Elton John Plays Alaska

It's true: Elton John is performing in Alaska!
Elton is to play two SOLO concerts in Alaska, USA. The dates are: Wednesday May 28, 2008 at the Sullivan Arena, Anchorage, Alaska, and Thursday May 29 at the Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Alaska.

This will be the first time Elton has played in the state of Alaska, and comes as a result of huge popular demand for him to play there. These concerts also take him within sight of achieving his aim to have performed in every state of the USA. Alaska will be the 49th state in which he has performed. (www.eltonjohn.com)
In Anchorage, tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 5. There is a six-ticket purchase limit, and prices range from $56.50 to $116.50. Tickets will be available online at Ticketmaster.com, Charge-by-Phone at 562-4800, Fred Meyer Ticketmaster outlets and Sullivan Arena box office.

In Fairbanks, tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 3 and will be available at Fred Meyer Ticketmaster outlets, the Carlson Center box office, 456-4800, and Ticketmaster.com. Ticket prices are set at $75 and $115, not including fees.

The Advocate Wants Your Stories of Hometown Pride

by E. Ross

They say that the best thing about Anchorage is that it's only 15 minutes from Alaska. What do you like most about living in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, or wherever you live? The Advocate, a GLBT news site and magazine, wants to know what makes you proud of your hometown:
Tell us what you love and what you wish you could change. Describe where you go to wander and where you wouldn't be caught after dark. Share your favorite place to get a beer with friends, have a romantic dinner for two, or escape from the world for a little while. We want to hear about the people you meet and the vibe that greets you when you walk down the street. Anything goes.

What's this all about? We want to bring America's LGBT people closer together. How many times have we separated ourselves according to where we live? Coasts versus heartland, big city versus small town, gay ghetto versus mainstream suburb -- our life experiences reflect the places where we put down roots. So...what makes you proud about your hometown? Tell us -- and tell the world.
Let's put Alaska on their map. Send your submission to hometownstories@advocate.com with "Hometown Stories" in the subject line. Selected entries will appear in the annual Pride issue or on Advocate.com.

Photo by dphershman

This Week in GLBT Alaska

From Alaska GLBT News (subscribe)

  Juneau's Femme Fatale 4/25-4/26, 9:30 p.m.
Get ready for Femme Fatale, Juneau's annual show and benefit for Four A's. The hottest performers from Anchorage are coming down for 2 shows at Marlintini's Lounge, 9121 Glacier Hwy. Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door. For more information, email Lee: LWagner@alaskanaids.org.

  Fairbanks Men's Discussion, 5/1
The next men's discussion is scheduled for May 1. Contact Brad for time and location: bradoen@yahoo.com

  Anchorage Pride Prom 4/25, 7 p.m.
Pride Prom is ON - Friday 4/25, ending Day of Silence with a night of celebration! At Russian Jack, $10.

  Bac'untry Bruthers 4/25-4/26, 9 p.m.
Bacuntry Bruthers, a lesbian drag band from Fairbanks, is performing in Anchorage this weekend. 4/25 - 9:00pm, the KODIAK bar, Anchorage. 4/26 - 9:00pm, Crossroads Bar, Anchorage. Listen to them at www.myspace.com/bacuntrybruthers.

  TLFMC's Last Saturday Brunch 4/26, 10:30 a.m.
Last Saturday Brunch (Anchorage) will be held at Sunrise Gill & Pancake House again this month. This location was very popular last month, so worth a repeat. Now located at 8201 Old Seward Hwy. Contact Road Captain: ykhway@yahoo.com

  A Starry ~ Starry Night to benefit S.T.A.R. 4/26, 8 p.m.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the stars of Myrna's stage are holding a benefit for Standing Together Against Rape (S.T.A.R.) MC's Paige and Daphne lead us through a night of glamour. $10 Mad Myrna's

  Ever Ready at the Del Rois 4/26, 9 p.m - 1 a.m.
Rock, country & blues at Del Rois Bar (Mile 39.5 Old Glen Hwy, in Palmer).

  "Graze to Raise" for Identity, register by 4/28
Raise money for Identity on May 2 at the 8th Annual Alaska Charity Walk. Eat and walk through downtown Anchorage, then return to the Park Strip for dessert, prizes and entertainment. Adults $30, $15 for kids 5-18. Register by 4/28 at GLCCA or online. Information and online registration: Alaska Charity Walk 

  Get it On short sleeve t-shirts, order by 4/28
Due to the overwhelming interest in the Get it On campaign t-shirts, the Four A's is going to make another order. The short-sleeve t-shirts cost $10.00 each, and the SMART design is available for the first time. To see the designs, visit www.getitonak.org.

Alaskans Participate in National Day of Silence

by E. Ross

What are you going to do to end the silence?

Students in Alaska will join hundreds of thousands of middle and high school students across the nation in a Day of Silence to protest anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender name-calling, bullying and harassment. Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) members and their allies in Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks will be silent on April 25, to echo the silence caused by prejudice and discrimination.

DOS in Alaska

Students in Fairbanks can participate in Day of Silence, despite the efforts of anti-gay groups. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner published several pieces on the issue, including an article Controversy escalates over 'Day of Silence', an editorial Council reaction to Day of Silence goes overboard, and a letter to the editor from a student member of the West Valley GSA. The hundreds of comments include support and opposition to DOS.
Wayne Gerke, assistant superintendent of secondary schools at the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, said the event is not an official school activity and is not sponsored by the school district but is a way for students to express their freedom of speech. Gerke said he believes the purpose of Day of Silence is not to promote homosexuality but rather to stand against bullying. (from Controversy escalates over 'Day of Silence')
The Juneau Empire began a similar discussion for Day of Silence in 2006, and received 32 Responses to "What do you think of the day of silence that is held for gays and lesbians at Juneau-Douglas High School?" The next year, they published an article with photos, Harassment gets the silent treatment at high school
"We are missing out on all of these voices, we don't get to hear these students' voices, because they're too afraid to risk harassment," said Casady Herding, GSA advisor, on the panel of Anyone & Everyone: An Alaskan Perspective, which aired on KTOO and KAKM last week. "There's a real need for education in the schools about GLBT issues, because of the invisibility, because of the discrimination that is still very much in place."
Anchorage GSA's participate in Day of Silence, and 'break the silence' that night with Pride Prom. Alaska Superstation posted a piece on Day of Silence and the opposition in Anchorage, Day of Silence Creates Outcry. In the article, Superintendent Carol Comeau said that the district is not promoting the "Day" and teachers will continue with their lesson plans, while taking into account that some students choose not to speak.
"What we've done is acknowledge the fact that some of our students want to participate in a national Day of Silence. And we've said that if you do it respectfully without causing a disruption we will say that's ok," said Comeau.
A National Movement

Around the country, support for Day of Silence is growing. CNN's Larry King made a public service announcement for Day of Silence, in honor of the murdered student who shared his name: Lawrence King, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed in class for being gay. Lance Bass, the former 'N Sync singer, made a PSA with a group of students. Azariah Southworth, host of the Christian TV show The Remix, came out as gay and supports DOS. The Day of Silence blog posted these statements, plus information about DOS and comments from students, advisors and supporters around the country.

Organizations that spread the word about Day of Silence include GLSEN, the GSA Network, Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE) and PFLAG. They are also talking about the film 'Tru Love', which shows the straight daughter of lesbian parents starting a GSA group in a conservative suburban high school.
"Today we fall silent, but tomorrow, and each day after tomorrow, we must speak up," said PFLAG executive director Jody Huckaby at the Los Angeles Unified School District's Day of Silence Observance. "When our children are in danger, and our schools are havens of hate, we must give our own voice to those who suffer at the hands of bullies." (from 'Do Not Be Silent')
What are you going to do to end the silence?

A Message from Celebration of Change

by E. Ross

Before the show, I wrote about Celebration of Change 2008 and posted a revised list of performers: Lesbian Pirates Celebrate Music and Art. After the show, Laura Carpenter sent this message to celebrate the show's success and to thank everyone who made it happen:

This year's Celebration of Change, Pirates of the Lesibbean, was a success, thanks to our wonderful volunteers, performers and community. The performance was standing room only and lots of ladies were around to meet and greet each other. Radical Arts for Women would like to thank Teddy and LuAnn from Ever Ready for making the sound come alive, Delores and Gay for managing the stage and those special, unmentionable talents, Kenna for the stickers, designs and printing, Kelly, Kerri and son for managing the RAW table and vendors and cracking the whip when needed, Deb for the program and credit card action, Janet for spot light and other contributions, Maureen for presenting the Radical Woman Award, Drea for the pirate wench poster photographs, Connie for voter registration, Leslie for organizing performers, Myrna's for the after party, and Everyone who contributed to this fabulous event. Thank you! And congratulations to Barbara Soule for winning the Radical Woman Award. Well deserved. Now, start getting your creative caps on for next year's Celebration—the 25th anniversary! ~ Cheers, Laura

This Week in GLBT Alaska

From the statewide newsletter Alaska GLBT News (subscribe)

Alaskans Debate Day of Silence (4/25)
The Fairbanks Daily News Miner has three items on Day of Silence, which have over 400 comments combined. Check out the great editorial: Council reaction to Day of Silence goes overboard, the Letter to the Editor: Day of Silence, and the article: Controversy escalates over 'Day of Silence'. The Alaska Superstation takes a look at Day of Silence and the opposition in Anchorage: Day of Silence Creates Outcry.

Bac'untry Bruthers --All-Night dRAGTIME Revue
Bacuntry Bruthers is a lesbian drag band from Fairbanks. 4/18 - 9:00pm, the RONDEVOUS, Valdez. 4/25 - 9:00pm, the KODIAK bar, Anchorage. 4/26 - 9:00pm, Crossroads Bar, Anchorage. Listen to them at www.myspace.com/bacuntrybruthers.

Four A's Million Mile Raffle
Would you like to win 200,000 Alaska Airlines Miles? The Four A's and local Soroptimist groups are selling raffle tickets with prizes adding up to 1 million Alaska Airlines Miles. The top prize is 200,000 miles. There are also two prizes of 100,000 miles, four prizes of 80,000 miles, five prizes of 40,000 miles and four prizes of 20,000 miles. Tickets are $20 a piece, 3 for $50 or a book of 20 for $325 and all the proceeds will benefit HIV/AIDS efforts in Alaska and globally. Drawing will be held on May 28, 2008 and winners do not need to be present to win. Contact Chrissy: cbell@ALASKANAIDS.ORG.

Fairbanks PFLAG Meeting 4/21, 6:30-8 p.m.
Join us for the next PFLAG meeting, at the Noel Wien Library. Bring ideas for the Golden Days float, parade and fair booth - let's make it happen.

The Fetish Ball 4/19, 8pm
The naughty dress up party is a fundraiser for Four A's. Contests, leather wear, body art, entertainment, demos & food. Hosted this year by Kinky Klosets. $10 Mad Myrna's

Aries Birthday Party Potluck 4/20, 4 p.m.
Presents for all Aries who pre-register. Please contact Russ Reno or The Raven with your birth date and name to be included. This is a Potluck - please bring a dish to share. 

This Way Out - GLBT Radio Program, Wednesdays 8:15-8:45 p.m.
This Way Out - The International Lesbian and Gay Radio Magazine - airs in Anchorage on KWMD/104.5 FM, and Kasilof on KWMD/90.7 FM. You can also hear it on the web at Out In America, which has the program summary and past issues. [Note: the KWMD schedule lists This Way Out for 8-8:30 p.m., but this week it aired from 8:15-8:45 p.m.]

GLBT Alaskans, Friends and Families Share Experiences and Resources

by E. Ross

Anyone and Everyone: An Alaskan PerspectiveThursday, April 17 on Alaska One and KAKM

Alaska's GLBT communities and our Allies all over the state have a rare opportunity to participate in a gay event together on the same night - and it doesn't have to stop there.

On Thursday, the rest of Alaska will see what Juneau gays, lesbians and allies helped to create last month: an Alaskan response to the film Anyone & Everyone, a PBS documentary about the reactions of parents whose son or daughter 'came out' as gay or lesbian. Both the documentary and the Alaskan response will air on April 17 on KTOO, KAKM and their affiliates in Fairbanks, Bethel, Kodiak, Anchorage, Juneau and many other locations.

In March, PFLAG and Iron Zeal Films sponsored Juneau screenings of Anyone & Everyone, and KTOO-TV filmed a panel and audience discussion about the film. In the KTOO production, Anyone & Everyone: An Alaskan Perspective, Juneau mayor Bruce Botelho hosts Casady Herding, The Reverend Mark Boesser, Willie Anderson and Karen Donovan as they share reactions, resources and personal stories as gay Alaskans, our family members and allies.

Anyone & Everyone features parents from a wide range of religions, ethnicities, and political leanings discussing their initial reactions to their child's coming out. Some respond with unconditional support, but others struggle, fearing alienation from their extended family, their church, or their community. For more about the film and the screenings, see Juneau Responds to Anyone & Everyone.

To draw attention to the show, KTOO Radio's Community Forum host Dr. Carolyn Brown invited five members of the public for a discussion about Anyone and Everyone. "One is my mother, Mildred Boesser – a grandmother, an active Christian, a mother of a lesbian, and active PFLAG advocate," writes Sara Boesser from Juneau. "I'm on the panel too, as a 50-something lesbian and activist, along with a lesbian woman in her early 20's, an older man whose two gay brothers came out to his family in the 1940's, and a woman counselor who works with Four A's and has friends who are gay, lesbian and transgendered."

The Juneau Community Forum radio panel can be heard on www.ktoo.org. Look under KTOO Audio Files - Anyone & Everyone.

The TV broadcast of Anyone & Everyone and Anyone & Everyone: An Alaskan Perspective is on Thursday, April 17 on KAKM-TV, Anchorage from 8:00 to 9:30 pm, and on AlaskaOne (KTOO-Juneau, KUAC-Fairbanks, KYUK-Bethel) and 360 North from 9:00 to 10:30 pm. The programs will be rebroadcast on Saturday, April 19 on ARCS and 360 North from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

This is a great opportunity for Alaska's GLBT and Allied communities to see and hear our friends in Juneau. But why stop with Juneau? Let's continue the discussion, with Alaskan perspectives from different parts of the state. Watch Anyone & Everyone and An Alaskan Perspective, then share your reactions, your family experiences, and your local resources for GLBT Alaskans and our families. 

Send an email to BentAlaska@gmail.com or add a comment to this article. I'll put the responses together in a new post. Can we hear from each of the regions where the programs are broadcast: Interior, Western, Southcentral and Southeast? Anonymous replies are fine.

Let's start with Juneau and make it a statewide Alaskan Perspective. How about it?

Introducing Prince Joseph Williams and Princess April Rains

"The ICP Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball was a huge success. Prince Cory Crowder and Princess Rhonda Sheer stepped down, making way for our new Prince and Princess, Joseph Williams and April Rains. Fun was had by all, and the entertainment was awesome. Cory and Rhonda put on a fabulous show."
 ~ From Mary Bess of the Imperial Court of All Alaska (ICOAA)

Prince Joseph Williams and Princess April Rains

This Week in GLBT Alaska

From the statewide newsletter Alaska GLBT News (subscribe)

  Alaska's Response to Anyone & Everyone, airs 4/17
See our Juneau friends on TV! Watch the film Anyone & Everyone, followed by a 30 minute program on the responses of GLBT Alaskans and our family members, with a panel on resources for families of gays & lesbians. The program was taped last month and includes the Mayor of Juneau. Airs in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Bethel, Homer and anywhere that gets KTOO, KAKM, and their affiliates. Watch the trailer for Anyone & Everyone. Read about the Alaskan Response to the film.

  Gay-Friendly Fishing Guides?
Know any gay-friendly fishing guides on the Kenai? It's almost that time of year, and we want your recommendations. Contact Jim.

  Fairbanks Potluck 4/15, 6:30 p.m.
Based on the success of the Community Potluck we had in March, we're having another in April. Lots of fun, good conversation, great food. At the Ken Kunkel Center in Gold Stream. If you need a ride, or have questions, contact Brad.

  Celebration of Change 4/12, 7 p.m.
Win a Ticket to Celebration of Change - Pirates of the Lesibbean! Enjoy the show, shop at the Bazaar and congratulate the winner of this year's Radical Woman Award. All are welcome to attend. Read Lesbian Pirates Celebrate Music and Art. Wilda Marston Theatre, Loussac Library, Anchorage. Tickets are $15 at Metro and GLCCA. Sponsored by RAW

  Comedy Hypnosis Show 4/12, 9 p.m.
In Anchorage. $10 Mad Myrna's

  3rd Annual Bake Sale for Four A's, 4/13, 4-6 p.m.
Scott Turner's Bake Sale at Mad Myrna's (in Anchorage) to benefit Four A's. Bring your appetite and help raise more money this year. Can you provide baked goods, sweet or savory, Gluten Free/Wheat Free, Sugar Free/Diabetic, Bake & Take, or those fancy desserts for the Auction? From Scott: "I'll be wearing another chocolate cake this year, but you better bring your wallets, because I will be up for auction this time!" Contact Scott.

  PFLAG/Anchorage Annual Potluck and Silent Auction 4/17, 6-9 p.m.
Join PFLAG Anchorage for their Annual Potluck and Silent Auction. Proceeds will benefit both PFLAG and the Four A's. Bring a dish to share and check out the silent auction items. At Immanuel Presbyterian Church (2311 Pembroke Street-east of 24th and Boniface). Contact Chrissy.

Win a Ticket to Celebration of Change!

by E. Ross

Welcome, subscribers of Alaska GLBT News - the statewide newsletter for GLBT events - and readers of the women's newsletter, the Grrlzlist!

One lucky subscriber from each of these newsletters will win a free ticket to Celebration of Change - Pirates of the Lesibbean.

Here's how you can win:
  • Give one reason why you want to attend Celebration of Change this year.
  • Put the reason in an email to Bent Alaska: bentalaska@gmail.com
  • Include the name of the newsletter you are subscribed to, either the Grrlzlist or Alaska GLBT News. You must be currently subscribed to one of these two newsletters to enter the contest. (Subscribe to AGN now.) If you are subscribed to both, you may send two separate messages, one for each subscription. 
  • Send from the email address where you receive your newsletter, to verify the subscription and to contact you if you win. (If sending from a different address, write the subscribed address in the message.)
  • Be the 5th (fifth) subscriber from that newsletter to send an email.
  • Check Bent Alaska on Saturday to see who won. 
The tickets have been purchased and will be held at the door for the winners.
Good luck!

Lesbian Pirates Celebrate Music and Art

by E. Ross

Pictured from left to right: Janet Sarnick, Mandy Salgato, Jessicah Heller, Geysa Aldebot, Laura Carpenter, Stacey Uptegraft, and Amber Jay. Photos by Drea Hunnicutt. Design by Kenna Bates.
It's a pirate's life for Celebration of Change this year, and the Pirates of the Lesibbean have captured the Wilda Marston Theater for the annual women's performance. 

The show begins with a rowdy pirate song and dance number with music from the Pirates of the Caribbean 3. "Plenty of swabbing of the poop deck and stage combat," said Leslie Ward, who choreographed the scene. "Dancers 'capture' performers and 'toss them into the brig' (backstage)."

Ward will perform two solo dances later in the show, jazz/modern and hip hop style. Other performers include EverReady, Barbara Wish and Stray Dogma. There will be dance, song, spoken word and comedy, and Radical Arts for Women (RAW) will announce the winner of the Radical Woman Award.

The Bazaar before and after the show includes visual art, information and snacks.

"I haven't seen the rehearsals at all," said Laura Carpenter, Coordinator of RAW and Treasurer/P.R. for Celebration. "I'm the behind the scenes person this year. The show will just happen like magic for me that night. I'm excited about it."

Carpenter has been involved with Celebration of Change for five years and performed in several shows. As Coordinator of RAW, she oversaw the distribution of $2,000 in grants in 2007 to feminist and lesbian artists.

"Celebration is usually a full house, but not sold out," said Laura. "I like it that way because I don't like turning people away." The $15 tickets are available before the show at Metro and the GLCCA, and are the same price at the door Saturday night. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Celebration of Change is the annual fundraiser for Radical Arts for Women, a Lesbian and Feminist philanthropic organization that funds Alaskan women art projects. In addition to Celebration and the Radical Woman Award, RAW sponsors a short story contest for women in Alaska. This year's winning entry is posted on the RAW web site.

So hoist a lavendar skull and crossbones, and come to the Wilda Marston Theater in Loussac Library for Celebration of Change - Pirates of the Lesibbean!

Alaska Still 'Taking Diversity to the Sky'

by E. Ross

Going to Gay Days at Disney World in Orlando this June? Or the US Gay Tennis Open in San Francisco in May? Maybe you'd like to spend a week in Miami in June? How about Santa Rosa, CA before April 30?

Then take advantage of the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air discount codes and fly for 10% off the base fare when you buy the tickets on their Gay Travel site.

These are the infamous 'gay discounts' that caused an outpouring of hate speech on the Internet last year. Confused homophobes claimed that the airlines were charging higher prices to straight travelers by offering a discount to gays. Anti-diversity conservatives posted angry rants because Alaska Airlines recognized the power of the pink dollar and marketed to us on the web.

In reality, anyone can use the discount codes, gay or straight, and no one is required to attend the LGBT events to receive the discount. You just have to fly to a qualifying airport during the discounted dates.

The Gay Travel site is an effort to reach LGBT consumers and to promote online ticketing. In response to the feedback condemning the new site, the airlines removed "Gay Travel" from the title of the featured destination page, but kept the main site and the list of LGBT events in locations they serve.

Every year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation rates large U.S. employers on a scale from 0 to 100 based on whether or not they have policies that support LGBT employees, consumers and investors. Alaska Airlines, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, earned 95 out of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index 2008, rating a 'green light' in the Buying For Equality Guide. Only two airlines rated higher, American Airlines and US Airways, with 100 points each. No Alaska-based companies were included in the Index, but many of the rated companies do business in Alaska.

Here are the Alaska Airlines discounted dates and locations for 2008:
  • 5/20-5/29 to San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose (GLTF's US Gay Open)
  • 6/3-6/9 to Orlando, FL (Gay Days at Disney World Resort)
  • 7/12-7/19 to Miami, FL (GALA Choruses Festival)
  • complete travel by 4/30 to Santa Rosa/Sonoma County, CA (Featured Destination)
To receive the discount, just enter the correct code for your date and location of travel in the Discount Code box when you purchase the tickets at alaskaair.com/gaytravel. The discount will show in the final total of your ticket and is for the base fare only. Be sure to read the limitations of the discount codes before buying the ticket.

In these days of rising air fares, a 10% discount is a welcome sight. When Alaska Airlines recognizes and rewards their LGBT customers, employees and investors, we can support their efforts and encourage them to continue 'Taking Diversity to the Sky.'

California and Florida, here we come!

Where to Find GLBT Alaska - Annual Events, Revised

Update - Please see the most recent version of this list: Where to Find GLBT Alaska - Annual Events, Revised Again

by E. Ross

Previously, I posted the first part of a series on GLBT Alaskan Resources: Where to Find GLBT Alaska - Annual Events. I asked for feedback to update the list and received several messages about two changes: The Pride Conference was not held at UAA last year, and the Picnic may no longer be held in Eklutna.

Here is the revised list of main annual events for GLBT Alaska, in seasonal order:
  • Arctic Heat (Jan.) - TLFMC comes out of hibernation to choose the next Bear and Leather titleholders.
  • Celebration of Change (April) - RAW's 'break-up' performance celebrates women, art, music and springtime.
  • Day of Silence & Prom (April) - GLSEN's Day of Silence and same-sex prom graduates teens in style.
  • PrideFest (June) - Identity's summer solstice Pride Parade and Festival displays our Pride downtown.
  • Coronation (August) - ICOAA's late summer extravaganza invests the new Imperial Court.
  • Pride Picnic (Memorial Day) - The Picnic and BBQ celebrate unity and the end of summer.
  • Pride Conference (October) - Identity's back-to-school conference is inspired by National Coming Out Day.
The list is still focused on Anchorage. What are the main annual events for Fairbanks and Juneau? Please email or leave a comment below, and help to make a complete resource list for GLBT Alaska. Not sure how to comment? Read 5 Easy Ways to Enjoy This Blog.

This Week in GLBT Alaska

From Alaska GLBT News (subscribe)

National LGBT Health Awareness Week 4/6-4/12
The National Coalition for LGBT Health presents the 6th Annual LGBT Health Awareness Week, April 6-12, 2008. "Make your body healthy, make your mind strong, make your community powerful, make your voice heard." 

Interior AIDS Association Raffle
What would you do with $11,000? Read Big Prizes in IAA Raffle. The raffle is open to everyone, everywhere - but only 250 tickets are sold. Drawing in June. Tickets available at the IAA office. Email Barbara.

Margaret Cho's Beautiful Tour - tickets available 4/4
The Performing Arts Center finally has Margaret Cho on the calendar. In the Atwood Concert Hall, tickets through CenterTix. Watch her hilarious routine about working on an Olivia Cruise in Alaska.

Voices of Men 4/4, 8 p.m.
Ben Atherton-Zeman, a nationally known poignant comedian, presents his one-man show Voices of Men as a benefit for S.T.A.R. (Standing Together Against Rape.) $10 Mad Myrna's.

Womyn's Dance 4/5 7 p.m.
Are you ready to dance? We are! The Womyn's Dance is April 5 at the Snow Goose. Enjoy a great variety of music and plenty of dancing women. Optional $5 contribution. LET'S DANCE! Contact Carolyn. Read Anchorage Women Dance the Night Away.

Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball 4/5, Show at 9 p.m.
Celebrate the stepping down of our reigning Prince Cory and Princess Rhonda, and welcome the new prince and princess of the Imperial Court. $15 includes a buffet dinner and dessert. Mad Myrna's. Contact Mary Bess.

MCC's Johnathan Jones Appreciation Day Potluck 4/6
Johnathan Jones Appreciation Day Potluck after the 2 p.m. service on 4/6. If you want to be on the program (no sermon), or have questions, contact Edie. Read Appreciating MCC's Rev. Johnathan Jones. There is a special meeting on Saturday 4/5 at GLCCA 11 a.m. to brainstorm fundraising ideas for MCC.

Appreciating MCC's Rev. Johnathan Jones

by E. Ross

"We often take Johnathan for granted," said Edith Bailey, a member of the MCC Board of Directors. "Just as I believe there cannot be too many potlucks, I also believe there are never too many 'I love you's and 'I appreciate you's. Johnathan deserves to hear it at times other than just Christmas."  

MCC invites the GLBT community to a "Johnathan Jones Appreciation Day" Potluck. Edie will prepare a ham, potato salad, and rolls. Annie promised to make her pineapple casserole that was such a big hit on Easter.

Here are some of Johnathan's qualities, experiences, and activities that the congregation appreciates:
  • Johnathan left Australia in 2004 when he was only 24 to accept a position as the pastor of MCC-Anchorage. 
  • He had already experienced a divorce from a heterosexual marriage and was a physical and sexual abuse survivor.   
  • He threw himself into the work and began building the church.
  • He labors to lead a service that has wide appeal, because the congregation is very diverse. 
  • His sermons make positive references to the GLBT community. 
  • He quotes scripture that dispels the notion that homosexuality is condemned in the Bible.
  • He made MCC known in the community. 
  • He works on the Identity Helpline and fields questions concerning homosexuality and the Bible. 
  • He is Co-Chair of the PrideFest 2008 Committee and leads the Gay Memorial & MCC Pride Service. 
  • He accepts numerous speaking opportunities at UAA and in the community at large. 
  • He gives interviews on radio talk shows about homosexuality and religion.  
  • He speaks out through Compass pieces in the Anchorage Daily News.  
  • He is often interviewed on TV when there is an issue in the news about the GLBT community.  
  • He lobbied the Senate and Congress in DC concerning the Matthew Shephard Act. (Equal Opportunity Law Enforcement Act and Equal Non-Discrimination Act.)  
  • He personally met with Senator Murkowski to discuss the bills. (She did vote for the Matthew Shephard Act.)
  • Johnathan is a very personable young man who laughs easily and loves deeply.  
  • His sincerity is immediately apparent to all who meet him.  
  • He shares many of his life's experiences with the congregation, demonstrating that one can survive all sorts of discrimination, prejudice, and abuse and still be a Christian.  
  • He is deeply loved by his congregation.
Thank you, Johnathan!

The Potluck follows the 2 p.m. service on Sunday 4/6. If you want to be on the program or have questions, contact Edie

MCC is an inclusive church and welcomes everyone. Rev. Jones is also available for weddings, same-sex commitment ceremonies, baptisms, funerals, and one-on-one pastoral care. Visit MCC Anchorage.

Margaret Cho's Beautiful Tour in Anchorage - Tickets On Sale 4/4

by E. Ross

Finally, the tickets are available! The Performing Arts Center has Margaret's Beautiful Tour on the calendar for 5/5, 8 p.m. in the Atwood Concert Hall, and tickets go on sale through CenterTix on 4/4 at 12:01 a.m. 
"I want to explore the nature of beauty. What is funny and scary about it, why we often don't feel beautiful because our society's standards are so rigid and unattainable," said Margaret. 
Here is her hilarious routine about working on an Olivia Cruise in Alaska:

Anchorage Women Dance the Night Away

by E. Ross

Remember the Olivia Cruise Women's Dance? The New Year's Eve Women's Dance and the dance following Celebration of Change? 

Carolyn remembers. She loves to dance. So she rented the Snow Goose, mixed the music and held a Womyn's Dance last September, to celebrate her birthday with "good music, wonderful friends and a room full of women dancing," said Carolyn. "What more could a single woman want?"

The wooden floor of the Snow Goose was great for dancing, and the linen table cloths and full bar created the atmosphere of a fancy night on the town. The high point for Carolyn was "being out on the dance floor and seeing women from the age of 23 all the way to 75 that I personally knew, dancing to the same songs. That was cool!"

When her friends asked about the next dance, Carolyn decided on a spring and fall schedule. She rented the Snow Goose for April 5 and September 13, and began mixing music. 

The music includes something for almost everyone. "I have a few throwbacks from the 60's, we have 70's, 80's, 90's and a bit of today," she said. "There is C&W for the two-stepping women and even some swing and Latin salsa. I think I have covered about everything except for rap, heavy metal and heavy techno... that's not my style."

Do you have good memories of our women's dances? Want to dance with a room full of women again? Then go to the Snow Goose on Saturday night and dance the night away.

The Womyn's Dance is Saturday April 5, at the Snow Goose, 7 p.m. Optional $5 contribution at the door. Open to all women. For more information, email womynsdance@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.