Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The LGBTQ Task Force: Trump's Tweets Denigrate Transgender Military Service Members

This morning, President Trump issued a series of tweets stating his intention to bar transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity, attacking the integrity and dedication of thousands of current transgender service members.

Trump's tweets seek to perpetuate one of the most explicit discriminatory federal policies against trans people. Previously, the military created a plan to ensure that transgender service members can serve openly. This is not a time to go backwards on a well-researched decision already made at the highest levels of the military. A recent Defense Department study concluded that transgender service members do not harm unit cohesion, and allowing them to serve openly will have no effect on military readiness or military budgets. The Task Force has fought for open military service for LGBTQ people since 1988 when we launched our Military Freedom Project.

“According to the U.S. trans survey, nearly 1 in 5 trans people in US are currently serving or have served in the military. The US military represents one of the few ways for low income and disenfranchised people, including trans people and people of color, to gain career skills and financial security both now and in the future. No one should be forced to choose between who they are and being able to keep their career,” Said Victoria Rodríguez-Roldán, our Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Justice Project Director.

"As a black transgender man who considered military service, Trump’s tweets appalled and astonished me. There is no way for me to not draw parallels between racial segregation in the military and this discrimination against transgender service members. Trump’s attempts today to divide the military is especially ironic considering that today is the Anniversary of President Truman issuing his 1948 Executive Order ordering the racial desegregation of the military” said Camden Hargrove our Advocacy & Action organizer

Substance Use Trends in the LGBTQ+ Community

Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community have rates of substance abuse higher than those of the general population. Their daily battles with discrimination and stigma cause high levels of stress that may push them toward drug and alcohol use.

Substance use disorders affect 20 to 30 percent of the LGBTQ+ population, compared to 8.4 percent of the general population, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. These alarming numbers stress a need for more substance use recovery programs that cater to LGBTQ+ individuals.
An October 2016 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration was the first to use data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to identify patterns of substance use among people of various sexual orientations.

SAMHSA found that adults who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual have higher rates of substance use and mental illness than heterosexual adults. The survey results also indicated that these members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely than heterosexuals to seek treatment for substance use disorders and mental health conditions.

According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, common substances gay men use include:
• Nitrite inhalants
• Hallucinogens
• Stimulants
• Sedatives 

• Tranquilizers
• Marijuana
• Cocaine

The SAMHSA report found that 39.1 percent of gay, lesbian and bisexual adults used illicit drugs in the past year, compared to 17.1 percent of heterosexual adults. In addition, 15.1 percent of gay and bisexual people who participated in the survey reported having a substance use disorder in the past year. The prevalence of past-year drug or alcohol addiction was 8 percentage points lower among the heterosexual participants surveyed.

Similarly, substance abuse has been a longstanding concern among the transgender community. According to SAMHSA, some of the most common drugs used by transgender people include marijuana, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and injection drugs.

Alcohol use is ever-present in the lives of many LGBTQ+ individuals because of its prevalence in the social settings they frequent. The 2016 SAMHSA report found that past-month drinking rates were higher among gay, lesbian and bisexual adults (63.6 percent) than among heterosexual adults (56.2 percent). Gay or bisexual women were much more likely than heterosexual women to engage in alcohol use, binge drinking and heavy drinking.

According to a separate SAMHSA report, LGBTQ+ people are less likely to abstain from drugs and alcohol and are more likely to indulge in long-term heavy drinking.

Numerous studies have found that lesbians were more likely to drink heavily than their heterosexual counterparts, according to SAMHSA. The agency also noted that bisexual women report more hazardous drinking than lesbians or heterosexual women.

In 2016, SAMHSA reported that past-month cigarette use was high among bisexual, gay and lesbian people. This group had a past-month smoking rate of 32.2 percent, compared to 20.6 percent among heterosexual people. However, the prevalence of daily cigarette use was higher among heterosexuals. 

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Log Cabin Republicans Oppose Trump Transgender Military Statement

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced the United States military would not “accept or allow” transgender servicemembers “in any capacity.”

In response, Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo issued the following statement:
This smacks of politics, pure and simple. The United States military already includes transgender individuals who protect our freedom day in and day out. Excommunicating transgender soldiers only weakens our readiness; it doesn’t strengthen it. The president’s statement this morning does a disservice to transgender military personnel and reintroduces the same hurtful stereotypes conjured when openly gay men and women were barred from service during the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ era. As an organization that led the charge against that hateful policy, Log Cabin Republicans remains equally committed to standing up for transgender military personnel who put their lives on the line to keep us free.

NCLR on Trump's transgender service member announcement

Today, Trump used Twitter to announce that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Legal Director Shannon Price Minter issued the following statement in response:

“In three tweets, Trump is purporting to fire 15,000 transgender service members bravely serving our country and to prevent other patriotic transgender persons from enlisting. While the impact of Trump’s tweets is unclear, banning transgender service members would erode military readiness and contradict our country’s values and ideals. Like every American, transgender service members should be judged by their qualifications and performance. President Trump’s bizarre assault on these dedicated service members is appalling. Those who serve our country deserve our gratitude and respect. We call on the President to retract this harmful statement and to defer to the Pentagon’s assessment that transgender people are fit to serve.”

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Filmmaker Delves into the Secrecy Surrounding the Death of Her Uncle In ‘Memories of a Penitent Heart'

Like many gay men in the 1980s, Miguel moved to New York City in search of a life out of the closet; he found a career in theater and a rewarding relationship. Yet in the midst of the AIDS crisis, his devout Catholic mother pressured him to repent for his homosexuality on his deathbed. Twenty-five years later, his niece Cecilia Aldarondo breaks the silence surrounding her uncle’s death, sifting through conflicting memories of a man she never really knew. She locates Miguel’s estranged partner and begins to unlock long-dormant family secrets.

Through home movies, audio recordings, family photos, letters and interviews, Cecilia Aldarondo’s Memories of a Penitent Heart reconstructs her uncle Miguel’s New York life, one he lived far from his family, especially his religious mother. Along the way, her investigation untangles a knot of family secrets, denials and repressed conflicts.

Memories of a Penitent Heart has its national broadcast premiere on the PBS documentary series POV (Point of View) on Monday, July 31, 2017. POV is American television’s longest-running independent documentary series, now in its 30th season. Memories of a Penitent Heart, which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, is a co-presentation between POV and Latino Public Broadcasting.

Born and raised in the 1970s in Puerto Rico, Miguel Dieppa was a gay man eager to leave the island in search of Broadway fame in New York City.

Aldarondo’s investigation begins with a two-year search for Miguel’s long-time partner, Bob, who disappeared after Miguel’s funeral. When she eventually finds him, he is living in Pasadena, California, as Father Aquin, a Franciscan monk. Through the reminiscences of Aquin and others who knew him, Miguel emerges as a charismatic and vivacious actor and playwright, struggling to live comfortably in his own skin.

We see glimpses into Miguel’s restlessness in his autobiographical play, Island Fever: “I guess that’s a diagnosis for my case. It’s that feeling that creeps on up on those who have known wide spaces, or long to do so.”

Miguel seems eternally torn between two identities. His New York friends know him as Michael, a freedom-loving gay thespian, while to his family in Puerto Rico he remains Miguel, the obedient son who downplays his sexuality.

Unexpectedly, Miguel begins to get sick, and although he refuses to be tested, telltale skin lesions on his legs indicate AIDS as the underlying illness.

Miguel’s illness places Bob on a collision course with Miguel’s mother, Carmen, as the two come to represent opposing faces of faith. Fearing that her son is not yet “dead to life but dead to grace,” Carmen feels Miguel can only find redemption if he repents.

Delving into her family’s trove of secrets, Aldarondo’s Memories of a Penitent Heart examines the light and dark sides of faith and how we fight over the memories of those we love. In the director’s intensely personal film, Miguel’s friends and family reflect on their imperfect relationships. Considering her own flaws, Miguel’s sister (Aldarondo’s mother) Nylda reflects, “The bottom line is that we all need to survive and we use different ways of surviving, according to our gifts, our limitations and our circumstances.” That prompts her daughter to ask, “Can’t we survive and look out for others as well?”

Memories of a Penitent Heart is a brave and honest exhumation of buried resentments that ultimately reveals how reflections on grief, betrayal and love bring us closer to reconciliation.

“Cecilia Aldarondo’s beautiful and evocative film explores not only the difficulties of being Puerto Rican in America, but also what it means to be gay and shunned by your community, family and church,” said POV executive producer Chris White. “This personal and complex portrait of her uncle and those who loved him shows how hard it can be to reconcile religion and sexual identity—and how blurry the line between sinners and saints can be.”

Statement from NMAC on Senate Health Care Vote

Following is a statement from NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata on the U.S. Senate’s health care vote:

“The Senate’s vote to move forward with legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act is heartless and cruel. It will impose greater hardships on struggling American families - including millions of Americans living with or affected by HIV. Data show that communities of color are at a higher risk for HIV and, should the ACA be repealed, they will see the care they’ve come to rely on be stripped away with no alternative. It’s no exaggeration to say that people will die if this repeal becomes reality. We implore the Senate to keep the Affordable Care Act in place and work TOGETHER to make it stronger so we can improve the lives of all Americans.”

NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.

The Colorado Premiere of "Thrill Me" opens Friday

In 1924, two wealthy students at the University of Chicago, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, murdered a young boy in order to commit “the perfect crime.” They became known as “The Thrill Killers” and they believed their own intellectual superiority absolved them of any responsibility for their actions. Nathan was passionate about Richard, who was passionate about crime and excitement, creating a secret agreement to satisfy each other’s needs. But soon their perfect crime unraveled due to a careless mistake – or was it so careless? Focusing on the obsessive nature of their relationship, beginning with a 1958 parole hearing, this stunningly beautiful musical will mesmerize you from the very first note.

“The thing that I find so fascinating about Thrill Me is how well it portrays obsession,” offers director Patrick Brownson. “Whether it’s obsession with an ideal or another person, if we allow ourselves to become so focused on our basest desires it can often have disastrous consequences, no more so than for the two characters in this musical. I’ve also loved the challenge of presenting such a darkly beautiful piece that is so stripped down (just two men and a piano) and working with these gents to make this a vibrant and engrossing theatrical experience.”

Equinox Theatre Company is thrilled to present the regional premiere of Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story. Performances are July 28 through August 19 on Friday and Saturday Nights at 7:30 PM, with a pay-what-you-can industry night on Thursday, August 10th. Tickets are $20 in advance/$25 at the door/$17 for groups of 6 or more in advance only. All performances will be at The Bug Theatre at 3654 Navajo Street in Denver. Tickets and more information available online at

Monday, July 24, 2017

CA Rep. Susan Davis: Why I'm Proud to Display the Pride Flag

Last week, four Democratic lawmakers – including Rep. Susan Davis of California – were sued by Chris Sevier, a lawyer opposed to same-sex marriage, for displaying the rainbow flag symbolizing gay pride outside of their Capitol Hill offices.

Today, Davis responds with a new op-ed on defending the flag and her support for the LGBTQ community.

OUT in Theaters: Beach Rats


On the outskirts of Brooklyn, Frankie, an aimless teenager, suffocates under the oppressive glare cast by his family and a toxic group of delinquent friends. Struggling with his own identity, Frankie begins to scour hookup sites for older men. When his chatting and webcamming intensify, he begins meeting men at a nearby cruising beach while simultaneously entering into a cautious relationship with a young woman. As Frankie struggles to reconcile his competing desires, his decisions leave him hurtling toward irreparable consequences.

Nice To See StevieB: To Sleep; To Read

By StevieB

I need a book to read.

Since February I have been re-reading the Harry Potter series. From "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." All the way to "all was well." Several times through. I would continue this cycle until my phone gets replaced with some new technology that doesn’t support audio books, or I die. Whichever comes first. Oh, did I mention that when I say “read” I mean to listen to audio books whist I drive, or when I should be sleeping, but I am not. So, really I need a new book to hear.

I have found that instead of actual sleep I can indulge in listening to The Half Blood Prince for the hundredth time. What fascinates me most about not sleeping, is the massive amount to prohibited things one cannot do when the civilized world, the ones without scary dreams waking them up every ten minutes, sleep. Like I cannot clean the kitchen when others “have work in the morning” like my roommate. So really there is not many options that won’t bring your downstairs neighbor upstairs to criticize my vacuuming ability and flexibility. So audio books, seem to be the only option.

The problem is other people. When stating this problem of needing to find the next great book series to fill my long nights, is that people really want to answer. To offer help in this book search. “Oh, I just finished a great series about a woman who is a taxidermist and solves WW II crossword puzzles she found in a mysterious crate on her gap year trip to Poland. It has a man that drives an old Volkswagen beetle. I don’t remember the name though. Uh… Turns out the baby eats lead paint and dies. Sad really.” After an entire re-telling of this saga of boring VW drivers, the last thing I want to do is find out the title. Or, speak to the person offering the information ever again. 

I guess I will continue my quest for a great book series. To listen to, while waiting away the night when I should be sleeping.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Do You Want To Reach Denver's Gay Community? Advertise With Denver's Best Gay Blog!

Do you want to advertise to Denver’s gay community? Of course you do, it’s the 7th largest in the United States! And the best way to reach them is with MileHighGayGuy – Colorado’s Best Gay Blog.

Just click the Advertising page or email to get started today.

Koelbel Urban Homes: The New Modern in Denver

Koelbel Urban Homes (KUH) has quickly emerged as a leader in creating urban neighborhoods that promote community and synergy by integrating life, work and play.

As the newest division of legendary developer Koelbel and Company, KUH is focused on in-fill properties, designing and building innovative homes tailored to each unique site.

Offered homes run the gamut of detached single-family homes to svelte modern attached designs featuring today's popular spaces, such as rooftop decks and open-plan concepts. All KUH homes, of course, are designed for optimum living and with respect for the surroundings.

Help your pet beat the heat during the dog days of summer

By Maia Brusseau, Dumb Friends League

In Colorado, we love spending time enjoying all our beautiful state has to offer, often with our furry friends in tow. How can you make sure your pets stay safe when temperatures soar? Follow these simple tips to help your pets beat the heat during the dog days of summer.

NEVER leave your pet in a parked car  

Even if you are parked in the shade, even if you leave the window down, even if you’ll be right back, even if it’s “not that hot,” don’t ever leave your pet in a parked car. Cars can heat up very quickly, resulting in heat stroke, which can be fatal. When it’s just 75 degrees outside, your car can heat up to 94 degrees within 10 minutes and 109 degrees within 30 minutes. If you’re going somewhere that doesn’t allow pets to come inside, it’s best to leave them at home where they can stay cool and safe.

Watch the clock—and the thermometer  

If you’re a dedicated pet owner who takes your dog on a walk no matter the weather, make sure you go for your daily stroll in the early morning or evening hours instead of the middle of the day when it’s hottest. It’s also a good idea to shorten the length of your daily walks and find routes that offer more shade.

It’s important for hikers to remember that pets can’t dissipate heat like humans and can become overheated very quickly. Most emergency calls on hiking trails are for dogs in distress. If you’re planning to hike on a hot day, it’s best to leave your pets at home or go early in the morning before it gets too hot.

When temperatures soar, you should also keep your pets off of hot asphalt to prevent them from burning their sensitive paw pads. Touch the pavement with your hands—if it’s hot to your touch, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws. Let your dog walk on grass or wait until the temperature cools down.

Water, water and more water 

Regardless of the season, your pet should always have access to cool, fresh water. It is especially important as temperatures rise. It can help prevent dehydration and heat stroke.

Know your pet  

Older and overweight animals are more likely to overheat. Flat-faced breeds like Persian cats, pugs and bulldogs have a lower tolerance to heat as well. Pets with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, can also have a tougher time in hot weather.

Don’t forget about sunscreen 

Yes, pets can get sunburned too. Breeds with white skin, such as American bulldogs, can get sunburned if they are exposed to the sun for extended periods, regardless of the temperature. Human sunscreen is not safe for your furry friends, so make sure you purchase sunscreen that is specifically made for animals.

Kick Off Aspen Summer Holiday at OUTlook Denver

These New South Wales - Space In Hell


Sydney's These New South Whales are excited to announce their debut album, You Work For Us, coming this August 25th. 

Today, they've shared the video for "Space In Hell," which lead singer Jamie Timony says is, "our experience of privilege and how it has a tendency to create a veil of laziness and apathy and subsequent guilt and shame. The guilt and shame can help you into a mindset where you actively become a part of the solution but it can also drive your head further into the sand."