The 2012 Lavender 100
Welcome to The 2012 Lavender 100.
In previous years, we’ve celebrated businesses, places, organizations, and cuisine with our FAB 50 Awards while separately acknowledging important members of our community with the Lavender Pride Awards. This year, we married the two and present 100 of your favorite places, businesses, eats, drinks, and people as determined by you. Finalists were chosen from previous FAB 50 winners, new establishments that have risen to our attention, and winners from other media sources. We wanted you to choose from the crème de la crème as well as give you the opportunity to write-in the favorites that we may have missed. A month of voting gave us the establishments, organizations, and neighbors that grace the next set of pages, and we wish them our heartiest of congratulations.
The Lavender 100 by Andy Lien, Kathleen Watson, Joy Summers, and E.B. Boatner
FAB Coffee Spot
1. Wilde Roast Café
Coffee tastes best with a dose of community pride—and a view of the Mississippi River doesn’t hurt. We could spend all day and night counting up the reasons we love Wilde Roast, and with enough of their brew, we can.
2. Caribou Coffee
3. Dunn Bros.
FAB Happy Hour
2-4-1s, cheap food, and fun daily specials: the deals are abundant. Every hour spent at eagleBOLTbar is a happy one. www.eagleboltbar.com
2. Loring Kitchen & Bar
FAB New Restaurant
1. Butcher & the Boar
We’ve eaten our way through the menu, spent afternoons in the beer garden, and sipped a fair share of all that craft beer and bourbon. Butcher & the Boar, we don’t know how we ever lived without you. www.butcherandtheboar.com
2. The Bachelor Farmer
3. Eat Street Social
FAB Gayest Restaurant
1. Wilde Roast Café
It’s our perennial fab favorite for a reason. Wilde Roast Café, run by and for our people, always feels like coming home (if home was cerebral, delicious, and extra-fabulous).
2. Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge
3. Loring Kitchen & Bar
FAB Breakfast or Brunch
1. Hell’s Kitchen
Sausage bread, ricotta pancakes, gourmet peanut butter, and one of the best cups of hot cocoa around. Hell’s Kitchen is always a colorful, killer way to start a day. www.hellskitcheninc.com
2. Key’s Café
3. Uptown Diner
1. Matt’s Bar
They are not kidding about that cheese (surface-of-the-sun hot), but moreover, Matt’s Bar serves a killer burger seared on a wonderfully seasoned grill. www.mattsbar.com
2. Blue Door Pub
3. 5-8 Club
FAB Restaurant for Romance
1. W.A. Frost & Co
Under the draped twinkle lights and stars or snuggled into the dark wood-accented bar, every spot inside W.A. Frost is steeped in romance. www.wafrost.com
2. La Belle Vie
3. Loring Pasta Bar
FAB Restaurant for People Watching
1. Uptown Cafeteria
No matter the clothing trends, Uptown guarantees a parade of confused youth over-done-in-every-one. Mixing in questionable body mods and the stunningly beautiful with gutter punks, the parade traveling past Uptown Cafeteria never disappoints.
2. Wilde Roast Café
3. Uptown Diner
FAB Outdoor Dining
1. Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge
Accented with tiki gods and a serious collection of glassware, there’s no more tropical patio in all of Minnesota. Psycho Suzi’s is a punk rock Gilligan’s Island patio paradise.
2. W.A. Frost & Co
3. Stella’s Fish Café
FAB Healthy/Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant
1. Birchwood Café/Good Earth (tie)
It was too hard to choose! We understand; the Birchwood Cafe’s whole food activism and Good Earth’s wide array of fresh from the earth options make it hard for a veggie lover to choose. www.birchwoodcafe.com www.goodearthmn.com
2. Common Roots Café
1. The Oceanaire Seafood Room
The address may have changed, but the practically still-swimming quality seafood remains. Dining at Oceanaire, it’s easy to forget we’re a landlocked state.
2. Stella’s Fish Café
3. Anchor Fish & Chips
1. Fuji Ya
Fuji Ya changed the sushi landscape of Minnesota when they opened their doors, and they continue to be the gold standard with locations in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. www.fujiyasushi.com
2. Masu Sushi & Robata
1. Manny’s Steakhouse
With the giant hunks of prime meat aged to perfection and the copious amount of attention lavished on each guest, a steak night at Manny’s Steakhouse is as good as it gets. www.mannyssteakhouse.com
2. Fogo de Chão
3. Strip Club Meat & Fish
FAB Asian Restaurant
1. Tea House
We like it hot. Burning, searing, flavor wallops are easy to come by in the delectable dishes at Tea House.
2. Masu Sushi & Robata
3. Little Szechuan
1. Cecil’s Deli
The pastrami—no, the corned beef—wait, wait the matzo ball soup, rugelach, coleslaw… oh, it’s too hard to pick what we love most about this deli, but we do love Cecil’s Deli. www.cecilsdeli.com
3. Rye Deli
FAB Mexican Restaurant
1. Rosa Mexicano
Rosa Mexicano burst onto the scene with freshly pressed tortillas (made feet away), a gorgeous room, serious drinks, and that famous guacamole. www.rosamexicano.com
2. Salsa a la Salsa
FAB Italian Food
1. Bar La Grassa
There’s a reason it’s still one of the toughest reservations to get in town. Bar La Grassa serves world class Italian food from some of the best chefs in town. www.barlagrassa.com
3. Broder’s Pasta Bar
1. Pizza Luce
With their New York style slices topped with a creative mix of ingredients (rinotta, anyone?), Pizza Luce continues to deliver the best pizza around.
2. Punch Neopolitan Pizza
3. Black Sheep Pizza
FAB Ethnic Restaurant
1. Victor’s 1959 Café
This cozy little kitschy spot dishes up Cuban favorites like ropa vieja and tostones in their house made mojo sauce. Victor’s 1959 Café is a taste of Havana in the middle of Minneapolis.
2. Moscow on the Hill
3. It’s Greek to Me
FAB Cheap Eats
If you leave Chipotle hungry, you’re doin’ it wrong.
2. Matt’s Bar
3. Holy Land Deli
1. Chatterbox Pub
The couches that look like they were lifted from your parent’s basement, the retro games, and the great beer selection make Chatterbox Pub a favorite spot.
2. Kieran’s Irish Pub
FAB Food Truck
1. Smack Shack
Who would have thought that a lobster truck could make it in Minnesota? Yet, Smack Shack lobster rolls are known nationally as one of the best in the country, and only we are lucky enough to have that truck trolling down Marquette. www.smack-shack.com
2. Chef Shack
3. Fork in the Road
FAB Ice Cream
1. Sebastian Joe’s
Ice cream doesn’t have to get stuck in a vanilla rut. The originators of the creative flavors continue to scoop up our favorite cones at Sebastian Joe’s.
2. Grand Ol’ Creamery
3. Izzy’s Ice Cream
1. Wilde Roast Café
Yet again, Wilde Roast knocks every place out of the water—this time with their gelato. Grab a scoop of the “Bees Knees” and see why this flavor got its name. www.wilderoastcafe.com
2. Fat Lorenzo’s
3. Nonna Rosa
The cozy interior and the killer sweets make Cupcake our destination bakery. Even awful road construction can’t keep us away from this Grand Champion of the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” www.cup-cake.com
2. French Meadow
3. Café Latte
FAB Candy Store
The very words Chicago Mix® make you salivate and bring to mind the wealth of
home-made fudge, popcorn, and candy varieties these wonderful stores have
waiting for your appetites.
2. St. Croix Chocolate Company
3. Sugar Sugar
FAB State Fair Food on a Stick
1. Pronto Pup
Sixty-five years at the Fair and going strong. “Give them food and let them keep
walking” was the aim, and a battered pup on a stick brought it home.
2. Corn Dog
3. Pork Chop on a Stick
FAB State Fair Food Not on a Stick
1. Cheese Curds
Ellsworth Wisconsin’s Cooperative Creamery supplied 115,000 pounds of this deep-fried fodder for the famished at 2012’s Great Minnesota Get-Together. Unique at the Fair in their sticklessness, they’re a must-eat-treat.
2. Sweet Martha’s Cookies
3. Roasted Corn on a Cob
FAB Craft Cocktail
1. La Belle Vie
Johnny Michaels wrote the book on craft cocktails, and his work his still best showcased behind the only bar you’ll ever spot him at—La Belle Vie. Each drink served here is balanced, boozy perfection. www.labellevie.us
2. Butcher & the Boar
3. Eat Street Social
FAB Local Brew
Their limited beer releases are like a Christie’s auction gone haywire. Few brews could inspire such devotion, but Surly pumps out keg after can of the best craft beer in town.
2. Grain Belt
FAB Liquor/Wine Store
“Wine, Liquor, Beer, Cheese, Deli, Cigars” invites Surdyk’s, and they have them aplenty, along with solicitous associates who can knowledgably guide the oenophile and neophyte alike. Great food, too.
3. Chicago-Lake Liquor
FAB Farmers Market
1. St. Paul Farmers’ Market
Keeping it local long before that was a buzzword, St. Paul Farmers’ Market is full of some of the best food artisans and farmers in the Midwest. www.stpaulfarmersmarket.com
2. Minneapolis (N. Lyndale)
3. Mill City Farmers’ Market
FAB Grocery Store
1. Trader Joe’s
Minnesota is one of nine lucky states served by Trader Joe’s. Not big box, TJ’s carries just some 4,000 items–food, wine, beer–many on their own brands at significant discounts. www.traderjoes.com
FAB Movie Theater
1. Showplace ICON
A theater with great reviews: Advance reserved seating, VIP Premium viewing upstairs with access to the Lobby Lounge, where 21-and-over recline and imbibe in comfy leather seats.
2. Riverview Theater
3. Landmark Lagoon
FAB Performance Theatre
1. Hennepin Theatre Trust/Guthrie Theater (tied)
The independent, non-profit organization owns the State, Orpheum, Pantages, and New Century Theatres, keeping the Cities filled with shows from Broadway’s best to intimate comedy. Half a million flock yearly.
This major resident theater opened in 1963, bringing drama to the area not only on its stages but through camps, classes, continuing legal education, internship programs, and school partnerships.
2. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
3. Chidren’s Theatre Company/Jungle Theater (tied)
FAB Art Gallery/Museum
1. Minneapolis Institute of Art
Rembrandt in America and China’s Terracotta Warriors– two examples of the MIA’s megawatt featured exhibitions and inspired presentations. The Institute reaches out to young and old, making art come alive. www.artsmia.com
2. Walker Art Center
3. Science Museum of Minnesota
FAB Music Venue
1. First Avenue
“Your Downtown Danceteria Since 1970” is that curved black building at First Avenue and 7th. Originally the art deco Greyhound Depot, First Avenue remains a sleek and sassy destination.
2. Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
3. Hennepin Theatre Trust
1. University of Minnesota
With an enrollment of over 50,000, UMN is the fourth largest public university in America, offering both undergrad education and a wealth of respected graduate and professional schools. Go Gophers!
2. Metropolitan Community & Technical College
3. University of St. Thomas/Macalester College (tied)
FAB Pro Sports Team
1. Minnesota Lynx
WNBA Champions keep fans on the edges of their seats through another slamdunk season. Players and coaches make over 200 appearances for the Lynx Foundation to support breast cancer research. www.wnba.com
2. Minnesota Twins
3. Minnesota Rollergirls
FAB Place to Take Visitors
1. Stone Arch Bridge/St. Anthony Main
From its construction in 1883, the bridge’s 23 arches have spanned the Mississippi, their native granite and limestone etched in beauty by the everchanging light to delight generations.
2. Minnehaha Falls
3. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
FAB Weekend Getaway
1. North Shore/Duluth
Gateway to the Northshore Scenic Byway, Duluth offers Superior lakefront hotels, shops, restaurants, and a wealth of marine history, museums, and the Aquarium. Outdoors: skiing, hiking; indoors: Fond-du-Luth Casino. www.exploreminnesota.com
1. Minnesotans United for All Families
What a concept: everyone should have equal civil rights, the same rights to lead their lives in peace. MN United has made herculean efforts towards that goal and NO in NOvember. www.mnunited.org
2. Animal Humane Society
3. Second Harvest Heartland
1. Dining Out for Life – The Aliveness Project
Exceeding its goal of $190,000, The Aliveness Project raised a whopping $214,229.11 in this year’s dining fundraising event to assist AIDS service organizations. Remember to “Dine Out, Fight AIDS.”
2. House Parties for Minnesotans United for All Families
3. Minnesota AIDS Walk
FAB Social Organization
1. Twin Cities Goodtime Softball League
Celebrating 34 years in the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance Open Division. Fun fundraising for worthy causes, providing a safe environment for GLBT softball players of all ages.
2. North Country Bears
3. Minnesota Mayhem Rugby
FAB Vintage Clothing
Offering new and recycled clothing, Ragstock is your go-to place for quirky vintage finds. Stock up on Zombie Pub Crawl supplies, 90s track jackets, and trendy-yet-ugly Christmas sweaters.
2. ARC Value Village
3. Everyday People
FAB Tattoo Parlor
1. Saint Sabrina’s
Receiving countless awards for their hip atmosphere and talented artists, there really is no competition. If you’re getting something permanent, make sure it’s done well by going to Saint Sabrina’s.
2. Uptown Tattoo
3. Ink Lab
FAB Men’s Clothing
1. Heimie’s Haberdashery
If you’re looking for a classy and custom fit, you can’t go wrong with a clothier that offers fabric and style recommendations. Pamper yourself by visiting the barbershop while you’re there. www.heimies.com
2. Macy’s/Nordstrom (tied)
3. Len Druskin
FAB Women’s Clothing
With the latest urban-chic-meets-boho fashion, Anthropologie offers unique statement pieces for every woman’s closet. As if clothing weren’t enough, their knick-knacks and furnishings are too cute to pass up. www.anthropologie.com
2. Nordstrom Rack
FAB Salon/Barber Shop
1. Barbers on Bryant
Yet again, Barbers on Bryant win—and for good reason. Brian and Audie will give you the best haircut in town at this “new-fashioned barbershop,” and it’s still only $15. www.barbersonbryant.com
1. Lifetime Fitness
With multiple exercise programs and pristine facilities, there’s really no reason to avoid exercise. Drop in to any of the numerous metro locations see what the hype is all about.
2. L.A. Fitness
FAB Floral and Garden
1. Tangletown Gardens
Tangletown is devoted to making the metro area better, one green space at a time. With options for urban gardeners, beginners, and green-thumbs alike, you can’t go wrong with Tangletown. www.tangletowngardens.com
FAB Bike Shop
1. Erik’s Bike Shop
Voted #1 Bike Shop in the USA in 2008, Erik’s has only grown, much to the delight of bikers and boarders everywhere. Erik’s is the one-stop shop for everything wheeled.
2. Angry Catfish Bicycles and Coffee Bar
3. Penn Cycle
FAB Home Furnishings
Find everything you need for your home (and more) at IKEA. With several mock-rooms, you’ll find design tips for any space. (And you might even have fun doing it!) www.ikea.com
2. Room & Board
3. Crate & Barrel
Stocking the most adorable, unique, and hilarious gifts, Patina has something for everyone for any occasion. Decorate your home or add the perfect accessory to a blah outfit from Patina.
2. The Bibelot Shop
FAB Adult Gifts
1. Smitten Kitten
Who says sex shops can’t be classy? Smitten Kitten goes above and beyond by offering the finest products, the most knowledgeable employees, vegan products, ethical porn, and educational classes. Hot. www.smittenkittenonline.com
2. Sex World
3. Fantasy Gifts
There’s no denying it; we love our dogs. Big, small, old, or young, there’s nothing better than having Rover scamper to the door when you come home each night.
FAB Place to Meet Dates
Offering multiple areas to mingle, the eagleBOLTbar is the best place in town to meet dates. Everyone’s friendly, and the place is always full of hotties. Go get ‘em, tiger! www.eagleboltbar.com
2. Wilde Roast Café
1. Al Franken
Where do we even begin with Al Franken? He’s such an advocate for our community in the US Senate. The standing ovation he received at the HRC Gala says it all.
2. Keith Ellison
3. Amy Klobuchar
Target understands the meaning of corporate responsibility. Offering wellness programs, volunteer programs for employees, and creating a safe and diverse workplace, Target is the best place to earn a paycheck. www.target.com
2. General Mills
3. Wells Fargo
FAB Radio Station
1. 89.3 The Current
Combining new indie music and old classics that inspire the new jams, 89.3 The Current is music to our ears. Local music also abounds, so there’s always something fresh.
2. myTalk 107.1
3. KFAI 90.3/106.7
FAB Radio Personality
1. Bradley Traynor
Ah, Bradley Traynor—near and dear to our little Lavender hearts. It’s no surprise to us that he’s the favorite radio personality. He’s now holding court with Colleen on myTalk 107. www.mytalk1071.com/shows/colleenbradley
2. Jason Matheson
3. Mark Wheat
FAB Local News Station
1. KARE 11
When you’re looking for the latest news, look to a source you can trust. Honoring volunteers through the Eleven Who Care program, KARE 11 is here for the metro community. www.kare11.com
FAB Local News Personality
1. Sven Sundgaard
Hearing a cloudy forecast isn’t so bad when you have the cheerful Sven Sundgaard giving you the details. With his involvement with Dining Out For Life, what’s not to love? www.kare11.com
2. Jason Matheson
3. Belinda Jensen
FAB Local Musician
The Prince still reigns! We’ve loved him since his start, and that’s never going to change. Nothing will cheer you up more than gyrating to Prince’s sexy, funky sounds.
2. Kevin Kaoz Moore
3. Harley Wood
FAB Local Band
1. Trampled By Turtles
Hailing from Duluth, MN, Trampled by Turtles is quickly becoming a national sensation, and bluegrass never sounded this good. People are already saying, “I knew them before they were famous…”
3. Cloud Cult
1. Ryan Gosling
2. Channing Tatum
3. Robert Downey, Jr./Neil Patrick Harris (tie)
1. Meryl Streep
2. Sandra Bullock
3. Kristen Wiig
FAB TV Sitcom
1. Modern Family
2. Big Bang Theory
FAB TV Drama
1. True Blood
3. Mad Men
FAB Reality Show
1. Big Brother
2. Top Chef
3. Project Runway
FAB Movie of 2012
1. The Dark Knight Rises
2. The Hunger Games
3. The Avengers
FAB Presidential Candidate
1. Barack Obama
2. Mitt Romney
3. Ron Paul
With an overabundance of things to do and stuff to see, the 612 can’t be beat. We love the city where history meets modernity, and a great metro transit system allows us to see all!
2. St. Paul
3. Maple Grove
1. Loring Park
Welcome to the gayborhood! Loring Park is home to the 19 Bar, Loring Kitchen and Bar, and (of course) TC Pride Fest in June…making it the best place to live out and proud!
2. Powderhorn Park
FAB Community Members
Joe Larson, Tim Marburger, & Monica Travis
The Helping Hands
It’s no secret that The Aliveness Project provides some of the most needed support for our community. With thousands of volunteers being ambassadors for Dining Out for Life, making holiday gift baskets, and volunteering on a daily basis, there are countless people that help provide services to people living with HIV/AIDS. But Joe Larson (Executive Director), Tim Marburger (Director of Fundraising), and Monica Travis (Director of Volunteer Services) deserve a special nod for their contributions. Driven by their personal experiences and partners or friends who have died of AIDS, this team works tirelessly to make living with HIV/AIDS not just about surviving—but about thriving as well. Larson is inspired by “the people we serve. I love seeing the positive impact we have for our community.”
As the co-owner of Café SouthSide at The Exchange (a queer community space) and of RARE Productions, Roxanne Anderson has become a leader and a gatherer for the queer community. With regard to having a strong leadership role in the trans community, Anderson says, “I take people where they’re at, and I think folks in transition don’t usually get that. They’re often put into boxes.” Anderson and Rochelle James started RARE Productions to support queer artists of color and organized the first dance nights for queer people of color. Anderson says Café SouthSide “gives an opportunity for transfolks to mix with the Gs and the Ls and the Bs, which is something that we don’t really see in our community. This coffee shop and The Exchange is making that happen.”
Seimone Augustus and LaTaya Varner
This favorite Twin Cities couple will tie the knot at the Walker Art Center in May. Now very open about their five-year relationship (which began five years ago at the Gay 90’s), the two were particularly visible during Pride 2012, where Augustus was Co-Grand Marshal. Augustus is part of the 2011 World Champion Minnesota Lynx basketball team and has also competed in the Olympics. Along with traveling, practicing, and managing a very full calendar, Seimone and Tay are planning their May wedding to celebrate their commitment to each other. But what inspires our community most is their positivity and devotion, making them incredible role models for all.
Anguksuar (Richard LaFortune)
Beginning as an anti-war and anti-nuke activist, Anguksuar (Richard LaFortune) now works to improve the rights and representation of Native GLBT people. Anguksuar identifies as Two Spirit, which he says “is a term that describes who we are and differentiates our cultural characteristics of gender which differ from Western societies. It also distinguishes us as indigenous people.” Currently, Anguksuar is working on home foreclosure projects and using his organization Two Spirit Press Room to address “the issues of suicide and homicide and violence toward Native Two Spirit people, which are coming to national and international light as significant.” Anguskuar also was elected to the Governor’s Task Force on Lesbian and Gay Minnesotans, and has worked with the Jean Tretter Collection to archive the history of GLBT Indigenous people.
When founding 20% Theatre Company, Avitabile wanted to “create a space that would support queer, transgender, and gender non-conforming artists in theatre.” Practicing tolerance and honest communication, Avitabile leads 20% to perform plays that challenge conventional, binary systems of gender and sexuality. With regard to her work, Avitabile states, “We tell the untold stories. We provide the opportunities that no one else will.” Avitabile hopes the GLBT community will come together: “There is way too much internalized homophobia and transphobia in our own GLBT community, and it needs to stop. Our community is marginalized enough as it is…there is no one way to be gay or queer or transgender. We should support one another’s freedom to self-define our sexuality, gender identity, and expression.”
Beginning her performances 17 years ago with Triangle of Hope, an organization that “makes it easier for the community to give back,” drag queen Mary Brewster uses her talents to raise money for projects like Clare Housing and more. Mary Brewster also co-hosts the Sparkle Show at The Town House, which includes a “benefit number” as the final song, with all tips from that song going to a GLBT charity or organization. Mary Brewster feels she gives back to the community through her work: “We all need to take a step back and see how truly blessed we are, and that’s why I like to be able to do something. I’ve lost friends to HIV and AIDS, and that’s been my inspiration.”
As the State Director for Communcation Service for the Deaf (CDS) and founder of Minnesota’s Deaf GLBT Pride, Jessalyn Frank works tirelessly to increase the visibility of the Deaf community, especially the GLBT Deaf community. Making GLBT services like HIV prevention, support groups, and information services accessible to people who are Deaf, Frank hopes to eliminate the stigma surrounding the Deaf community, and she hopes that all GLBT people will unite and interact. Frank says, “Being a strong, Deaf role model who is out and authentic in the community is one way I can bring good to the LGBT community. I use my position to be a voice and bring attention to our community.” Frank received the 2012 Twin Cities Pride Everyday Hero Award for her work.
As the Executive Director of the Trans Youth Support Network (TYSN), Katie Burgess works with an incredible staff of people to provide support for trans youth in the area. Burgess recalls, “Growing up, I ran from being trans for a very long time. It was a lot of isolation that just about did me in.” Along with providing necessary support services for trans youth, Burgess is working to make hormones more accessible through the Community Hormone Access Project (CHAP), and she also works with TYSN to make housing more accessible and positive, especially for homeless trans youth. Through TYSN, Burgess has created a respectful, safe, and authentic environment that has helped countless individuals—including herself. “It’s about finding my own liberation through my work and helping my community.”
Growing up with parents who were professional modern ballet dancers, Jacob Frey witnessed many loving same-sex relationships in his childhood. Seeing this love inspired him to become active against the marriage amendment by organizing The Big Gay Race, a 5K that donates all the proceeds to Minnesotans United for All Families. Frey anticipates that the race will be more like a parade, with thousands of people participating. As one of the community’s strongest allies, he states, “I don’t think you should have to be someone who’s directly affected to really notice the fact that there’s a certain group that’s getting screwed over.” An attorney by day at Halunen & Associates, Frey recently received the first annual Martin Luther King Community Award from the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights.
As Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2012, Derek Harley is using his title to spread awareness of HIV stigma to the community through a national program called Mr. Friendly. Harley notes that he always wanted to help the community but didn’t know how to start. Winning Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2012 helped him gain confidence, which allowed him to follow his internal drive to help out. Harley discovered Mr. Friendly a couple of years ago, and he knew he could “count on the support of the community to support the program in the cities.” Harley believes that the conversation about HIV stigma is “a conversation we really need to have, and I want to make the community a better place. By living out loud and proud, you stand up and you provide hope.”
“Art is a powerful tool for creating change and providing people with context and information for ways that they can see their own lives in other people’s struggles,” according to poet and activist Andrea Jenkins. As a transgender woman of color, Jenkins hopes to use her work to promote equality and justice. She is currently developing a play and a leadership development program for transgender youth of color. Jenkins’s work is highly acclaimed, winning her the 2011 Bush Leadership Fellowship, 2011 Many Voices Fellowship, 2011 Rockwood Leadership Institute Fellow, 2009 PFund Power of One Award, and more. Jenkins notes that we are in a “unique place in history for transgender rights and equality. I would like to see transgender Americans be afforded the same equality as all Americans.”
As a 2012 White House Champion of Change, JJ Kahle spends every day making her school a safe place for GLBT students and allies. Kahle teaches Spanish at The Blake School in Minneapolis, leads the school’s Gay Straight Alliance, and works in Blake’s Office of Equity and Community Engagement (focusing on GLBT Support and Advocacy). Students see Kahle as a supportive adviser who truly wants them to succeed and feel comfortable with who they are. Every day, Kahle makes a lasting impression on our future GLBT community leaders and advocates.
Minnesotans United for All Families
The Front Line
The “Vote NO” campaign is easily one of the most visible campaigns this year in Minnesota, all thanks to thousands of volunteers working with Minnesotans United for All Families. Through fundraising events, privately hosted parties, public outreach, and a new television ad campaign, MN United hopes to get everyone to Vote NO in November. Along with raising money and awareness, campaign manager Richard Carlbom says, “We get people who’ve been married 45 or more years to stop and think about why they got married in the first place, and appreciate that they do have the freedom to marry…giving them the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of marriage.” MN United is dedicated to strengthening and supporting ALL marriages for ALL people.
Kevin Kaoz Moore
As a gay African American male, rapper Kevin Kaoz Moore hopes to erase the assumption that all hip-hop music is homophobic. “A lot of us have been pushed into silence, but to me, it’s unifying. It’s open to everybody. People see they can have a chance or be heard.” Moore hopes to “be a voice for the African American gay male,” noting that the media misrepresents the African American gay population. Moore also works at Pillsbury House, running an HIV prevention program and Brother Circle of Minneapolis, a group for men who have sex with men (MSM) to connect without the pressures of alcohol and sex. Moore uses his music to promote healthy sexuality and healthy self-identity, showing a more socially conscious side of hip-hop.
The Bingo Babe
Also known as one of the “Bingo Babes,” Shannon Regan has helped coordinate Bingo A-GoGo for many of the last ten years. Regan supports Bingo A-GoGo because “people can come and have fun and know they’re helping good organizations.” Regan also works as a coordinator at Park House, which offers mental health and day health programs for the HIV/AIDS community. Regan truly enjoys all the hard work she does, saying, “I think I’m one of the only people who enjoys going to work in the morning.” As a strong ally to the GLBT community, Regan always puts others before herself: “It’s about helping one another in dire circumstances.”
Rick Perry & Eric Blad
What started out as a couple of friends scheduling weekly movie nights turned into Minneapolis Movie Bears, an active and growing organization run by partners Rick and Eric. But the Movie Bears don’t just go to the movies…and the group isn’t just for bears. All people are welcome to join, and the group hosts many activities, such as pre-movie dinners, Oscar parties, volunteering, and other social outings. The Movie Bears have also raised over $75,000 for the MN AIDS Walk. Eric says the camaraderie of the people is the best part, with “many people meeting their partners and friends there. It’s a way to meet new people from the community.” Through Minneapolis Movie Bears, the couple provides a social atmosphere for people to communicate and relax.
Miss Richfield 1981
She’s been holding court for over 30 years, and for good reason. Though it’s easy to focus on her hilarious and over-the-top performance career—and her absolutely fabulous fashion sense—Miss Richfield 1981 shows that she truly does care for her “darling prairie dogs.” Through her work with Bingo A-GoGo, the Stand Up Foundation, and many other nonprofits, Miss Richfield 1981 always goes the extra mile for our community. Using her talents to make a difference, Miss Richfield 1981 travels around the country making everyone in her path double over with laughter. All hail the Queen of Queerdom!
A volunteer extraordinaire, Jordan Roberge offers his time to several nonprofits in the area including Twin Cities Pride, the University of St Thomas Multiculturalism Board, and the Twin Cities HRC Planning Committee. Roberge believes, “Being involved in a nonprofit, volunteering in the community…whatever you can do—you can make a noticeable and sustainable difference.” His work in the corporate world with regard to diversity and inclusion inspired and educated his volunteer work and makes him hopeful for the unification of the GLBT community. Roberge hopes to create a more inclusive environment for GLBT minority groups and believes “You have to do more than just welcome people in. You have to do the outreach.”
The Faith Leader
As a 78-year-old transgender woman, Barbara Satin has an active transgender presence in the faith and aging communities. Satin works in the Faith Works office of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, helped form GLBT Generations at Spirit of the Lakes Church and assisted in shaping the United Church of Christ’s decision to accept transgender people. She notes, “I found a new, exciting side of that relationship [with God] when I came out as a trans woman…Up to that point in my life, I thought that my being transgender had cut me off from my God…Instead, I experienced a renewed energy and excitement toward my faith.” Satin worships at Spirit of the Lakes Church and is currently working to develop an independent living facility for GLBT seniors on 13th and Lake.
For over 30 years, Patrick Scully has been performing with the goal of “reflecting our lives as queer people to ourselves.” His work is mostly autobiographical, and he is now creating a one-man show about Walt Whitman in order to “take the reality of a true American queer ancestor and put it on stage.” He also created a space, Patrick’s Cabaret, for other artists to do the same. “Social change starts with artists. It’s our job and our gift to dream the future.” Scully uses his art to explore and celebrate queerness, which he believes should always be an important part of our identity. He states, “My hope is that as we move toward full equality in our country, we don’t erase our specialness in order to assimilate.”
Shades of Yellow (SOY)
The Unsung Heroes
As a nonprofit that addresses the issues of the Hmong GLBT community, Shades of Yellow is one of the most active GLBT organizations in the area. Board Chair Kham Moua notes that SOY provides a space for Hmong GLBT people to congregate in a space that isn’t “one or the other” (GLBT-friendly or Hmong- friendly), as well as providing support for the specific needs of their community, letting people be “comfortable in our own skin.” SOY creates visibility of GLBT people in Hmong communities, and Moua says, “we begin a piece of the dialogue that’s completely missing in our history and in our community. We create visibility and understanding…while trying to maintain safety.” SOY hosts the SOY New Year, a small leadership retreat, and assists with the QSEA Census Report.
The White Collar Warrior
Recently retired, John Sullivan still has a full time job: encouraging the professional community to stand up in support of GLBT rights. “When I first came out, the inequalities were pretty extreme…at that time, being out in the professional community was not something anybody did.” He decided to play his part by getting involved with the Human Rights Campaign Business Council, and they issued their first Corporate Equality Index under his lead. Sullivan is inspired by the great progress made in the corporate community, but hopes there comes a day where we can “stop having defensive battles.” Sullivan now works with MN United, particularly with lawyers and corporate partners in the coalition, and he believes, “what’s happened in the corporate world in the past ten years has been pretty amazing.”
The Soul Sisters
Creating what organizer Sally Nixon calls a “space for queer people of color from all cultural groups to get together,” Soul Friday allows the community to connect in a safe place. Soul Friday, held on the first Friday of each month at Hell’s Kitchen, is the premier night for all GLBT women of color and their friends. Ann Freeman, one of the founders, states that “there have been several nights for queer women of color, and this builds on that tradition.” The night features DJs Shannon Blowtorch and Lady L who says this event lets people “enjoy a dope conversation…without all the riff-raff.” Though she’s “retired” from other events, Lady L continues to spin for her sisters at Soul Friday. “It’s become a family thing for me.”
Bradley Traynor & Jason Matheson
Two of the most popular men in local entertainment and news just happen to belong to our community: Bradley Traynor and Jason Matheson. Matheson, a news anchor at FOX 9 and radio host at myTalk 107.1, also supports DISTRICT 202, which helps GLBT youth. After making a name for himself through Lavender’s Big Gay News and Wanda Wisdom programs, Bradley Traynor’s new talk show on myTalk is making him even more of a family name. Traynor notes that as a gay man, “I know there’s a perspective that the mainstream media doesn’t realize all the time, and I know my position offers me a unique perspective that not everybody may have as a result of being part of the GLBT community.”
As Lavender’s most loved Arts and Entertainment writer, and as a highly acclaimed local theater critic, John Townsend’s intelligent, unique voice fills a large void in our community. Beginning to write for queer press 21 years ago in order to adequately present the queer perspective in mainstream press, Townsend voices his nuanced and thoughtful perspectives on local theater. Townsend says, “I believe deeply that a thoughtful interest in the arts evolves individuals all around toward a deeper comprehension of their resplendent humanity. Art helps us process/integrate dark subject matter, and in contrast opens our chakras so that we might more fully experience love, empathy, and joy. That makes for mental and emotional flexibility and clearer, truer communication.”