The Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 4, October 12, 1994


Dublin Core


The Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 4, October 12, 1994

Alternative Title

Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 4


Gay culture--United States


The fourth issue of The Watermark was published on October 12, 1994, and shifted toward a heavier political focus dealing with national LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and others) issues. The front page is primarily dedicated to the discussion on the participations of "Gays in the Local Media." The other portion of the front page discusses how local politicians participate in the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA) Forum, notably addressing the political careers of Buddy Dyer (b. 1958) and Fran Pignone. The discussion of the articles and articles on the next page discuss the need to maintain anti-discrimination laws. The issue also addresses the HIV-AIDS Institute disconnecting from the University of Central (UCF_, and the remaining offices of HIV-AIDS Education and the "Info-Maniacs," a peer education program. The issue then continued the trend of publishing international issues such as, Maryland’s decision on Parental Rights for gay parents, San Francisco’s fight for non-discrimination for private businesses, and South Africa’s condemnation of Gay Pride. This fourth issue also saw the return of discussion about parties and circuit life, this time covered in an article about Madis Gras in Australia.

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.


Almeida, David
Brenner, Harmony
Crescitelli, James A.
De Matteis, Stephen
Gasti, Rafael Harris
Gustetter, April L.
Kundis, Ken
Maines, Ted
O'Lay, Lola
Sloan, Rosanne
Toscas, Dimitri


Original 24-page newspaper: The Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 4, October 12, 1994: Publications Collection, GLBT History Museum of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida.


Date Created

ca. 1994-10-12

Date Copyrighted


Date Issued


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original 24-page newspaper: The Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 4, October 12, 1994.

Is Part Of

The Watermark Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




24-page newspaper






Orlando, Florida
Richmond, Virginia
Boise, Idaho
Annapolis, Maryland
San Francisco, California
Johannesburg, South Africa
Tampa, Florida
Mooresfield's, Orlando, Florida
Sydney, Australia

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.


OCTOBER 12,1994
by Rafael Harris Gasti
John Rose and Rev. George Crossley on Channel 24’s Opinion Street.
Whether you’re gay or straight, a well-traveled sophisticate or a couch potato, images of homosexuality are everywhere. From PBS’ pixilated Tales of the City, to Channel 2’s investigative report on homosexual encounters in public parks, to The Orlando Sentinel's “Woman Seeks Woman/ Man Seeks Man” TelePersonals, these images are beamed into living rooms and bedrooms and delivered to front doors. For many, these images alone define gay and lesbian experience.
The influence of the media, particularly television, on popular culture can hardly be overemphasized. This is particularly true when media images are not balanced by real life experience. In Central Florida, these media images of homosexual experience have enormous power, because gay culture and political influence are emergent, and a conservative climate still dissuades many from coming out to family and friends.
And make no mistake.. .in the media business, where patronage reflects profits and where viewers and readers mean dollars, images of homosexuality are enormously popular. At once sexual and political, titillating and avant garde, news stories and dramatizations addressing elements of gay experience are commonplace; a sweeps week staple. But are these images balanced? Do they truly reflect gay and lesbian experience?
Three local gay activists, John Rose, Saviz Shafaie, and Brian Arbogast de Hubert-Miller, have made it their mission to research and then address these issues, in letters and phone calls,
and in the board rooms of local media outlets. Their combined experience is both interesting and instructive.
Gay advocate John Rose, a native of Orlando, speaks adamantly about the issue of censorship and the need for a diverse, gay-affirming media in Central Florida. Years of activism have mellowed Rose somewhat, but a glimpse of his renowned verbal fireworks is always near the surface. Despite shortcomings, he notes with pleasure that “there has been soTrie substantial improvement concerning gays in the local media.”
Brian Arbogast de Hubert-Miller, a Community Advisory Board member at WMFE-Channel 24, was more guarded in his assessment of the local media. He maintains pointedly that “money talks,” and that money and politics in conservative Central Florida can be used against the unpopular or unempowered to trivialize and render them invisible.
Meanwhile, with the demeanor of a thoughtful pacifist, fellow Channel 24 Community Advisory Board member Saviz Shafaie notes that local media have moved away from a focus solely on the exotic and bizarre, like sex crimes and extremes in self-expression. He lauds the appearance of “some gay-sensitive material rather than none,” and he is cautiously optimistic about the future.
Supporting Shafaie’s optimism, Rose pride-fully notes the recent progress made at PBS affilliate Channel 24. (Note, Channel 24 was
Continued Page 8
< Echoing Mmionofgay$
and lesbians, candidates for local elected office joined in a Candidates Forum sponsored by the Metropolitan Business Association, Thursday October 6 at the
Moderator Tom Dyer opened the forum, which featured a five minute presentation by each candidate followed by a brief question and answer period,: by explaining his criteria for choosing a candidate and issued that as a challen^ to each of the present-
ers, ^
“Before 1 consider voting for any person for any office, I ask myself it this is someone who will work to eradicate discrimination against gays and lesbians. And if it is not, 1 will not vote for them,H Dyer said,
, The first to meet Dyer’s challenge was Orange County Chairman candidate Fran Pignone, who has been an outspoken advocate of the gay and lesbian community, attending June’s Pride Parade as well as the Spectrum Awards. . , Continued Page 8
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FORT MYERS (AP) - Lee County, which offered HIV tests at a high school health fair three years ago, is now setting up testing facilities at its driver’s license office. The county will become thie first in the state to offer the tests to people applying for a driver’s license. Testing began last week.
“It’s our belief the only way to combat this disease in an effective prevention program is to get out to the population,” said Mark Geisler, executive director of the County AIDS task force.
The tests are given in a small motor home belonging to the Lee County Public Health Unit on Fridays. The test costs $30. It will be free to anyone unable to pay. Results are confidential and take about three weeks. Lee County has 760 reported AIDS cases.
Former Orlando resident and gay activist, Cindy L. Abel, has been selected as the Executive Director of Stonewall Cincinnati. Cincinnati was thrust into the political spotlight in 1989, when local politicians sought to censor an exhibit of works by respected gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Since then, conservatives and gay activists in Cincinnati have clashed repeatedly.
Abel owned a marketing and public relations firm in Orlando, and served as vice president of the Rainbow Democratic Club. She was also a board member of the Metropolitan Business Association. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, and prior to accepting her current position was Director of the Privacy Project, and chair of Floridians United Against Discrimination.
Stonewall Cincinnati is a non-profit organization specializing in education and advocacy on behalf of lesbians and gay men.
The HIV-AIDS Institute is leaving the University of Central Florida after an eight-year relationship. Founded in 1986, the Institute grew out of a grant from the Florida Department of Education and a need for current information on HIV disease. The Institute created UCF’s HIV-AIDS Education Office, which will remain at the university, and “Info-maniacs,” an award-winning peer education program.
Although never officially approved as an institute by the Board of Regents, UCF allowed it to be housed in the College of Health and Public Affairs. Funding for the Institute has come primarily from fund-raisers and grants.
Institute President Sharon E. Douglass stated that the Institute was never content to be campus bound. The Institute is presently seeking new office space. Anyone wishing to help should call (407) 679-9312.
beyoad, Alachua County activists m fighting to maintain a county ordinance which includes sexual orientation in the county’s Human Rights Act
in Match, 1993* barred discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in any county business or employment standards*
Since then, die Concerned Citizens of Alachua County have collected enough signatures to enter two initiatives cm the November 8 ballot. The first —• County Initiative I - would remove the sexual orientation clause from the county’s Human Rights Act The second, Charter Amendment 1, would forever bar the inclusion of sexual orientation in county-wide discrimination protections.
In an effort to fight the Concerned Citizens of Alachua County, die “No On One” Coalition has been formed. According to spokesperson Georg Ketelhohn, “We are building coalitions in Alachua County which include business leaders, clergy* county and city commissioners, and university faculty who will be holding forums and press conferences to discuss too negative impact that such a measure would have on our community, We will also be mounting a media campaign, including radio, television and print advertising, which will get die message out to the voters,” Ketelhohn said.
The Concerned Citizens of Alachua County is rumored to be affiliated, at least unofficially, with the American Family Association and its leader, David
Qrlandoan Carol Bartsch, of the Florida Federal Advocacy Network (FAN) (affiliated with the nationwide Human Rights Campaign Fund], underscores die importance of the Alachua County referendum for the central Florida area. “As a university community* Alachua County is perceived as more progressive, We believe that die AFA thinks that if they can win in Alachua, it will only get easier for them, Orlando may very well be die next target,” Bartseh said,
House parties will be held in Orlando and across the state in the coming weeks to brief people on the events in Alachua County and to raise money for the effort to fight the initiative.
For more information on Oriandohouse parties to support“NoOnOne,“ contact Carol Bartsch at (407) 293-0240,
From Page 1
Pignone’s opponent in the November 8 election, incumbent Linda Chapin, declined, citing a previous engagement. Chapin did however send Shawn Rader, a friend of the chairman’s, to apologize for her absence.
Pignone spoke warmly of the gay and lesbian community as the emotional center of her candidacy.
“When I come to speak at a group like this, I’m at my most personal, my most emotional,” Pignone said. “You are my heart and soul.”
Pignone was at her most passionate when asked about the fate of culture and the arts in Orange County. As a lifelong devotee of opera, Pignone was one of the few county commissioners who voted to allot the last $50,000 in an attempt to save the symphony. She was saddened the attempt failed.
“Intuitively, I think it is easier to keep an institution alive than it is to recreate it. I know that we must try to keep these things — the arts, dance, opera — alive to give the people of our community, particularly the young people, options and outlets,” Pignone said.
County Commission District 6 incumbent Mabel Butler, however, was not as supportive of such a measure when she rose to give her presentation.
“I’m a B.B. King fan myself,” Butler said. Then turning more serious, Butler said that a county-funded institution like the symphony would better serve the entire community if it was made accessible to all of the citizens of the county.
“If the taxpayers of Orange County are going to pay for something like a symphony, bring it to all of the people. Don’t just leave it to those who can afford to pay for it,” Butler said.
During her remarks, Butler empathized with the gay community, saying that her life has been lived in the shadow of discrimination. She indicated she would be support-
ive of any measure that would ensure the protection of the rights of ays and lesbians.
“I’ve been discriminated against all my life.. .be it black.. .be it woman. I’m not for any kind of discrimination,” Butler said.
Butler’s opponent, Charlene Mitchell, did not respond to MBA’s invitation.
One of the warmest responses of the evening was reserved for Deborah Blechman, candidate for County Judge Group 5. As a long-time supporter of the gay and lesbian community, Blechman has become a regular figure at a number of gay and lesbian functions.
“I doubt there is anyone here who has not heard me speak,” she joked. Later in her remarks, she commented on the dilemma that is faced by candidates who publicly declare their support of gay and lesbian issues.
“When I received my invitation and saw that all of the candidates would be there, I thought ‘Oh, no.. .the mainstream press will be there.’ I wasn’t sure I had the courage to do it. I said to [Rainbow Democratic Club board member] Mark Anderson ‘Don’t make me target practice.’ When I got home,
I was ashamed of myself for that...The problem is that there is a climate of hate andmtmeranceout there that is very frightening, even for me as a candidate,” Blechman said.
Blechman’s opponent, George Winslow, declined MBA’s invitation.
The forum attracted both candidates in only one race: Circuit Court Judge, Group 28. Roger McDonald, who has previously addressed MBA, spoke first. He discussed his position on gay and lesbian issues, as well as his support of Florida’s current privacy laws.
“We are lucky that in Florida we have one of the very few state constitutions which specifically refers to a right of privacy. The interpretation of that right will be left in the hands of the circuit and appellate court judges in the coming years. I am a firm believer in the right of privacy for all the citizens of the state, not just selected groups,” McDonald said.
McDonald’s opponent, Bob Wattles, followed him at the podium. In his candidacy, Wattles has declared that he will not accept campaign contributions from lawyers or
STATE SENATOR BUDDY DYER: “[ask why] some candidates aren’t here.”
law firms.
“As a judge, i must oifey »*Uit)fiaato gy,.
even playing field. Tcannotbe beholden to
anyone who comes into my courtroom,”he said during his remarks.
Incumbent District 14 State Senator Buddy Dyer was confrontational during his impromptu presentation.
“I’m not as polite as some of the other candidate who are here. I think you should think about what it means that some candidates aren’t here,” Dyer said. Dyer also railed against a wave of intolerance that exists in the Florida legislature.
“People like [State Senator] Ander Crenshaw can say something like ‘I won’t knowingly hire any gay people’ and somehow that is alright. It’s outrageous,” Dyer said.
Nancy Patterson, Dyer’s opponent, declined MBA’s invitation.
The final speaker in the forum was also its most emotional. Louise Ray, candidate ler State Representative, District 33, has made gay rights a central issue in her campaign to unseat Marvin Couch, who declined MBA’s invitation to attend.
WATERMARK / October 12, 1994 4
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Homosexuals across the country are working to re-elect Sen. Charles S. Robb, whom they regard as a leader with the courage to condemn discrimination against gays despite the obvious political risks. The Human Rights Campaign Fund, a national gay political action group based in Washington, has made Robb’s campaign against Republican nominee Oliver North one of its top priorities.
“The radical right views Chuck Robb’s convictions on lesbian and gay equality as a weakness, and will attempt to use this against him to defeat him,” executive director Tim McFeeley wrote members. “We need to prove that Chuck Robb can beat the radical right this year in Virginia.” The fund has contributed the maximum allowable, $10,000, and several members of the fund have held private fund-raisers, McFeeley said.
David Mixner, a gay-rights leader from California, mailed an appeal to several thousand homosexuals nationwide soliciting contributions for Robb.
At Richmond’s annual Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade earlier this month, some participants said they were motivated as much by support for Robb as they were by opposition to North. Robb, a Marine company commander in Vietnam, has spoken out for efforts to include gays in the military, provided they don’t engage in behavior that is disruptive or bad for morale. North, a Marine who also served in Vietnam, has been a strident critic of gays in the military, sending out fund-raising appeals that described President Clinton as “the point man...for the radical homosexual lobby.”
BOISE, Id. (AP) - Opponents of the controversial Idaho anti-gay initiative have pulled out in front in their campaign against the Idaho Citizens Alliance, according to a new public opinion poll.
The poll, conducted for KTVB-TV in Boise, KHQ-TV in Spokane, Wash., and The Spokesman-Review newspaper’s Idaho edition, said 44 percent opposed the proposition while 35 percent supported it. The remaining 21 percent said they were undecided. The poll of 808 randomly selected registered voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The survey was conducted during the final three days of September.
The results on the anti-gay initiative, which would prohibit state or local laws protecting homosexuals from discrimination, were in direct contrast to another independent survey conducted about five weeks earlier. That poll by Greg Smith and Associates and Tracy Andrus had 49 percent of the respondents favoring the initiative and 43 percent opposing it with a margin of error of just under five percentage points.
Supporters of the initiative, which drew only a few thousand more valid signatures than required to win ballot status, say it is a pre-emptive strike against what they call the gay agenda. They claim it will only prohibit homosexuals from receiving special rights. But critics, who include virtually every civic and political leader in the state, have called it a bigoted, divisive proposal that would actually strip homosexuals of their basic civil rights.
Because of the strident language being used in the debate, some analysts are concerned that the undecided bloc in all the polls are actually supporters who do not want to admit to holding a position that many see as hateful.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - David K. North can visit his three daughters for several hours on the weekend, during the daytime only. No holidays, no overnight visits.
That’s because a judge doesn’t believe the gay, HIV-positive North - now living with his lover - can be trusted to hide his homosexuality from his children.
North’s appeal of that 1993 ruling has given the Maryland Court of Special Appeals its first chance to decide whether homosexuality is a reason to limit the rights of a parent. “It’s a very important question. We need more loving parents rather than fewer, and to disqualify a homosexual because of that status is a pretty outrageous thing to do,” said Stuart Comstock-Gay, head of the American Civil Liberties Union in Maryland, which is helping represent North.
North’s former wife, Kathryn Dionne North, had sought to terminate his visitation rights completely after learning that her ex-husband, a former Baptist minister, is gay. Instead, a judge denied North overnight visits with the girls, ages 9, 6 and 3, letting him have unsupervised visits on Saturdays and Sundays.
In 21 of 25 states where the issue has been decided at the appellate level, courts ruled that a parent’s rights cannot be limited solely because he or she is homosexual and living with a lover, said Natalie H. Rees, a lawyer appointed by the appeals court to represent the girls. In June, the Virginia Supreme Court overturned a judge’s ruling denying a lesbian custody of her son. The judge had ruled that being a lesbian made her an unfit mother.
Mrs. North allowed liberal visits until North told her in 1992 that he is gay and that he and friend, David York, were involved in a relationship.
One reason Circuit Judge Audrey Melbourne cited in limiting North’s visitation rights was that he could not be trusted since he continued to have sex with his wife after learning he had the AIDS virus. “The court finds that the defendant is not candid, is not responsible and is deceitful,” Melbourne said. “The court will therefore not trust defendant’s promise not to display his homosexual lifestyle to the children.”
Gerald Solomon, one of North’s lawyers, agreed it was wrong for North to continue having sex with his wife. But Solomon said North’s ability to care for the children is all that matters in the pending dispute. And the lawyer noted that state social and mental health workers said North was a good father and the girls enjoyed their visits with him and York. Both agencies supported liberal visitation rights. North said Thursday he did not know when the court would rule on his appeal.
North wants his daughters for overnight visits, holidays and vacations and said he would not do anything that might expose them to the virus.
The former minister, who once preached that homosexuality is a sin, also wants to tell his children that he is gay and would like his former wife to join the discussion. “But given her adamant feelings about the evils and abomination of homosexuality,” he said, “that’s just not going to happen.”
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A discrimination suit by a gay man against a golf club that rejected his membership application has been revived by a state appeals court.
Thomas Sherck said his sponsors withdrew their support of his membership application to the California Golf Club of San Francisco after learning he was homosexual, because the club did not want homosexuals as members. He sued both the club and his sponsors, Dennis and Ray Youngdahl, under the state’s Unruh Act, which prohibits businesses from discriminating against customers on various grounds. State courts have ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation is banned by the law.
The club, which is based in South San Francisco, argued that Sherck was rejected solely because his application was not sponsored by two members, as its bylaws required. A San Mateo County Superior Court judge agreed with those arguments and dismissed the suit, but it was reinstated by the 1st District Court of Appeal in a ruling made public Thursday.
Sherck quoted the club’s membership committee as asking him whether a bar that he owned was a “straight bar.” That evidence, which was rejected as irrelevant by the Superior Court judge, is relevant to the question of whether Sherck was excluded because of his homosexuality, the court said.
Sherck also said a friend quoted Dennis Youngdahl as saying, “How dare you ask us to bring in a gay guy?” Though it is hearsay, that statement is admissible against the club, as a “declaration against interest,” because the Youngdahls were the club’s representatives, the court said.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - Hundreds of people, some dressed or cross-dressed in wild clothes and colors, marched through Johannesburg on Saturday to celebrate gay and lesbian rights in post-apartheid South Africa. A handful of religious protesters condemned the marchers, but the procession was mostly a festive affair that ended with a party in a city park.
Paul Stobbs, chairman of the Johannesburg gay and lesbian pride parade, said South Africa’s new constitution was the only one in the world that prohibited discrimination against sexual orientation. The constitution took effect with the nation’s first all-race election in April that ended white rule and brought Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress to power. Similar marches have occurred in previous years despite South Africa’s strong religious heritage that condemns homosexuality.
To a heavy disco drumbeat, the male and female marchers - some dressed in satin, lace or leather - snaked through downtown streets to the amusement of most onlookers and the dismay of others.
“Sodomites, turn or bum, Jesus saves lives,” said a placard held by one protester. A marcher hit at a poster and organizers had to prevent other scuffles from breaking out. Reacting to heckling from protesters, a group of women marchers chanted: “Two, four, six, eight, how do you know your wife is straight?”
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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (AP) - A new test for measuring how much of the HIV virus an infected person is carrying could help scientists determine what treatments are best for controlling the virus that causes AIDS.
“It is possible, and I think probable, that these tools may be able to predict more accurately which treatments will be most effective in managing HIV infection,” said Dr. James Rooney, associate director of the infectious diseases department at RTP’s Burroughs Wellcome Co. The British drug company discovered AZT, the first treatment for AIDS.
Scientists say the standard blood test now used to detect AIDS is reliable, but may not detect antibodies until several months after the virus has invaded the body. It also does not work for the newborn babies of HIV-positive parents.
A new test created by scientists at Roche Biomedical Laboratories has been able to detect the virus before antibodies appear, said Dr. Bruce McCreedy, the company’s director of infectious diseases and clinical trials. The test became available in April and is one of two methods for measuring a patient’s “viral load” - the amount of genetic material from HIV in the blood plasma.
Roche Molecular Systems is in the early stages of developing a test kit allowing doctors and researchers to use the new technology. The test is now only available as a paid service through the company.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A study of AIDS-infected mothers found that the more virus they carry in their blood, the greater the chance they will pass it on to their babies just before birth or during delivery.
The research suggests that checking a mother’s viral levels during pregnancy can guide doctors in choosing the right drugs to protect the unborn.
It also helps explain why only about 1 in 4 infected mothers not treated with anti-AIDS drugs actually passes the virus on.
AIDS infections in newborns are particularly devastating, often killing youngsters much faster than adults who catch the virus. Recently, doctors have found that giving pregnant women the AIDS drug AZT can significantly lower the transmission rate, from 25 percent to 8 percent.
Dr. Barbara Weiser of the New York state Health Department presented the latest work, conducted on 27 HIV-infected pregnant women, at a conference Wednesday of the American Society for Microbiology held in Orlando.
Currently, pregnant women who are infected receive AZT pills beginning at 14 weeks of pregnancy and intravenous AZT during labor. Babies also receive the drug during their first six weeks of life.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6,600 HIV-infected women gave birth last year, and they had 1,720 infected babies.
The CDC’s Dr. Susan F. Davis said that if all of them had gotten AZT, as many as 1,200 of these newborn infections could have been prevented.
Doctors believe the risk of transmission from mother to child is highest late in pregnancy and during childbirth.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Stubborn cultural traditions increase the risk of AIDS in the Hispanic community, says a Tampa-area woman.
Maria Caride, 27, has educated herself since she being positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in 1990. Now she goes anywhere she can to educate Hispanics about AIDS prevention. But education is difficult in a culture where talk of sexuality and condom use is taboo, she said. “I was never taught about sex and condom use. If someone would have taught me about safe sex, I wouldn’t be in this situation now.”
Hispanics are contracting the disease faster than any other ethnic group, according to the U.S. surgeon general.
While Hispanics make up about 10 percent of the nation’s population, they account for 19 percent of AIDS cases in the country. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Hispanic women represent one-third of all new AIDS cases.
Hispanic AIDS activists say until Hispanics overcome cultural differences and shatter the stigma associated with the disease, the numbers will only get worse.
Women in Hispanic families simply don’t talk about sex, activists say. Hispanic men present a different set of problems, they say. Attitudes about sex are often primitive, and
males are encouraged to be dominant. The Latin machismo eschews condoms - studies show Latin men just won’t wear them, the Hispanic activists complain. Then there is the influence of the Roman Catholic church, which has espoused abstinence over condoms.
“Hispanics prefer to cover up the problem instead of dealing with it,” said Hispanic AIDS activist Olga Companioni of Tampa.
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Directly due to Biair’s perseverance, the laws necessary to own and operate . 'such ah establishment were passed on February 21,1994, Subsequently he and Steve begap renovations. .||^';||d
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(AP) - In quest of a better image and better talent, companies are increasingly seeking domestic partner benefits for their employees. Susan Leahy of Blue Cross/Blue Shield MA -Inc., the largest U. S. health insurer to provide domestic partner coverage to customers and employees, explains that, “In a vastly competitive market for health services, companies are looking for ways to attract candidates and maintain a workforce.” Many companies hesitate to insure same-sex couples, worrying that it will increase AIDS claims.
However, Andrew Sherman, vice president of the Segal Co. and one of the forces behind the Blue Cross and Lotus domestic partners coverage, says that gay couples may actually be less expensive to cover because they are often younger and usually don’t have children. Sherman explains that domestic partners coverage is “a recognition of human capital, wanting to have the best employees possible. A lot of companies have already put non-discrimination policies in place and see this as a continuation.”
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WATERMARK / October 12, 1994 8
From Page 1
contacted for this article. Assistant to Executive Vice-President Malcom Wall promised a statement, but none was forthcoming). Rose believes that previous impasses between Channel 24 and Central Florida’s gay community have been turned into a “win-win situation.”
When Tongues Unta documentary about gay blacks, was shown in 1991, Channel 24 received numerous complaints. The documentary was brash and graphic. In your face, so to speak, and while not patently offensive, Rose laughs, “perhaps not wholly representative of the entire gay community.” But then in the summer of 1992, PBS affiliates were offered the much milder drama, The Lost Language of Cranes, a family tale about a gay son and his troubled father who begins to recognize his own homosexual tendencies. The film was never shown by Channel 24, presumably because of a gay kiss and a chaste bedroom scene. Offended by this unacceptable censorship of a widely-praised film, local progressives and gays
Saviz Shafaie: “Gays need to take the initiative.”
organized and demanded to be heard. Challenged outright, Channel 24 set up a series of community meetings. But according to Rose, Channel 24 sought to intimidate the 50 gays and lesbians in attendance by separating them from a “mainstream” liberal group consisting of the ACLU, Central Floridians United Against Censorship, and others committed to free speech issues.
There was a firestorm of criticism, but after a series of meetings protesters were told the film would not be aired on Channel 24. Despite this negative result, Rose feels that consciousness was raised. He described the meeting as the first “give and take” between a local TV station and the progressive/gay community, and a real learning experience for all parties involved.
In particular, Channel 24 learned that they
could negotiate reasonably with this segment of the population, and in fact, they accepted many of the protesters’ proposals. Two representatives from the progressive/ gay community were added to the Channel 24 Community Advisory Board. Importantly, a policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was included in Channel 24’s equal employment opportunity guidelines. Rose was quick to assert that for the most part the employees at Channel 24 are gay-friendly. “It’s the management who worry unduly about losing donor support.”
Shafaie remembered the foregoing events very well. But accentuating the positive, he described programming such as Silverlake Life, which he characterized as a “tasteful special” about a gay couple dealing with AIDS. He also noted Bill Moyer’s supportive special on the Colorado anti-gay referendum, and the indefatigable John Rose’s appearance on Channel 24’s locally produced talk show, Opinion Street.
Rose referred to himself as the show’s first “token gay panelist.” The show was heavily edited, but Rose was able to make some points. When guest panelist George Crossley, a fundamentalist preacher, simplis-tically blurred AIDS and homosexuality, Rose jumped. He detailed soundly how the HIV virus is rampant among heterosexuals in sub-Saharan countries in Africa, as well as in the United States. AIDS, he assured Crossley, is a universal disease—not a uniquely gay disease.
Like many PBS affiliates, Channel 24 is a financially tight ship. Rose indicated that the mobile nature of the Central Florida community creates a relative lack of consumer support for public broadcasting, and thus an increased “dependence on local business and foundations.” The same observation was made by Orlando Sentinel columnist and former TV writer Greg Dawson in a recent Watermark interview. Such dependence can lead to undue influence. Homophobic attitudes can creep in and sway programming judgment.
A case in point was the highly rated Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. Ironically, Tales' twentysomething lead gay character, Michael Tolliver, hails from orange-grove Orlando. The program aired was sanitized.. .pixilated.. .to avoid shocking perceived local sensibilities. What was fuzzed out? A little adult language and brief, shadowy nudity in bohemian San Francisco. Despite the thunderous success of this production nationwide, PBS responded to the outcry of a few conservative Congressmen by cancelling a proposed sequel. Regardless of the package or production, it seems that homosexuality is an uncomfortable issue for local public broadcasting.
Brian Arbogast de Hubert-Miller agrees, but has a stronger assessment of the role played by Channel 24 management. He is adamantly more interested in programming.. .and not surface phraseology. While he conceded that there have been “some technical improvements” in the
Brian Arbogast de Hubert-Miller: “Money Talks.”
management’s recognition of sexual minorities, he avowed that “there has been no progress in programming whatsoever since we [Shafaie and Arbogast] came aboard.” Arbogast was disappointed that Channel 24, citing scheduling and economic difficulties, recently chose not to rebroadcast Tales of the City and The Lost Language of the Cranes. They also chose not to show related interviews with Armistead Maupin and AIDS activist Larry Kramer.
Arbogast depicts Channel 24’s board of trustees as “extremely conservative,” and described himself and Shafaie as being “token members of the Community Advisory Board.” He elaborated that the organization “listens behind the scenes but does nothing up front.” According to Arbogast, Channel 24 is decidely “not proactive” and they repeatedly need to be “prodded.” He underscored the fact that Orlando is a conservative stronghold with little visible gay leadership, unlike New York, Boston, or San
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A recent programming change has thrown an additional kink into the advancement of gay-themed programming at Channel 24. Rose called it “limited purchasing programming,” which means they now buy programming from PBS in blocks, then choose programs from within that block. Arbogast noted that this arrangement may be of “strategic benefit” to the heterosexist Channel 24 Board of Trustees by providing them with “plausible deniability” to “subtly neglect” gay-themed programming; to “backslide while a cadre of conservatives in Congress argue over the direction of PBS.” Channel 24 recently dropped the issue-oriented Point of View, for instance, which included a gay-themed segment. The net result, according to Arbogast, is that reluctant, indifferent, and cautious corporate donors such as SunBank and General Mills are being appeased.
One note of success that Shafaie decribed was the March, 1994, Channel 24 pledge campaign. Openly gay and lesbian volunteers raised $7,349 in audience pledges, exceeding expected goals. Although an audience boycott was mildly anticipated by Channel 24 management, they openly presented the names of a cross-section of gay and lesbian organizations during breaks from a Peter, Paul, and Mary concert.
When questioned about local network affiliates, Channels 2,6 and 9, Rose, Shafaie and Arbogast described a common tendency to sensationalize. On a national level, say with Barbara Walters, there appears to be discernible sensitivity towards gays, but this has not trickled down to the intensely competitive local market.
Arbogast specifically criticized Channel 6, noting that when they report on gays, it is usually with an unnecessarily provincial tone. Rose also jumped on 6, noting that their “tendency to sensationalize inspires the worst bigots.” Channel 6 was also one of the
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Tales of the City. Visually censored by Channel 24.
From Page 8
few CBS affiliates to yank Other Mothers, an after-school special about a lesbian couple and their teenage son, from broadcast. Rose characterized this as overreaction to a call-in campaign by fundamentatist Christians. He notes that the special was devoid of any racy or sexual content, unlike the “straight” soaps broadcast the same afternoon.
With respect to Channel 2, Arbogast figuratively rolled his eyes, offering his opinion that the station has “sunk to new lows” with “inflammatory” investigative reports. In a recent sweeps week expose, 2 reporter Scott Hanson looked for sex in public parks and discovered a pair of anonymous “homosexuals.” Rose also bemoaned cashing in with this unrepresentative and misleading titilla-tion. Rose accused Channel 2 of “painting with too wide a brush,” and noted the absence of coverage on the rise of courtship and marriage among lesbians and gay men.
Channel 9 was notably more balanced while openly gay weatherman Burd Bullock was alive, according to Arbogast. Today, he says, treatment of lesbians and gay men on 9 is tolerant, though superficial. But the perceived impact of Bullock’s presence at Channel 9 demonstrates the significance of a surprising fact. Not one of the three local network affiliates includes “sexual orientation” in their employee non-discrimination policies. In fact, rumors aside, there are no openly gay or lesbian local broadcast personalities. Whether consciously or by neglect, the message is clear: sexual minorities are not openly encouraged in local broadcast media.
Orlando’s largest and most influential media outlet, The Orlando Sentinel, also has no specific, codified employment protection based on sexual orientation. Supervisor Chris Austin points out, however, that the Sentinel's owner, the Tribune Company, has a “diversity program which includes some sensitivity training” on minorities, including gays.
In terms of content, the Sentinel is dismayingly inconsistent in its approach towards lesbians and gay men. lire Sentinel has demonstrated balanced coverage and steady improvement in news and editorial content, while remaining timid and provincial in policies relating to advertising.
Arbogast, who plays close attention to the Sentinel's content, states that he has seen “increased coverage” on gay-related events and topics. But he notes that, in terms of headline prominence, placement and pictures, coverage of sex crimes involving two males is still sensational and unbalanced. For example, Dr. William Zink’s high profile and controversial case alleging molestation of young male patients was front page news. Crimes against young female minors are rarely publicized or explored in such detail.
As a result, Arbogast argues, “the public [not only] receives a distorted impression of the nature of sex crimes,” but far worse, the public receives a muted impression of the prevalence of healthy, adult same-sex relationships. In fact, such relationships are largely ignored by the Sentinel.. .except in their lucrative TelePersonals section, where such relationships may be sought for a price.
In a broader context, Arbogast notes that there is “disproportionate coverage of the ‘antisocial’ behavior of minorities,” reinforcing their marginalization and scapegoating as “other” and “not mainstream.” Even so, he observes that newspaper coverage of gay issues has improved, particularly with increased wire service coverage. The Sentinel also recently launched a campaign to recognize diversity and increase coverage of minorities. And specific columnists have consistently written thoughtful columns on gay-related issues. Greg Dawson, Jay Boyar, Bob Morris and Myriam Marquez stand out.
Some Sentinel style policies remain laughably outdated and illogical, however. Although the words “gay,” “lesbian,” and “homosexual” are allowed in news and editorial pieces, Sentinel policy apparently limits or forbids their use in classified ad-
vertising. Repeated attempts to clarify these policies went unanswered, but the experience of two local businesses is instructive. In June of this year, Watermark's editor and publisher, Tom Dyer, attempted to place an employment ad in the Sentinel: “Advertising Sales Manager for gay and lesbian publication.” The ad was accepted but then changed to “alternative lifestyle publication” without notice. Dyer complained, and his original ad was run after he convinced management that the words “gay and lesbian” described the nature of the job, not the employee sought.
Just a month later, Stephen De Matteis of Pre-Flight Travel Services had a similar experience when seeking a “Travel Agent with gay/lesbian travel experience.” Again, the Sentinel had to be convinced to run the ad as requested.
On a more positive note, the Sentinel recently revised its policy regarding the listing of gay companions in obituary notices. It now does so with the permission of the family via funeral directors. Sadly, it may be in the obituaries that healthy gay relationships are first recognized by mainstream media, and that many lesbians and gay men first become visible.
Looking to the future, Rose notes the need for openly gay news people and media board members. He cites the Woodard case (see story this issue) and its impact on the demise of former Orange County Sheriff Walt Gallagher as a positive example of the power of the press to do good for the gay community.
Shafaie calls for gays to “take the initiative [with local media] and speak with a clear voice.” Arbogast warns against prior negative conditioning, and suggests the need to build stronger alliances and coalitions within the gay community. He also observes that in some situations, nothing works like “picketers beating the bushes.” Ultimately, decision makers in local media are governed by both the bottom line and by the limiting psychological dynamics of perceived difference.

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WATERMARK / October 12,1994 10
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.
Publication of the name or photograph of any person or organization in articles, advertising, or listing is WATERMARK is not to be construed as any indication of the sexual orientation of such persons or members of such organizations (unless, of course, sexual orientation is stated specifically).
WATERMARK is published every second Wednesday, except the first week in January and the second week in July. Subscription rates are $35.00 (third class).
ThA c fficial views of WATERMARK are expressed only in editorials. Opinions offered in signed columns, letters and articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the newspaper’s owner or management. We reserve the right to edit or reject any material submitted for publication.
WATERMARK is not responsible for damages due to typographical errors, except for the cost of replacing ads that have such errors.
WATERMARK P.O. Box 533655 Orlando, FL 32853-3655 TEL 407.481.2243 FAX 407.481.2246
;■ WaterMark welconi^s your •: Letters to the Editoiv^til
editing for content and 5; length. Let&rsifehjdSl sent to:
0. Box;5336^1i®ll Orlando, |i|||||i||||
I read with interest your article in Issue 1.02 entitled “Gayby Boom.” I’ve wanted children for 20 years! I’m not sure how to go about it. I am single, secure and mature. Plus my job allows plenty of time. Do you know of any database or groups or some way of getting people together like myself who want to have kids other than the conventional way? I’d like to know. Thanks.
We’re not aware of any groups like the one you described, but we suggest you con-
tact GLCS at 425-4527 and post something with them. You may also want to use CompuWho (advertised in this issue) as a data source. Also take a look at our classified ads for a kindred spirit.
Thank you for sharing the story of our August 15 wedding. We both felt honored (and flattered) to appear on the front page story last issue. Gary Fowler did a terrific job putting that piece together. We really enjoyed doing the interview. What a
friendly and professional staff you have at Watermark!
After we saw the front page photo, however, we realized we had neglected to give credit to our wedding photographer. She did such a fantastic job and the photos came out great. If you need a photographer, for a wedding or otherwise, we recommend her to you: Astarita Art & Photo.
One wonderful side aspect of the wedding was discovering the number of resources available within our community. For example, we registered for gifts at Scott Laurent Galleries in Winter Park. They welcomed our patronage.
Shelbie Press printed our wedding invitations. They made us feel completely relaxed and comfortable as we made our choices of paper, ink, etc. Where in the world would you go for same sex wedding invitations?
There are so many who helped make our wedding a success. To our family and friends, we thank you. And to those of you in our community who provided the much needed and appreciated services, thanks for being there.
(Mrs.) Carol Bartsch & Kim Newton
Best wishes and remember to announce
your first anniversary with us.
Dear Miss O’Lay,
I want to let you know how much I enjoy your column. Your work gives Watermark balance. In fact, I did NOT appreciate the reader’s letter that appeared in Watermark assailing your column. I would like to tell that person to his face that he would NOT be able to write letters to Gay publications had it not been for the efforts of the people who frequented the Stonewall on that fateful night in 1969. What the Gay community does not need at the present time is divisiveness; what it DOES need is a more tolerant attitude... all for one and one for all... as well as a sense of humor.
I always believe in giving credit when credit is due. Keep up the good work!
Most Sincerely,
Jim C.
Miss O’Lay conveys her appreciation. She lives for her fans. If you would like an autographed 8x10 glossy, send $2 and a self-addressed scented envelope do this publication.
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WATERMARK / October 12,1994 11
by James A. Crescitelli
You never know whether or not the last time you see somebody is going to truly be the LAST time. We humans are blessed with brains and emotions and the capacity to love, but are nonetheless incapable of predicting the events in our lives.
Everybody had a best friend in high school, and mine was Donald. We debuted as gay teenagers in our senior year and immediately began sneaking off to the bars. We were young New Yorkers in the early ‘seventies, able to do anything, and the city was our oyster.
We thought we were the most enticing creatures on earth. Week after week, month after month, we posed and preened and drank innumberable gallons of white wine, all in pursuit of, hopefully, being noticed.
We rarely were. Glamorous and sophisticated as we appeared to one another, we invariably ended up on the subway with only each other, heading back to Brooklyn.
“There’s something wrong with us,” Donald said one night as we left the West Village. “We spend too much time with each other looking AT men instead of concentrating on looking FOR men.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” I yawned.
“People must think you and I are lovers, because we’re always together.”
It was true; we went to school together and cruised the clubs together; we had dinner with each other, went to Broadway, the movies, galleries...
“We’re lovers without the sex,” Donald
decided another time. “Right?”
I agreed, “Sad, isn’t it?”
The few times we did manage to meet somebody were when Donald or I found ourselves alone for a few minutes, usually when one of us had to use the restroom. Then the suitors would pounce - never the ones we wanted, but suitors nonetheless. They would all ask the same thing: “Is that
Glamorous and sophisticated as we appeared to one another, we invariably ended up on the subway with only each other, heading back to Brooklyn.
other guy your lover?” Donald and I would laugh about them on the phone the next morning, wondering how two handsome creatures like ourselves were constantly striking out on the field of love.
It went on like that for a few years, and then I moved to Florida. I read To Kill A Mockingbird and Gone with the Wind in eighth grade and decided “the South” was where I wanted to be; I vowed to one day relocate somewhere below the Mason-Dixon line. Nobody told me at the time that Orlando hardly brought to mind the kudzu-
covered South featured in those books, but I chose Orlando because I had a friend living there.
Donald was beside himself. He wanted to fold himself into my suitcase and come with me, but this was something I had to do alone.
We kept in touch and saw each other at Christmas when I would fly up to be with my family. We would drag out the yearbook and monopolize gatherings at friends’ homes with detailed analyses of our fellow graduates.
He would tell me how popular he had suddenly become, and I suppose it was the lack of my presence during his now-solo Saturday nights that persuaded him to test his wings.
And fly he did.
The last time I saw him was a year before he died, but I had spoken to him not two weeks prior to his entering the hospital. Our phone call had been the usual three-hour remembrance of things past, with updates thrown in for good measure. Donald had recently lost his mother, and he was
telling me how strange he felt and how much he missed her.
“It’s like she’s waiting for me,” he said, and I was chilled.
I heard through "..other friend that Donald had collapsed w home and had to be taken to the emergency room. A couple of frantic phone calls to his hospital bed went unanswered, and then, after two weeks, he was gone. I would never see him or talk to him again; I had had no idea our last telephone conversation was going to be just that.
Friends told me he went quickly. The news filtering back to me was heartbreaking: “He could hardly even write us notes.” “That hospital he was in had no idea how to treat AIDS patients.” “He didn’t have to die from pneumonia.”
I went up for the funeral, a crowded Irish affair, and saw the faces of friends, shocked, older. Did I look like that?
I’d known him for such a terribly short time. As I said, we never know.
And now I can finally say goodbye.
by Rosanne Sloan
“Don’t look so dykey,” I heard Donna say the day my picture was taken for the paper. “Don’t look so dykey,” she cried. But when I was growing up, no one told me I didn’t have to be a man to love a woman.
I was the neighborhood tomboy. No one messed around with me, boys or girls. If you were a part of my gang, no one bothered you either. By the time I was six, I had already promised Patty Arnold, with her blonde bologna curls, that we would get married, have two kids, and I would go to work and make lots of money. By eighth grade I had other girls fighting over taking care of my tree fort, making me heart-shaped angel food cakes and bandaging my scrapes. So many that I had forgotten about Patty.
This was a pivotal point in my “gay” life. (I didn’t consider myself a lesbian yet. I was too tough to be one of “those.”) It was eighth grade graduation from Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, and all the girls
were shopping with their mothers for pretty, white, Laura Ashley dresses. I told my mother under no circumstances would I wear one of “those.” I had to wear a skirt for school, but now I was going to wear what I wanted. So we went to Lord & Taylor’s and bought a very nice, pleated, beige, three-piece suit. At graduation, I couldn’t help noticing that the other girls looked beautiful, and I was “handsome”. For one brief moment, with their eyes twinkling at me, I wondered if I could be more like them.
Had I had a role model like Amanda Bearse, perhaps I would have learned earlier than age 22 that is was okay for a woman to love another woman, and I, too, was a beautiful “lesbian.” It was along hard journey from that eighth grade of 1979 to the family gathering in the winter of 1986, yet some things seemed unchanged. I wished my breasts were bigger when the
waitress turned to my mother and said, “My, you have two handsome sons.” And my mother, darting daggers at me, silently screaming, “See. Why do you have to look so dykey?” I could hear Barbara Streisand as Yentl singing in my head, “Look how easily I fool them. They may have eyes, but they don’t see. They never really look at me. People are blind.”
My style was always the tailored look. I first justified this preference by calling it my Catholic-school-preppy look; later it was my androgynous look. Women seemed to like it - enough to fall in love with me -but then each would begin trying to change
.. .1 wished my breasts were bigger when the waitress turned to my mother and said, “My, you have two handsome sons. ”
me. It usually started with the length of my hair, then some make up, some nail polish, and finally, ultimately, “let’s get rid of these clothes!”
“Wait a minute!” I’d snap, “There’s the
front door, thank you - I like myself as I am.” Wasn’t it enough for them to love the woman I was in bed? The soft and tender girl longing to be loved in her satin boxers and ginny-t’s? Wasn’t it that person in pleated Gap pants, pocket T and worn penny loafers that captufSd'TTtew-atwnTWrr to begin with? I refused to deny what I was; a lesbian with a masculine flair.
Yes, indeed.. .a long, hard journey from the summer of 1979; yet some things have changed. My mother called this morning to tell me she has made an appointment for a family portrait. There is a stipulation, though. In her most authoritatively feminine voice she tells me not to dress “casual.” I know what she means by that.. .no manly attire. She waits for a fight but I don’t give her the satisfaction. Instead, I tell her not to worry, that I have the perfect outfit in mind; a one-piece dress with a vest, finished off with my pearls and small heels. Okay, the dress is pleated and the collar is tailored, but I like it that way. It’s my Catholic-school-preppy look. And my mother will think Donna has done wonders with me by making me quite the femme. The truth is, I can see the woman in me through Donna’s eyes, because she loves all of me, including the strength of my body, heart and mind. Every day I get to wear what I want. Why should this occasion be any different?
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WATERMARK / October 12,1994 12
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WATERMARK / October 12,1994 13
Members of the lesbian a cappella group, THE RHYTHM METHOD (plus one) at the Kickoff Fundraiser for the Orlando Gay Chorus: (clocwise from left) Michelle D’Arcy, Meladye Shively, April Gustetter, Rachael Hazen, and Marla VUbsson.
Colorado’s The Rhythm Method
by April L. Gustetter
It was a rainy Saturday afternoon when four women from Denver, Colorado sat down to be interviewed before going to a soundcheck for their next gig. The kickoff fundraiser for the Orlando Gay Chorus’ musical season would soon be competing with the weather, but neither their harmony nor spirits would dampen. Later that night, they would stand under a tent as the heavens opened, singing a cappella to a modest but appreciative crowd. The lesbian a cappella singing group is The Rhythm Method (TRM), and if you missed them in person, pick up one of their CDs or cassettes at Out & About - a unique and delightful sound (and a fun bunch o’ gals).
Like all good harmony, this group is made up of distinct voices. As one of three original members of TRM, Michelle D’Arcy began her musical journey in grade school, singing in the chorus and competing in performances with her french horn. Perky and petite with dark, bright eyes, she hails from a singing family, has sung all her life, and (yes) plays guitar.
Witty and outgoing, Marla Wasson is another original member. She is the daughter of barber shop quartet singers, and a sister among five siblings who, growing up, stood around the piano while her mother played. Originally a music major, Marla switched her academic direction to business .. .which has obviously come in handy being a singer. (Right.)
Meladye Shively is the third original member of the group, and another brought-up-on-music-guitar-playing gal. Meladye’s penchant for melody took her straight to voice lessons in high school (hated it) and, of course, the chorus. Meladye and Marla are life partners who chuckle when explaining how much togetherness that entails.
The last to join, but certainly not the least, Rachael Hazen revealed, “My very first solo was in second grade - I sang ‘Rocky Mountain High’ in my music class.’’ From there, she did the choir/chorus thing throughout her academic career,
and performed in as many productions as she could. Rachael writes and arranges many of the songs, and when she has hair, she’s the only blonde in the group.
When asked about the group’s name, all four members chattered at once. Rachael spoke above the others, “We all had the assignment of coming up with a name, so I went home and called one of my old girlfriends. We agreed that the name had to have something to do with sex, because if it didn’t it wouldn’t be marketable.” Apparently, by the exclamations of the others, this was a never-before-told version of the story, so we all listened with interest.
“She was in Maryland and I was in Colorado, so we both whipped out our copies of Our.Bodies and Ourselves, flipped through the book, and there it was....” Rachael trailed off, but Meladye piped in. “When Rachael came and told us what she and Kate thought of, I immediately liked it, because -1 didn’t even think about the sex thing -1 just loved it because it was like ‘pun intended’ - we’re a lesbian quartet, and I thought it was a great little left hook to all those Catholics!” Everyone roared in agreement, and the tone of the interview was set; even in conversation, they teamed up splendidly.
“We’re an a cappella-out-lesbian group, which I think makes us unique,” said Marla with a trace of defiance. “We’re right out there with our work. We don’t change pronouns, we write songs about girls and we sing songs about girls.” Asked about their beginnings, Meladye opened. “We all met in the Denver Women’s Chorus.We just kind of formed a friendship out of huddling together through that. Then we were at a party one time where Michelle had brought her guitar, and we all sat around and sang with her. We talked about what a ‘nice little blend we had,’ and ‘wasn’t this fun,’
Continued Page 21
When presented with an idea for a major Hollywood motion picture, one might question a film about a cross-dresser who is ‘‘the worst director of ail time.’* it does present possibilities to comment on Hollywood and die motion picture in- . dustry; the comic potential of an inept director is considerable, and such a film could even make an artistic statement about transvestism. Unfortunately, no such elements can be found in Tim Burton’s disappointing E# Wood, This film misses many of its golden opportunities, and instead finds itself bogged down by an uneventful screenplay fall of underdeveloped subplots and oae^imea-sional characters,
Ed Wood is the true life story of Edward D, Wood, Ir.t the man who brought us such sci-fi B-movie cult classics as Bride of the Monster and Orgy of the Dead, The movie starts with Wood as a fledgling playwright, whose cross-dressing tendencies interest him in directing a film about a half man/balf woman. Although Glen or Glenda . is a terrible flop, he is driven to make more movies, He meets and befriends horror film star Bela Lugosi and makes B-film after B-film attempting to resurrect Lugosi’s career and establish his own. As his works accumulate, we watch the framework for his most remembered work, Plan 9From Outer Space, take shape, In the process* Wood achieves his dream to act, direct, and star in his own work - just like his idol, Orson Welles, : "
The main problem in Ed Wood is the lack of depth of its title character, Indeed this Ed Wood is as much an anti-hero as the real Wood is the anti-Welles, Johnny Depp (looking like Ricky Ricardo on Ritalin) gives a funny, energetic and consistent performance, bat we never know what is going on under the surface of his optimistic grin and arching eyebrows. Wood undergoes no change in the film; he is neither a better person nor a better director by the film’s end. The movie tries to create a climactic plot point when Wood actually meets Orson Welles and is advised, “Visions are worth fighting for/* Wood’s visions aren’t.
:' The most enjoyable part of the film is Wood’s relationship with Bela Lugosi played to perfection by Martin Landau. At times his resemblance V to the real Lugosi is frightening. Landau gives a hilarious, off-color, and touching performance as die aging morphine-addicted former Dracula star, The one outstanding achievement of Ed Wood is that it manages to make Lugosi sympathetic, and it is he whoremains with us when the movie ends,
Tim Burton is probably the most logical di-
Continued Page 20
WATERMARK / October 12, 1994 14
Rollins College
1994-95 Season
”63 Years of Theatre Excellence” The Mystery of Edwin Drood
OCTOBER 21,22, 26-30, 1994
DECEMBER 2, 3, 7-11,1994
Edward Villella
Miami City Ballet
JANUARY 13-14, 1995
wmterfest II
JANUARY 19-28, 1995
A Month in the Country
MARCH 10, 11, 15-19, 1995
Daniel Ezralow’s Heart Dances
APRIL 7-8, 1995
Rollins Dance
APRIL 9, 1995
The Learned Ladies
APRIL 28, 29, MAY 3-7,1995
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PRISCILLA IS A BUS!: Last month I mentioned the soundtrack from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Last weekend in South Beach, I finally got to see the film. Priscilla is a road picture telling the tale of three drag queens making their way across the Australian outback. The acting (Terrence Stamp, Guy Pearce, and Hugo Weaver) and the direction (Stephan Elliott) represent the finest in Australia’s hot new cinema. A big improvement over the days of Crocodile Dundee and the like. The drag routines are excellent, with “I Will Survive” and “Finally” being the standouts. More important, this film offers us character development and presents the leads as people with feelings. It’s really not the campy, comedic send up you might expect. There is a well fleshed-out story involving homophobia, several sub-plots, and most of all, lot’s of heart. The film does drag however (pun intended) in parts and there were moments when I secretly hoped Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock would hop on this bus and give Priscilla some Speed. In the end, Priscilla has dignity, is lot’s of fun, and is well worth the trip.
TRUE ROMANCE: A dear friend gave me the newest Miguel Bose release “Bajo el Signo de Cain” and it turned out to be a lovely deja vu experience. I first heard this CD blasting in a crowded black jeep while speeding and laughing through the streets of Manhattan en route to the Streisand concert back in July. What a gas to return to Orlando and be reacquainted with this wonderful, upbeat music through the kindness of a friend. Bose is starting to gain more attention in the U.S. (partially due to his pretty-boy looks.. .check out the photo on the back of the CD) and it’s about time. OK, I don’t speak fluent Spanish, and I don’t understand the lyrics, but for some reason I just don’t care and I can’t stop listening. Give Bose a listen and you’ll understand exactly what I mean.
SINEAD ON HEADPHONES: Sinead O’Connor’s new release “Universal Mother” recently hit the record stores. Not as commercially accessible as her popular “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” nor as funky as her debut “Lion and the Cobra,” but there is a purity and passion in this collection of songs. After reading the liner notes on the CD, I took Sinead’s advice and listened on headphones and let the CD play in its entirety. Back-to-back are a cover of Kurt Cobain’s plaintive “All Apologies” and O’Connor’s own desperate “A Perfect Indian.” Definitely not for the suicidal. There is a song written and performed by O’Connor’s eight-year-old son, Jake, “Am I a Human?”.. .not to worry, it’s less than a minute long. The outstanding cut “Scorn Not His Simplicity” is a maternal plea for understanding and represents some of this accomplished and controversial artist’s best work ever. If you’re a Sinead fan, you’ll enjoy this new release.
KEEP EATING AND Thornton Park Cafe, since it reopened not too long ago. Good food and outstanding service in our very own favorite neighborhood. The salmon special (soon to be added to the menu) was delicious. Lunch and Sunday brunch are lot’s of fun, too! Drop by. You can even pick up a copy of !
by Rosanne Sloan
123 S. Orange Avenue • Orlando 872-6960
There are no words to describe the exquisite, individually prepared dishes at Moorefield’s. Suffice it to say, this is gourmet dining at its best. Margaret Moorefield (yes, there is really a Moorefield) is the owner and executive chef; her life partner, Kara Pritchett, is the hostess, one of the servers, and accountant. Together, their passion for their restaurant comes alive as the meal and good conversation grows throughout the dining experience. But a great mystery exists here.. .a whispered question: Why don’t they associate themselves more with the gay community?
After getting lost for nearly an hour (I haven’t mastered the south and north ends of Orlando’s streets yet), my partner, Donna, and I were ravenous. On arrival, Kara escorted us to our table, where my eye caught a glimpse of one of the paintings; a larger-than-life sized picture of a naked man, seemingly erect, with wings soaring through the air. Moorefield’s is fronted by floor-to-ceiling windows, and watching the expressions of passersby is high entertainment. Normally they stop only to gawk. Their loss. We were there to dine.
We began our meal with the homemade toasted garlic Gnocchi with garlic sauce. The appetizer was delicately decorated with shredded carrots and red pepper. Margaret’s Southwestern flair doesn’t stop there. Donna ordered the pan-seared Alaskan
Moorefield’s accepts all major credit cards. Open 11:30A-2:30PT-F, Dinner 6-10P T-Th / 6-12P F-S. Beer and wine available. Handicap friend^.
Theatre Review by Dimitri Toscas
%jr> SecondStage, Civic Theatre of Central Florida *

Salmon with a Habanero (pepper) lime butter, and a yellow tomato salsa. This artistic plate was complemented by thin slices of boiled potato and shredded lemon peel I had the Hickory smoked Jamaican Jerk pork loin with Poblano barbecue sauce. My dish was completed with a wonderful carrot-corn bread and potato black bean cake. Donna delved into the walnut cheesecake torte and lost herself totally. Tempted by her moaning, I tried a bite. Never have I tasted a dessert so delicious. It made my conservative apple cobbler seem disappointing, which it wasn’t.
Moorefield’s is a taste of heaven lost in a community with uneducated palates. Moorefield’s is not just about fabulous food but about two women struggling to survive. During the course of the evening, Kara pulled a chair over like an old friend and filled us in. While Margaret Moorefield is humble about her talent, wearing a traditional chef’s outfit and checking the dining area periodically, Kara is the energy of the establishment. That energy has an undertone of anger. We learned they felt abandoned by the gay and lesbian community. Unfortunately, they didn’t advertise with the community when they first opened, and now their funds are limited. They want their business to thrive in Orlando and within the gay community. And so do we. Rosey’s Rating: ★★★★★/GGG.
Civic Theatre’s SecondStage steals the spotlight again. Nightclub Cantata is this Fall’s finest theatrical offering so far. It’s passionate, bizarre, intense, personal, genuine .. .in short, nothing less than poetic.
Elizabeth Swados (who conceived and composed the show) creates a space between two intense poems (written by Nazim Hikmet), then fills it with horror, awe, and struggle. Hikmet’s poetry acts like prison walls, isolating, oppressing, and holding a small band of performers captive.
Between these walls, they fight for survival, understanding, equality, and acceptance. They also fight for love. Ultimately, they fight to live life to its fullest.
Expressing themselves through poems set to music, improvised sounds and words, dance and movement, the performers work as a seamless ensemble. Each one deserves to be mentioned by name:
Angela Sparks works with real attitude and honesty; Anthony Joseph Killeen taps internal anger and personal struggle. Together, they create one of the show’s most intense moments, “Dibarti,” a poem that echoes conflict, hatred, and disappointment.
Rosemary Marston is earthy, and her deep desire brings “The Dance” to light, making it a sad and exhilarating cry for life.
Ernest White drives “Adolescents” into the heart with his simple, honest reflections of growing up. Nothing over-the-top here; just hard, isolated truths.
Will Braun’s impish playfulness is suddenly the knife that stabs the audience at the end of “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities,” a scene staged brilliantly by director Robin Jensen.
John Bosman, Darla Walker, Angela and Anthony make “Ventriloquist and Dummy” a bizarre expression of relationship, and the fight for equality that threatens most couples.
Wilton “De Vonn” Baker creates an echoing and moving ode “To The Harbormaster.” Nightclub Cantata works like “performance art.” It is deep and profound, and each person on stage clearly contributes by using their own experiences as an instrument of expression. Their voices join to make one loud cry...the fullness of life that they entreat. Truly, a talented cast.
Jensen’s direction of Cantata is uncom-
plicated and direct, letting the words and songs do the work. The lighting and set are minimal but dramatic. The whole space of SecondStage is used effectively.
Through poetry and songs we move from captivity to freedom, until our one desire is to dance in the sand and move with the cast into a space of rejoicing and light.
Bravi! Bravi! - to an ensemble that is natural, honest, interesting, and endearing.
Nightclub Cantata runs through Oct. 16. Tickets $12. Call (407) 896-7365for reservations.

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WATERMARK / October 12, 1994 16
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^ Saturday, October 22nd from 6 to 9 p.m.
at the Winter Park Mall (in the former Gibbs-Louis space) 500 N. Orlando Ave. • Suite 1464 • Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 645-3357
What started out In 1978 as a march in support of gay and lesbian | solidarity, a southern hemisphere
world’s biggest, boldest, bawdiest parties. The Sydney Gay Mardi Gras is a unique and wonderful celebra-§ turn; a time and place where the gay community can proudly proclaim its unity, while at die same time displaying and celebrating its tremendous diversity. Not to mention that special ability to design some bitchuT costumes!
That first march, on June 24,
1978, ended in a street dot and con-| frontationwith Sydney police. It was born of anger and a need to raise consciousness regarding discrimination against gays. How times have . changed. The annual event now
! k widely regarded as the b&d annual;.: gay event in the world.
Sydney Qay Mardi Gras is by no- j means a one day event. The parade
|| The 1994 festival, largest to date, presented some 11 feature films, 21 visual artists, and a constant variety Ifdf theater.. musical and culmral forums, A highlight was the first ||p|bli|;p| Gay Comedy Festival, llll^fihg: nine headline comics,' ||f| :jviardi Parade is the highlight of the celebration, The annual nighttime extravaganza is something to behold, as 800,000 (1) spectators line miles of Sydney streets to demonstrate support and share in “family fun.”
Down Under
by Stephen De Mels
watching TV and eating junk food. Also drawing hoots of laughter were J the well-defined hunks pulling a rather large Queen Elizabeth, stating “All the Old Girl needed was to be steered in the right direction/* Leading the parade each year are the “Mardi Gras Boys * This year the energetic group of 150, dressed in bunny ears and bow ties and very little else, danced the whole length of the huge parade in frenzied formation. The ‘‘Boys” include lawyers, accountants, corporate executives, and lots and lots of flight attendants. In fact, the Mardi Gras Boys have become so popular that they are now chosen in auditions. But few are turned away, Sydney Gay Mardi Gras is a celebration of inclusion, and last year’s “Boys” included a 17-year-old and a 64-year-old. Their joy and enthusiasm . make them all beautiful.
Ill The 1994 brought new participants to Mardi Gras, Hawaii sent a group, and the gay .and. lesbian community j from Tasmania was represented for the first time. Other notable floats included: the Sisters of Perpetual In-dulgenee; Madonaarama, featuring some 30 Madonna wannabes;
| Sydney ^s leather and “Bear* communities, out in full force (forgive die pun); and die most lively entry, tie Syndey Bootscooters, the Australian line dance group who “bootscooted" die whole parade in denim and silver lame. Major style points!
There are Mardi Gras celebrations 1 all over the world, each with a spe^J cial message. Sydney’s message has been a long time In the making: “We are Family, and the colors of our rainbow are diverse and bright," The only thing missing from Sydney Mardi Gras is a group from Central Florida, but an adventurous group is already talking about rectifying this problem. Who better to spread hospitality and good cheer! You too could be a part of the biggest celebration of Gay Pride in the world... the 1995 Sydney Gay Mardi Gras.
Pot aftee video oh the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras, call (407) £57-5(535.;
In fact, the parade is so fun, so outrageous, it’s easy to overlook the serious political messages being conveyed. Gay Catholics sought acceptance from their church with their float of open arms. Volunteers
attention to their 47,000 hours of care provided to Sydney PWAs.
1 My favorite was a group called “Sisterhood of Sit;” self-proclaimed gay and lesbian couch-potatoes who
1 for all the cares and
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T JohfPWayne know the name.. .has/is/will make a porno movie. He says he’s doing it to prove to the public that his equipment works. We assume he’s donating the proceeds to charity.. .or perhaps N.O.W.? Anyway, we know somebody had a lot of fun picking the name for this instant classic... ScarfaceII and Frankenweenie come to mind. No doubt it will be released in two parts. Regardless, we want to see it and we won’t apologize. We live in a sick culture, and we’re going to take advantage of it.
▼ Speaking of equipment that doesn’t work...the new fountain at Lake Eola. It was up and running for a few weeks, most often malfunctioning (and a pathetic sight it is, a fountain dribbling water as if out of the side of its mouth...all very Freudian). But it’s been dormant...impotent, really ...for months. Well, a month. Is anyone working on this? And what happened to the musical trees and bushes? It was hokey, but we liked it. Lake Eola is still a great park, even if no one uses the new part.
▼ You know how we all have sections of the paper that we always read? Well, we just stopped reading Ann Landers.. .just cut her out of our morning routine, and believe me, these routines are not given up cavalierly. Just lost the the answers (“Consult a doctor/gynecologist/clergy/counselor”) ...waste of time. Does this mean Ann is getting tired, or that we’re just losing interest in life (and should therefore consult a doctor/gynecologist/clergy/counselor)?
T We’ve never sampled the stuff, but we sure think Fruitopia is a great product name. Should we steal it as the theme for gay politics, as in “We seek nothing short of...”
▼ Barney Frank is running unopposed. T While on the subject of politics, a third U. S. Congressman has come out of the closet...sort of. Rep. Steve Gunderson (D- Wisconsin) never actually told the Advocate that he’s gay but his companion did, offering photos of them together as well. This after Rep. Robert Dornan (R-California)...hate him with us, won’t you?...stated during House debate that Gunderson had a “revolving door on his closet.”
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Mark Lawhon is certified by the American Federation of % Astrologers, and is available for consultations by calling 407-894-1506.
Mercury rules communications of all sorts. It also affects delivery of communications such as mail, phone calls and messages. Approximately four times a year, Mercury stops motion .. .you can imagine the consequences. Evaluate new projects or documents carefully before proceeding; avoid them if possible. Fixed signs...Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, are particularly hard hit this phase (which runs from 10/10 to 10/ 31), but everyone should use caution. Some additional general advice from your friendly astrologer: plan travel carefully and drive cautiously. You got it.. .travel is also ruled by Mercury.
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19): Fall is in the air and the New Moon on Oct. 19 opens doors for you. Have fun doing the things you love most. Be prepared for fireworks on the 24th, when you’ll have more sexual electricity than Con Ed.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20): This coming month is an excellent time to clean out the crap.. .the “old tapes”.. .lingering from childhood. A check up is also in order to nip any bugs. Don’t think about moving right now, and avoid the legally binding.
GEMINI (May 21-Jun 20): Mercury rules Gemini, and he’s in retrograde most of the month. Not a good time for heart-to-hearts. Consider delaying plans for entertaining. Instead, spend your time productively, possibly with a friend who needs a hand. But avoid lending that hand financially.
CANCER (Jun 21-Jul 22): Relationships may seem determined by fate right now. What’s worked in the past may bring unexpected and undesired results. Go ahead with that relocation, but not until next month. A well deserved financial reward is possible.
LEO (Jul 23-Aug 22): Lingering annoyances.. .that troubling, pervasive “life stuff’ you’ve been dealing with...may come crashing in on you. Common sense will see you through. Is work fulfilling? You may want to consider additional training or education. Expect confusion. Finances will improve next month.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22): A grandparent may need your help and time. Good thing. Money’s been flying out of your wallet; now is a good time to curtail frivolous spending. And brace yourself for that Visa or MasterCard statement.
LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 23): Spending a lot of time trying to impress a new partner? Turn the spotlight 180 degrees this month and enjoy all the attention. Seek out mutual friends, and don’t
let well-meaning parents tell you who to hang out with.
SCORPIO (Oct 24-Nov 21): Focus on career matters this month.. .and little else. Opportunity is knocking. In particular, take a look at what you get, and what you need, from your superiors. Your pet may be a particular nuisance this month. Watch your words, too.. .that Mercury thing.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21): A friend may need your help. In the process, a new friend may materialize. Intrigued? Home seems real confining, but beware of spending too much on diversions. Contracts are favorably aspected, but wait ‘til next month to finalize.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): You’re irritated...both at home and at work. Even your relationship is being tested this month. The good news is that if there is no relationship, this is a good time to go out and find one. It’ll be fresh, fun, and too new to be adversely affected.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Febl8): Much uncertainty surrounding your employment situation. You’re underappreciated. Confusion and even deception come from an unexpected source. Seek support from someone who knows how to deal with children; that’s exactly how your boss is acting.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20): Work is good.. .better than its been for a long while. This is good, because you’ll need to direct energy toward relationships. A karmic link seeks your subconscious recognition and conscious action. Go for it. And plan month Mars enters your house of relationships and the late night fires will be burning.
TT/1 1 L/I\lTim\l\ / UVIWUV1 14*, l S s-r
family Values
-'LesBiGay Radio
A Benefit for G.L.C.S., P-FLAG, & G.LP.CI.
Reception 2:00 PM Movie 2:45 PM
Reserved Corporate Tobies 2 Person-$20, 4 Person-$40
Call Chris at (407) 298-7747 for tickets or tables
nor iV
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, Thu. Oct. 13, will be a benefit for Gay & Lesbian Community Services. For more information, call (407) 521-8134.
Jett Canary and Drew Davenport from Whores.
1 - . ,-.1
▼ Power and Glitter, a Fundraiser for the “No On fl” Coalition, will be held at the Scott Laurent Galleries (what would we do without you guys!) on Park Avenue in Winter Park on Friday, October 14, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. Proceeds will be used to help our friends in Alachua County defeat discriminatory ballot measures (see story, p. 3). Art, live music and hors d’oeuvres will be offered. Tickets are $30 per person, $50 per couple. RSVP to (407) 297-8518.
▼ Theatre UCF presents The Kentucky Cycle, the first half of Robert Schenkkan’s renowned sweeping epic of three families in eastern Kentucky spanning 200 years of American history. Cycle will be presented this week and next, Thu-Sun. Call (407) 823-1500 for tickets or more information.
▼ The Destiny off Me continues at The Acting Studio through Sunday, Oct. 16. Destiny is Larry Kramer’s 1993 Obie Award-winning sequel to his earlier AIDS play, The Normal Heart. Tickets are $12; seniors and students $10. Call (407) 425-2281 for tickets.
T “Florida’s Freshest Fruit,” The Improbabilities, continue to offer their hilarious gay and lesbian improvisational comedy at the Eola Theatre, 17 Wall St. Plaza, Thursday Oct. 20 and 27, at 8:30 PM. Tickets are just $5. Call (407) 521-7499 for more info. Make a night of it and have dinner at MoOieffielllfS (see restaurant review this issue) before the show.
T The Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College will open their ’94-95 season with The Mystery of Edwin Drood, an English music hall version of an unfinished Dickens melodrama. Drood will play from Oct.21-30. For information about tickets and performances, phone (407) 646-2145. Also, Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis makes a public appearance at Rollins College, Saturday, October 22, in a “Community Conversation.”The program begins at 2:30 PM in the Bush Auditorium, Bush Science Center.
▼ TCN will hold their annual HallOWCCn (impout from Fri., Oct. 28 thru Sun. Oct. 30 at Salt Springs Campground in the Ocala Forest. Facilities accomodate campers, pop-ups, RVs, tents, etc. Sites are $12 and can accomodate up to 5. Boat ramps, canoes, pontoon boats and lots of beautiful scenery and women will be there. Call Nan (she’ll be in The Westphalia) for more information.
V GLCS sponsors their first annual GAY-TOWEEN, Sun. Oct 30, at the Orlando Marriott Downtown (formerly the Omni). There will be a cash bar, a raffle, and a costume contest. Festivities begin at 8 PM. Admission is $25 for members, $30 for non-members, and $35 at the door. Call (407) 425-4527 for tickets or more information.
y glcs will sponsor “I’m Coming Out,” a Symposium ffov African American Gays in Orlando, on Friday, November 4, from 6-10 pm at the GLCS Center. The symposium is free, and is specially designed for those 18-25. Music, refreshments, and games will be offered, and the film Paris is Burning will be shown. RSVP by Oct. 28 at (407) 425-4527.
y “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” is the theme for Willow's annual Black & White
Ball to be held on Saturday, November 19 at the Pine Meadows Country Club in Eustis. Tickets are $35. For reservations call Terry (407) 865-5972, or Peppy (904) 383-0928.
y Parents FLAG, Delta Youth Alliance (DYA), and the Rainbow Democratic Club (RDC)
are selling a new and expanded 1995 Entertainment Coupon Book.
This year’s book contains hundreds of coupons offering savings of up to 50% off purchases at restaurants, businesses, and entertainment outlets. Coupon books are only $30. Many who purchased books last year claim huge savings. Proceeds can be designated for the organization of your choice. To place an order call Allene Baus at (407) 896-0689, or send your check for $32 to: “Coupon Book,” P.O. Box 141312, Orlando FL 32814-1312.
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WATERMARK / October 12, 1994 19
13 B 14 15 •• 16 17 1 18 19
CONNECTION. 1 COALITION m CHORUS. See Local WORSHIP ALLIANCE. largest gay & lesbian Gay & lesbian radio
Group for teens & FUNDRAISER. See Color, p. 18. | SERVICES. See Oct. 24. bowling league. 9 PM. on 91.5 FM. Talk,
young adults from 18- M Local Color, p. 18. 1 10:30 AM & 7:15 PM. 644-2244. music, news, inter-
25. GLCS at 7:30 PM. ORLANDO 894-1081. ORLANDO views, community
SELECTIONS. 9 AM. See Oct. 3. See Oct. 19. MEETING. Phillips 2398.
LUCKY LADIES • Destiny of Me Hall, Room 218. 9PM. i
BOWLING. Fair • Nightclub Cantata GLBL. Bowling at RAINBOW 648-0057. ORLANDO
Lanes Indian Hills. • Whores of a Different Fair Lanes Indian DEMOCRATIC FRONTRUNNERS.
6:30 PM. 293-8849. Color Hills. 831-7171. CLUB. Orlando Meet at the red pagoda
• The Kentucky Cycle Library. 7 PM. at Lake Eola.
WHORES. See 236-9476. 6:30 PM. 857-18777.
Local Color, p. 18.

20 21 I 22 23 24 25 26
Eola Theatre. 8:30 PM. • Kismet. 9 AM. See Oct. 19. GLCS, P-FLAG, Fern Park. 9:15 PM. See Oct. 18.
521-7499. • The Mystery of GLPCI. See Local 425-4527. ORLANDO
LADIES BOWLING. • The Kentucky Cycle. See Oct. 15. DELTA YOUTH See Oct. 18. 7:30 PM. See Oct. 19.
See Oct. 13, JOY MCC. ALLIANCE. Support i
LCN MOVIE See Oct. 16. group for gay, lesbian P-FLAG MEETING.
RAINBOW NIGHT. Unitarian & bisexual youth Downtown Orlando
CONNECTION. Church. 7 PM. under 22.6 PM. location. 7 PM.
See Oct. 13. 831-2971. 236-9415. 236-9177.
6:30 PM. See Oct. 19.
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Book Review by Harmony Brenner
Dorothy Allison’s Skin: Talking About Sex, Class & Literature is a provocative collection of essays, true-to-life monologues, and literary experiments that thoroughly titillate, anger, frighten, and sadden - sometimes all in the same paragraph.
Dorothy Allison is an eminently talented lesbian writer. Her previous novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, was a 1992 National Book Award Finalist in Fiction. Her first novel, Trash, won the 1989 double Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction and Small Press Book. Allison has also authored a powerful volume of poetry called The Women Who Hate Me, Poetry: 1980-1990.
Allison’s writing is like a dense dessert after a light meal; it is rich and substantial. Allison revisits some of her most defining experiences with a total lack of self-contempt or sentimentality. Her hard-boiled examination of self and others makes for enjoyable reading. But there is also a sense of voyeurism as one shares the forays, foibles, and significant suffering unique to a lesbian’s life path. Allison relies heavily on black humor and storytelling tones to keep the shy reader interested and the curious reader satisfied.
In Skin, Allison has revised and extracted from several exceptional articles that appeared in such periodicals as The New York Native and The Village Voice, and from a few of her celebrated speeches.
Allison’s most identifiable writing trademarks include questioning the values and mores of self and peers, as well as threading a common chord of suspense throughout all her work. These traits abound throughout Skin. Allison uses her thoughtful commentary, interwoven with undetectable revisionist hindsight, to provide a memorable collection of intellectual exploration, sexual discovery, and literary analysis within a lesbian context.
Her essay topics range from a near-mugging in New York to her personal thoughts and feelings on writing seminars she attended. The most memorable and insightful group of essays concern sexuality. Allison insists on confronting her discomfort, her desires, and her unanswered questions about sexuality head-on in essays such as “Femme” and “Sex Talk.” Allison develops other topics as well, but as the book’s title indicates, her major forums are sex, class, and literature.
While there are many popular lesbian writers, Allison leads the small pack of genuine literary contributors who reveal the life experiences of lesbians in a realistic, unromanticized context. Allison herself seems in transition from an oppressed point of origin to an almost boundless destination. Her ability to plant intellectual roots into the barren soil that was her family of origin is truly inspiring. Her earlier works evince a highly abusive and dysfunctional childhood, including incest, poverty, and daily violence. Skin is no exception. Between the lines, Allison processes her pain, relives her fear, and incorporates her shattered child self into the relative sanctuary of her adult life.
While I enjoyed Skin thoroughly, I would hesitate to recommend it to the recreational reader who is seeking escapist fiction. It is too confrontative for that purpose. However, for those in pursuit of intellectual, spiritual and social challenge, Dorothy Allison’s Skin will stir you up like a hot cup of coffee.
From Page 13
rector to bring Wood’s story to the screen. In his past works {Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas), there are always driving elements of the supernatural, the skewed, and the downright odd. He is in many respects a modern-day Ed Wood himself. His strength is in making us feel for characters whom we would otherwise pity, dislike, or even avoid. He has a very fine flair for humor; the many laughs which can be found in Ed Wood are neither contrived nor forced. His opening title sequence is superb, and his authenticity in recreating Wood’s original work is brilliant.
However, Burton’s direction is a beautiful welcome mat to an empty house. Perhaps the film is too true-to-life and could have benefited from some fictionalization. A more engrossing film could have been told from Lugosi’s viewpoint. In any case, Ed Wood fails to capture the “genius” behind the man who is still remembered to this day for his worse-than-mediocre work. The irony of this all is that like Wood’s films, Ed Wood will most likely live on to be shown at sci-fi conventions for decades to come, even after it has been forgotten by the general public. Burton ‘s better work should live so long.
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From Page 13
so we started doing talent shows at Denver Women’s Chorus retreats. The second year that we did the talent show, we thought, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have someone sing the base part,’ and we all thought of Rachael, who (we later found out) was hoping we’d ask her.” Rachael had also been with the Denver Women’s Chorus on the support staff.
TRM didn’t want to be just another singing-guitar-play-ing-all-female group. “Actually,” Marla spoke up, “we started singing a cappella, and it seems to fit who we are. It was easy for us to show up at a gig and sing.. .no tracks, no drums, just stand up and sing.”
“And,” Rachael added, “there’s a lot about a cappella that’s pure music. You can cover up a lot in a chorus and with a band, but there’s something that’s right on with a cappella that you have to be devoted to.”
“And the challenge is me,” Meladye included. “I’m challenging myself and having to work with the other members of the group to sing as a unit with no place to hide - that’s the real challenge.”
There’s a line in one of TRM' songs that says, “singin’ ‘bout boys only gets us down.” When asked whether they get negative reactions to such exclusive lesbian statements, Meladye stated, “The song, for me, is couched in the context of a lover relationship - this is who I am, this is what I do - I’m not going to sing as if I were a man singing about a woman so that the community-at-large finds it appropriate. It’s not that we’re saying we don’t like boys, it’s just that we’re not going to pretend to be them to have our songs accepted.
“In fact, we have to say that the men’s community has been incredibly supportive of our efforts, both in Denver and in other areas. In some cases, more so than the women.” Feeling prompted to offer a theory behind that, Rachael said, “I think the guys enjoy camp, and a lot of what we do on stage is a little off. We try to screw things up a bit with lyrics or what we do, and I think the men like that show stuff.”
We turned to the topic of lesbian artists who are doing the mainstream thing, rather than addressing the lesbian audience. Rachael took the lead. “We have a lot of pride, both in ourselves individually and as a group. We’re out at work and our home lives, and we’re out as a group. We don’t want to sing in venues that don’t want to host us and we are proud to stand up and say we’re lesbians, rather than ‘we know you know but we’re not going to say it.’”
“And if you want to go mainstream and be known nationally, you almost have to sing songs that don’t talk about anybody specifically or that talk about the opposite sex...” added Marla quickly. Rachael noted, “Tracy Chapman and Melissa Etheridge were pioneers of the generic ‘you’ gender-not-specific lyric.”
“I support people doing what they think is right for themselves and their careers,” Meladye interjected. “I’m really glad to see people like Melissa and k. d. lang stepping out and saying that they’re lesbians, but doing it in their own personal time, when it’s right for them.
“As for this group, we made a decision a long time ago, before we ever embarked on what we’re doing right now, about who we’d play to, who our community is, who we want to be. We are out lesbians playing to the gay community and we don’t care about being mainstream artists. We’re doing what we want to do now.”
When the question of profit motives arose, TRM answered on one solid note. “Take a poll: girls, has it ever been about profit?” Marla asked.
“No, never,” they answered in unison. “We just want to cover our expenses and have a good time.”
“Lot’s of people dream about what we’re able to do, and here we are in Florida, having a great time,” Marla said, looking at the rain while we all laughed.
But then the less humorous topic of Colorado’s Amendment 2 came up. [Amendment 2 repeals existing laws and makes further laws that would protect gays and lesbians from discrimination illegal.] Discussing the impact of the political struggle, Rachael delivered the group’s harmonized sentiment. “We’ve helped,” she began, “through fundraisers and rallies where we’ve gladly performed pro bono. We feel good about what we’ve been able to give.”
In the future, TRM hopes to get more of their own original music out, “and possibly come up with a new CD of our own,” Marla said. She added that while the current CD has but three original pieces, only one is not an original ar-. rangement. “No one else arranges music for a cappella.”
As we positioned to leave, Marla sat up straight, sending her forefinger out into the air as if to tap a bell. “I have something to add,” she announced. “There are so many things about the gay and lesbian community that the straight media picks up and personifies as evil. I think it’s important that the gay and lesbian chorus movement and positive music is somehow featured, not only in our own media, but in the media-at-large. And the longer that groups like the Orlando Gay Chorus are around, the better it is for our image as a whole community.”
WATERMARK / October 12,1994 22
It isn’t that I’m out of shape. I exercise as much as I can, which means I sometimes put on girl-group records from the ‘sixties and dance around the house.
So why do my friends suggest - often -that my lover Kirk and I join the Frontrunners, Orlando’s gay running/walking/biking group? We finally succumbed.
I was amazed at the number of people who thronged at the Pagoda at Lake Eola. Group leaders arranged about fifty of us in a giant circle on the grass. My heart pounded (is that aerobic?); we were people! Actually, we just introduced ourselves and answered a question: What TV family would we want to be part of?
I answered The Donna Reed Show and got a laugh. This group dynamic exercise is useful. Now I knew the name of the guy in the black biking shorts.
We separated into preferred activities-running, walking or biking- and we were off. The runners were soon dots in the distance, yet we walkers marched resolutely ahead. I fixed my sight on the black biking shorts and forged onward, Kirk in tow.
I expected a liesurely stroll around Lake Eola; gossip and swan boats. Hardly. We soon left the park for Rosalind Avenue, and headed south, under the East-West Expressway, past the old Dr. Phillips house, around Lake Lucerne, which is really beautiful at night, and up busy Orange Avenue.
By now the black biking shorts were a
full block away. Kirk was slowing down, and I was concerned lest we be the last two of the original group to return to the Pagoda. “Don’t worry,” he kept saying. “There are still two people behind us.” I can be so competitive at times.
Downtown never looked so magical to me at night! The massive amounts of oxygen I was inhaled caused even our downtown denizens to take on a Damon Runyon-esque quality. As we passed Wall Street, I realized I had lost my Nicoderm patch... a sign?
Soon we were on our final approach. We picked up the pace a bit as the Pagoda loomed in the distance. “Didn’t mean to pull so far ahead,” Biking Shorts told me. “Sorry.”
“It’s quite all right (puff, puff). Just how far did we walk?”
Surely, after all that time, we could have walked to Valdosta, Georgia.
“Two point eight miles.” he replied.
“Well,” I said. “Well.”
The Frontrunners meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Pagoda at Lake Eola. See Calender, 19 for times.
Watermark is looking for a SPORTS EDITOR.
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PARLIAMENT HOUSE. Now accepting applications for the following: FRONT DESK, GUEST SERVICES, HOUSEKEEPING, RESTAURANT WAITERS, BEVERAGE WAITERS, RESTAURANT BUS PERSON. Apply at the Front Desk. Parliament House. 410 N. Orange Blossom Trail. Orlando, FL 32805. (407) 425-7571.
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DOWNTOWN HOME. For sale/rent-charming 1930 Southern Tudor in historic Eola. 5/2, 2 fireplaces, oak floors, 10’ ceilings, remodeled kitchen, alarm, sprinkler, garage, central heat & A/C. Avail. Nov. 1. Must see. 625 Hillcrest St. $172,500 or $1400/ mo. Call for appt/info 648-4154.
Altamonte/Capistrano Condo. 2/2 on ground floor. Near pool & tennis. Has all appliances and screened porch. Assumable no-qualify loan. $2,000 down plus small 2nd moves you in. Call Bill® 834-0203.
Bank owned and HUD homes. $ 1,000 will get you a home of your own. Call Realtor @ 1-800-861-0203. Serving our community for over 40 years.
ROOMMATE WANTED. 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath home near downtown/ Lake Como. Renovated kitchen, washer/dryer. Non-smoker preferred. $275/mo. plus utilities. Call Jim at 895-0993. Available mid-Oct.
S. ORLANDO/MEADOW WOODS. 2 GWMs looking for responsible, honest, friendly GWM for roommate. We offer a stress-free, 3/2 home. W/ D, A/C, cable, private yard, secured. No pets, no drugs. Quiet type A+. $225/mo„ $100 dep., 1/3 util. HIV+ check us out! (407) 856-9825.
PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. Missing persons, background checks, asset checks, service of process in Orange county. 644-8057. Agency no. 93-00111.
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GAYLINE ONLINE. GayLink (BBS) has gone computerized. Our national network went online August 1st. For a free software package and a 30-day Free Membership, contact the Genesis Foundation. Call (407) 857-5444. Fax (407) 438-3695.
SEEKING DONATED COUCH. Delta Youth Alliance, a group for gay/ lesbian teens, is looking for a used couch for its meeting room. Please contact Jeff at 895-3722.
WANTED TO BUY. Disney items -especially buttons & pins. Also, sell & trade Disneyana items. For more information please call Dennis at 407-895-1968.
Healthy, loving, stable, long-term professional gay couple seek lesbian to function as surrogate mother. Flex-
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Gorgeous AKC Registered DALMATION puppies. Available Oct. 6. Parents on premises. (6) males $300, (4) females $325 and up. Call Rick at 682-6096. All come with certificate of health.
REAL ESTATE WANTED. Need 3/ 2 home within reasonable commute of Disney. Around $80,000. Can pay 10% dwon on a no-qualify mortgage. Call Frank @ 834-0989.
.. .Sports Editor. Come join our growing team and help create the best gay & lesbian sports page. Please send resume and writing samples to Watermark, P.O. Box 533655, Orlando, Florida 32853-3655, or call (407)481-2243.
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Residential Real Estate Inc.
Lake Como Park----------
Dave Rizzo custom home in Lake Como Park. Nearly new, 3 bedroom 2 bath, vaulted ceiling, fireplace and huge kitchen. The first $125,000 steals it!
Downtown--------Lake Como Manor
Cute 3 bedroom 2 bath home in “50’s”era neighborhood. Beautifully maintained with striking parquet floors and fireplace.
A mere $87,000
River Chase Drive------------
Like a model! Home has been well maintained and is ready to move into. The easy lifestyle is echoed in the large casual kitchen, breakfast bar and greatroom plan. Screened porch leisure too!!!
Your Life Insurance Is Worth Cash Today!
Medical science indicates that stress dramatically impacts your health.
TLC Funding can ease your stress with immediate financial assistance if you are faced with HIV.. .or any other terminal illness.
Make the most of your life. You are entitled to have ; to be
financially self-sufficient and spend time with
loved ones... and follow your dreams.
At TLC Funding,confidential
assistance is available 24-hours a day. And the call is toll free.
Be worry free. Call today And get on with your life
TLC Funding (800) 290-8171
498 N ORANGE BLOSSOM TRAIL ORLANDO, FLORIDA 32805 407/649-2011 • FAX 407/649-4116
Leather Wear Accessories Pride Items Tee-Shirts Swim Wear Body Jewelry Cards & More
Custom Leather-Work Done on Premises
Resident DJ
Brent Simpson
Welcomes Retro DJ
(hris Rehbein
Doors Open at k PH No (over 'til 6PH Featuring:
-25* Draft •I50 Wells •1” Domestic Deer 6 PM-CLOSE
M Fernwood Blvd - Fern Park, FL 32730 - (1.07) 831-7359
(Located across from the Orlando Jai-Lai • Formerly "Central Station'1)
-Plenty Of Free Parking-


Almeida, David et al., “The Watermark, Vol. 1, No. 4, October 12, 1994,” RICHES, accessed April 21, 2024,