Queer As Folks

Holidazzle Parade

Photo by Sophia Hantzes

For the 16th year, the annual Holidazzle Parade, sponsored by Macy’s, brought family-friendly entertainment to the visitors of Downtown Minneapolis, free of charge.

On opening weekend, November 23-25, the Minnesota Freedom Band, a nonprofit community organization made up entirely of GLBTA members, marched in the cold to bring enjoyment to the thousands of people who came out to watch the beginning of this year’s event..



aMaze at Bud, Not Buddy

The board and staff of aMaze at the Bud, Not Buddy postshow reception at Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis. Photo by Sophia Hantzes

On January 20, aMaze celebrated its opening weekend success of the sold-out show of Bud, Not Buddy at Children’s Theatre. Based on the Newberry Medal- and Coretta Scott King Award-winning book, it’s the story of Bud, an African-American boy who sets out in search of his father during the Great Depression.

After the show, guests received a complimentary ice cream bar, as well as gift bags with books from the Families All Matter Book Project (Let’s Talk About Race). They were able to meet the cast. All this was topped off with live entertainment by a jazz quartet.

aMaze is a nonprofit organization started in 1996 by parents, educators, and other caring adults working to create a safe and respectful community by promoting attitudes, knowledge, and skills needed to work with people who are different from each other..

Lavender Holiday Party
Lavender Magazine held its annual holiday party on December 6 at the Gale Mansion in Minneapolis. Those in attendance sampled wines from France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United States, while being entertained by an ensemble of the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. Representatives from The Aliveness Project were on hand to accept donations to its Holiday Baskets Program.

PASSING John W. Gurney

John W. Gurney, 41, formerly of Minneapolis, died suddenly on September 29, 2007, at his home in Philadelphia. He is survived by his partner of eight years, Kerry D. Bird, and two kitties, Ricky Martin and Louis Vuitton. Gurney had a distinguished 19- year career at Merck & Co. He was a former board member of Open Arms.

Gurney was a good-hearted, sweet, and hilarious friend who embodied the values of his Midwestern roots. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, he made his home in Minneapolis for several years, living in the Loring Park and Minnehaha Parkway communities.

Gurney was known for his love of baking, exotic trips abroad, tanned skinny men, Blue Dog art, and Sex and the City, along with his distaste for snippy waiters, humidity, and perspiration. Most of all, he will be remembered for living life to its fullest. He will be missed dearly by all those he touched with his contagious laugh, sharp wit, and love of life..

Thomas D. Nordeen

Thomas (Tommy) D. Nordeen, 44, died of natural causes January 10 at his home in Minneapolis. Born June 27, 1963, in Minneapolis, he was raised in Mountain Iron, Minnesota. He graduated from Mountain Iron High School in 1984. He attended culinary school, and lived in Minneapolis for 25 years, working in private clubs and restaurants.

Many people know Nordeen for the wonderful food he served at the Saloon, and the parties he helped create at the Brass Rail, along with his impish laugh, his quick wit, and his positive attitude and enthusiasm for life, plus the respect and politeness he showed his friends and fellow employees.

Nordeen is survived by his parents, Warren and Bunny Nordeen; his sister, Roberta Brehmer; his brothers, Timothy Nordeen, Wilner Nordeen, Kenneth Nordeen, and Richard Nordeen; numerous nieces and nephews; his beloved kitty; and many friends. His smile and friendship will be missed by many. Memorials may be directed to The Aliveness Project’s Pet Pantry.

Memorial Gathering
A memorial gathering for Tommy Nordeen will be held Sunday, February 10, starting at the Brass Rail, 422 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, 3-5 PM, and continuing at the Saloon, 830 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, 5:30-7:30 PM.

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