J. Kelly Poorman: Writer with a Western Heart Novelist finds his home on the range

  Writer J. Kelly Poorman has been a member of the gay rodeo circuit since the early 1980s. Having celebrated his 130th rodeo last year with Keystone State Gay Rodeo Association (KSGRA) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with Poorman to discuss his rodeo career, his work, and what gay rodeo means to him. Growing up near State College, Pennsylvania, Poorman joined the military and served for eight years. Upon leaving the military, Poorman traveled all over before eventually moving to Los Angeles. It was while there that Poorman began his foray into gay rodeo. “I dated this guy […]

Dead Names

My dead name is not something that I dread with absolute hatred, however, it is also not something I enjoy hearing. And, being in my situation, I am often in an environment where my legal name has to be used. The most frustrating part of this situation is that I was so close to actually getting my name legally changed. I finally had the money and time for it, but of course it seems that life goes down as soon as it goes up. I was unable to change it because I moved to another county and local laws say […]

Catching Up With Hagerstown Hopes

  The folks at Hagerstown Hopes have been very busy. For months I’ve been seeing updates via their Facebook page: exciting news of a new community center, social outings, and of course, news of the upcoming Hagerstown Pride. I recently met with Jeff Rohrer, president of Hagerstown Hopes, to learn more about what they’ll be bringing to the community. Let me tell you, it’s everything I could have asked for, and more. First on the list is the new LGBTQ community center located in Mulberry Lofts, which is expected to open very soon. Rohrer says that they’re down to a […]

Bullies on the Playground

The other day some of my big kids took my little kids to the park. This is one of the benefits of having so many kids. There are kids who can drive, who enjoy taking little kids to the park or the trampoline park or on playdates. Anyway, the kids arrived at the park to find they were the only ones at the playground. It was great for a while. The little kids laughed and played. They ran from swings to slides. The older kids took turns pushing the kids on swings or chatting with each other. A couple of […]

Michael Dutzer, Rob Mansman, & the Miss Gay Maryland America Pageant

This coming month, the Miss Gay Maryland America pageant, the preliminary to Miss Gay America 2019, will take place on April 14th at the Horseshoe Casino. To highlight its 33rd year, the owners of the Miss Gay America pageant, Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud to discuss their relationship and the importance of the pageantry in our culture. Frankie Kujawa: Could you provide a little bit of background on yourselves for our readers? Michael Dutzer: I grew up in Northeast Pennsylvania. In 1990, I had a marketing job and attended school in the Philadelphia area when […]

The Journey

What if all your like-minded friends are going on a trip together and you’re not able to go? They’re all happy, confident, and openly posting about what they experience. You’re a little jealous, but also hopeful, knowing that you’re almost there. Eventually you have enough money, are old enough, or are in the right location to finally go on this trip, too. Slowly but surely, you see that you are having a great time. You anticipate everything that you saw in their experiences, and you become more confident because you have started this trip. This puts in perspective what many […]

How Queer Culture Influences the March for Our Lives

What do you do when you have little to lose and everything to gain? You fight for what you believe in. This sentiment has been the backbone of LGBTQ protests in countless fights for equality since the early days of the AIDS crisis. It has helped us achieve what many, including some of our own, thought to be impossible. We’ve won the battle for marriage equality, our acceptance into the military, and many civil rights we had previously been denied. Now, students and anti-gun violence protesters have taken pages from the LGBTQ playbook to address the issue of gun-related violence […]

‘Mommy Bye, Always Bye’

It’s been such a long week. It’s been the kind of a week where you start to wonder what stressful thing is going to happen next. So many extra responsibilities piled up. I had a super busy week at work and then, just when I was feeling confident that I had done a great job, I realized that I forgot to get approval from the top corporate executive before sending off my report. She was not happy. And, because of this particular assignment, which came up at the last minute, I’m behind on everything else. The good news is that […]

Stealthing: Hiding in Plain Sight

  Have you ever wondered what it might feel like when you spend every single day with the same people, yet they do not know one of the biggest things about you? For me it is a very delicate and somewhat humorous situation. What many of us do is called stealthing or being stealth, which basically means that I live my life at school with no one knowing that I am transgender. It is a blessing because in order to stealth, you must pass decently well. However, sometimes with blessings, there are curses, too. In order to stay stealth, there are […]

Gay Rodeo Features Unique Events

  Anyone who’s ever attended a rodeo knows to expect seeing some of their favorite events, including barrel racing, calf roping, bronc riding, and of course the all-time favorite bull riding. The International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) rodeo circuit includes all of those events and a few unique extras. The IGRA was founded in the late 1970s as a fundraiser for those who were affected by HIV/AIDS and could not openly compete in their local hometown traditional rodeos. Along with being a fundraiser for charity, several rodeo events were added for those that have a desire to compete, but don’t […]