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{ICMYI} Going above and Beyond: an interview with Andy Bell of Erasure

<div> <div>By <strong>Gregg Shapiro</strong></div> <div></div> <div>It’s been 30 years since the release of Erasure’s third album <i>The Innocents</i>, the disc that aided the duo of gay vocalist <b>Andy Bell</b> and synthesizer mastermind Vince Clarks (formerly of Depeche Mode and Yazoo) into crossing over into mainstream success with songs such as “A Little Respect” and “Chains of Love”. Of course, the gays (and the cool kids) had been dancing to them, and songs such as “Oh, L’Amour”, “Who Needs Love Like That”, “Victim of Love” and “Sometimes” for a couple of years by then. Since the release of <i>The Innocents</i>, Erasure has put out more than a dozen studio discs. Bell has even released a handful of solo albums.</div> <div></div> <div>An interesting musical experiment if ever there was one, Erasure’s <b><i>World Beyond </i></b>(Mute) is a “classical reworking” of the 10 tracks from its 2017 <i>World Be Gone </i>disc. Given the subject matter of the album, the current chaotic political mood, the chamber music setting, backed by Echo Collective, is quite fitting. Songs such as “Be Careful What You Wish For!”, “Oh What A World”, “World Be Gone”, “Take Me Out of Myself” and “Lousy Sum of Nothing” in particular, actually benefit from these new renditions. It’s not all doom and gloom as you can hear on “Love You To The Sky” and “Just A Little”. Nevertheless, it’s “Still It’s Not Over”, Erasure’s queerest and most overtly political statement, that is sure to have the greatest impact on LGBTQ listeners. I spoke with Andy Bell about the album before Erasure embarked on its US concert tour.</div> <div></div> <div><b>Gregg Shapiro: When the 10 songs that appear on both <i>World Be Gone </i>and <i>World Beyond </i>were originally written, did they begin in electronic or acoustic arrangements?</b></div> <div></div> <div>Andy Bell: They were written electronically. Vince had sent me the musical parts and chord arrangements. It was done over a period of six months. I was sitting on the songs for probably three months. I was hemming and hawing. I couldn’t come up with any ideas. Once Vince and I got together…we had three writing sessions; one in London, one in Miami and one in New York. Each time we met up, all of a sudden, my confidence came. I was singing into the mic. It was almost like I needed Vince there, as my muse, for the songs [laughs]. He’s kind of a confidence booster. When I first heard the music, I thought, “Oh, wow, the music is so good, it doesn’t really need any vocals [laughs].” It sounded like a film soundtrack. It took me a while for the songs to settle in. I think I get a bit nervous when I first hear the music. I kind of don’t know what to do. You have to leave it for a while. You can listen to it, but the trick is not to listen to it too much. Otherwise you can kind of OD on the music.</div> <div></div> <div><b>GS: You don’t want to overthink it.</b></div> <div></div> <div>AB: Yes!</div> <div></div> <div><b>GS: With the exception of switching the placement of the songs “Love You To The Sky” and “Oh What A World”, both albums are essentially mirror images in terms of the track listings. Why were those songs switched in the order?</b></div> <div></div> <div>AB: The running order worked itself out on the electronic version. It was almost like a DJ list. It’s not like you’re telling a narrative all the way through. Each one finds its own place. When I redid the vocals for the orchestral version, I felt like “Oh What A World” was so strong. I think it had been a bit overlooked on the first version. Rather than overlooking it again, we should put it first so people notice it.</div> <div></div> <div><b>GS: Can you please say something about what was involved in the decision process to rerecord the songs on <i>World Be Gone </i>with the Echo Collective and transform them into what they are on <i>World Beyond</i>?</b></div> <div></div> <div>AB: I think it was an idea that was sparked by Daniel (Miller of Mute Records) and Vince having dinner together. I think it was because I had been working on this “Torsten” project, which was two theatrical albums (<i>Torsten the Bareback Saint </i>and <i>Torsten the Beautiful Libertine</i>), and there’s a third part to come. It was a thing of letting me explore my vocals more. When you’re singing with electronic instruments, they tend to soak up a lot of the nuances in your vocals. I feel like I have to add backing vocals, just to emphasize the choruses and things like that on the electronic versions. On the orchestral versions, I think it’s much more about the character of the voice. It was kind of a bit of an experiment to maybe bring the “Torsten” project closer to Erasure.</div> <div></div> <div><b>GS: You sing about “Sweet Summer Loving” in the song of the same name and “summer romance” in the song “Love You to the Sky”. Would it be fair to say that summer is your favorite season?</b></div> <div></div> <div>AB: Well, it would be fair to say that my new husband (Stephen Moss) is from Florida. I associate him with the sunshine. He’s got such a beaming smile. He lights up the room when he comes in. It’s about that and it’s a bit of salvation song. After I lost (longtime partner) Paul (Hickey), Stephen was instrumental in helping me through that. It’s still kind of tough. It feels like you’ve lost your home in some ways. Even though me and Stephen are building a new life together. When you’ve been with someone so long, it leaves such a gaping hole. You’re not trying to fill it with the other person. You have to find a new way.</div> <div></div> <div><b>GS: To my ears, “Still It’s Not Over” is one of the most overtly queer and political songs Erasure has ever recorded. The arrangement on the song really brings out the emotional power of the song. </b></div> <div></div> <div>AB: It’s about my love affair with San Francisco and New York City. Being out from the very beginning of my career, going to San Francisco was very hard. We were embraced by the city, by the LGBT community. At the same time, you felt the ghosts of all the people who had gone before us, especially in the U.S., who had fought to get HIV medicines and such. It’s about those polar opposites. I remember coming across an ACT UP demonstration in New York City. It was very exciting, but at the same time quite scary [laughs], because of all the things tied in with it. Especially being HIV+ myself, you kind of felt a bit like a wild animal. It’s difficult to explain it. I think the song was a nod to that and a thank you to all of the people who have helped us. I know it’s tough – the amount of times we’ve been bashed literally to the ground, physically and emotionally. The amount of times we had to get up again, pick up our stuff and start from scratch.</div> <div></div> <div><b>GS: And still we rise.</b></div> <div></div> <div>AB: Yes! It’s never over. You think there’s going to be one day when you can take a sigh of relief, but it’s never going to be over, ever.</div> <div></div> <div><b>GS: The <i>World Beyond </i>album is not the first time that Erasure has gone all-acoustic. That honor goes to 2006’s <i>Union Street</i>. What do you enjoy most about the experience of rerecording Erasure songs in these kinds of musical settings?</b></div> <div></div> <div>AB: I really love it. <i>Union Street </i>was one of those albums that was quite misunderstood, especially here in the UK with all of the music journalists. I have a sincere affection for country music. I was brought up on it where I grew up. When you’re singing to strings, whether it’s violins or guitars, your voice almost floats on it. That’s why I love harps [laughs], they’re very angelic. It’s like another voice singing a duet with you. I really do love singing with live instruments.</div> <div></div> <div><b>GS: The new Erasure U.S. tour begins in Miami. Is this a nod to your fans in one of your home bases?</b></div> <div></div> <div>AB: It is now. We never used to play in Florida. We didn’t have the fan-base down there. I think it’s a natural progression because we’ve played there now a number of times. The gay community is so strong and it’s building back up again, especially in Miami Beach. You feel like you’re a homecoming queen [laughs] in those kinds of places. It’s true! You’re almost adopted by the place. It’s a thrill for me to go and play there. You’re in your home territory.</div> </div> <div></div> <div><em><strong>Erasure is playing at the Moore Theater on Tues, Aug 14th.</strong> </em></div>  

{BOOKWORM} “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness”

<strong>by <span id="m_697639477355689790yiv6133277590yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1529608293130_56553" class="m_697639477355689790yiv6133277590Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Terri Schlichenmeyer</span></strong> Oh, the things you’ve heard! You’ve been told statements that aren’t true, and that made you sad. Myths kept you from your full potential. Tall tales were told to provoke you. And with the new book “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown, well, sit down. You’re about to get an eyeful. “White people,” says Brown, “can be exhausting.” They say racist things without awareness. They’re racist, and pretend they’re not. For her, the problems begin when she’s introduced to someone who’s taken aback by her “white man’s name.” Her parents gave her the name as a leg-up but it just confuses white people because, Brown says, some of them actually expect her “to be white.” Her awareness of this was hard-earned: as a child, she says, she “had to learn what it really means to love Blackness.” She attended a “predominately white” grade school but her parents gave her a foundation of black culture when she was young; still, when they divorced and moved apart, Brown felt awkward in her mother’s all-black neighborhood. It was a “culture shock” until she learned her way; later, she was further delighted by college instructors who were Black, and who opened her eyes wider. But back to the “exhausted” part: Brown is tired of being an unofficial teacher for white people. It’s not up to her to explain, repeatedly, why touching someone’s hair without permission is offensive. It’s not her responsibility to adjust to injustice at work. When white people worry about saying the wrong things, she’s tired of soothing their fears. And yet – she’s heartened by white people who have “acknowledged the depth of our pain without making excuse for it.” She’s glad for allies, and for people who accept responsibility for their own racism. She wants white people to learn “to listen, to pause so that people of color can clearly articulate” their disappointments and the repairs that are needed to heal. Even then, says Brown, “the real work is yet to come.” I wish you could see my copy of “I’m Still Here.” It’s littered with sticky flags and notes, reminders to explore, ideas to ponder, and thinking-points. Those are the things this book demands, but they won’t come easy. Author Austin Channing Brown admits that she’s “become very intimate with anger” and it shows: this book fairly seethes with it, for reasons large and small, the latter of which eventually become the former in her eyes. The anger serves to paint a wide swath of condemnation across an entire race - although later, Brown admits to quiet instances of hope, which is both surprising (vis-à-vis the anger) and compelling. Readers of this book can, of course, be of any race, but you’ll need an open mind; if you don’t have that, not one word of “I’m Still Here” will mean a thing to you. On the other hand, if you don’t have an open mind, there are words in this book that maybe you need heard. <strong>“I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown</strong> <strong>c.2018, Convergent $25.00 / $34.00 Canada 185 pages</strong>

Mayor Durkan Announces New Innovation Advisory Council to Address City’s Most Urgent Challenges

Seattle (August 2) –At Zillow Group in Seattle, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan signed an <a href="http://durkan.seattle.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/08.02.18-IAC-Executive-Order_.pdf" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=http://durkan.seattle.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/08.02.18-IAC-Executive-Order_.pdf&source=gmail&ust=1533332000906000&usg=AFQjCNGsyhizyWUhpMZcy0YzeaHDqMHuyA"> Executive Order</a> to launch the City’s first ever Innovation Advisory Council. With initial commitments by Amazon, Artefact Group, Expedia Group, Flying Fish, Microsoft, Tableau, Technology Access Foundation, Washington Technology Industry Association, and Zillow Group, Mayor Durkan will bring together some of the region’s most innovative companies and organizations to address the City’s most urgent challenges. Through this Executive Order, Mayor Durkan is establishing the Innovation Advisory Council, a new collaboration with Seattle’s technology community that will better highlight technology solutions to help with our homelessness and affordability crisis. “Seattle is a city that has always invented the future. Working together, we have to seize the opportunity to address our shared challenges in new and innovative ways. Seattle and the surrounding Puget Sound region have the most innovative companies, right here in our own backyard. Bringing them together to address our pressing affordability crises will help us find and implement long-lasting, positive change that will help to improve our City,” said Mayor Durkan. The Innovation Advisory Council will act as an advisor on issues and policies affecting the City, where data and technology solutions could be of benefit. Specifically, the IAC will focus on issue identification, policy recommendations, and project implementation of technology solutions including new data analytics, dashboards, applications, and software for the City. Members and their businesses will commit to helping deliver these technology solutions. Mayor Durkan announced that Co-Chairs will include: <ul> <li>Aman Bhutani, President for Brand Expedia Group</li> <li>Andrew Beers, Chief Technology Officer for Tableau</li> <li>Trish Millines Dziko, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Technology Access Foundation</li> <li>Tonya Peck, Senior VP and General Manager for Artefact Group</li> </ul>   The IAC shall be comprised of community members and businesses from across the city with an expertise in technology solutions, transportation and mobility, logistics, project management, engineering, data analytics, and/or software development. The IAC will also prioritize participation by under-represented businesses and community members including women, immigrants, refugees, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. More than 60,000 software developers call the Puget Sound region home, making it the most common job in Seattle. The nation’s top companies have recognized this as an opportunity to hire some of the best technology talent in the world and more than 100 out-of-town companies have opened engineering centers in the Seattle area. Any companies interested in participating should contact Kate Garman at <a href="mailto:Kate.Garman2@seattle.gov">Kate.Garman2@seattle.gov</a>.

{BOOKWORM} My Life as a Goddess

<strong>by <span id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_63164" class="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Terri Schlichenmeyer</span></strong> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64245"><span id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64246">T</span>he drama runs deep in your life.</div> <div></div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64247">It goes way back; so far back, that the Greeks and Romans wrote of monsters, lightning bolts, and smiting, and <i id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64248">their</i> mythology pretty much sums it up for <i id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64249">you</i>. Hera, Medusa, Hydra, Thor, Achilles, deep drama, in <b id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64250">“My Life as a Goddess” by Guy Branum,</b> you’re not alone.</div> <div></div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64251">Even before he was born, Guy Branum was a wrong-place-wrong-time kind of person. His parents had married because of an unexpected pregnancy before he came along and that may’ve had something to do with it. His father’s parents were cold and distant and that seemed to extend to Branum’s relationship with his Dad. Branum’s mother was a peacekeeper, going along to get along. And his sister, well, Branum barely writes about her, other than her troubles.</div> <div></div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64252">He was raised in a California farming community, for which he has little good to say. It was a country-bumpkin kind of existence but Branum found a deep love for words; they soothed him, although his large vocabulary made him stand out, often negatively. Most of his childhood likewise had its ups and downs: he grew up watching old sitcoms on TV, traveling with the family, and watching the adults around him. That included an uncle who was a heavy drinker, and Branum’s father, whom he says he never really knew how to please. He couldn’t wait to escape.</div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64254">He was in elementary school when he figured out that he was attracted to boys but he <i id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64255">couldn’t</i> be gay, right?  Except he was, and when his father pushed him into playing football as a twelve-year-old, Branum knew that he had to use caution. Locker rooms and still-closeted, still-questioning boys are not always a good mix.</div> <div></div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64256">He was in college when he gained a Secret Service file, and acceptance for his gayness.</div> <div></div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64257">His mother cried when he came out. His father clumsily learned to accept it.</div> <div></div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64258">Today, Branum makes his living doing stand-up comedy and writing for comedy shows, but that’s just a smidge of what he soapboxes about in “My Life as a Goddess.”</div> <div></div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64259">Indeed, there’s a lot of lecturing going on here, and while author Guy Branum is surely knowledgeable, pages and pages on topics only peripherally relevant to his life story feels too much like, well, like an interminably long high school class. It’s a good guess that that’s not why readers would want this book.</div> <div></div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64260">Surprisingly, there’s not much of what readers would <i id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64261">expect </i>here, either. Instead of the humor you might anticipate in a book by a stand-up comedian, Branum tells tales of isolation and frustration with his growing-up situation. It’s told well, it gives readers inspirational insight to his life, and the humor kicks in at the back half of the book but by then, it’s pretty safe to say that you may not be in the mood to laugh.</div> <div></div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64262">Overall, read this book for the memoir and not the mirth. “My Life as a Goddess” tells a good life story but as for humor, that may be just a myth.</div> <div></div> <div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64240"><em><strong>“My Life as a Goddess” by Guy Branum</strong></em></div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64241"><em><strong>c.2018, Atria                         <wbr />        $26.00 / $35.00 Canada                             288 pages</strong></em></div> </div> <div id="m_7012667638496308483yiv8297332659yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1532629345996_64263"></div>

{ICYMI} Adam Rippon Skates His Way into America’s Heart

<span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">By Joey Amato</span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon has certainly not slowed down since winning a bronze medal at this year’s Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. The outgoing and hilarious Rippon is currently on a nationwide Stars on Ice tour and is about to participate in the next season of </span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><i>Dancing with the Stars</i></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">. At the same time, he’s become a spokesperson for GLAAD and an overnight LGBTQ icon. </span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">Rippon took some time out of his incredibly busy schedule to chat with Unite Seattle from Washington, DC where he was training with his dance partner Jenna Johnson for </span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><i>Dancing with the Stars</i></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">.</span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><u><b>The Interview</b></u></span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>Do you think that if you weren’t openly gay, you would have received as much attention as you did?</b></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"> I don’t know. I believe that being openly gay is part of who I am, and I felt it was important to share who I was because I had missed out on going to the Olympics twice before. I felt like this time it was important that I share every part of who I am and what it took for me to finally get there. </span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>Off the ice, what was your favorite Olympic memory?</b></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"> Getting to stand on the podium with my friends and teammates was an absolute dream as was getting to walk in the opening ceremony. It was something I had been waiting to do my entire life. I thought about that moment over and over growing up, and it was everything I thought it would be.</span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>How has your perspective of the Olympic Games changed since you began skating professionally? </b></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">As you get older, you must step outside yourself to analyze situations from the outside in. You have a greater perspective of who you are and what’s going on. I had a better idea of who I was and why I was there because I questioned it so many times before. I didn’t have a reason why before and as I got older, I realized I liked working hard and setting goals. The Olympics were a bi-product of that. </span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>Aside from your trainers, did you have a support system leading up to the Olympic Games?</b></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"> I was lucky to make some incredible friends, some who I’ve known for at least 10 years. They’ve seen me at my highs and lows and I felt so connected to them when I was at the Olympics because they were on that journey with me. They helped me gain perspective and at the end of the day, they wouldn’t love me any differently if I didn’t go to the Olympics. Knowing that made the journey easier. </span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>How do you view your new role model status?</b></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"> It’s still funny for me to have someone come up to me and say, ‘Thank you for being yourself.’ I don’t feel like I’ve done anything special or brave. I was just able to be myself on a major platform. I don’t treat anybody any differently now. I treat people the way I want to be treated. The most important thing is not to forget where I came from. Doing something little can really change a person’s life, so when you have the opportunity to do so, take it.</span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>What do you love and hate about being in the spotlight?</b></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"> I don’t really hate anything about it. The one thing that’s interesting is there are always people who don’t like what you are going to say or have a problem with you for whatever reason. That’s the only part that isn’t great. What I like is now when I say something funny on Twitter, a lot of people think it’s funny and can enjoy my sense of humor. I love engaging with people on social media. </span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>What has been your best experience as a public member of the LGBTQ community? </b></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">My best experience has been able to reach other LGBTQ people. It’s something you will never be prepared for. For a long time, my journey was personal, and I did a lot of self-discovery. I wasn’t expecting such a large response. Because of the place I’m in now, I don’t see negative experiences as negative and I look past them. I focus on the great things going on in my life.</span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>What advice would you give to a person going through life’s challenges? </b></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">You really need to think about the things you like about yourself and celebrate those. Everybody goes through periods in our lives and wonder what others think of us, and it’s important to realize that everyone goes through these experiences. You need to get to point where you like things about yourself and celebrate them. </span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>You’ve recently partnered with GLAAD. Do you see yourself joining forces with other organizations?</b></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"> Absolutely. It’s so important to me to align myself with causes and people who help make the journey for someone like me so much easier. It’s because of organizations that have pushed for equality that make it possible for people like me to have a voice and be able to give back. I wish that the next group of out Olympians are just “Olympians” and their sexuality isn’t a huge talking point.</span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>If you ran into Mike Pence at Starbucks, what would you say to him?</b></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"> I would say ‘When are we having that talk you promised we’d have?’ When I was at the Olympics, I didn’t really feel like he was the right person to lead the delegation and I stand by that feeling. If I were given the chance to have a talk with Pence, I’d tell him that it’s not about me. It’s about the people whose lives he’s changed. It’s the people whose lives were changed because of legislation he pushed. They are the people who really have something to say to him. Things that he has said and done have had little effect on my life, but have affected the lives of so many others. </span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><u><b>Closing Points</b></u></span></span> <span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">In closing, Rippon mentioned that going to the Olympics is an opportunity for the country to come together and cheer for the athletes from your country. As an openly gay Olympian who brought home a medal, Rippon mentions it was a great way to highlight different LGBTQ people who are out and successful. </span></span> “<span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">It was important for me to be out and compete to show people that you can be who you are and still be incredibly successful. I hope it inspired kids and even adults who may be struggling. When you embrace who you are, is when you start to fulfill your potential.”</span></span> <a name="_GoBack"></a><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">There’s no telling what’s on the horizon for “America’s Sweetheart,” but we can only hope Rippon’s future is as bright and beautiful as he is inside.</span></span>

{BOOKWORM} The Boys of Fairy Town

<strong>by <span id="m_159837029884042yiv0235840513yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1531547099483_9796" class="m_159837029884042yiv0235840513Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Terri Schlichenmeyer</span></strong> Dates, times, and old dead guys. When you were in school, that’s all history was to you: a list of years and names to memorize and then forget, twenty minutes after Finals Week. So maybe now it’s time to find a history book that’s relevant to you – a book like <strong>“The Boys of Fairy Town ” by Jim Elledge.</strong> Because Chicago was considered to be a “largely male frontier city” when it was established in 1837, the Windy City has always been home to a strong population of gay men, cross-dressers, and male sex workers. Here, Elledge tells the stories of some of the ones who might otherwise have been forgotten. Take, for instance, John Wing who, says Elledge, “was a sodomite.” That’s the word many post-Civil War Chicagoans would have used for Wing, although most people then only had a vague idea of what a sodomite was. They knew it was something bad, though, even as Wing did something good: he was a faithful diarist, and left his volumes for historical posterity. Female impersonators were tolerated in Chicago in the latter 1800s, but sometimes only barely. Those who were most accepted were men who put their feminine sides to work as entertainers; for others, the desire for women’s clothing was meant for strictly private times. For families, such things were often an embarrassment: Elledge cites a story of “Mrs. Noonan,” who was married and worked at a nearby military fort. Despite her final wishes, the “women at the fort” went to prepare her body upon her death, and discovered that Mrs. Noonan was a man. Her third husband swore that he hadn’t known but he was ashamed, and killed himself. Gay men posed nude for other gay men in perfectly respectful and artful ways that went mainstream. Newspapers reported on same-sex love – sometimes kindly, sometimes scandalously. Gay lectures were open to the public; entire neighborhoods became hubs of openly gay life; and living as another gender was easy until, alas, the tide started to turn in the 1940s and being gay could suddenly get a man arrested… At first blush, it may seem like “The Boys of Fairy Town” is just another historical tome. Dates, times, old dead guys, but look deeper and you’ll see why you should want to read it: it’s bursting with stories that are irresistible. In his introduction, author Jim Elledge explains how he chose the tales he shares in this book, and why recording these stories for public consumption is absolutely essential. In addition to being lively and ever-relevant, the tales show an interesting historical arc of acceptance and persecution, displaying a youthful America that’s just dipping her toes into the pool of difference and duality. Readers are lent a feeling of pride but may also be particularly affected when Elledge shows the tide turning. “The Boys of Fairy Town” contains nudity, but also the kind of delight you get when you come across a pile of old newspapers in Grandma’s attic: it’s quaint, informative, and entertaining. It’s totally worth your time. <div id="m_159837029884042yiv0235840513yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1531547099483_9972"><strong>“The Boys of Fairy Town ” by Jim Elledge</strong></div> <div id="m_159837029884042yiv0235840513yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1531547099483_9976"><strong>c.2018, Chicago Review Press                        $29.99 / $39.99 Canada             290 pages</strong></div>  

Melissa Etheridge and special guest LeAnn Rimes rock Tulalip Resort Casino Amphitheatre

by MK Scott Summer reminds me of outdoor concerts; magical nights under the stars seeing music artists that I have enjoyed for decades. This was my first visit to the Tulalip Amphitheatre, and my second time in three years seeing Gay Icon Melissa Etheridge. Last time the venue was at the Woodland Park Zoo in 2015 and the opening act was Blondie, but this time on July 14th, Etheridge brought LeAnn Rimes to get the show going. Rimes, 36, came out wearing her 'Daisy Duke' ripped jean shorts, and a nude colored tank top that made her look & nude. Rimes came out singing 'Love Line' and 'One Way Ticket' and went directly into her classic, Patsy Cline inspired, 'Blue.' This song was a big hit for Rimes in 1994, who was 14 at the time. As a fitting tribute to her inspiration from Cline, Rimes then sang a Cline medley, which included classics like 'Crazy' and 'Sweet Dreams.' Rimes pledged her support for the LGBTQ community with her 2016 song from her Remnants album, 'Love is Love is Love.' Then came her biggest hit, 'How Do I Live,' in the middle of her set and then about four songs later that included, 'The Bottle Let Me Down,' 'Learning Your Language,' 'Life Goes On' and 'Can't Fight the Moonlight.' Despite the differences in music genre such as country to pop to blues, Rimes hasn't decided what she wants to do; one thing for sure is nobody does Patsy Cline better. After a brief set change, Melissa Etheridge, 57, dressed like the rebel she is, with dark jeans, black leather jacket and light scarf, made her first appearance playing drums and then switched over to guitar and sang 'No Souvenirs.' After switching guitars again she sang 'I Take You With Me.' After playfully talking about passion and love, she performed her hit, 'I Want to Come Over.' She played a different guitar for each song that she sang, from electric to acoustic; I believe that I counted 7 or 8 in all. More songs came from 'My Lover,' 'All the Way to Heaven,' 'Dance Without Sleeping,' Yes I Am,' 'Ruins,' 'Talking to My Angel,' and 'Chrome Plated Heart.' Then came two of her biggest hits, 'Come to My Window' and 'I'm the Only One,' that are also my faves, along with her 1989 song, 'Bring Me Some Water,' that was sandwiched in between. This song was sensational and the beat felt like I was possessed closing my eyes listening to the beat. After 'I'm the Only One' Etheridge threw her guitar pick to one audience member and bowed with her bandmates. Then Etheridge returned with an encore of 'Like the Way I Do.' She performed an incredible drum solo, threw those drum sticks to the audience, and then returned on a shiny new silver guitar and then threw that guitar pick to the audience to end the concert. Etheridge is an incredible performer and is so genuine that her passion for her craft is visible. An Etheridge concert is never to be missed.

Major fallout from Meinert rape accusations

The fall out from David Meinert's sexual misconduct and rape accusations continue. In a message to<a href="http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2018/07/the-fallout-from-meinert-rape-accusations/"> Capitol Hill Blog</a>,  this weekend, Burgess said that Meinert is “stepping away” from “our company.” <blockquote><em>Effective immediately, David Meinert is stepping away from operations and management of our Company. Personally, I’m trying to get my thoughts together and process everything. However, right now my only focus is on my employees, how they are coping and how to support them.</em></blockquote> <blockquote><em>After learning of allegations we immediately began exploring options to exit out David from his initial investment in Queer/Bar. Even though David was in no way involved in the decision making or day to day operation of the bar we felt that this was our only course of action. As of yesterday we have reached an agreement and David is no longer an investor or in any way affiliated with the amazing business and community resource our employees and team has made Queer/Bar become. This agreement cements my husband Murf Hall and myself as the sole owner and operators of Queer/Bar with no other parties involved.</em></blockquote> It also has put the politically-inclined Meinert’s associates in elected offices on the defensive — <strong>King County Executive Down Constantine</strong>, for one, <a href="https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/07/20/29454001/dow-constantine-vows-to-return-david-meinerts-donations">has vowed to return</a> $5,000 in Meinert campaign contributions. Meinert denied the specific allegations of rape and sexual assault in <a href="https://www.facebook.com/david.meinert/posts/10155760764739639">a lengthy response</a> on Facebook. “I am sorry to the people I have hurt, and that my behavior has also impacted many people around me – my daughter, her mother, my girlfriend, family, friends, and the many amazing people who work for and with me, who I care deeply about,” he wrote. Many feel the denial and apologies have not been enough.

Five women accuse Seattle’s David Meinert of sexual misconduct, including rape

According to a report on KUOW, five women accuse Seattle’s David Meinert of sexual misconduct, including rape that happened in 2013. This was not the first time Meinert was accused of sexual assault. In 2007, police received a complaint of rape against Meinert that prosecutors declined to charge. In total, five women shared stories with KUOW alleging a range of disturbing behavior by Meinert between 2001 and 2015. They include two alleged rapes (one was not reported to authorities, and prosecutors declined to charge the other), a woman who said she had to physically push Meinert out of her apartment, a woman who said he stuck his tongue down her throat — and the woman at Sunset Hill Park, who said he choked her as he masturbated onto her skirt. The women were motivated to speak out by the #MeToo movement, others who have been treated similarly by powerful men, and their own frustration watching Meinert ascend in Seattle circles with a progressive reputation they believe is undeserved. For more on the story, click <a href="http://www.kuow.org/post/five-women-accuse-seattle-s-david-meinert-sexual-misconduct-including-rape">HERE.</a>   <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even">   </div> </div> </div>

Singer/Songwriter, Lakin on Pride and who Inspires her

By MK Scott <a name="seo_h1_tag"></a>Saturday, July 21<sup>st</sup> will mark the 4th Annual Alki Beach PRIDE with the years theme, COME OUT and Float at the Beach. From 11a to 6pm, join performers and FREE food and hang out at the beach. Hosted by Thadayus with music by DJ Ms Cruz Entertainment & DJ Fred Eddison and LIVE ENTERTAINMENT: Louvel, Visage "Legs" LaRue, Izohnny, Lakin, and DeAndre Brackensick. I admit I have never heard Lakin before but she is clearly an up and coming artist. According to her Bio: Originally from Riverside, California, up and coming artist Lakin is bringing a refreshing and new approach to her music. Growing up in an entertainment based household, it seemed destined for Lakin to follow her musical heritage. At the center of its meaning, however, Lakin’s music truly represents a revolution of the heart—singing about themes that go beyond the superficial, and into the deeper human experience of reconciliation of the soul. It is here that Lakin’s distinctiveness shines; where her music will surely penetrate beyond not only the listener’s ear, but into the listener’s heart. Lakin has already opened for Sheryl Crow and Sheila E and with her debut album, 'If Night Turns to Daylight', she should totally get the party swinging. MK Scott: So, you are coming the Alki Pride Beach Party this Saturday, what is planned? Lakin: I will be playing an acoustic set with guitar and vocals this weekend. MK: What does Pride mean to you? Lakin: Pride is a privilege. The fact that we can celebrate who we are freely is something that I don’t take for granted. I’m happy to represent a small part of the LGBT+ community in this celebration. MK: You have opened for Sheila E and Sheryl Crow, who in music inspires you? Lakin: I’m inspired by any music maker who can tell their truth through song. I love singer/songwriters, especially, who are able to write about their own stories and bring them to life in the kind of music that people can relate to. MK: What is next for you? Lakin: I am currently in the middle of making my 2nd full length album! I think this collection of songs will be a very intimate look into the last season of my life & I'm excited to share that with my audience. The first single is set to be released in late this summer/early fall. MK: Tell us little about your debut LP album, If Night Turns to Daylight? Lakin: That album was my first full length album and I had the privilege of writing and producing all the songs on it. Musically, it was incredibly diverse. I really wanted to try a lot of different things to see how I could stretch myself musically. It will always be a special project to me. MK: In your bio, it says that you have a voice sweeter than honey, what does that mean to you? Lakin: I suppose that kind of description of my voice is what I hear the most from my audience! I’ve heard that I have a very non-offensive tone, which I’ll take any day. <i>See L</i><i>akin at 4th Annual Alki Beach PRIDE with the years theme, COME OUT and Float at the Beach. From 11a to 6pm, the event and food are FREE. </i> <p align="LEFT"></p>

Seattle's Daily Dose

Seattle's Daily Dose

Mayor Durkan Announces New Innovation Advisory Council to Address City’s Most Urgent Challenges

Seattle (August 2) –At Zillow Group in Seattle, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan signed an Executive Order to launch the City’s first ever Innovation Advisory Council.…

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Seattle's Daily Dose

ALKI BEACH PRIDE: DeAndre's Coming Out Party was fun, fun, fun

by MK Scott Last Saturday, July 21st, marked the 4th Annual Alki Beach Pride. The event was held from 11am to 6pm at 59th Ave.…

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Seattle's Daily Dose

Five women accuse Seattle’s David Meinert of sexual misconduct, including rape

According to a report on KUOW, five women accuse Seattle’s David Meinert of sexual misconduct, including rape that happened in 2013. This was not the…

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Seattle's Daily Dose

Mayor Durkan Names Interim Chief Carmen Best as Next Chief of the Seattle Police Department

Seattle (July 17) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan selected Interim Chief Carmen Best as the next Chief of the Seattle Police Department (SPD). Best, who…

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Seattle's Daily Dose

Tony Award-nominated singer Mary Bridget Davies to appear at Seattle First baptist Church, as part of Dorothy's Piano and Cabaret, on July 14th

by MK Scott Tony Award®-nominated singer Mary Bridget Davies' journey began in her hometown of Cleveland, OH in 2001 when she first started singing in…

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Seattle's Daily Dose

EMPIRE Star, Serayah, Headlines Club Silverstone Pride Street party on July 14th

by MK Scott It was a year ago when I interviewed, Mya who was set to headline the Pride party at Tacoma's Club Silverstone. Now,…

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Seattle's Daily Dose

Four drag stars shared the stage in 'National Treasures'

by MK Scott The 'National Treasures' tour landed at Seattle's Egyptian Theatre last Thursday (June 21) with three iconic drag queens and one rising star.…

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Seattle's Daily Dose

{ICYMI} Non-Profit Spotlight: Mary's Place

Mary’s Place has helped hundreds of women, children, and families, who have moved out of homelessness into more stable situations. Families that hit a bump…

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Seattle's Daily Dose

Big screen legend Shirley Maclaine went 'out on a limb' at McCaw Hall

by MK Scott On Monday, June 18, Oscar-winner Shirley Maclaine (Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment, The Children's Hour) stepped in as a last minute replacement…

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Seattle's Daily Dose

Mayor Jenny Durkan and others officially launch the Capitol Hill Station Development at ribbon cutting ceremony

by MK Scott It was a decades-in-the-making moment when Mayor Jenny Durkan officially cut the ribbon for the Capitol Hill Station Development this past Tuesday,…

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