Honoring Our LGBTQ Black Pioneers

From 1960s civil rights activist Bayard Rustin to newly elected Minnesota councilwoman Andrea Jenkins, black LGBTQ Americans have long been blazing trails and making history. Starting out as Negro History Week in 1926 in public schools in the US to teach black history, the event initially was not widely accepted. In 1970, a proposal from black educators and students at Kent State University, the week was expanded into Black History Month, and six years later was officially endorsed by President Gerald Ford. In celebration of Black History Month let us honor some of our LGBTQ pioneers, from our past and […]

Trump’s Cynical HIV Plan

Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, so let’s hear it for the Trump USA team behind his master race plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. I’ve even included an actual photo of their meeting on January 6th with a diverse group of stakeholders. Oh, wait. Scratch that. I’m sure the people of color are in the room somewhere. Pouring coffee, perhaps? “Meeting today at HHS with the principal architects of the Administration’s plan to end HIV,” says the Facebook post with the photo from Carl Schmid, the hapless new co-chair of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). You remember PACHA. The council that […]

Love Online

Have you met your soulmate? That is, if you believe in that concept. Or, how do you meet potential partners? Once upon a time, there were matchmakers, good-intentioned family members, friends, and then it became bars, school or college, and even the workplace with its own set of issues. Check this statistic out: “In 2017, 39% of US heterosexual relationships and 65% of same-sex relationships began online.” (Tinyurl.com/yxb4abuv) This can’t be surprising given the length of time we spend in cyberworld. When I see the number of hours I personally devote to online usage, I am amazed. But then why […]

Music Most Colorful at the BSO

Liszt, Berlioz, Ravel – three exceptional composers in one brilliant concert. On February 16th and 17th, guest conductor Mario Venzago, principal conductor and artistic director of the Bern Symphony Orchestra and artist in association at Finland’s Tapiola Sinfonietta, and pianist Conrad Tao will join the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) for one night only at both the Music Center at Strathmore and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Each composer is different and innovative, but their compositions work well together. “All three composers of our unique program were great inventors. Liszt, as the figurehead of the new German composers’ party, prepared the […]

The Work and Why I Do It

A few days ago, I went to trivia night with some new friends. Midway through the game the question asked which composer had written the Hungarian Rhapsodies, an easy win for us because our team includes two trained musicians. We immediately set to the kind of frenzied, whispered conversation that makes trivia so much fun. We agreed that it was a sneaky question because Brahms was best known for his Hungarian Dances, but Liszt had in fact written the Hungarian Rhapsodies. A few minutes later the answer was announced. Some teams groaned and others cheered. Then, as we enjoyed the […]

Let Us Go to Hell

For the majority of my adolescence, my rock was my faith and spirituality. Even at maximum-angst-levels, when I touted myself a Goth teenage Marxist, my black nail polish and lip-lined self was in the pew every Sunday. In high school I was an acolyte and a member of the praise band. By the time I finished high school, I was attending university with plans to become a youth pastor myself. Even as I began to understand my own sexuality and gender, it was not my decision to walk away from my faith until much later in my life. And even […]

Don’t (Always) Listen to Your Mother

When you tell people that you’re getting married, they often think of the wedding they had, the wedding day they wish they had, the wedding they’d have today, the wedding they want you to have, and maybe, if you’re lucky, they’ll think about the wedding that you want to have. This isn’t very helpful.  It only gets worse when it’s your family.  Some family wedding “traditions” have little grounding in what makes for a good wedding. It’s been my experience, working with many hundreds of couples, that families, however well meaning, sometimes perpetuate antiquated customs and misunderstandings about proper wedding […]

Wow, What a Weekend!

It is February now, which means that January’s Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend has come and gone. I must not be the only one who had a great time because the entire 880-room Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill has already been booked for MAL 2020 next January! The big leather gatherings are always lots of fun, but you will also have a great time at some of the smaller leather weekends. You will meet people, explore a place that you may not have visited before, and these events are a real value. Many weekend passes or “run fees” include meals, cocktail […]

The Magic of Disney on Ice Returns to Charm City

The magic of Disney on Ice enchants Baltimore this month at Royal Farms Arena. Running from Wednesday, February 6th to Sunday, February 10th, Disney on Ice presents: World of Enchantment takes audiences through some of the best-known Disney favorites. From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, your family’s beloved Disney moments will come to life. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with Dikki Martinez who talked about the upcoming performance. “It’s the perfect show for anyone of all ages,” Martinez began. “Whether you’re a boy or a girl, there is something about this show for everyone. It’s definitely a […]

When Sex is a Blood Sport

Illustration by Laurene Boglio. Dear Andre, I’m a queer woman in my early 30s, and I’m in an amazing relationship with a woman in her early 40s. She’s kind, career-driven, funny, and hands down the hottest person I’ve ever been with – I can’t keep my hands off of her! There’s just one small issue: She refuses to be intimate with me when she’s menstruating. I think it has a lot to do with her past partners, because she only came out of the closet two years ago and has told me that at least one ex-boyfriend told her that […]