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in the news

Volume 15/Issue 21

Deb Price Exposes the Damage
of So-called "Reparative Therapy"

I n the Sept. 26 article of lesbian journalist Deb Price's outstanding Detroit News column, she looks at studies that go beyond the recent American Psychological Association (APA) decision urging that "psychologists not dupe patients into thinking that being gay is sick." "Psychologist Ariel Shidlo felt frustrated," she writes. "Many of his colleagues within the APA shared his belief that therapeutic attempts to cure' homosexuality are not just ineffective but harmful. Yet data documenting the damage-data that might lead the APA to brand such therapy unethical-didn't exist." Price explains that Shidlo and psychologist Michael Schroeder are halfway into a study interviewing 200 people who futilely attempted to become heterosexual with the help of a licensed therapist or a so-called "ex-gay" counseling group. The preliminary damages they face, she reports, include high levels of depression which can lead to self-destructive behavior like unsafe sex, drug abuse and attempting suicide.

"Having been misled into thinking that being gay is a mental disorder and something that can be changed if they'll only try hard enough, many people become doubly flawed when a 'cure' eludes them," she reports. "Ironically, the one way reparative therapy is beneficial to a few people is proving to them that they really are gay and should accept themselves, Shidlo's research shows."

She adds that many patients lied to their reparative therapists, telling them what they wanted to hear while they continued to have gay male relationships. "The healthiest journey for gay people is toward self-acceptance," Price says. "Therapists can mark the path or stay out of the way. Clearly, there's no other ethical option. Blocking the path does real damage. And that's no longer just a claim." Price lists several resources for people struggling with self-acceptance, including the ex-ex-gay Web site at Contact: Deb Price, c/o Letters to the Editor, Detroit News, 615 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226, fax: 313.222.6417, e-mail: [from GLAAD]

Senator Landrieu To Attend
"Community First" Awards

U .S. Senator Mary Landrieu and community activists Paula Kreissler and Randal Beach will be honored by LAGPAC at its annual "Community First" Award reception at 7:30pm, Saturday, Oct. 18 at the home of Dr. David Newsome. Tickets to the event are $100. To order tickets or for additional information, call LAGPAC's Voice Mail 504.836.9086.

Senator Landrieu was elected in a close and contested race against State Representative Woody Jenkins. She credits LAGPAC with turning out many more votes for her campaign than the 5,788 vote margin by which she defeated Jenkins. When Jenkins, in league with religious political extremists, made Landrieu's support of gay and lesbian civil rights an issue in his statewide campaign, Landrieu stood by her commitment for equal rights and fair treatment for all Louisianians. She is committed to co-sponsoring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the current 105th Congress.

Paula Kreissler and Randal Beach are the recipients of LAGPAC's 1997 "Community First" Awards. Kreissler, based on several years of activism, and Beach, for his outstanding efforts during the 1997 legislative session, exemplify the spirit of this annual honor. With these awards, LAGPAC pays tribute to two current activists and encourages them in their future endeavors.

Petronius' First Annual Cake Walk

T he Krewe of Petronius is pleased to announce its first annual Celebrity Cake Walk, an auction of cakes, exotic and homemade, created by local celebrities like Becky Allen ("and she can bake too?")and the cast of Daryl's Perils, Shirl Cieutat, Lee Ritvo, Margarita Bergen, Pat Skelly, Sylvia Frank, Miss Dixie Fasnacht, pastry chef supreme Doyle De Forest (formerly of the Windsor Court), Tom Wood, Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain, the lovely and talented Miss Toni Pizani, the Roller Queen Sonny Cleveland, the Minnie Pearl of St. Louis St. David Smith and some of the krewe's DebuTramp alumnae. The auction will be held at Good Friends Bar, corner Dauphine and St. Ann, which is, along with Ambush, co-sponsoring the event, Sun., Oct. 19 at 5pm.

"Because our production of The Boys In The Band was so successful in our fundraising endeavors for our 98 Bal Masque, we will be donating half of the proceeds from this auction to United Services for AIDS," said krewe captain Mickey Gil.

Another tip[ from the captain]: "If you want to secure for yourself an invitation to the ball, bring a cake to the auction! You'll be part of a good cause and have a great time at the ball, Feb. 15, at the newly renovated (again) Municipal Auditorium."

For more information, call 504.525.4498.

Movies At The Community Center

T he Lesbian and Gay Community Center, 816 N. Rampart St., is now showing free movies every Friday night at 7pm. Everyone is encouraged to attend, have a good time, relax and bring a friend or two. There will be popcorn and refreshments for all.

Following is the program through the end of the year: Oct 17, Adams Family Values; Oct. 24, Rocky Horror Picture Show; Oct. 31, Halloween/No Movie; Nov. 7, Desert Hearts; Nov. 14, Glen Or Glenda; Nov. 21, Midnight Cowboy; Nov. 28, Point Break; Dec. 5, Bram Stoker's Dracula; Dec. 12, Torch Song Trilogy; Dec. 19, The Breakfast Club; and, Dec. 26, The Santa Clause.

Halloween XIV

H alloween's in New Orleans, Inc. is the proud producer of one of New Orleans' oldest and most popular four day party extravaganzas, Halloween XIV, which benefits Project Lazarus. It kicks off this year on Thurs., Oct 30 at the Plimsoll Club on the 30th floor of the World Trade Center. The Thursday event will feature an outstanding dinner buffet, cocktails, entertainment and a silent auction.

Enter the Friday, Oct. 31 party through the Twisted Funhouse that leads to a New Orleans-style carnival right on the Mississippi River where there will be rides, circus acts, fortune tellers, carnival machines and an open bar. Under the Big Top tent Rick Mitchell, one of South Beach's hottest DJ's, will be spinning musical magic.

Saturday night, Nov. 1, is Circus Eroticus, at the Municipal Auditorium. The entrance to the auditorium this year will be through the lighted Armstrong Gate on Rampart at St. Ann-the only entrance to the party. Parking is behind the auditorium, for a fee. The main party will be held on the floor level, with bars set up around the corridor. The main stage will be set up to show off costumes and impromptu acts. The entire event will be filmed by New Orleans Video Access Center for a Halloween host screening at Canal Place. The midnight performers are the Polynesian Dance Troupe with 36 dancers from San Francisco. The host lounge will be on the 2nd floor on the entrance side. There will be photo booths taking 5x7 photos in the Host Lounge.

The four day circuit party winds down on Sunday, Nov. 2 with a Farewell Jazz and Gospel Brunch, from 1pm to 6pm, at the House of Blues in the French Quarter with food, libations and high energy New Orleans Gospel music. Info: 504.945.5546 or visit

Zrazy Comes To Louisiana

L ouisiana is about to host two unusual lesbian ambassadors from Ireland. Maria Walsh and Carole Nelson make up the duo Zrazy and these two remarkable musicians produce a sound big enough and complex enough to match any full-sized band. Using their combined talents on keyboard, saxophone, synthesizer, flute, tin whistle and bodhran (Irish drum), Zrazy sings a variety of styles that would make any music store manager wonder under which divider label to file them.

On tour to promote the American release of their new CD, "Come Out Everybody" on Pure Records, Zrazy will be appearing Thurs., Oct. 16 at the Spanish Moon Caffe on Highland Road in Baton Rouge and Fri., Oct. 17 at Rubyfruit Jungle in New Orleans.

In recent years they have wowed audiences at Michigan Women's Music Festival, Amsterdam Europride, the Texas Lone Star Women's Festival and the Marseilles Gay Pride Day in France. They've even scored the most prestigious U.S. engagement: they'll play for Gay Night at Disneyland on Oct. 24. Given the kind of heartfelt message and danceable tunes they've created, not to mention an exuberant and sexy stage presence, they should make quite a splash on this side of the "pond."

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