District, the largest in the state. “I don’t think that’s promoting.”
Gary Wegenke, the Des Moines superintendent, says that in 1990 the district added sexual orientation to the issues included in its nondiscrimination policy. Others include gender, race, ethnicity and language. The federal amendment violates that policy, he said. “We are an educational enterprise and we do try to remove ignorance,” he said. “In doing so, we do make our young people aware of issues. You have to be educated to what you’re not discriminating against.” He also believes the amendment puts Iowa schools in a Catch-22 because the state requires them to teach AIDS education. That means they have to teach students about the homosexual lifestyle.
NEXT ISSUE available September 28:
GAY MARRIAGE: more couples are doing It, but why?
TOM WOODARD: how his landmark lawsuit changed his life
ROB EICHBERG: co-founder of National Coming Out Day interviewed
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WATERMARK / September 14, 1994 8
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Less than a month after an international AIDS conference in Japan reported little progress in drug therapy, the federal government has launched a $25 million program for alternative treatments. More money and applications are slated to be approved next year, officials of tlje National Institutes of Health said Thursday. They acknowledged that the future of drug and vaccine therapies appears gloomy in the battle against AIDS.
The treatments getting the money aim to strengthen the immune system and genetically attack HIV, said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This effort is crucial because currently available anti-HIV drugs only partially and temporarily suppress replication of the virus, and their use is hampered by toxicity and drug resistance,” he said. More than 14 million people worldwide are now infected by HIV; the World Health Organization projects that the disease could kill 121 million by the year 2020.
The NIH money will be divided among six institutions: The New England Medical Center in Boston, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Stanford University and the University of California at San Diego. All must begin human trials by at least the third year of the four-year grants.
The Stanford team is taking infection-fighting cells out of healthy people, treating them and inserting them into a sibling with AIDS. Along the same line, the New England researchers seek to boost the number of the body’s so-called killer T cells, the AIDS fighters the body initially produces when infected.
So far, the new grants represent only a small part of the NIAID’s $558 million budget. But the agency says it is committed to expanding the initiative.
Experts studying how to halt the AIDS epidemic say this week in the journal Science that a powerful vaccine alone will not conquer AIDS and could even make the epidemic worse, because it might create a false sense of safety and cause people to ignore risks. They emphasize that it will take safe sex and other changes in behavior to stop the virus.
ATLANTA (AP) - Minorities continue to outnumber whites in new cases of AIDS, but as the epidemic ages scientists are uncovering differences in how ethnic groups around the country spread the virus.
Fifty-five percent, or 58,538, of the 106,949 AIDS cases reported last year in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands were among minorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. It was the third consecutive year that AIDS cases were greater among minorities than among whites. In 1992, minority cases accounted for 52 percent of new cases, up from 50.9 percent the year before.
As the epidemic develops, its pace has slowed among gay white men while quickening among minorities, particularly among blacks. But geography also makes a difference in how the virus spreads, said Dr. Teresa Diaz of the CDC’s National Center for Infectious Diseases.
The Northeast - particularly New York state _ has the highest rates of AIDS infection for both blacks and His-panics, while the South and Midwest are generally lower. In some states, vast differences between minorities exist. In Florida, the rate for blacks is almost three times greater than for Hispanics.
Such state-by-state or regional data help CDC prevention efforts, Ms. Diaz said. The CDC is collaborating with state and city officials to design programs that will target groups at highest risk in a specific area. “This way, we have a chance here to prevent it (the epidemic) from getting bigger” and spreading to new groups, Ms. Diaz said.
In 1993, minorities accounted for 45,039, or 51 percent, of 89,165 AIDS cases among men, while minorities accounted for 12,696, or 75 percent, of the 16,824 cases among women, the CDC said. Minority men were most likely to transmit HIV through homosexual contact (39 percent) and IV drug use (38 percent). Among women, IV drug use accounted for 47 percent of cases and heterosexual contact 37 percent. Rates were higher among blacks (162 cases per 100,000 people) and Hispanics (90), and lower among American Indians/Eskimos (24) and Asians/Pacific Islanders (12). The AIDS rate for black women (73) was about 15 times greater than for white women (5), and the
rate for black males (266) was nearly five times that for whites (57).
Last year, the CDC expanded its definition of AIDS to include those infected with the HIV virus who also have a severely suppressed immune system, tuberculosis, recurrent pneumonia or invasive cervical cancer. The groups most affected by the expanded definition were women, blacks, heterosexual intravenous drug users and hemophiliacs. The cumulative number of AIDS cases in the United States through Dec. 31, 1993, was 361,164. The number of deaths from AIDS through the same time period was 220,736, according to the CDC.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida’s state health officer plans to write thousands of doctors, asking them to treat pregnant women who have the AIDS virus with AZT to reduce the number of babies infected with HIV. “We can spare perhaps 200 Florida children each year the suffering and eventual death due to HIV disease,” Dr. Charles Mahan the letter, which officials plan to mail next week.
More than 1,000 women infected with HIV are expected to give birth this year, according to the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. An estimated 30 percent of their babies will also be infected with the virus. But results from a national study earlier this year documented a two-thirds reduction in the rate of transmission of HIV from mother to child when the woman is treated with AZT.
Mahan also urged doctors to make HIV testing a standard of obstetrical practice. “The stakes now are simply too high to do otherwise,” he wrote.
A bill that would have required that every pregnant woman be tested for AIDS died in the Legislature this spring.
HRS secretary Jim Towey said Wednesday that testing pregnant women and then treating those who carry HIV with AZT “is the first area where we feel we can make a difference.”
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No one at MBA’s September general meeting needed to be told when their guest speaker had arrived. A full six feet tall, Erin Somers is riveting. With long black hair, black dress and black ankle boots, the popular radio host turned even the guys’ heads.
In less than a year, Somers has tripled the ratings of her popular radio talk show, “Passion Phones.” She is at once witty, warm, sensitive, informed and open. Somehow, when Somers talks about sex it seems more... fun. “People are afraid of sex. They take it all too seriously,” she told approximately 100 MBA members and guests. “We weren’t put on this earth to make our parents happy.”
Somers shared that gay and lesian sex has long been a regular feature of “Passion Phones”. And while she’s a master of witty repartee, it usually leads to a more thoughtful response. Responding to a question about masturbation, Somers endorsed the practice. “What do you think I did this afternoon?” But she then pointed out that teenage girls are discouraged from mastur-
bating; possibly one reason that only 30% of women are regularly orgasmic. “With a little practice I have no doubt we’d get it down better than the guys.”
Somers is not an advocate of swinging or indiscriminate sex. Responding to one questioner, Somers stated that, “To the best of my knowledge and experience, only about 10% of non-monogomous relationships really work. For the other 90%, they can be unsatisfying, threatening, and at worst disastrous.”
Somers most difficult call concerned a gay man whose lover had committed suicide after being rejected by his father. Her next caller was the father, inconsolable in his grief. Somers assured him that his experience would move and inform others.
Somers also stated her amazement at the divisiveness she sees within the gay and lesbian community. “You all have some real enemies... some powerful, organized enemies... and you need to stop fighting with each other and get it together.”
WATERMARK / September 14,1994 10
hr Rosaline Sloan
I have always felt that Florida was my home. When I was nine, my family and I vacationed here. Over time, I became enamored with the temperate climate, slow southern charm and unique beauty of the state. Although bom and raised in northern New Jersey, I welcomed the recent opportunity to relocate to Central Florida with my life partner. But here among the palm trees and sultry Spanish moss, I have been forced to accept some drastic changes in my gay lifestyle.
When I began coming out in the late seventies, I could hop on public transportation and roam streets at the center of Manhattan’s burgeoning gay area; all no more than twenty minutes from my straight,
Catholic upbringing. As time went on, I confidently walked the neighborhoods surrounding Christopher Street, often for up to six hours at a time. A decade after first discovering this eastern epicenter of gay culture, I had become so accustomed to its freedoms that I would spend five nights out of seven being gay as I ate at outdoor cafes, browsed in gay stores, and socialized in the many different clubs.
When my partner and I moved here, I eagerly began searching for places where I could experience the same relaxed, friendly openness of the Village. Instead I found that I now belonged to a hidden subculture. I felt as though my struggle to become a truly free lesbian on the streets of New York was
wasted. When I considered what Key West, South Beach, or even Pensacola offered in terms of lifestyle options, I wondered why our community in this part of the Bible Belt had been unable to flourish freely, even in small pockets. After participating in the most recent Pride Parade in downtown Orlando, I realized that this is not because we don’t exist in large numbers.
I want to feel the strength of
our sheer presence in the streets.. .who we are and what we are about as a community...
Is the voice of the religious right really threatening our community in 1994? Is there not enough safety in numbers that we can’t commit ourselves to seek what we deserve; the freedom to walk down the
street hand-in-hand with our lovers, or to roam a park without someone writing down our license plate number? Must we continue to gather only behind closed doors, or at events where there is no risk of exposing who we really are to our neighbors, friends and co-workers?
Now when I visit the Northeast, my first desire...rain, snow, or to go to the Village. I want to feel the acceptance I once took for granted. I want to feel the strength of our sheer presence in the streets. I want to see love in and among lesbians and gay men; open, unrestrained love that requires freedom to attain full expression. I want to feel the sense of who we are and what we are about as a community in our voices and in our hearts.
That community in Central Florida needs to be visible, not vulnerable. We must seek the strength and the will to be free, just like in the Village. Until then, maybe we should just pretend.
Watermark Media, Inc.
editor / publisher Tom Dyer layout / managing editor April Gustetter account executive Keith Peterson contributing writers Michael L. Kilgore, G. K. Fowler, Harmony Brenner, Nan Schultz,
R. A. Bach, Dimitri Toscas,
Jim Crescitelli, Mark Lawhon, Yvonne Vassell, Ken Kundis,
Rafael Gasti, Leslea Newman, Rosanne Sloan, Joe Sarano photographers & illustrators Alison Bechdel, Eric Orner,
Russell Tucker, student contributors Robert Holland, Katie Messmer,
Tera Kenney, Mike Williams
CONTENTS of WATERMARK are protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced in whole or part without the permission of the publisher. Unsolicited article submissions will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Although WATERMARK is supported by many fine advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers.
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Watermark m&emmymr Letters to the Editor* Ail letters are subject to | editing for content and length. Letters should bg sent to:
E 0< Box 533655 Orlando, FL 32853-3655
I would like to congratulate Watermark on its premier issue.
I wish to respond to the article ‘TRACKS DERAILS - BOXCARS OPENS”. Several comments that Mr. Barlow made in the article are simply just not true. One, his quote, ‘‘In Tampa, the bars network and work together to benefit each other and the community.” Not once did Mr. Barlow ever make any attempt to contact myself or any member of management at Southern Nights with regard to networking within the gay community of Orlando!
Mr. Barlow further alleges that Southern Nights, The Edge and The Club at Firestone had authorized Tracks’ advertising removed from the publications at our locations. Mr. Barlow’s statement is one hundred (100%) percent false. Southern Nights, The Edge and The Club at Firestone do network together and not one of these establishments ever authorized removal of advertisements.
Maybe, Mr. Barlow and TRACKS/OR-LANDO just did not deliver what the competitive Orlando market is seeking.
Very truly yours,
Daniel J. Fraser, General Manager Southern Nights
I just wanted to write and wish you the best for your new publication. Having seen your ads in other area outlets, I think that you have tapped into a very important niche in the Central Florida gay and lesbian community. It’s about time Orlando supported a higher-end publication such as yours.
Once again, I wish you and your staff the best.
William J. Gridley Public Relations Editor Rollins College
How grand that there is finally a forum for the diversity of culture that is the gay community. We are not simply visual cliches, but rather an evolution of old and new, traditional and avant garde, private and unabashed. Mostly, though, we are worthy of celebration. Thank you for validating that.
Pam Pratt
What enjoyment and pride I had in reading the newest lesbian and gay periodical to hit Central Florida! It is wonderful to see the diversity of our community mirrored by the many issues and topics covered - political, sports, entertainment, health, and arts. Thank you Watermark for giving our community yet another tool to communicate and learn more about each other. I applaud your sponsors and advertisers for their support and encourage readers to patronize their organizations.
Each one of you should take a deep breath, smile, and be proud of your accomplishments! Congratulations on an excellent premier issue.
Michael Hodges
Congratulations on the premier issue of your paper. Great looks and impressive content.
One gentle criticism, though. If your goal is to reflect the positive, non-stereo-typical side of our community, Lola O’Lay is a step in the wrong direction. The general population already thinks we’re campy transvestites with lots of attitude and a tenuous grip on reality. Why reinforce this stereotype?
Other than that, it was nice to read about Amanda Bearse, and I particularly enjoyed your article on Fran Pignone. The Sports page is a great idea. Keep up the good work.
W. C. Slapke
The Orlando Frontrunners gather at sunset at the Red Pagoda on Lake Eola
Homosexuality is always elsewhere
because it is everywhere.
French writer RENAUD CAMUS
WATERMARK / September 14, 1994 11
by James A. Crescitelli
Next year I’m going to be forty years old. Forty. Four-O. Well, as Margo Channing said: “That slipped out, I hadn’t quite made up my mind to admit it.” I’m not complaining; they’ve been very good years, but I wonder what it would be like to be a gay teenager in 1994 instead of 1969...
For gay people, the nineties certainly seem to offer a plethora of support systems. Community centers, specialized interest groups, publishers, magazines...We’ve come a long way from the days when checking The Well of Loneliness out of the library was a major psychological ordeal. I remember buying a copy of Playgirl at my local neighborhood newsstand in Brooklyn; I told the vendor that it was for my sister, who was in the hospital with two broken legs. The webs we weave.
What sustained us in those days? Who was there to turn to? I had an idea that I was perhaps not the only member of my ilk walking the earth but, as a late sixties teenager, my resources were limited. Being gay wasn’t something I could casually bring up during supper.
“Dad, there’s this guy I like in school but he doesn’t seem to know I exist. What should I do?”
Fanciful conversations such as these ran through my mind daily like frightened mice. Better, I decided, to keep silent. I had had no problem with my own personal coming out - a realization, really - but I thought others perhaps might: my family, my friends, and the nuns. In other words, everybody.
High September of 1969 I put on my bellbottoms, my Nik-Nik shirt, and took the bus to a Catholic boys’ high school in Brooklyn which, for some strange reason, had a reputation. It was whispered that only fairies and queers went to this particular grove of academe, and I was ribbed unmercifully in my neighborhood.
“I’m only going because it’s close,” I countered to any friend who dared to cast
aspersions on my adolescent masculinity. It was true; the school itself was only a ten-minute bus ride away. Secretly, I was intrigued.
Orientation day brought no major revelations other than the fact that we were not expected to shower after gym; it was optional, and I was relieved. Curious as I was about a high school filled with homosexuals, I was not quite ready to bare it all in a shower room crammed with boys I did not know.
I spent that first month looking at everybody intensely, trying to discern whether or not they were like me. It was a difficult task; I mean, nobody came right out and announced it, and I certainly didn’t ask anybody if they were gay.
I found my peers after a time but did not realize it at first. Some magic radar had conspired to pull us all together, but it took
I will always be amazed at how we “found” each other during those dim freshman months, perhaps groping subconsciously toward the light.
us until our senior year to verbally come out to one another. As I look back, however, it is plain to me just how unspokenly gay we really were.
We went to a lot of movies together, and any one of us could be counted on to know the dialogue from obscure Hollywood classics. Week after week, ensconced in dusty revival cinemas, we immersed ourselves in camp, unwittingly educating our psyches toward a more open future.
Theater matinees - orchestra seats were ridiculously inexpensive in those years -
were another mainstay, as well as the dinners afterward in Broadway restaurants in which we engaged in what we thought was highly witty repartee...I thought, heterosexual men don’t do this as a group. Here we are discussing Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer in great detail. What, I wondered, was up? Could we ALL be...?
Straight men go to the movies and they attend the theatre, and they know about art and literature and even a little bit about fashion, but would they have spent ALL their time discussing the finer points of these subjects? Would a straight man even know that Claudettte Colbert was offered the lead in All About Eve before Bette Davis, but had to withdraw because of back problems? Do you think my father knew or even cared that Norma Shearer turned down the starring role in Gone with the because her fans did not want her to play a bitch?
Even as we grew closer over the years, the G-word remained unspoken when referring to ourselves. Occasionally I would catch one of our “Theater Group” eyeing somebody on the subway, and I suppose I myself was caught, but nobody was saying.
Then, in gym class during senior year, one of these friends told me he had just finished reading his sister’s copy of Portnoy’s Complaint. He related the famous scene with the liver, and then had some news.
“.. .and by the way, i just wanted to tell you that I’m gay.”
I was hardly shocked, as the expression on his face seemed to hope for.
“Oh, really? So am I!” I replied.
“What? No you’re not!!”
He was angry that I had stolen his thunder, as apparently he was treating this as a major step in his life. I - seventeen, smug -was pleased with his revelation, yet treated it more as a “homecoming.” Yes, somebody had actually come over to MY side.
The news traveled s wiftly through the group. I confided in another, he confided in somebody else, and soon we were all privy to a rather unwieldy open secret. It took a third friend’s coming out to bring the rest of the group stampeding to the fore. Nobody wanted to be left behind.
I look back often and realize that every one of my little group blossomed into a full-fledged gay man. I will always be amazed at how we “found” each other during those dim freshman months, perhaps groping subconsciously toward the light.
It must be less of a challenge for young gay people to find each other these days, what with the network of support we’ve erected within our community. I suppose it’s easy enough to look up “Gay” in the yellow pages and find a listing - a telephone number, maybe even the address of a community center. There are counselors, groups, and sub-groups, but I can’t help feeling that, while positive, it has suddenly become so easy to come out...the furtiveness is gone. Maybe today’s young people don’t care that gay people once lived their lives as if played out on the pages of a gothic novel.
Maybe I’m too much of a romantic, but
do I REALLY wish it were 1969 again?
Not at all.
by Leslea Newman
When my girlfriend, Flash, and I were evicted last summer, I immediately called my mother. I don’t know why. I wanted sympathy, I suppose. After all, we hadn’t done anything wrong; our building got sold and we had to move. And having our apartment, funky as it was, yanked out from under us was more traumatic than I thought it would be. “It’s our home,” I wailed in a voice not unlike a 5-year-old’s. “I want my mommy.”
The trouble is, I don’t have a mommy. I have a mother. A mommy gives you milk and cookies, kisses it where it hurts and makes you feel all better. A mother means well, but misses the mark. A mother says things like, “Your room is always here if you need it,” as if the 20 years since I’ve inhabited that room can be dismissed with the wave of a hand.
My mother likes the fact that Flash and I have to move. This is a normal thing that happens to people other than lesbians. This is something we can talk about. Better yet, this is something my mother feels qualified to give me advice about. Never mind the fact that my mother hasn’t moved in 34 years, ever since my family migrated from Brooklyn to Long Island, and I, in typical dyke fashion, have lived in 23 different apartments since 1985. She is the expert.
“Have you looked in the paper,” she asks, as if I am an idiot.
“Yes, I’ve looked in the paper,” I answer in my most condescending voice, as if she is
an idiot.
“What about calling a realtor?” she asks.
“Ma, we have to come up with first and last month’s rent, a security deposit and money to pay the movers. We can’t afford a realtor.”
This is the opening my mother has been waiting for. All of a sudden she is certain that no one with nice apartments lists in the papers anymore; anyone with something halfway decent is sure to list with a realtor. Why, oh why, did I bother to call?
Weeks pass. Finally Flash and I find an apartment. Not just any apartment. A fabulous apartment. A dream of an apartment with six rooms, wood floors, oak window frames, french doors, two porches. I call my mother, feeling smug. All this and without a realtor, too.
“How did you find it?” is the first question she asks.
How do I explain the dyke grapevine to my mother? Flash took a walk after supper one night and bumped into the shortstop on her softball team who had heard from her chiropractor who had heard from one of her client’s that her ex-lover’s hairdresser had an apartment for rent. Would my mother ever understand this?
“Word of mouth,” I translate, and of course she has to have the final say: “I told you not to bother looking in the paper.”
Moving day approaches and my mother
is full of advice. “Pack the dishes first,” she tells me. “Why?” I ask. “Because it’s easier,” she says, and I let it go at that, as I don’t have the time to argue. Moving is a full-time job: packing, unpacking, turning on the electricity and the gas, forwarding the mail, reconnecting the phone. And who is our very first caller? Why, my mother, of course.
What she’s calling about surprises me. “What should I get you and Flash for ahouse-warming present?”
“Ma, you don’t have to get us anything.”
“I know I don’t have to get you something,” she says. “I want to get you something.”
“But it’s not like we’ve bought a house or anything,” I say, wondering why I am arguing with her. “It’s just another apartment.”
“It’s your first apartment together,” she says, and I’m amazed that she know this. Our last apartment had been Flash’s place until I moved in with her, and before that we had both lived alone. This is the first home we’ve created together and it does feel different.
“All right,” I say, and make a joke. “How about a washing machine?”
“OK,” she says, and I almost fall over. “It was a joke, Ma.”
“What joke,” she asks. “Do you need one or not?”
“I don’t know, I guess so.”
“Fine,” she says.
Disbelief makes me brave. “Do we get a dryer, too?”
She thinks for a minute. “The washing machine will be your housewarming present, and the dryer will be for Chanukah.”
I am floored. This is the closest my mother has ever come to giving Flash and I her blessings. This is the woman who, when f came out to her, called me selfish, self-centered, self-obsessed and self-absorbed. The same
woman who was convinced I was under the influence of someone, because I could never think for myself, or as she put it, “You were always a follower. Why, if they were all walking up Fifth Avenue stark naked with frying pans on their foreheads, you’d be the first in line.”
This was the woman who had never given up hope that someday I would return to my childhood bedroom and sleep like a virgin in that single bed until Prince Charming arrived to sweep me off my feet. This was the woman who was buying her only daughter and her lover a washer/dryer so their underwear, bras, socks, sweaters, shirts, blouses, pants, and pantyhose would toss and spin side by side, year in and year out, happily ever after?
Of course, I had to listen to a lecture on spin cycles, bleach dispensers, gas hook-ups and the like. Of course, I had to go to Sears, pick out the machines I wanted, write down the numbers, and call them in to my mother for her approval (she picked out a different dryer). Of course, now we have to talk about the washer and dryer every time my mother calls.
“How’s the washer?” she asks me.
“Fine,” I answer. I mean, how can it be?
“And how’s the dryer?”
“Fine.” I am tempted to say it had a slight cold last week, but I know better.
“It’s drying?”
“It’s drying.”
“Are you using fabric softener?”
As I listen to her advising me on detergents (after all, she has been a housewife for 40 years), all I can think of is you’ve come a long way, Mommy. Thank you.
Leslea Newman is author or editor of 14 books, including “Heather Has Two Mommies” and Gloria Goes to Gay Pride”. She lives and works in Northampton, Mass.
WATERMARK / September 14, 1994 12
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WATERMARK / September 14,1994 13
Greg Dawson: Tales of the City Room
by Tom Dyer
Watermark Interview:
What immediately strikes you about Greg Dawson are his intelligent, laughing eyes. This is a guy who’s easy to talk to; full of ideas and well-informed opinions. Interested as well as interesting. He’s also just plain nice. Tall, thin, polite and accommodating to a fault, a young Jimmy Stewart would be perfectly cast in the Greg Dawson story. No doubt a mini-series.
Greg Dawson has covered television for the last ten years, first at The Boston Herald, and for the last eight years at The Orlando Sentinel. This summer the Sentinel unchained him from his television set (where he spent up to 40 hours per week) to cover real life.
During his TV tenure, Greg made few attempts to disguise his decidedly liberal (some would say “evolved”) perspective. He praised Channel 24 for airing Tongues Untied, the controversial documentary about black homosexuals. He was highly critical of the same station for then refusing to air the more conventional gay drama, The Lost Language of Cranes. He also panned Channel 6 for refusing to air an After-School Special about lesbian mothers.
Greg and I met for breakfast at the International House of Pancakes. While waitresses schlepped pancakes and attitude, we covered a broad range of topics. I asked questions with my mouth full. Greg paid for breakfast. I told you he’s nice.
Where did you grow up?
In Bloomington, Indiana...a wonderful, liberal college town. I was one of the original Crest kids testing fluoride toothpaste. I still got cavities, and found out years later that I got the placebo.
I know that you have an essentially liberal viewpoint. Where did that come from?
Well, both my parents were musicians, and for different reasons very liberal. My mother was a holocaust survivor and a raging liberal. She was sincerely disappointed that I didn’t marry a black woman. She always felt them superior as a race. And my father came out against the Vietnam war before I did.
Your mother was a holocaust survivor?
Yes. She was originally from the Ukraine, and her family was being marched out of town by German soldiers, presumably on the way to a concentration camp. Her father bribed a soldier to look the other way while my mother and her sister bolted out of line. They were on the run for years, often finding shelter and protection because of their musical skills. Very much like Playing For Time, except my mother played the piano. Eventually my father’s uncle heard them and brought them to America, and got my mother into Julliard. That’s where she met my father.
Continued Page 16
WATERMARK / September 14,1994 14
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CAFE NEW ORLEANS: Dined at this small cafe on Fairbanks Ave. in Winter Park recently with some friends. Inexpensive and authentic, a cute place to have lunch or dinner. Watch out for the Jambalaya, it’s H-O-T!
PAGES: Every lesbian and gay man who works for a living should take the time to ready Gay Issues In the Workplace, by Brian McNaught {On Being Gay). It’s a veritable handbook on how to address issues effecting gay men and lesbians in the work environment. This is an easy read and I promise you will find it enlightening and a great tool for diversity training. After you read it, do yourself a favor and give a copy to your boss and co-workers. NOT SO GOOD GARDEN: Recently read Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, by John Berendt. This book came highly recommended by several reliable sources. It sure is a pretty book, and it will look great on your coffee table. If you actually read it, however, be prepared for a big snooze. It’s boring!! Why is this book a bestseller? I was hoping for Truman Capote and ended up with Danielle Steele minus the pulp. The story itself had enormous potential: a gay murder in Savannah circa 1981. Instead of a gothic potboiler, it descends into a series of character studies lighter than angel food cake.
PASSION FOR ERIN, PART II: Erin Somers, the sultry voiced host of Real Radio’s “Passion Phones”, was the guest speaker at the September 1 Metropolitan Business Association (MBA) meeting. Erin is loaded with charisma, and yes, the face and body match the voice! Somers was intelligent, eloquent and entertaining. An astute observation: Based on her call-ins, Erin remarked that she has noticed how divisive the gay and lesbian community can be. She advised us to work together in fighting against discrimination and in pursuit of equal rights. Like I said, a smart lady! Later that evening, Erin thanked the MBA on the air for giving her a standing ovation.. .her first ever. There will be many more, Erin! MUSIC: Ah, the end of summer. Spent labor Day weekend listening to the new soundtrack, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Highlights include disco classics “I Will Survive”, “Shake Your Groove Thing”, “Finally”, mixed right in with standards such as “I Don’t Care If the Sun Don’t Shine” and “A Fine Romance”. As if that weren’t enough, great 70s trash songs like “I’ve Never Been to Me” (considered by some music critics to be the worst record ever...I disagree, of course) and “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” should bring back some bad memories. This CD is a must have, especially if the movie is as good as its press. We’ll all find out soon enough. Priscilla, opens at Enzian sometime in October.
Dykes To match Out For
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Regained in THE KiTEHEM
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Tte question is, warn these loo ca&in av& Tyftj even have cone, ovj at ALL if LEFTIST Queers hadn't been FIGHTiNG For their rights /M THE JTREET; ffcRDLE PAST 25 >YAR$? i think N®T.
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WATERMARK / September 14,1994 15
Stephen Sondhiem has been turning Broadway on its ear for years, and 1994 is no exception. His newest artistic endeavor is overwhelmingly beautiful, passionate, and strange. Passion, a seamless musical drama, explores the facets of obsession, loss, and love.
Just released on Angel Records, Passion received the 1994 Tony Award for Best Musical. Its recording captures the depth and genius of Sondheim’s vision. His desire for pure love, his obsession with the darkness of reality, and his glaring rays of hope are woven within James Lapine’s book, creating a recording that is as over-the-top as grande opera and as real as modem poetry.
The seed of Passion begins in word. Based on an 1869 Italian novel by Igino Ugo Tarchetti called Fosca, it gathered a literary audience. Fosca was transformed into “film noir”, when Ettore Scola told the story in Passione d'Amore, and a new audience was tom by the love story’s twisting darkness. Now years later it has blossomed into an extraordinary musical and theatrical experience.
Following the romance of Giorgio,a young, handsome soldier, listeners whirl in the discoveries of truth and love. In the midst of a passionate affair with the beautiful Clara, he is tom apart by the deep, brooding Fosca, an ugly, withering woman, tortured by pain, sickness, and a crushing understanding of harsh reality.
The dreamlike music and desperate drama of Passion are captured clearly and honestly throughout this recording. True to
Sondhiem’s form, and unlike other Broadway cast albums, Passion’s disc maintains a coherent, elaborate story that will transform its listeners into an “audience” -including those who may not get a chance to actually see the production.
Passion gives this listening audience every resource it needs to be swept away by the story’s universal struggle: to love and be loved. Feeling much like a wave, Passion’s melodies swirl and circle upward through some of Sondhiem’s most sound and profound writing.
Songs like “Happiness” (an ode to oblivious infatuation) and Fosca’s relentlessly painful “I Read” (a bizarre anthem of denial) quickly build to a hauntingly beautiful and unexpected calm. By far the recordings most heart-rendering moment, “Loving You”, finds Fosca revealing her pure and blameless love for Giorgio, as she sets him free. Then the spiraling tide begins again, crashing down into the depths of dark reality.. .Giorgio’s breakdown, and the death of Fosca.
The orchestration, with strings added for the recording, drives Sondheim’s beautiful music. Brilliantly conducted by longitme collaborator Paul Gemignani, the orchestra sweeps over the shallowness of Clara (Marin Mazzie), swells under the heavy brooding of Fosca (Tony Award winner, Donna Murphy), and surrenders to the passion and commitment of Giorgio (Jere Shea). The recording gives their exceptional performances breath and depth.
Sondhiem delivers with overwhelming Passion.
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Romano’s Macaroni Grill 844 W. State Road 434 • Altamonte Springs 682-2577
This specialty Italian grill, opened in 1992, enticed me with its fresh gladiolas and old world style patio. Originally from Dallas, Romano’s welcomes gay men and lesbian patrons.
There is a woodbuming stove smell that draws you into this restaurant. Inside, an extra large open kitchen delightfully adds a sense of hominess. The tables are covered with paper, crayons are supplied, doodling is encouraged. Each table has a bottle of Colavita Extra Virgin Oil for the traditional garlic focaccia (bread) to be dipped with fresh ground pepper.
Romano’s uses the honor system with gallons of Chianti wine lined up on the right wall. Each glass is $2.50, tallied at the end of the meal. Other wines average $4.50 a glass and $21.00 a bottle.
Like at my grandmother’s on Sunday, the menu is extensive. We began our meal with the special appetizer of the evening, a cream of mushroom soup. It was extra smooth with fresh parsley sprinkles and plenty of fresh mushroom slices. Very tasty. I ordered the Pasta di Tre Formaggio (fresh pasta with asiago, a type of cheese). My partner had Pasta della Casa (pasta, roasted garlic, fresh tomatoes, olives, basil, mushrooms and bell
peppers in a spicy red sauce). Plates were warm, portions were large, and our meals were delicious. The average entree at Romano’s is $9.95.
To top off the evening meal, our server brought us a dessert tray featuring lady fingers cake soaked in espresso with dark chocolate shavings, a chocolate cannoli, a chocolate fudge cake with whipped cream, and a cheese cake with raspberry sauce and chocolate shavings, which we chose to only disappointment. Although it looked delicious, the ricotta was curdy and the chocolate crepe was thick and stale from being kept cold. After the third bite, the raspberry sauce became overwhelming. Espresso and chocolate cappuccino complemented our dessert.
I recommend Romano’s specialty pastas, but I prefer their personal pizza’s and salads. The restaurant has a casual and fun atmosphere, with both smoking and nonsmoking sections and easy handicap access. To enhance the flavor of Italy, most of the servers have a deep Mediterranean look. Both men and women wore exotic, wild ties. At least four of the servers are professionally trained singers and they will sing at your table on request. Romano’s rates ***/GG.
Eating With Rosey borrows fro The Kitchen With Rosie, by Rosie Daley (Oprah*s personal cook)* Onr Rosey has tried several recipes, each inedible, but she^Ii keep ns posted*
Our Rosey’s rating system*
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WATERMARK / September 14,1994 16
From Page 13
How did you get into journalism?
Purely by accident. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Bloomington Herald Telephone and he ended up hiring me to call around small towns to get sports scores...places like Monrovia and Greencastle. I’ve basically worked in newspapers ever since. I covered sports, city hall...eventually I got a column.
In fact, I did several stories on gay issues and gay people. I remember one of the first.. .1 went to a gay encounter group at a Unitarian Church. It must have been around 1972. It was me and about 50 gay guys and I did a column about it and the gist was that it was OK for football players to hug and pat each others “tight ends” in front of 50,000 people, but not for two men to do the same thing on a street comer.
When AIDS first surfaced and Christians started saying it was divine punishment, I wrote a column saying that using that logic, coronary heart disease among obese CEO’s must be god’s punishment for unseemly greed.
When did you start reporting about television?
When I moved to The Boston Herald in 1984.1 applied for the job of TV critic, and I think I got the job because the Herald was a Rupert Murdoch paper and no reputable reporter wanted to work for him back then.. .certainly not as a TV critic.
Was there much to learn? Was it a difficult transition watching all that TV?
Not really. The hardest part was the reviews. I never got real comfortable with that. I did not enjoy reviewing shows, probably because I often had no real strong
opinion about a show. The truth is that my reaction to 90% of the shows I ever saw was a big shoulder shrug.
What sort of things stand out about TV during the time you wrote about it?
Well I think the period from ’84 to ’94 may be one of the true golden eras of television. There were some excellent programs during that period...far more than during the so-called golden era of the ’50s, which had some good shows but also an awful lot of dross.
Which shows stand out?
The first show I reviewed was The Cosby Show, and I thought, “Hey, this isn’t going to be bad at all.” That was an excellent show, and it kind of elevated my expectations. Certainly The Civil War documentary was a great piece of television. Thirty something. Lonesome Dove was in that period.
Any major trends?
What’s happened, and one of the reasons a lot of conservatives have such difficulty with TV nowadays, is that it’s getting closer and closer to reality. The biggest myth about TV is that it sets a liberal agenda. In fact, television has always been a lagging cultural institution. I mean, c’mon.. .in 1971 they were afraid to present Mary Tyler Moore as a divorcee because they thought it would be too disconcerting to the TV viewing public. And more recently, Thirtysomething had a prime example. They had that one chaste scene between two gay men in bed.. .1 don’t think they even kissed...and ABC claimed they lost a million dollars in advertising over it.
What about the trend toward more and more tabloid television?
The country is kind of schizophrenic about that. Nobody admits to watching the stuff. In fact everyone says they hate tabloid TV, but if you compare the ratings for Hard Copy, A Current Affair, and of course, Wheel of Fortune, with the ratings for MacNeil-Lehrer, which airs at the same time.. .well, if you could make a bar graph, tabloid shows would be the World Trade Center and MacNeil-Lehrer would be a stack of three pancakes. And I do believe in Neilson ratings...again the denial. It’s like denying the validity of a bathroom scale because you don’t like what it tells you.
Speaking of MacNeil-Lehrer...what do you make of the way Channel 24 has bounced back and forth on gay programming? Are they just terrified of their conservative financial backers?
In a word.. .yes. I don’t believe the Channel 24 programmers are homophobes or Ander Crenshaws. They are people under intense pressure to raise money and this is a very conservative community. I have a lot of sympathy for them. They face problems the public TV stations in Boston or Minneapolis never face. This is not a congenial place where its easy to raise money, particularly for an institution that may want to do something sympathetic or supportive of the gay and lesbian community.
They did the right thing when they broadcast Tongues Untied, but according to the people I talked with out there, they took a terrible financial hit as a result. They were punished by their sponsors for that decision and apparently they retreated.
Do you remember the first gay characters you saw on TV?
Well I think That Certain Summer... a TV movie-of-the-week with Hal Holbrook.. .was the first gay-themed show
I remember. And of course there were always characters that were implicitly gay. You had to wonder about the Bonanza boys, too. I think Little Joe had a few dates but that was it.
There are a few regular gay characters on TV now.
I think its evolved in a good way. There was Billy Crystal on Soap. His character was not really demeaning, but his homosexuality was also sort of a running joke. Now there are characters like Martin Mull on Rosanne who just happen to be gay. No gay central characters, though.
Do you think that will happen?
It would be nice if there were a groundbreaking show like Cosby, but who knows where it would lead. I mean 10 years after that groundbreaking show we have blacks in atrocious, pandering shows like Martin and Living Single.
How do you like your new job?
The best thing about my new job is that it’s not my old job. I’ve been liberated from my TV room. I can get out in the community and see some live action...some real lives instead of video lives.
How much TV did you watch?
It would vary from week-to-week, depending on the programming. Usually 35 to 40 hours.. .more if there were a mini-series.
I think that’s actually not much more than the average person watches TV.
I know and that’s sad.

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Ovi#irate fnr iTLiv TrAVAli^r
It Was A Vacation From Hell! This lias been the opening line from so many people when they return horn their vacation. Why was it so bad? In all likelihood, it’s because their expectations were either unrealistic or unmet.
A classic example: two gentlemen decided to Celebrate their ten years together and take a cruise, piey wentto their local ® brochure after brochure of cruises, They never told her they were celebrating their love, for each other and wanted a gay cruise, ;|]^y|p||ii; a trip with the '•^fntvtmd set sail for a week on board a ship that also held groups from die Baptist Alliance-and the
cruise director was thrilled to see our anniversary couple, still not knowing that they were a “couple”. Two single meal As for die Baptist group, fhey| "were' not fond of our .Couple’s' rather stylish Speedos. Needless to say, our couple returned home with less than happy memories; a lost opportunity for a great vacation,
3:: This is say you should travel only to “Gay Exclusive” destinations or sail on “Gay Only” cruises. But, you should have a travel agent with whom 1 you can talk openly about your expectatlcp; An;
International Gay Travel Association (I .G.T.A,) and if they have a specialist in; gay hiid lesbian travel; There - are
rest of their client base.
Be .sure that you know what you are looking for inyour vacadom lf you are looking for a romantic getaway for lovers, you need to voice that to youragent If you are looking for nightlife and dance clubs* f&ll will have the information you are looking for. If they don’t, Find another agent} The g% and lesbian travel market offerS.cve^® ?§® quiet guest houses. Fi^ri ;rq^fl0: tours. j|ven a first class African travel planning. \
Travel is much like J|unde k4ame*s new window everyday, walk down a new highway,”
This article is the first of an ongoing series of reviews and stories of interest .for the lesbian and gay traveler. In share travel information with you. We
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Clubs, restaurants, beaches* bars...we will repeat it all. From the Sleaze Ball in New Orleans to the next March on Washington* we will tell you about it • ||. Remember thiat the only way your travel expectations will be met is if you Verbalize them to an agent who rcspccts your travel;
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From Page 13
change lives. Schneider’s direction gave these actors no way to find and develop that depth.
Through most of the production, the actors “Acting” was apparent. By using “theatre voices” and affected posturing, the actors added to the gap that the director had already established between the show and the audience. Only rarely was this gap bridged.
Bradenton Scott, who played the young Ned , broke through in the second act. His commentary on love and the relationship he destroyed was honest, heart felt, and profoundly moving. His discoveries about his relationship with his brother Ben (Lou Burnstein), were equally as involving, and were helped along by Bowser’s genuine attentiveness and commentary. But as the play moved* on, the “Acting” kicked in again, and the audience was kicked right out. The end result: emotions that were disconnected and not believable.
Speaking of believable, what a profound impact this show would have if the main character actually appeared to be hooked up to all those blood pumping machines. Ailing and surrounded by constant death; every moment heightened by the urgency of survival and validation. Then, when Ned breaks free from that hideous machine, splattering infected blood all over the sterile white sheets of society, we’d have a sense of accomplishment.
Gay Theatre has a responsibility to set a standard as yet unrealized in Orlando. A responsibility to entertain, to teach, to validate, to elevate, and not to accommodate. Until that happens, we are all hooked up to that hideous, blood pumping machine...waiting. The beat goes on.
The Destiny of Me will be performed at 8PM Fridays and Saturdays, and 7PM Sundays, through October 16 at the Acting Studio Company, 952 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando. $12 general, $10 seniors and students. (407) 425-2281.
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WATERMARK / September 14, 1994 18
LoneStar Entertainment has announced that the national “Gay Comedy Jam Freedom Tout” will visit Orlando on Wednesday, September 21. The show will be at The Comedy Zone on International Drive, starting at 8:00 PM.
The Gay Comedy Jam is sponsored by The Advocate magazine, and features Scott Kennedy and Kevin Maye. In addition to being two of the hottest nationally touring comedians today, Scott and Kevin are also domestic partners (two stars sharing the same bathroom!).
Harvey Fierstein will participate in another first this television season, when he becomes the first openly gay actor to play a substantial role as a gay character on a weekly series. CBS' Daddy's Girls will feature Fierstien as the very creative, very nervous, very neurotic Dennis Sinclair, a clothing designer working for series star Dudley Moore.
Scott and Kevin have performed at comedy clubs world-wide as well as major Las Vegas Showrooms. They have worked with entertainers such as Garth Brooks, The Temptations, David Sanborn, Judy Tenuta, and Richard Jeni. Their two man show is an exclusive event for the gay community, and has gained national attention in the mainstream press. Conceived to celebrate Gay Pride and the 20th anniversary of Stonewall, the show has been produced in over 20 cities.
Scott and Kevin will also perform in Tampa on September 12 at the Comedy Works, Jacksonville on September 19 at The Punchline, Ft. Lauderdale on September 20 at Uncle Funny’s, and W. Palm Beach on September 27 at The Comedy Corner. For more information regarding the Orlando show, call (407) 351 -3500.
In fact, CBS says nothing about Fierstien’s character’s homosexuality in its publicity material, preferring to describe Dennis euphemistically as “highly strung”. Fierstien, however, states “Dennis is openly gay. They’re still sort of deciding whether he has a long-term relationship or whether he’ll be a slut.”
Two openly gay actors appear regularly on weekly television series: Amanda Bearse of Fox’s Married.. .WithChildren (see is-
sue 1.01), and Dan Butler, who plays Bob “Bulldog” Briscoe on NBC’s popular Frasier. In the past, gay characters on television have been played by straight actors, such as Soaps’ Billy Crystal.
Dear Advice-O-Rama,
I am a 25 year old gay guy, healthy, with an average-plus sex drive. My problem is that when I meet someone I might be interested in for a serious relationship, I get cold feet in the bedroom. On the other, hand, strictly sexual encounters are great. How do I learn to get wild on a “serious” date?
Dear Waiting,
My gut reaction is “fear of intimacy”. My next thought is to remember to practice safe
sex with any sex partner. However, I understand your confusion. I wonder whether you have been deeply hurt in the past by someone you trusted. Clearly you receive sexual/geni-tal pleasure from anonymous sex. Without being judgmental, I also wonder if you are scared of getting too close to someone. You may want to explore this issue with a close friend or therapist. Personally and professionally, I believe it is best to form friendship first and relish physical intimacy later. Songwriter Michael Johnson says, “Love will get you through time of no sex better than sex will get you through times of love.” If he’s your friend, you can talk with him about your sexual concerns.
Watermark ‘s Advice-O-Rama counselor is Keith Baber, M.Ed.. Keith has a degree in Counseling-Psychology, and is in private practice in Altamonte Springs. He can be reached at (407) 834-3279.
T Congratulations to Blair and Steve for opening of the first bed & breakfast in the City of Orlando. Their grand opening party on Sep. 10 was memorable, as is The Veranda itself. All paddle fans, porches and rocking chairs, The Veranda suggests the Deep South. Grab your mint julep and check it out, or better yet, book a one-night vacation. It’s a beautiful place, and an important new addition to the rapidly changing.Thomton Park neighborhood.
▼ The Civic Theatre of Central Florida opens its 1994-95 Mainstage season with the song and dance sensation, Me and My Girl, Sep. 15 thru Oct. 9. A recent hit on Broadway, Me and My Girl is a charming musical that mixes razzle-dazzle showmanship with a delightfully romantic story. Me and My Girl will run Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 PM, and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 PM. Tickets are $16 and $ 18. For tickets call the Civic Theatre Box Office at (407) 896-7365.
T The Aids Resource Alliance (ARA) presents an Open House and Evening of Art on Friday, Septemer 16 at 6 PM at their headquarters on Colonial Dr. near Orange Blossom Tr. Artists Pete Clarke, Ondra Gary, Marian Simmons and Linda Lenhardt will donate a portion of any art sales made during the evening to ARA. For more informaion, call (407) 425-2233.
T The Rainbow Democratic Club presents La Cage. RDC has bought out the theater on Friday, Sep. 23 for a “Family Night Out”. Tickets are $45.00 and include dinner, show, tax and gratuity. Proceeds will benefit RDC. Call (407) 649-7875 for more details.
▼ LCN (Loving Committed Network) and the Unitarian Church present Lesbian Movie Comedy Night, Saturday, Sep. 24 at 7 PM at the Unitarian Church on the comer of Robinson and Hampton in downtown Orlando. This month features several different short videos by lesbian comedians Suzanne Westenhoefer, Karen Williams and more. Tickets are $3.00 to $5.00. Call (407) 831-2971 for more information.
T The 5th Annual International Pride Film Festival in Tampa begins on Sept. 30 and runs through Oct. 9. The festival will be held at the historic Tampa Theatre, as well as other venues.
This year’s festival will feature over 25 film events, including: Director Arthur Dong introducing his award winning documentary about gays in the military, Coming Out Under Fire; the Florida premier of Zero Patience, an outrageously camp AIDS musical named best feature film at the 1993 San Francisco Festival; the Florida premier of Totally Fucked Up, Greg Araki’s (The Living End) latest Gen X noir drama; the much anticipated Salmonberries, starring k.d. lang in her feature film debut. The festival opens with the Sandra Bernhard bio, Confession of a Pretty Lady.
On Oct. 8 and 9, a Gala Celebration is scheduled, including a street festival and musical and theatrical performances (including Orlando’s Improvabilities). More than 5,000 attended last year’s festival.
Speaking of Tampa, Emily Mann’s Execution of Justice, a play about the murder trial of Harvey Milk’s killer, Dan White, is playing at the Tmpa Theater from Sep. 30 thru Oct. 9.
▼ The Orlando Gay Chorus begins their fall season with a concert and party at the Maitland Art Center on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 6 PM. A new venue for the chorus, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment are promised. Tickets are $15.00. Call (407) 645-5866 for more information.
T The Aids Resource Alliance (ARA) will hold their 2nd annual Echoes On The Green Golf Tournament on Oct. 10 at Metro West Country Club. Monies raised will go to support the needs of those suffering from AIDS. Those interested in participating, or in becoming an event sponsor, should call (407) 425-2233.
▼ Lewis Routh’s outrageous Whores of a Different Color returns to Orlando after
a five year hiatus. The off-beat comedy played to packed houses at the Parliament House last time around, and in fact, the play is set on the Parliament House stage, as six gay actors rehearse a play based on a Greek myth about male/male love. According to Routh, the play is a “fun-filled romp that still packs a punch with its message.” Tickets are on sale now and limited to 100 seats per performance. Opening night, Thursday Oct. 13, will be a benefit for Gay & Lesbian Community Services. For information, call (407) 521-8134. TTTT
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WATERMARK / September 14,1994 19
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BOWLING. See Sept. AT LA CAGE. See Lesbigay talk radio w/ ME. Continues at The Semoran Skateway in Orlando’s largest gay See Sept. 21.
15. Local Color. Judy Shaw. 1300 AM Acting Studio. 7 PM. Fern Park. 9:15 PM. & lesbian bowling %
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WATERMARK / September 14,1994 20
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▼ According to an Agriculture Department study, 8.5 percent of male sheep are gay. We’re not kidding.
▼ When he dines out, our bold and outrageous friend Eric always asks to be seated at a table with a gay waiter. He says everyone relaxes and its always fun to watch the forewarned waiter make his initial, usually tentative approach to the table. Eric tells us that he’s never been to a restaurant where his request couldn’t be granted.
▼ We count three gay characters in Disney’s summer mega-hit, The Lion King. Jeremy Irons’villianous Scar, Simba’s bearish buddy Pumbaa the wart hog, and of course Timon, the meerkat who does drag and is voiced by the wonderful, adorable Nathan Lane.
▼ We’re big David Letterman fans, and it concerns us that although his show is top-rated nationwide, in Central Florida it consistently ranks behind sober Nightline and the tired Tonight Show with Jay Leno. No matter. Letterman always makes us want to create our own Top Ten lists. Top Ten Lesbian Names: Kim, Rocky, Pam, Debbie, Jo, Pat, Mickie, Spike, Lynn and B.J./D.J./C.J....anything J.
▼ Ex-Mission Impossible hunk Peter Lupus is reportedly hawking sprayable vitamins. We’re not kidding. During the ’70s, he and a bunch of B-type actors posed nude for Playgirl. Hey...when Burt Reynolds did it for Cosmopolitan it made him a household name. Fabian, George Maharis, Jim Brown, Chris George, Lyle Waggoner, never achieved the same notoriety. Do B-type actors still pose for Play? Are there any B-type actors we’d like to see pose for Playgirl? How ‘bout that guy who plays the next-door neighbor’s husband on Grace Under Fire? Did B-type actresses ever pose for Playboy or Penthouse? Obviously B-type celebrities do, as evidenced by Tonya Harding’s recent “spread” in Penthouse.
▼ While we’re on the topic of television, was there ever a TV show with better looking actors than The Big Valley? Linda Evans was a stunner. Heath, Nick, Jarrod, all hunks. Barbara Stanwyck was handsome as well. Could it be true that she was the lesbian shrew from hell as alleged in her most recent bio? T Elections don’t have to be a complete drag. At Wigstock, New York’s annual Labor Day festival of drag, one candidate for state attorney general handed out nail files with his name and the date of the primary stamped on them.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): With Mars in transit through your house of the home, it may be time to move.. .or at least redecorate. But be careful with those power tools, dear; use both hands, because you’re accident-prone. If you’ve been depressed lately, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s called Saturn in retrograde. You’ll love feeiing homy again. It gives life such a sense of... purpose!
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Mercury has packed and moved into your seventh house, bringing energy for travel and significant others. Perfect timing because everyone’s bored with your old stories. Go somewhere foreign; someplace with some history. Look marvelous while you solve a friend’s love problems over capuccino at a waterfront cafe. Then go create some problems for yourself. And by all means get political.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Earth continues to rotate while your head is in the clouds. It’s working. Don’t fight it. Others will attend to the mundane while you play. Just play healthy, and try to avoid anything clandestine. All earning potential thrusters are operational.. .a good time for gambling? But don’t spend it ‘til you’ve got it, dear. Jupiter sends you a kiss and says to watch your health for a while.
CANCER (June 21-JuIy 22): Venus is with you, so be sure to create opportunities for quiet, meaningful romance near the hearth.. .just what you live for. If you’re in a relationship, this could be a time of great bonding and sexual excitement. Even pregnancy may be achievable! As Mars conjuncts the Sun, fight your tendency to overextend. And by all means, reschedule visits by family and friends. Make love, not war!
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): If there’s a sandbox available, take it. You have real access to childhood memories and it wouldn’t hurt to wallow in them for a while. Your Karma will thank you. Watch yourself before entering into any “deals”; somebody may have a hidden agenda. As always, lions, temper your appetite for food, and for life in general. I know it tastes good. I know if feels good. But moderation is a virtue (even for you).
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept 22): It’s time to stop obsessing about finances and your future.. .right NOW. You hate taking advice, but consult a friend and listen, no matter how far-fetched. It feels like you’ve been missing out on things. You have. Choose a course of action and hit cruise-control at about 80 mph. When you arrive at your new destination, some familiar problems (like that relationship thing) will be there waiting for you. But the scenery will be better.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 23): Venus visits. Mercury mixes. Jupiter jumps. All in your (not so) humble house this month! It won’t last long, but in this madcap world, one good month is one good month. Besides, your stagnant routines have become depressing. Now’s the time to get centered so you can move. Meditate if necessary, but by all means rediscover the beauty of surprise. Just act surprised when that unexpected money turns up.
SCORPIO (Oct 24-Nov. 21): Are you paranoid if you think people are saying good things about you behind your back? They must detect your animal magnetism, which has always worked for you like a splash of Paco Rabanne.. .everyone senses it (cough) but you. Children, however, are oblivious, and that’s a pain in the ass. If things seem a bit foggy, lose the cologne and look to your distant past.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Are you a
little, shall we say, overextended? Are you losing track of meetings and agendas? Are you even contributing? Reevaluate. Prioritize. Quit. Instead, pull out your London Fog and take up cigarettes. You are ripe for a very steamy, very atypical ...affair. Avoid that judgmental mother for a while, and by all means avoid legal surprises.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): That tug of war in your relationship isn’t over yet. Bummer. Friends and group activities will see you through while you decide whether to dig in your heels or let go of the rope. You may feel a bit like a Christmas glass ball that’s just been shaken furiously. Focus inward until your personal snow flakes have settled enough for you to see out.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aperiod of revelations. That plug that’s been blocking your career will dislodge...finally. And you’ll get to know that person you’ve been getting to know. Cut your losses. Anything that’s not readily apparent should be investigated. Ladies, pay close attention to whatever your body may be trying to tell you.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Stock hankies and prozac. The full moon on the 19th means emotional release. Johnstown flood. Let it happen. The planets are aligned to protect you like a five-day deoderant. But decide now that you will not decide anything until the new moon on Oct 14th. Instead, gather data like a whale gathering plankton. Perhaps that relationship would work better as a friendship.
Mark Lawhon is certified by the American Federation of Astrologers, and is available for consultations by calling 407-894-1506.
WATERMARK / September 14,1994 21
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Some of the Ballbusters celebrate the end of another practice. Front: Lisa, Doug, Becky Vickie, Donna.
They’ve practiced. They’ve oiled their gloves. They’ve booked their hotel rooms. They’ve raised close to $1000 to cover costs. The Ballbusters, one of Orlando’s premier women’s softball teams, are ready for the ASA’s Women’s Class-C Nationals in St. Augustine. Psyched as a matter of fact.
Eighty women’s softball teams will compete for national bragging rights at the tournament, held from Thursday, Sept. 22
thru Sunday, Sept. 25. According to Coach Doug Atkins, who has coached the team for six years, the “Busters” have “a lot of great players. We also have a lot of fun. We’re a close team.”
The Ballbusters, who are sponsored by Contemporary Awnings, earned the right to participate in the tournament by finishing fourth in the city’s Metro Tournaments. Some of the core “Busters” can’t participate in the four-day tournament, so Coach Atkins and his team have hand-picked talented ball-players from competing teams. Atkins states, “I don’t claim to be a great coach, but I’m smart enough to surround myself with great players.”
The Ballbusters is comprised mostly of
“professional women who love to play soft-ball.” At least half are lesbian, Atkins notes. “Many have kids, so they bring their kids, I bring my kids...its just a real family atmosphere with this team.” “In fact,” he adds, “softball is a great equalizer. All we care about is that our players have the right skills and the right attitude.”
Based on their performance at a recent Sunday morning practice, the Ballbusters have that right attitude. After two hours in the hot sun, players were chasing down line drives and throwing the softball with a real sense of purpose. Teammates could be heard encouraging each other and applauding extra effort. “We’re going to win,” says Coach Atkins.
A dedicated and ambitious group and lesbian bowlers is trying to bring the massive 1995 IGBO (International Gay Bowling Organization) Mid-year Bowling Tournament to Orlando. The tournament will be held November 10, 11 and 12. The IGBO tournament is expected to draw up to 600 gay and lesbian bowlers to the area, who will compete for $15,000 in prize money.
Tournament Director Robert Young, Co-Directors James Cardinal, Merri Wedemeyer, Keith McDaniel, Treasurer James Hunt and Secretary Ron Carpenter will make their presentation to IGBO officials on October 27 in Tucson, Arizona. They propose a “Fantasy ’95" theme, and will highlight Orlando’s weather, many attractions and accomodations. If Orlando is
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awarded the tournament, the Orlando Marriott will function as the host hotel and banquet facility. Bowling centers will include Fairlanes Skybowl and Winter Park BowlAmerica.
The IGBO Mid-year tournament would bring an estimated half million dollars in revenues to the host city.
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WATERMARK / September 14,1994 23
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Pontiac Bonneville SSE
(per Volvo Store)
• Dual air-bags • Volvo's patented side-impact protection • ABS CFC-free air conditioning • 6 speaker sound system w/ anti-theft • And, of course,power everything
1051W. Webster Ave. (next to the Winter Park Mall) - 628-0550
(per Kelley Bluebook)
Buick Park Avenue
70's & 80's Classic Dance Starting September 18th
Doors open at 4PM No cover til 6PM
25C draft, $1.50 wells and $1.75 domestic beer 6-9 PM
Resident DJ Brent Simpson welcomes Retro DJ Chris Rehbein
140 Fnnwnd Bln) ■ Fen Falk. FL 32730 • (487) 831-7559
(Located across from the Orlando lai-Lai • Formerly “Central Station”)
Plenty of free parking


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Barber, Keith et al., “The Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 2, September 14, 1994,” RICHES, accessed April 25, 2024,