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ProudTimes Welcomes the New Monarchy

An Interview with Empress JenuWine Surreal Beauté & Emperor Chance de Valmont

by Jewell Harrington, III
ProudTimes CEO & (Unofficial) Rose Court Correspondent

The Imperial Sovereign Rose Court is Oregon’s oldest LGBTQ Organization, and second only to San Francisco’s Imperial Court System. On October 19th, came a very special time in Portland at The Melody Event Center, the crowning of Portland’s own Emperor and Empress. ProudTimes CEO and (Unofficial) Rose Court Correspondent, Jewell Harrington III sat down with Empress JenuWine Beauté, and Emperor Chance de Valmont for a personal interview to meet the newly crowned monarchs.

Proud Times: Congratulations to you both! Was this a pretty exciting ride for each of you? 

JenuWine Beauté: This was indeed a very exciting journey.

Chance de Valmont: Yes, very exciting indeed.

PT: How long have you been wanting to be crowned Emperor & Empress? When did you first say, “Someday, that’s for me!”

JWB: I’ve always admired and love Portland’s Rose Court. I often wondered if I would ever be one. Then one day I moved here and joined the organization. Six years ago, was when I realized that someday it could be me. 

CdeV: When I was a teenager titleholder with Portland’s Youth Court, I was introduced to the Rose Court. Ever since then I knew I would someday step up to become a Monarch of Portland.

PT: Can you tell us a little bit about your court names, your inspiration, etc.?

JWB: Well my name is JenuWine Surreal Beauté. I created the name JenuWine to reflect my persona in and out of drag. Surreal is a family name that comes from Mark & Rob Surreal, my Papas, who reside in the Tri-Cities of Washington. Beauté is my last name and comes from a queen who called me that one night and my friends adopted it and started using it for me. My Inspiration as a Rose Empress began with Rose Empress XLIV, Poison Waters. She showed me that you can have fun, stay classy, and support your community all by staying true to yourself. 

CdeV:  My stage name, Dr. Chance de Valmont has evolved over the years. Originally I went by Chance because it was my mother’s nickname for me. de Valmont is the last name of the male lead from the French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses. The Doctor title was given to me by the late DJ Scooter from The Escape Nightclub. A Disco-Pharmacologist If you will. 

PT: When did you each decide you would run for this year’s title? 

JWB: I made a personal change in March/April and began my process. It wasn’t until about June/July when I truly was onboard and committed to running. 

CdeV: After a successful step down as Imperial Prince Royal in 2017, I knew this was my time.

PT: What inspired you to run for your titles, and how long had you been considering it? 

JWB: I have been inspired by numerous Rose Monarchs who have paved the way in Portland for our community to be who they are. I have been considering running for five years now. 

CdeV: This community is what inspires me, without it there would be no reason to run. I am inspired by our College of Monarchs that came before us. They created the oldest LGBTQ+ organization in Oregon and since then we have helped to create and fund many services and organizations that this community holds dear.

PT: Chance, I noticed you were running uncontested. How did this have an effect on your campaigning for the title of Emperor? Did you find that you could relax more, or did you have to step up your game?

CdeV: I wanted to run my campaign as if there was competition. The community expects and more importantly deserves it. This was a way for me to give a preview as to what is to come this year. Having run before, I knew what is expected and why it is important to get out and engage the community you will be serving. 

PT: JenuWine Beauté, who were the other contestants to the throne, and did you find it particularly challenging to run against them?

JWB: There was one other candidate for the position. Her name is Shima B. Valentine. Whenever one competes for a competition it is always tough. This campaign is unlike many people have ever experienced. You put a ton of heart, soul, money, and determination into showing your community that they should elect you to represent. Shima was quite the competitor and definitely brought a strong campaign to the competition. The most challenging aspect is the fact of not knowing how you are doing or which way the votes will go. It really makes you anxious to know the results. 

PT: How long have you been involved with the Rose Court and/or participating in other pageants? What titles have you each held previously, and from where? 

JWB: My involvement with the Rose Court has been 6 years, however I have been involved in the International Court System for 20 years. I have held a few titles here and there. LaFemme Magnifique Tacoma 2001-2002, Miss Gay Tacoma 2002-2003, Empress XXV of Tacoma, LaFemme Magnifique Olympia, Miss Gay Oregon XLV, and now Rose Empress LXI. 

CdeV: This year marks 20 years of involvement with the Imperial Court System.  In 2001 I was crowned Thorn XXV of Portland, in 2005 I ran and won the title of Mr. Gay Portland XXX and in 2016 I was appointed Imperial Prince Royale XLII. I am the third person to elevate to the position of Rose Emperor from the Portland Youth Court. His Most Imperial Majesty, Rose Emperor XLIII, The Nobility of the Rose, Dr. Chance de Valmont.

PT:  Are either of you affiliated with any other LGBTQ organizations, and if so, what will holding the Emperor and Empress titles bring to these other organizations?  

JWB: I personally have participated in a few other organizations by attending their events and helping their organization. Some of those include but not limited to are as follows; Oregon Reign Football, Rose City Bowling League, HIV Day Center, and more. Reigning as Rose Empress LXI allows me the position in our community to help make a difference to those organizations on a broader scale. Leading the ISRC with my Rose Emperor, we are able to ask our constituents to volunteer/donate to this other organizations to truly unite all aspects of our diverse community. 

CdeV: My partner Ty VanHelsing and I head the world’s oldest LGBTQ+ Youth Court. It is my intention to bring more exposure to this amazing group of youth leaders by inclusion and community presents.

PT: I know reaching out, activism, giving back to the community is important to both of you–& important for those running. Did you establish a platform together? Or did you come up with individual ideas then meld the two together? 

JWB: We came up with our own platforms separately. We each have a passion to support our local queer businesses. We both worked on our own platforms and then after we were crowned, have been working together as a team to achieve our goals. 

CdeV: After sitting down with one another and many conversations it is clear that my Empress and I have the drive for community, inclusion and charity. It’s just the right thing to do.

PT: I know that traveling and taking time off of work has an effect on your jobs, so how do you work around that type of situation?

JWB: Luckily for me, traveling is my job. I’m a flight attendant for a living. The tricky part about that is I’m constantly traveling for work. This makes it a tad difficult when wanting to represent in the city during the weekdays, yet when I’m home in Portland, I definitely make sure I do my best to represent wherever I am able. 

CdeV: Recently I made a career move to go back to education. It happens to mesh very well with the obligations of this position. Weekends and holidays off. I am able to travel in the evenings and attend local events. Also summers off never hurt anyone. 

PT: Speaking of travel: we saw you went to Hawaii a few weeks ago. What was that like? 

JWB: Indeed we sure did. It was The Imperial Court of Hawaii’s annual Coronation. It was our very first walk together as the reigning Rose Monarchs of Portland. We were instantly greeted with the Aloha spirit from the moment we arrived until the time we left. The Rose Court members present represented Portland so beautéfully that we were awarded Hawaii’s highest honor of the night. The Teddy Award for Best Overall Presentation. An honor we both will cherish and remember. We also created lasting memories with the newest Monarchs of Hawai’i, Emperor Keoki Nalu Nunies and Empress Averianna Jewel Nunies! They are excited about making a journey to our City of Roses for Coronation on October 14th-18th. Hawaii was a great beginning for our reign. 

CdeV: I think my Empress covered this one for both us.

PT: Has it been decided how many other coronations will you be traveling to, and is there a calendar of events that people can check out to see what’s happening in the LGBTQ community? 

JWB: We have a tentative list of Coronations we plan/hope to attend during the year. We also have plans to attend local events here in Portland as well. Your readers may follow along on our Facebook group or they can become a member of our organization for the year on the Rose Court’s membership page. These are just a couple ways for members to follow along. 

CdeV: Yes, we do have quite this list of events here in the States, Canada and Mexico. We will be spreading the message of love, charity and community in more than 20 cities this year. My Empress mentioned our local webpage but also check out the International Court System and the Imperial Court System for more information.

PT: Perhaps, what issues you most wish to focus on over the course of the next year? 

JWB: We’d like to focus on raising funds through partnerships with local queer owned businesses and organizations. 

CdeV:  I will second my empresses statement but also would like to focus on community engagement and youth participation in the organization.

PT: Lastly, is there anything you’d care to add? 

JWB: We want to let everyone know that you may get involved by attending any of our monthly meetings. They take place the first Monday of every month (unless it’s a holiday) at Darcelle XV Showplace 208 NW 3rd Ave at 7pm. Attendance is free. We invite one and all to come check out our organization and see what we are about. We’d also like to thank Proud Times for this amazing opportunity to be featured. It’s very much appreciated. Thank you Portland and we look forward to seeing you out and about in our Beautéful community. 

CdeV: If any of the readers have further questions, comments or want to get involved please check out our website Rose Court. Thank you to Proud Times for this interview and taking this opportunity to get to know about our organization. And remember “For you in Portland a rose grows.”

With any news or information related to the Imperial Sovereign Rose Court please contact our CEO, Jewell Harrington, III at proudtimesmagCEO@gmail.com & he’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

An Evening with David Sedaris at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Are you a fan of the wonderful, witty Mr. Sedaris? Well, faster than you can dress your family in corduroy and denim, quicker than you can explore diabetes with owls check out ticket availability for his one-night only appearance at the Schnitzer! The fun begins at 7:30PM, this Friday, November 8th.

From the Portland’5 Press Release

NPR humorist and bestselling author of CalypsoNakedDress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers, known for his sardonic wit and incisive social critiques. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.

Calypso, his latest collection of essays, is a New York Times best-seller, and a Washington PostBest Book of the Year. The audiobook of Calypso was nominated for a 2019 Grammy in the Best Spoken Word Album category.

David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, NakedMe Talk Pretty One DayDress Your Family in Corduroy and DenimWhen You Are Engulfed in FlamesLet’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and Calypso, each of which became an immediate bestseller. The audio version of Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls is a 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. He is the author of the New York Times-bestselling collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer). He was also the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories.

“Sedaris ain’t the preeminent humorist of his generation by accident.”– Whitney Pastorek, Entertainment Weekly

You can follow David on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davidsedaris.

Celebrating Female DJs who Pump Up the Dance Floor: The Dust Bunnies

Women’s History Month 2019

By Sebastian Fortino

As part of ProudTimes’ coverage of Women’s History Month, we are speaking to DJ’s who are serving up hot beats on the dance floor. They are all fierce queer women, who are changing the tracks through empowerment, and progressive change. Today, we bring you Portland residents, The Dust Bunnies.

ProudTimes: How long have you been DJing? When did you decide you were going to get out there and spin?

The Dust Bunnies, Local Heroes PDX. Photo credit: Chazz Gold

The Dust Bunnies: We, are “The Dust Bunnies” comprised of me, Dakota, and my fiance Gen. We have been DJ’ing for for about a year and a half. What started as what was supposed to just be a hobby quickly turned into being asked to DJ for small house parties, and more. Our passion for house music turned into a burning desire to spin for more people.

PT: Was this something you wanted to do, or have experimented with doing, from an early age?

DB: Gen is from New York, Dakota from the San Francisco Bay Area. We both did our fair share of clubbing in our respective cities, drawn to it by our mutual love of house music, dancing, and mostly the community and friends we would see on a regular basis. Neither of us had actually considered we would actually become DJs–but definitely respected the creativity, skills, and vibes that each DJ would bring to each event.

PT: Do you think the industry is difficult for women to break into? Is it something of a “boys club?”

DB: Honestly, if you have the drive and passion for anything, you can achieve anything. In the electronica scene, a lot of world-class techno DJ’s are women, Nina Kravitz, Deborah DeLuca, Amelie Lens, and more. There are a few other notables in each genre but yes, it’s a pretty male-dominated, that is for sure. Whether that’s because women in general aren’t drawn to the craft or other issues, we’re not sure. We have discovered a lot of support here in Portland from many people who want to see us succeed. The Rose City Underground has been a huge support for us. They are our local “family” which we are proud to be a part of.

PT: What kind of music do you spin–how would you describe your DJ style?

DB: We love to spin an interesting combination of OG house music combined with UK-style tech house. Because we are a DJ-duo we provide a unique blending of tracks we like individually and as a collective. Gen loves throwing down some soulful vocal mixes with some good beats and Dakota enjoys creative latitude in mixing songs that invoke that first time you ever went to a rave.

PT: Are there any venues, events, audiences, types of shows which you really prefer to make music at over others?

DB: We don’t really have a favorite venue, but our dream is to spin at beach party in Ibiza, or an outdoor festival or event. We love an audience that loves to dance, so whenever we see a sea of bodies moving and people screaming and shouting…lost in the moment, that is what it’s about. Spreading love through house music.

The Dust Bunnies, ClubFlock at Local Lounge. Photo credit: Rachel Puma

PT: I know there are less and less venues specifically catering to queer women. When you get the opportunity to perform for a primarily lesbian or female audience, does that add any excitement to your approach?

DB: Absolutely! We are proud to be part of Club Flock headed by promoter/DJ Jen Roberton. House music has never really been part of the lesbian club scene and it is sooooo refreshing to be able to be part of this groundbreaking group of female DJ’s alongside Jen Roberton, Missing Mei and Jules Juke. As resident DJs, we get the opportunity to spin monthly at Portland’s Local Lounge, and see more and more people literally flocking to this event. It really has been exhilarating seeing this party take off!

PT: Do you have any influences, whether from DJs or musicians, that inspire your sound or attitude when you’re playing?

DB: This is a great question. There are a lot of influences that come from DJs that we have admired from our past and present (like DJ Tracy (Bleeke) and Charlotte the Baroness from SF) on Dakota’s side and (Danny Teneglia, Jonathan Peters, and the Martinez Brothers, NYC) on Gen’s side. Currently, a few of our favorites are Prok and Fitch, Chus and Ceballos, The DeepShakerz and Dale Howard.

PT: How do you best promote yourself, your events, or parties while still keeping your identity intact? Meaning: to get noticed, some artists scale back in the hopes of attracting more fans. Do you find yourself trying to appease any standards?

DB: To promote ourselves we go to a lot of events in support of other DJs and to see the DJ’s that inspire us! We find it easy to keep our identity intact by just being true to ourselves from our musical choices down to the way we dress! Just as in life and love, we want people to be drawn to us just because there’s a natural attraction coming from our vibe and music. Once in a while, we may do a gig where we don’t entirely play “our kind-of-music” to help support the community for special LGBT events.

PT: What are you working on right now–in terms of events, gigs, collaborations etc.?

DB: Right now we do spin a wide range of parties –  like the monthly Flock at Local Lounge and are planning a Portland Pride Party working with our Flock crew that will literally knock the socks off of anything anyone has seen for our lesbian community. We also are very excited about opening up for Wolfgang Gartner this month at Whiskey Bar and our debut at Proper Sound to be held at the Tube on the first Thursday of April. We are collaborating with Val Verra, immersed Music to put on a day party with 7 DJs in the summer half of which will be women! There’s much more on our list as far as gigs. Stand by for more by following us on Instagram @thedustbunniesworldwide. What’s even more exciting is that we will have our first produced track coming up in June!

PT: Female DJs are getting more and more prominent in our cultural landscape–especially in the LGBTQ community–what would you tell younger DJs out there, especially young women, who are interested in getting into the industry?

DB: We would tell anyone who is interested in becoming a DJ to talk to any of us. There’s a lot we wished we knew before we went out and bought equipment, or started to learn how to use it. We are constantly learning and growing. We learn from everything from watching other DJs, to YouTube, to even making mistakes and taking risks. If you have the passion and desire to become a DJ, the sky’s the limit, go for it!

PT: We are celebrating Women’s History Month. What does this mean to you? What are you fighting for in 2019 and beyond?

DB: It’s nice to have a month where women are honored and recognized. We believe not only in women’s equality, but equality for all. We are all created equal and should be seen as humans beings regardless of gender, religion, sexual preference or anything else.

The Dust Bunnies, Local Heroes PDX. Photos credit: Chazz Gold

If you know any DJs, musicians, or artists who you think ProudTimes should celebrate email sebastian@proudtimes.com and we’ll see what we can do! 

Celebrating Female DJs who Pump Up the Dance Floor: Missing Mei

Celebrating Women’s History Month 2019

By Sebastian Fortino

As part of ProudTimes’ coverage of Women’s History Month, we are speaking to DJ’s who are serving up hot beats on the dance floor. They are all fierce, fabulous, queer women, who are changing the tracks through empowerment and progression. Today, we bring you Denver-based DJ Missing Mei

Photo credit: Rachel Puma
Missing Mei DJing at ClubFlock – Local Lounge, Portland, Oregon

ProudTimes: How long have you been DJing? When did you decide you were going to get out there and spin?

Missing Mei: I dabbled here and there between 2003-2006 doing underground shows from lounges and private events. 2006 is when I decided to focus on the craft and debut at Premier Nightclub in Sacramento, CA. At the time, Asylum was the longest running Goth-Industrial EDM Night on the West Coast. I remember being so nervous, but being hooked after that.

PT: Was this something you wanted to do, or have experimented with doing, from an early age?

MM: No, it didn’t start that way. Although, I was always a go-to when someone wanted to know what good music was out. My friends would ask for mix tapes and I would happily oblige. My first experimental DJ gig was for a fashion show in college. I remember how it was fun matching up tracks according to the designer models for the show. It was the first rush experience of an audience loving what I spun.

PT: Do you think the industry is difficult for women to break into? Is it something of a “boys club?”

MM: I think on the surface it does look like the boys club and on some level there will always be an undertone that it is. It’s what the industry started from. I recall reading an article from thumpvice.com in 2014 that the average percentage female to male DJ ratio spinning at festivals was like three percent to nine percent at the time. Prior to that, I spun with an all-female DJ crew called ‘Stiletto’ in Cali. The night prided itself as the ‘Only All Female DJ Night’ in the city, which said a lot about the lack of gender diversity. It was a great experience, but it didn’t last long due to draw. But, with that being said, I feel that there has been an increased presence of female DJ’s since then. I think part of that shift is credited to social media and the Internet. There was so much talent that was not being exposed and now that everyone has access to these platforms it helps level out the playing field. It’s optimistic to see more female DJ’s getting their music out there, tracks topping charts, and being headliners for their own shows. But, there is still a lot more progress that needs to happen and that takes time.

 

PT: What kind of music do you spin–how would you describe your DJ style?

MM: Currently, I am really into Tech House. I love the minimalism and heavy beats in the composition. But, I have a range from Goth-Industrial, EDM, Dark Wave, Nu-Disco, Electro, Top 40, to Classic remixes from the 80’s and 90’s. I even spin in Trap at times when I am playing with my band. House is my true love, but Trance music is what got me started into all of it.

 

PT: Are there any venues, events, audiences, types of shows which you really prefer to make music at over others?

MM: I recently embraced the festival scene. It really has evolved from what was the Rave scene in the early 90’s to 2000’s. I love the blends of different genres and DJ’s that make up a festival. It creates a sense of community that welcomes all. One of my favorite gigs was at The Supper Club in San Francisco. The event filled up three rooms that catered to every genre of electronic music. Every room had a different DJ, different electronic music being spun. So, you can imagine the diversity of crowd that it drew! It was fabulous.

 

PT: I know there are less and less venues specifically catering to queer women. When you get the opportunity to perform for a primarily lesbian or female audience, does that add any excitement to your approach?

MM: I’ve been noticing that as well. It has become less, but the parties have become BIGGER which I think compensates for some of that. When I have the opportunity, it is totally empowering and exciting! Those environments tend to be less abrasive and exudes a commonality that does not need to be mentioned. It’s a vibe, a feeling and an unspoken understanding. Short answer: ‘Excitement scale from one to 10?’ Definitely a 10.

 

PT: Do you have any influences, whether from DJs or musicians, that inspire your sound or attitude when you’re playing?

MM: When I first got started, influences would come from the latest artist I was in to or a style that I was drawn to. That is ever changing. But, over the years I have adjusted to playing with feeling and being conscious with connecting to the audience I am spinning for. I feel that there is an advantage to having spun different genres. Because of that, it influences the texture of my set.

 

PT: How do you best promote yourself, your events or parties while still keeping your identity intact? Meaning: to get noticed, some artists scale back in the hopes of attracting more fans. Do you find yourself trying to appease any standards?

MM: I found so far that what works best is to be myself. When I first started, there was an image of what I thought a DJ should be, but really didn’t have a lot of female DJ’s to model. I had one back in the day, DJ Irene, who seemed as close to a personality I could relate to. I really couldn’t always relate to the guys off decks and only with music. I have been fortunate that the genres I spin usually embrace a type of vision where enthusiasm, best intention, optimism and unity holds a higher standard versus what I am interpreting the question is asking, ‘selling out’. It guided me to a DJ residency in the Bay Area for as long as I wanted and the opportunity to meet talented and like minded people that encourage the same integrity. Today, I can say it still remains true.

PT: What are you working on right now–in terms of events, gigs, collaborations etc.?

MM: Currently, I’ve been adjusting to a new city and scene because of a recent move and traveling for gigs in regards to collaboration for brilliant music community movements. It’s has been mainly with ClubFlock and all female queer DJ lineup. There is exciting momentum happening with this crew that we will be announcing soon! I’m also engaged in a DJ and Drum duo project with talented drummer, Joel Swift, called She DJ’s and He Drums based out of Portland. This week, my podcast Indie Rant Radio, had its first interview for season two. It’s the first of a series of interviews with all female DJ’s based out of Denver and Portland.

PT: Female DJs are getting more and more prominent in our cultural landscape–especially in the LGBTQ community–what would you tell younger DJs out there, especially young women, who are interested in getting into the industry?

MM: I think the best advice I could give is to stay true to the music. It can be easy to get caught up in what you think you should be or sound like. In some instance, even with who you should know. There is a difference between networking versus building connection. Connection supports your authenticity and will be more fulfilling in the long run. Stay connected with yourself. Stay connected to your music and surround yourself with people who will lift you up. Once you start understanding your success, it’s good to give back into the music. Whether it’s to another young woman trying to get into DJing or a music cause who can use your support. Stay in true love with what you do.

PT: We are celebrating Women’s History Month. What does this mean to you? What are you fighting for in 2019 and beyond?

MM: Celebrating Women’s History Month is a very exciting moment. It means so much in terms of gratitude and strife. It has taken a lot of women before us to make this happen and it is our responsibility to continue to carry the torch for future female generations to inherit and do the same. One can learn by example that the future can only grow and flourish from not fighting but uniting together.

Missing Mei is also part of Flock, their mission is: To create a magical experience with a unique flock of female DJs by spreading love and connecting the community through underground music. ProudTimes will bring you more about Flock in the coming moths. Currently, you can find their events through LesbiOut on Facebook.

Missing Mei‘s passion for music has always been present in her life and strong in her gene pool, from waking up to her mom singing Italian opera to her dad gigging in his band. For Missing Mei, it made sense to become a DJ before leaving her roots in Hawaii. Missing Mei has channeled DJing as a journey of expression and has found it through tech and electro house. She also fills in her time podcasting for ‘Indie Rant Radio’ highlighting artists and DJ’s on the West Coast.

If you know any DJs, musicians, or artists who you think ProudTimes should celebrate email sebastian@proudtimes.com and we’ll see what we can do! 

Salem-based Writer Discusses Identity & Inspiration

Celebrating Women’s History Month 2019

By Domina Alexandra

We all assume to know who we are as people–and who our colleagues, parents, friends are deep down inside. Being all those things and more, the question we sometimes forget to ask, is who are we as women? Are you a feminist? Are you butch? Or do you identify as being femme? Young or old our identity as women–and queer women–is important to our identity.

As a woman and writer, here’s my thoughts. I use to question my identity as a woman, only because I wanted to date them. And growing up sheltered and forced to believe being a lesbian was wrong, I thought, “If I became a man, my problem was solved.” We all handle life experiences differently. We resist who we are as women to please society.

I can say, I am proud to be a woman and it was other women who inspired me over the years to accept myself. Finding my identity as a woman helped me find my identity as a lesbian and writer. It was other queer, and non-queer, writers that inspired me to become the woman I am now! A woman proud to write lesbian fantasy romances.

The first writer I ever read while the accepting myself as a woman was Patricia Briggs. She writes about a world where a woman can be strong and face dangerous beings without having some strong superpower or enhanced strength. As if her character, Mercy Thompson could be any one of us. After reading her books, I knew I could stand on my own two feet.

From Patricia Briggs, I jumped into queer writing, in the midst of acknowledging myself as an out lesbian. Gerri Hill’s book, ‘Hunters Way,’ was all the confirmation I needed to be a proud queer woman. She writes about women of power and voice, leadership and passion. Women who are capable of taking care of themselves. I only inspire to a better writer and woman.

 

I asked Patricia Briggs in March at the Emerald City Comic Con, “How does she escape the world she creates for her characters? That as a writer, I can get lost in that fantasy that is safer than the real world.”

 

She replied, “It’s normal for us as writers to linger and think about our characters from time to time. Do some laundry and stop, wanting to go back to the world we created. We have to leave that world and go back to our own. To spend time with family and friends. To not lose our identity as a person.”

It is easy to forget our personal lives, what defines us, even when writing. It was rewarding to finally meet Patricia Briggs and be reminded of how I came to talk to her in person. It was me finding my place as a woman and a writer!

This Women’s History Month: Ask yourself, who are you as a woman? And what woman inspires you? Domina Alexandra is a writer and EMT based in Salem, OR. She has penned three books, Her Endure, I Belong with Her, and most recently, A Night Claimed. The novels are available for purchase on her Amazon writer’s page.

What It Means: Trump Administration Introduces Title X Gag Rule Proposal

By The Seattle Lesbian

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) introduced a gag rule that would undermine the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, radically restrict health care providers, and impact millions of people across the country.

In 2016, nearly half of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest the Hawaiian Islands’ (PPGNHI) visits were Title X patients. PPGNHI also uses Title X funds to support insurance enrollment services, as well as education and outreach activities designed to increase awareness about family planning and the Title X program.

“This is low, even for the Trump-Pence Administration. The result of this gag rule is that people will not get the health care or information they need. They won’t get birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or even general women’s health exams,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI. “We serve more than 43,000 people through the Title X program across our four states and everyone has the right to access information about their health care – including information about safe, legal abortion. This Administration has shown time and time again that it is are coming after our health, our freedoms and our rights, particularly those in marginalized communities. We will not back down. We will not be gagged. We will never stop fighting for our patients.”

The proposed rule would do three main things:

-Make it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers across the country that participate in the Title X program to refer their patients for safe, legal abortion.

-Impose new restrictions designed to make it impossible for patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood.

-Remove the guarantee that people are getting full and accurate information about their health care from their providers. For nearly two decades, Title X law has been clear: Health care providers cannot withhold information from you about your pregnancy options. This rule means they can.

The rule is expected to include a 60-day comment period after the yet-to-be determined date it is posted to the official Federal Register.

The domestic gag rule has never gone into effect in the United States before. The Reagan Administration tried to implement this in 1988, but the rule was held up in the courts and later retracted by the Clinton administration in 1993 after intense outcry from the medical community, including the American College of Physicians and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Reinstating this rule would prevent millions of people from getting birth control and preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. At the same time, it would also force providers to withhold information from patients across the country.

Although Planned Parenthood health centers make up only about 13 percent of the Title X health centers across the country, they serve 41 percent of the patients who get care through Title X. Preventing those patients from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers would mean many are left with nowhere else to turn.

Title X is a decades-old popular and effective program designed to ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, how much money they make, and whether or not they have health insurance, has access to basic preventive reproductive health care like birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and well-woman exams. It has received bipartisan support from Congress since its inception. Every year it serves more than four million people, although many people who get care through the program may not even be aware that they are Title X patients.

This rule is opposed by the medical community, lawmakers, and public health experts. Major medical associations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and more oppose this rule. More than 200 members of Congress and 100 public health organizations have come out in opposition to a gag policy.

2018 Burien PRIDE Expands

Burien PRIDE Expands with Friday Night Bingo June 1, 2018! Festival Includes Live Music, Games, Kids Area & More

Burien, Wash. (May 21, 2018) – The second annual Burien PRIDE festival, sponsored by Blissful Knead and Kaiser Permanente, will take place in Burien Town Square Park on Saturday June 2, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with FREE admission to the public. Live musical performances will grace the stage throughout the day on Saturday. In addition, the super popular kids’ area will return, as will the 21+ beer garden, sponsored by local brewpub Elliott Bay Brewing Company.
New this year: Guests are invited to join their neighbors and friends for an all-ages Drag Queen Bingo event in the Park on Friday, June 1, 2018! The theme is “Grooving to the 70’s” and will be hosted by DonnaTella Howe and Rob Johnson from 5-10 p.m. Tickets are currently available in person via Discover Burien and the night of the event starting at 4 p.m.

A portion of all proceeds from Burien Pride 2018 will benefit the local community by way of the organization’s newly formed Burien Pride Scholarship Fund, which goes toward the college of the students choice and is to be used as they see fit, either for tuition or supplies.

Entertainment will perform throughout the day and into the early evening on two stages in Burien Town Square Park. One stage will boast fan favorites “The Newlywed Game” and “The Dating Game.” Musical acts, dance routines and Zumba will occur on the main stage. A drag show will take place from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

After-parties at The Point Liquor and Eats and Black Zia Cantina will occur as the festival closes. Additional establishments will show their support of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the evening as well.

Don’t miss out on the fun this year as Burien Pride returns on Friday, June 1 for Drag Queen Bingo and Saturday, June 2 for the festival
Burien Pride is expecting about 2,000 – 3,000 attendees this year! Come out and enjoy the events!

Don’t forget to follow Burien Pride on Social Media to keep up with the fun!

www.burienpride.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/161069264584454/ and https://www.facebook.com/BurienPride/

Twitter @BurienPride

Ebb Rivers

I am older than 21 and younger than 50. (I was born Sept 1st 1970). “I was born a poor black child…” Steve Martin, The Jerk, seriously, I was born in Independence, Missouri (a Kansas City suburb), where I lived the first 20 years of my life before joining the US Navy. I spent five years on active duty during wartime. I was trained in personnel management, Terroristic Engagement Tactics, Human Behavior, Interrogation and Interviewing Techniques. I did and saw more before I turned 30 than a majority of the world’s population will in a lifetime.

I am an artist and try to view and approach life with the same point of view: open and creative.

After my military service, I returned stateside and found myself in the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle area is where I called home for about three years until my mother’s suicide got the better of me. I then spent five years living back in Missouri before returning to the Pacific Northwest. I settled here in Spokane, which I have called home for the last 13 years.

I have always been an artist, but it’s only been a hobby. Over the last two or three years, I have given a good deal of focus to painting. I have developed my own style and technique of acrylic on canvas to give texture and depth to the subject matter, mimicking the characteristics of oils on canvas. I also include a memento mori in each painting that further defines my style.

JANINE UNVEILS HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED DEBUT ALBUM “99”

ALBUM INCLUDES CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED SINGLES “TOO LATE,” “NEVER THE RIGHT TIME” AND “HOLD ON”

Buy/Stream “99” HERE


“We’re big fans of Janine’s blend of vulnerable songwriting and quiet-storm, ’90s-indebted R&B, refreshed for a new generation.” – PAPER

“Janine has hopped in the spotlight and is gleaming as bright as ever…” – FLAUNT

Atlantic recording artist Janine has announced today’s release of her eagerly awaited debut album. “99” is available now all digital music retailers and streaming services.

“99” is highlighted by an array of soulful pop tracks like “Unstable” and “Never The Right Time,” alongside the New Zealand-born singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist-producer’s latest single, “Too Late.” The passionate anthem is joined by an equally sultry companion visual, streaming now at Janine’s official YouTube channel.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to announce the release of my first full length album,” says Janine, “I’ve been waiting to give this album to my fans and it seems both surreal and moving that they will finally get to experience it. I love them so much and I genuinely feel like my album is a gift I can give them in return for how much they have given me.”

A gifted visual artist and electrifying live performer, Janine recently wrapped her first-ever U.S. headline run. The “Before It’s Too Late Tour” saw jam-packed performances across the country including a spectacular finale at Los Angeles’ legendary Troubadour.

Janine first began performing at open mic nights in her native Auckland when she was but 14 years old. She soon developed her own unique amalgam of pop, indie, R&B, and hip hop, all built around her emotional songcraft, otherworldly vocals, and utterly individualistic persona. Released initially by her own Little Mixtapes Records in 2013, “DARK MIND” immediately shot Janine into the spotlight – as well as the top 2 on the iTunes Store’s “Top R&B Albums” chart. The EP -which also includes the hit single/video, “Little Bit” (featured on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop Hollywood) – received worldwide applause, with high praise coming from such outlets as MTV, Billboard, VIBE Vixen, Complex, and VIBE, which ranked Janine among their “R&B Secret Society: 26 Acts You Should Be Listening To.”

TRACKLISTING
1. Be By Myself
2. Hold On
3. Don’t Love Me
4. Never The Right Time
5. Too Late
6. Unstable
7. Said It All
8. Numb
9. Believed
10. Wrong Thing
11. Get Through This Again

Follow Janine
http://www.janineofficial.com
https://www.facebook.com/janinemusicofficial
https://www.instagram.com/janine
https://twitter.com/janine
https://soundcloud.com/janineofficial

TWIN SHADOW NEW ALBUM CAER AVAILABLE NOW

Featuring the tracks “Too Many Colors”, “Sympathy” (feat. Rainsford)
and “Saturdays” (feat. HAIM)

LISTEN TO CAER HERE: https://twnshdw.net/caer

“Caer embraces the wild earnestness of ’80s pop…”
AP

“Immaculate Pop”
Q Magazine

“If The Breakfast Club came out this year, it would sound a lot like this deliciously alt-pop gem”
Nylon

Twin Shadow (George Lewis Jr.) is back to share his new album Caer via Warner Bros. Records / Reprise Records. The album arrives in the midst of Twin Shadow touring alongside Beck and Alt-J in addition to sold out headlining shows, including next week’s performance at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Twin Shadow tour dates can be found HERE.

On “Runaway,” the final song on Twin Shadow’s upcoming fourth album, Caer, George Lewis Jr. sings: “I knew the crash was comin’, I felt it in my blood.” “Sometimes I feel like I have to take a fall to essentially get to the next phase of my life,” Lewis says about the lyric. “It’s happened over and over. I’ve been through so many musical phases and through so many relationships with friends and lovers. I always feel like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff, looking down and thinking, ‘This is the only way forward: onto the next thing.’ It’s sort of destructive, but I guess I thrive on rebirth.”

Falling is a theme that surfaces throughout the album, which is why Lewis called it Caer – the Spanish word for “to fall.” The album serves as a powerful lens through which Lewis explores his own personal sense of falling, as well what he has observed about a world that feels as if it’s declining. On a larger scale, Caer feels extraordinarily current, given what’s going on culturally and politically right now. “The patriarchy is falling apart,” Lewis says. “Our perceptions of who we are as human beings, because of technology and machines, are falling apart. We’re living at a breaking point, and a lot of the themes on the album are talking about these fault lines.” Lewis refers to such fissures on “Saturdays” (which features Haim). “It’s a love song,” he says. “‘Saturdays’ is the heaven place you go to when you’re in love or even with friends, feeling your youth. But it’s also about my feeling that the world is starting to tear itself apart and maybe we’re falling through the cracks. But when you’re laying in bed next to someone you care about, none of that seems real.”

Twin Shadow Press Materials:
http://press.wbr.com/twinshadow