Talk Derby to Me

You are invited to join the Fairbanks LGBTA community on May 1 for an afternoon of Kentucky Derby, mint juleps, a little touch of Southern fabulousness and horse racing, all for a good cause.

We'll have mimosas and two different types of mint juleps, plus snack food. Everything else is bring your own. We also have contests: wear the most fabulous hat imaginable and win a prize. Every attendee will have $100 of "play money" to bet on the actual horse race. The Derby will be on at 2 p.m. Alaska time, and we'll have a TV set on so we can watch the action. Whoever wins the most money wins the fabulous Kentucky Derby pie generously donated by Erica Iseri. Of course, for those who lose the most, we have our traditional bottle of Kentucky Bourbon as a consolation prize.

The Kentucky Derby Party is a fund raiser for Alaskans Together for Equality, Inc., Alaska's only statewise LGBTQ civil rights organization. There is a suggested donation at the door of $10-$25, and we will also be offering a 50-50 raffle, among other things, to raise money for this worthwhile cause. The suggested donation is not a requirement to get in. There will be plenty of information about Alaskans Together at the party.

The Derby party is on Saturday, May 1 from 12:30pm-3:30pm at the Cafe Alex building, 310 1st Avenue Fairbanks Alaska. Ages 21 and over only, please (this was a requirement to use the space.)

We hope you can join us - its a great excuse to be a little fabulous on a Saturday afternoon while raising money for a good cause.

This Week in LGBT Alaska 4/30/10

Events for our community and allies, from Alaska GLBT News.


SEAGLA Social Fridays (6-8 p.m.) for GLBT people and our friends over 21, at The Imperial Bar.


ICOAA Pretty 'n Pink 18+ Prom and show 4/30, doors open at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. at Pioneer Park Civic Center, tickets $12 to benefit The Imperial Court.

Kentucky Derby Party and Alaskans Together Fundraiser 5/1, 12:30-3:30 p.m. at the Cafe Alex building, 310 1st Avenue. 21 and over only. Drinks, snacks, contests and prizes, and watching the horses race. $10-$25 suggested donation. RSVP.

Wednesday Social Group, contact Joshua for the location.

Mat-Su Valley

Mat-Su LGBT Community Center in Palmer is open M-F 5-8 p.m. (except 6-8 on Wed.) The social group meets Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m. at Vagabond Blues.


ACLU Open House 4/30, 5-7 p.m. at their new office, 1057 West Fireweed, Suite 207, near the corner of Spenard and Fireweed. Free & no RSVP needed.

Friday Night Diva Show 4/23, 9 p.m. at Mad Myrna's.

Sunday Service at MCC Anchorage 5/2, 2 p.m.

LGBT Booklovers Club 5/3, 6:30 p.m. at the GLCCA.

Registration Deadline 5/3 for the Identity team in the Graze to Raise downtown fundraiser. Register at the GLCCA.

Half Naked Pictionary 5/5, 9-11 p.m. at Mad Myrna's, hosted by The Men's Club on the first Wed. of the month.

Tell Young, Begich and Murkowski to vote YES on ENDA!

ENDA is a federal bill to protect workers from being fired for being gay or trans, and Congress will be voting on it soon. The haters are cranking up their fear machine to stop ENDA, and the vote will be close, especially in the Senate. In a guest post on Alaska Commons, Tonei Glavinic reminds us that it's time to call our Congress members again.

On Wednesday April 21, over 200 LGBT and allied organizations (including our own Alaskans Together for Equality) issued a one-line statement to members of the United States Congress:

Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act NOW.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA (H.R. 3017/S. 1584) is a federal bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal employment non-discrimination laws, making it illegal to treat employees unfairly based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

For the first time since 1994, when this legislation was initially introduced to Congress, federal lawmakers appear ready to pass the law, furthering LGBT equality by establishing workplace protections that hundreds before us have sought.

At this point, only 40% of the U.S. by population has clear laws in place that protect LGBT people from this type of discrimination. The 2009 Out & Equal Workplace Survey, released in October, shows that workplace discrimination persists, with 44 percent of respondents indicating they have faced discrimination on the job, and 18 percent indicating they experienced discrimination in the last 18 months.

The situation is even more dire for transgender people: the preliminary findings of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (a project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality) found that 97 percent of respondents reported mistreatment or harassment, and 47 percent had lost their job, been denied a promotion, or were denied a job as a direct result of being transgender. Transgender people also reported twice the national rate of unemployment.

Right now, in most of the country (including Alaska), this happens without recourse. ENDA will change this, but it won't happen without your help. A vote on ENDA could happen in the next two weeks. Will you take two minutes right now to call Don Young's office and tell him that you support ENDA?

Call Rep. Young at 202-225-5765. Give your name and your city and then let him know:

"I am calling in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H. R. 3017/S. 1584), which will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from job discrimination. No one deserves to be fired from their job because of who they are. Please vote Yes for ENDA."

If you get voicemail instead of a person, feel free to leave a message - the messages are listened to and count just as much as if you reach a staff member. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you've called in the past, no problem … call again or write or schedule a visit.

Then hang up and call Senators Murkowski and Begich. Murkowski's number is 202-224-6665; Begich's is 202-224-3004. I promise you that based on the work I've done here in DC and the conversations I've had with all three of them that your calls are not a waste of time.

Interested in becoming more involved? Visit the ENDA NOW blog for more ways you can help.

Please pick up the phone and call right now, today – our representatives need to hear that Alaskans support equality.

Tonei Glavinic is an Alaskan queer activist attending American University in Washington, DC. Zie currently works as a Public Policy and Advocacy intern at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and was recently elected Executive Director of American University Queers and Allies. The opinions expressed here are hir own, and not meant to represent any organization with which zie is affiliated.

Don Young on DADT: Don't trust the Generals

When Rep. Don Young was asked by Matt Felling of KTVA News if he supports the repeal of the military's gay ban, he answered that President Obama and the Generals don't have contact with the troops, so the troops should decide instead of the leaders.
Asked whether he would support the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell. Young replied:

Probably not. I think the system has worked. I think we have to recognize that. I am not at ease saying that this would be a plus for the armed services. And I think we ought to stop going to the heads of the so-called military, and the politicians and ask the troops and see how it comes out. That would tell you a lot more. We have a tendency to think that we know more than the common folk. And Obama and Nancy Pelosi is an exaple of that in the health bill.

[Felling] So you think that the Secretary of Defense, and the Generals don't have the best sense…

I actually don't think that they… They're like the President. They don't have any contact with their troops. The troops in the field, the guy that's got mud on his boots, and pulling that M-16 trigger, he's got armor on his chest at 110 degrees, you ought to ask him.
The so-called military??

As for asking the troops what they think, the troops have been asked, more than once. Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, holds town hall sessions with troops. At a recent session,
which included not only Marines, but members of the Army and the Air Force, both male and female service members explained their indifference to the issue: They'd already served with gays and lesbians, they accepted that some kind of change was imminent, and, they said, the nation was too engulfed in two wars for a prolonged debate about it.
Even in earlier studies:
  • 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with lesbians and gays (Zogby International, 2006).
  • The younger generations, those who fight America's 21st century wars, largely don't care about whether someone is gay or not, and they do not link job performance with sexual orientation.
  • One in four U.S. troops who served in Afghanistan or Iraq knows a member of their unit who is gay (Zogby, 2006).
In addition, the public overwhelmingly supports lifting the ban:
  • Majorities of weekly churchgoers (60 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and Republicans (58 percent) now favor repeal (Gallup, 2009).
  • Seventy-five percent of Americans support gays serving openly, up from 44 percent in 1993 (ABC News/Washington Post, 2008).
Rep. Young needs to hear this, and he needs to hear that Alaskans support the repeal of DADT.

Congress is likely to vote on the repeal this summer. Young might even vote for it, if we remind him of all the Alaska earmarks he can sneak into the bill. He voted for the Hate Crimes Act for that reason. The Don't Ask repeal will probably be added to the Defense budget, one of his favorite earmark targets.

Call Rep. Don Young and tell him to stop saying weird sh*t... ahem, that you support the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell and you encourage him to vote for it.
Representative Don Young: 202-225-5765
(Thanks to The Mudflats for transcribing the KTVA interview in Don Young in His Own Words. Again.)

Dining and Singing to fight AIDS in Alaska (Thursday)

Eat good food at Dining Out For Life in Fairbanks and enjoy great singing at the Wizard of Oz Cast and Crew Cabaret in Anchorage to raise funds for people with HIV/AIDS in Alaska. Both events are on Thursday, April 29th.

Dining Out For Life - Fairbanks
Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at select restaurants as a benefit for Interior AIDS Association in Fairbanks. The restaurants are Lu Lu's Bread and Bagels for breakfast, Ivory Jack's for lunch from 11am to 5pm, Bobby's Downtown for dinner, and Lavelle's Bistro for dinner. Addresses and phone numbers HERE.

"Dining Out For Life: Dine Out, Fight AIDS" is an annual fundraising event where local restaurants donate a portion of proceeds to area AIDS agencies. IAA also participated in Dining Out last year. Over 55 cities in the United States and Canada are involved in DOFL this year.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road - Anchorage
Supporters of Four A's get a special treat Thursday night: stay up late and Follow the Yellow Brick Road to a cabaret performance by the Wizard of Oz cast and crew! The show begins at 11 p.m. at Mad Myrna's and the suggested minimum donation is $15 a person. All the proceeds will directly benefit HIV positive individuals and HIV prevention efforts in Alaska. Tickets will be sold only at the door.

This is not the first time Four A's has convinced cast members of a Broadway show to perform a cabaret benefit while on tour in Anchorage. Last year, cast members of The Lion King sang a wonderful show called The Lion Sings Tonight, which sold out.

Gay and raised in Alaska? Bring it Home

In a guest editorial in the Anchorage Press, Josh Lee makes good suggestions on how LGBT Alaskans can create a more visible movement and gain our rights. Unfortunately, Lee isn't here to join the effort - although born and raised in Alaska, he moved to Salt Lake City last year to intern with Equality Utah. Will he bring his new skills home to Anchorage?
"Last November, the city council of Salt Lake City passed an ordinance protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals from discrimination in the workplace and in housing. Other cities in Utah are currently working on getting similar ordinances passed, in hopes of supporting an eventual statewide ordinance that would protect all queer Utahns.

Where is Anchorage's anti-discrimination ordinance or protections from hate crimes? Mayor Dan Sullivan vetoed it...

Before I moved to Utah last August, I was nervous to be a gay in Mormon country. Luckily for me, I found myself in a strong Utah LGBT community shortly after my arrival. These Utahns have been an inspiration to me, and I hope that Alaskans rise to the challenge of Utah's example. If Utah can do it, so can Alaska.

And none of the changes that occurred in Utah on queer issues would exist if not for the activism that lives within Utah.

Queers in Alaska should embrace their queerness. The queers in Alaska need to come out of their log cabins (the Republicans don't like you anyway). They need to come out of the bars. They need to come out at work. They need to come out to their neighbors. The gays must go out and greet the moveable middle within their communities. Be creative in your activism. Do something, not nothing: Stage a kiss-in, create a spectacle, anything, just go all for it in your community."
They? Less than one year outside and he no longer counts himself as an Alaskan.

Lee, a UAA alumnus, makes good points about being more active and visible and creative. But who will lead those actions if so many of Alaska's queer youth and allies leave the state? Both gay and straight youth feel the need to leave home and live somewhere else. It's especially important for queer youth to experience a thriving LGBTQ community, the confidence of successful political efforts, and the relief of being themselves away from the confines of a small town. But what happens back home?
"I am proud to say that I am a born-and-raised Alaskan. I love my home state; it's beautiful and gave me many opportunities. But Alaska needs to become a more inclusive state to all of its citizens. Utah got at least one thing right when Salt Lake City decided to protect its LGBT residents. Now it's time for Alaska to meet the challenge."
You're right about that, Josh. So here's a challenge for you, and all the other LGBT youth who leave Alaska for gay-er pastures: soak up all that wonderful queerness in the big cities down south, learn everything you can about successful queer activism, make plenty of activist friends and connections - then bring your energy and skills home to Alaska and help us make it happen here. Be a leader who makes a difference, not just in a new town that already has an active community, but here at home, where you are needed.

That's my challenge to you: Bring it Home! (Or at least send your queer activist friends up here to help us.)

In the meantime, we'll keep working with the LGBT people and allies who live in Alaska, holding protests, diversity dinners, fundraisers and PrideFest, calling our members of Congress and state legislators, working with allies to elect politicians who support our rights, like we have been doing all along. Maybe someday we'll even have a kiss-in.

Breaking Free from ABT: One Man's Journey

Does Anchorage Baptist Temple really do exorcisms to cast out the demon from gays? Yes, they do, and they set family members against each other. In an interview with The NorthView, RJ described his struggle to break free from ABT and come out as a gay man, a struggle that nearly tore apart his family. He shares his story in the hope that it will help others who are coming out or supporting a gay family member, and even help members of ABT.

"I sincerely hope people from ABT read it. Perhaps it will be a wake up call for them to stop ignoring the things going on around them and perhaps they will open up their hearts and experience a little more love."

Thanks, RJ, and happy birthday!

This is an interview with RJ, a gay man raised in Anchorage Baptist Temple. RJ agreed to this interview in the hope that sharing his story and what he has experienced and learned will perhaps help others who may be walking a similar path or, at least, let them know they are not alone.

Editor: Let's start with the basics of your background.

RJ: My grandparents moved to Alaska in the 1950's. My mother and I were both born here. My grandfather was a minister. My father was a chaplain who worked in the ministry. In my early years, I lived with my father in Talkeetna and did my schooling through a Christian home school program. Our whole family was very involved in church. In the 1990's, when I was 11, we moved to Anchorage and became very involved with Anchorage Baptist Temple (ABT).

My father and step-mother both worked at ABT to offset the school bill as it is really expensive to go there. Both taught Sunday school. Sunday they drove busses to pick up kids for Sunday school. We attended Sunday school in the morning followed by church and church again on Sunday night. On Monday night we had bible study, Tuesday night was visitation, Wednesday we had church and Awanas, a Christian program sort of like the Scouts, Thursday night was prayer meeting, and Friday night was open gym or "Destination Unknown," a youth activity. And, of course, I had school Monday through Friday. Saturdays we would often go to Reverend Prevo's house for dinner or meet with other church people. For a long time, I looked up to my father and I looked up to Prevo so much.

Editor: How long did this last?

RJ: I went to ABT through 6th, 7th grades and was kicked out in 8th grade.

Editor: What happened in the 8th grade?

RJ: For years I believed everything I was taught. The church was my life. Then, I began to notice and to realize things about the people all around me at ABT and, at the same time, I began to suspect I was gay. I saw so much hypocrisy, too many holes, too much difference between what the church people were teaching me and how there were acting in their own lives. But we were not allowed to talk about it or to question. We had to pretend everything was good. The biggest sin was to question. Instead of providing an answer, they would ask "Why are you being blasphemous?" I began acting out and got kicked out of school several times.

Editor: How was it to realize you were gay, especially since you so looked up to your father, Prevo, and the youth ministers?

RJ: At ABT we were taught anti-gay propaganda. We were taught gay rights are special rights. ABT provides families with an anti-gay "educational" video by Focus on the Family to watch at home. There were also exorcisms which ABT called "demon warfare." The youth ministers and everybody else were taught this same anti-gay philosophy. I started to realize they were talking about me. The first time I kissed a guy I vomited a day straight over the conflict that it felt so right and I must be a horrible person - the worst thing I can be.

Editor: How were things going at home since your father and step-mother were so involved with ABT?

RJ: The whole gay issue tore me away from my family. There are generations of ministers on my father's side of the family and to this day they do not speak to me because I am gay. Before I came out, I remember my step-mother telling me that I was so like her brother except that he was gay and I would never be.

It was always made clear that it was not okay to be gay. My whole life began falling apart. When I was 13 I told my father I did not want to go to ABT church or their school. I told him I would go to church only if I could go to public school. He responded by locking me in my room with a board and nails. I kicked down the door and came flying through it like a hellhound with fists flying at my father. I got arrested for malicious destruction of property and went to McLaughlin for three days, followed by family court, a shelter, and foster care. My whole teenage time was spent bouncing between the Laurel shelter, foster homes, Convenent House, Maplewood, and my mom's house. I was on probation. Lori Rodriguez was my P.O. and she was a phenomenal case worker.

Editor: Wow. What happened after you were thirteen?

RJ: When I was 14, I came out to my mother. I said, "Mom, I think I'm bi." She said, "No, honey, I think you're gay." Later, she told me she thought I was going to be transgender. She told me I used to dress up with her make-up. My brother was a gay hate monger until I told him. When I was 15, I came out to my father in the Anchorage Daily News when they published a letter I wrote. He called me and asked, "Are you sure?" My step-mother said, "No, you're not gay. You're just confused." I moved to Palm Springs when I was 17. Palm Springs was my "gay education." My birthday there was a white party. What a way to turn 18! I made a lot of friends and learned about what that kind of gay life was like.

I returned to Alaska and, since I had no place to stay, I told my father it was just a phase, moved back with him, and back into the closet. I tried to pray my gay away. I begged God. I would have given anything to be straight.

Editor: Is this when the exorcism took place?

RJ: Yes. I went back to ABT. They had been studying Bob Larson's "Deliverance" exorcism ministry. They had a class to teach how to cast out demons on Friday nights. There was a questionnaire to determine if I had done something to open a portal which leads to demonic possession. The questions were things like did I try to control the weather, change stop lights, read horoscopes, use tarot cards and, of course, have sex with a man.

Editor: What happened at the exorcism? Who was there?

RJ: The exorcism took place at ABT. There were others there as well. I sat down and started crying. The Board of Directors, deacons, classmates, and family prayed over us. They anointed us each with oil and tried to cast the demon out.

Editor: Wow. I don't know what to say. What happened next?

RJ: The reason I am telling you this is because I was in foster homes and shelters. I did not have anyone to look up to or with whom to talk. There wasn't gay TV. Everyone said AIDS was God's punishment. I want others to know they are not alone. When I was 19 I began developing a good group of friends, ones to last a lifetime. My friend Chris got me out of there. Tasha, who is another friend and a devout Catholic, said "Whether I agree with it or not, I don't understand how what people do in their bedrooms has anything to do with me." And, that gave me my first glimmer that maybe I was okay. They did social things with me when they knew I was gay. The father of one of my friends was a minister and he said "It's not my job to judge you. It is my job to love you. If God is angry at you about anything, it is probably because you used to be friends with him." I wonder, how can I have a relationship with God when everyone I know who follows him tells me I am the devil? When I do something wrong, I have a heavy conscious. But when I lie in bed with my partner, I feel no guilt. I know that being with him is right and I know God loves me.

Editor: Where are you now in your relationships with your mother, father, and ABT?

RJ: My mom is a great supporter. Mom was a cab driver and she took me to introduce me to Myrna's and the GLBT community. She comes for all my Imperial Court functions. Last summer she was at the Assembly hearings. She saw a guy carrying a sign that said "I was born Black. You chose to be gay" and asked to meet Prevo. She said to Prevo and the group with him "Do you remember my son? He grew up in your church. I watched your message of hate try to destroy him, to teach him to hate himself. My God is a God of love and healing. This message of hate is something you are going to have to answer to God for one day." Then my mom walked away. One of the men jumped up and said he did not want her to walk away angry and wouldn't she please eat with them. She agreed and had a hot dog with them. Then she stood up and said "I sat down and ate with you. Will any of you sit down and eat with my son?" She was met with silence.

My dad is still a struggle but we are starting to build a dialog. My father has made significant steps in my direction. He sent me some e-mails which I ignored. Then one came and the subject line said "I don't care that you're gay. I just want to talk to you." Considering where he started from, my dad has come a long way and I give him a lot of credit for it.

We have all made mistakes and ABT hates us now. I pity that church. You keep everything quiet, don't talk about the problems the people are actually having. There is no real community.

Editor: I know you are telling your story to hopefully help others. What final things would you like others to know who may be having an experience similar to yours?

RJ: Get out and talk to as many people as you can. Ask questions. Ask other religious leaders. Don't be afraid to talk about it. I don't think any one person can impose on us their particular interpretation of things. You have to have your own personal relationship with God. I wish I had spoken up sooner. I discovered a lot of people already knew I was gay and did not care. The people that are going to be there for you are going to be there for you.

Editor: Is it okay if people contact you if they are walking a similar path and want to reach out?

RJ: Yes. I can be reached via e-mail.

Sara's News Round-up 4/25/10

A selection of this week's LGBT news from Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

Finland,, April 25, 2010

New York, Ashbury Park Press, April 24, 2010

Washington, On Top Magazine, April 21, 2010

Yemen, Media Line, April 25, 2010

Boston, Red Orbit, April 24, 2010

Seattle, UPI, April 21, 2010

Oklahoma, Advocate, April 23, 2010

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, CBS4, April 23, 2010

San Francisco, San Francisco Chronicle, April 21, 2010

CNN, April 22, 2010

Houston, Texas, MyFox, April 21 2010

Annual spring and summer LGBT events in Anchorage

Summertime, and the living is easy... Here is a sneak peak at some of the great annual LGBT spring and summer events in Anchorage, and the return of an event that used to be annual: the Women's Music Festival. Get out your calendar and mark these dates.

Graze to Raise for the GLCCA 5/7, 5:30 p.m.
Walk through downtown stopping at different food stations along the way, then finish back at the Dena'ina Center for the Grand Finale event with dessert, live entertainment, a beer and wine garden, children's activities and prize drawings. On May 7 at 5:30 p.m., register at the Community Center by May 3.

Dehibernation Brown Bear Bus Run 5/8, Noon-5 p.m.
Join The Last Frontier Men's Club for the annual Dehibernation Bus Run loaded with food, drinks and bears on Saturday May 8 from 12-5 PM. Tickets are $20, available at The Raven and from current Men's Club title holders. 21+ only.

Memorial Day Picnic at Kincaid Park 5/31, noon
The Imperial Court's College of Emperors and Empresses hosts the annual Memorial Day Picnic at Kincaid Park, on May 31 from noon to 5 p.m. For more than 30 years, this showcase event has launched the summer meet and greet season. Strike a pose, see you there!

Pride Week 2010: A Pride Odyssey
Alaska's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities (and our fabulous straight allies) will demonstrate our PRIDE for 10 colorful days from June 18-27 as we celebrate Alaska PrideFest 2010: A Pride Odyssey. Pride Week activities on the schedule so far include the new QUEERLYMPICS and the annual Mr./Miss/Ms. Gay Alaska Pageant, Drag Queen Bingo, and Gay Holocaust Memorial Service.

Pride Parade and Festival 6/26, 11 a.m.
The Celebrating Diversity Parade is the highlight of Pride Week and will be held this year on June 26 at 11 a.m. in downtown Anchorage, followed by the Festival on the Delaney Park Strip. Be there!

Alaska Women's Music Festival 7/23-7/25
That's right - it's happening! Stay tuned for details, but block the weekend of July 23-25 and get your camping gear ready.

Coronation XXXVIII, Labor Day weekend
The Imperial Court of All Alaska requests the honor of your presence at Coronation XXXVIII on Labor Day weekend 2010.

Memorial service for Dan Carter-Incontro at MCCA

Dan Carter-Incontro, long time Alaska GLBT activist and supporter of equal rights for all, died last Sunday at the age of 62. The funeral is on Saturday at 3:30 pm at the Nazarene Church in Lake City, Florida, and a local memorial service will be held on Sunday at MCC Anchorage.

Al Carter-Incontro, Dan's husband, is planning a trip to Alaska in May, and a community Celebration of Life will be held during his visit.

Dan was a big supporter of the Anchorage Gay and Lesbian Community Center. If you wish to make a donation to the Center in memory of Dan, Identity will send an acknowledgement to Al and to Dan's sister Sarah. If you would like to send flowers to the Florida funeral, call 386-755-0833 for a local florist.

The MCC Anchorage memorial is during the Sunday service on April 25 at 2 p.m.
"It is not often in this life when you are blessed to have crossed paths with an individual such as Dan Carter-Incontro. Dan was a friend to many within the Church and our community.

Dan and Al Carter-Incontro were the second Alaskan couple to marry in British Columbia when it became legal there in 2003. They went to British Columbia just days after it became legal to get married there having spent more than 30 years as a couple.

Dan had many friends at Identity and almost all of its member organizations as well as the Municipality where he worked and retired from the People Mover department, the Alaska Democratic Party where he had the honor of serving as a National Delegate at least once, and of course his involvement with MCC Anchorage. His past involvement with MCC Anchorage ensured that the Life of the Church would continue serving the community of Anchorage.

Dan's moving to Florida left a large hole in the community and now with his passing an even larger hole resides in our minds and hearts. It is, as some have said, the end of an era.

We will be celebrating the life of Dan Carter-Incontro this Sunday at 2:00pm. All from the community and the Church are welcome to attend."

This Week in LGBT Alaska 4/23/10

This week's LGBT events


SEAGLA Social Fridays (6-8 p.m.) for GLBT people and our friends over 21, at The Imperial Bar.


Green Tea Party and Dance at Jeff's House 4/24, 9 p.m. A spring dance to raise funds for PFLAG Fairbanks. Open to all LGBT and allies 21 and older.

Dining Out For Life - Fairbanks 4/29, all day. Eat breakfast, lunch and/or dinner at participating restaurants in Fairbanks and raise funds for Interior AIDS Association.

Imperial Court's Pretty 'n Pink Prom drag show 4/30, doors at 7 p.m. show at 8 p.m. at Pioneer Park Civic Center, ages 18+.

Wednesday Social Group, contact Joshua for the location.

Kenai Peninsula

Celebration, an LGBT art show in Soldotna, through the end of April at Art Works gallery.

Mat-Su Valley

LuLu Small and the Small Band 4/24, 7 p.m. at Del Roi's.

Mat-Su LGBT Community Center in Palmer is open M-F 5-8 p.m. (except 6-8 on Wed.) The social group meets Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m. at Vagabond Blues.


Friday Night Diva Show 4/23, 9 p.m. at Mad Myrna's.

Identity Friend-Raiser at the Kodiak 4/23, 4:30-7 p.m. Snacks, music and cash bar.

Remembering Dan Carter-Incontro 4/25, 2 p.m. Memorial service at MCC Anchorage.

Tansgender Support Group 4/25, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Social support group, 2nd and 4th Sundays at the GLCCA.

Fetish Ball raised money and questions

Fetish Ball was a wild success Saturday night, with impressive costumes, sexy games, a packed house, and about $8000 raised for the Four A's food bank to provide meals for people with AIDS. It also attracted a negative comment on the blog and a snarky poetic response.
"Fetish Ball 2010 will go down in history as the biggest fetish fund raiser ever!" writes Sarha, Ms. Alaska Leather. "Thank you to those that attended the planning meetings, participated in setup and tear down, ran game booths, walked the runway and worked so hard to make this happen."
Fetish Ball is an annual theme party hosted by the Anchorage fetish, leather and s/m community. It's not a specifically gay event, and many heterosexual people attend. Ms. Alaska Leather, one of the event organizers, is married to a man. But gay people have always been involved, it's a benefit for Four A's held at Myrna's, and the event and poster were listed with other GLBTA weekend events last Friday on the blog.

Soon after the post went live, an anonymous comment appeared:
"Fetish Ball 2010??? with a medical theme??? And those in the LGBT community wonder why they aren't openly accepted... lol!"
During the ordinance hearings last summer, Bent gained several anonymous trolls. They are attracted like moths to certain topics, such as the UA policy change and transgender issues. Posts that describe discrimination against LGBT people will often get a comment saying that we deserve whatever bad treatment we get. Some of the comments are openly hateful, like this one, for example, and these below the post.

The Fetish Ball comment isn't as hateful as those, but the string of false assumptions between gays and fetishes and the lack of acceptance or rights was more than I had time to deal with on the weekend. So I posted the comment on Bent's Facebook wall under the Fetish Ball link and waited to see how the friends would respond.

The first person easily summed up the situation:
"Everyone has fetishes. The LGBT community and allies are just more willing to embrace it instead of acting like hypocrites."
Well said. The next person responded with a poem! She's a transwoman who attended the ordinance hearings and noticed that some of the haters have a trans fetish:
The fundies sneering at me in halls,
for going to the fetish balls,
Are the ones behind restroom doors,
who hit on me to drop my drawers.

Only Baptists have asked me to,
do the things that Baptists rue,
to spread my legs for them to see,
When all I want to do is pee.

Spitting on me when I pass,
Then stand behind to watch my ass,
Brimstone public testimony,
Then privately ask to see my pony.

Sunday mornings go a-churching,
Friday nights ask me for birching,
For churchman insults heaped a-plenty,
Hun, you're never going to get any.
She added, "I am not particularly appreciative of the behavior expressed towards me by certain orthodox individuals. Perhaps they believe that God doesn't exist if no one is looking."

SNAP! I'm glad I'm on her side.

Thanks to the FB friends for answering an ignorant blog comment with insight and creativity. And thanks to all for a great event that raised funds for a good cause.

Pride Prom rocks for Anchorage and Mat-Su students

Over 100 youth attended the successful Pride Prom on Friday night at the end of Day of Silence, coming from all over Anchorage and even from the Mat-Su, and KTVA interviewed two adult supporters on the Friday News at 10. Julia, one of the student organizers, reports on the Prom:
"The bass vibrated the walls and strobe lights flashed on the dance floor. This was the scene that greeted LGBT youth and their allies on April 16th as they arrived at the Kincaid Chalet for Pride Prom 2010.

The youth planned and set up the event with help from supportive adults and their effort paid off. The dance was a huge success and everyone had a great time dancing to popular music hits, many by request to the live DJ.

The theme that was chosen was 'gender bender' and quite a few of the youth dressed up in clothes usually worn by the opposite gender. At one point in the night there was voting for a royal pride court based on how loud of a cheer the people nominated received. Two young men in drag were voted as the pride queens and they both received gift certificates.

The dance went off as planned and many youth are already interested in helping out in planning next year's prom."
KTVA Channel 11 aired a short piece on Pride Prom and interviewed two adult supporters - Alex Barros of Four A's and Anne Marie-Moylan of Identity - during the News at 10 program on April 16. The video is not posted on line.

Students all over Alaska participated in Day of Silence during school on Friday, and some came to Pride Prom from as far as the Mat-Su Valley. Here is a description of the day and evening by a high school student in the Mat-Su:
"So... Day of Silence.

Per. 1: Mr. --- took off points for me not speaking even though he didn't even call on me. He gave Erica some BS about politics not belonging in the classroom. I should've ductaped my rainbow flag to my desk.

Per. 2: No problems.

Per. 3: Random guys asked me if I was a lesbian. Now that they know, hopefully they'll stop hitting on me. They were really starting to get on my nerves.

Per. 4: I had a whiteboard conversation with a friend about what happened in 1st period.

Lunch: I sat next to my girlfriend and ate lunch quietly like I usually do. All of the DoS kids ate lunch in our adviser's room.

Per. 5: The sub caught me saying sorry and said that I should just give up and take off my DoS tee (which was over my other shirt). I flipped him off in french when he wasn't looking. I ate a cutie pie (turnover) that my girlfriend gave me and then had a spaz attack because of all the sugar.

Per. 6: No problems.

Now, on to Pride Prom...

My parents rented an impala and my mom put flowers in my hair and made a matching boutonniere for my girlfriend. I made french onion soup for dinner.

Pride Prom itself was spectacular. There was a strobe light, glow sticks, black lights, balloons, free pictures, great music, and more rainbows than I thought existed. In the car ride home I fell asleep on my girlfriend's shoulder. Bliss. Some moments I wish could last forever..."
That moment makes all the work worthwhile! Congratulations to the Gay-Straight Alliance students and the Pride Prom organizers for another successful Day of Silence/Night of Noise in south-central Alaska.

Trans Alaskans get back into Action

Exciting developments from Alaska's Transgender community: the TransAK website is back online and up-dated with two new projects, TransAKtion and a podcast, and four members will be guest speakers at a special YWCA luncheon Transwomen in Alaska on June 16.

TransAK website
TransAlaska Pipeline, the website for the TransGendered Alaskans' Social Group, is back and better than ever! New features include TransAKtion, an effort to form a TG non-profit in Alaska, and the up-coming "Good Morning, TransAmerica" podcasts hosted by Anja.
"It has long been a dream of mine to see an organization formed by us, run by us, that exists to help us.

Transgendered people suffer discrimination at every turn. Many of us face violence, simply for being ourselves. Transition can also be cost-prohibitive for many of us, especially the guys. Many of us are forced into the sex industry due to lack of opportunties and societal marginalization of TGs.

There is so much work to do. This website is the first step towards fulfilling my dream of uniting us into a real community."
The podcasts are expected to debut on April 30 with the segments "Transpeople and Christianity: Does God have a plan for us?" - Part 1, "Life in a small Alaskan town" featuring a trans commercial fisherman, and a review of the book "The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism & Transgender Rights."

If you are the owner of a trans-friendly business, please let them know, so your business can be listed in the directory. Visit TransAK at

"Transwomen in Alaska" 6/16 at noon
Guest speakers Anja Gensel, Kelly Johnson, Michelle Gallante and Meaghan Lockard present Transwomen in Alaska as part of the "Opening Minds and Hearts" luncheon series at the YWCA of Anchorage on June 16, from 12-1 p.m. Open to the public, $15 or $10 for students with ID. YWCA Anchorage is located at 324 E. 5th Ave. RSVP 644-9605.

Trans Social Group
The Transgendered Alaskans' Social Group meetings are held in Anchorage on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the GLBT Center. The Mat-Su Valley meetings are held Wednesdays at 5 p.m. at the Vagabond Blues Coffee Shop in downtown Palmer. Check the calendar on TransAlaska for more events.

Dan Carter-Incontro 1947-2010

Bent Alaska received this sad news Sunday evening:
"Dan Carter-Incontro, long time Alaskan GLBT activist and supporter of equal rights for all, died this afternoon in Clermont, Florida, at the age of 62. Dan had been fighting complications from diabetes for many years but finally was overcome by the disease. He is survived by his husband, Al Carter-Incontro, and many Alaskan friends. A Celebration of Life will be held in Anchorage at a date yet to be determined. More details will be forthcoming as they are known."
Dan was known and admired by many, and will be greatly missed. Our condolences to Al, and to all whose lives were touched by Dan. Rest in peace.

Sara's News Round-up 4/18/10

A selection of this week's LGBT news from Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

Richmond, Virginia, Richmond Times Herald, April 18, 2010

CNN, April 14, 2010

Italy,, April 14, 2010

NY Daily News, April 14th 2010

Advocate, April 13, 2010

Detroit, Detroit Free Press, April 17, 2010

New York, New York Daily News, April 15th 2010

Santiago, Chile, Washington Post, April 12, 2010

Advocate, April 15, 2010

Philadelphia, Penn., Philadelphia Inquirer, April 15, 2010

Huffington Post, April 15, 2010

Huffington Post, April 13, 2010

Washington,, April 16, 2010

Little Rock, Arkansas, Daily Record, April 16, 2010

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.