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Tammie Brown Interview – Holiday Sparkle Tour

Tammie Brown is a drag queen who stole the show and our hearts on Season 1 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and then All Stars.  She is the Queen with a Cause who is also an environmental and social justice activist.  Her quirky high brow humor made her a fan favorite, while her sincerity and work ethic has made her a beloved collaborator in the drag community.

She is currently promoting her new album Schubert (the “t” is silent) and will be performing her Holiday Sparkle Tour here in Bend at The Capital on December 19th at 7 PM. Her show will be hosted by Clare Apparently and feature local drag artists Vanessa Cuntessa and Hayden.  Bend locals and super fans James Gray and Janet Wiltshire got the chance to interview her and learn about Tammie past, present, and future before the start of her Northwestern United States Holiday Sparkle Tour.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_raw_html]JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1NjAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTUlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGZlZQOHdwdC1KLWclMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBhbGxvdyUzRCUyMmFjY2VsZXJvbWV0ZXIlM0IlMjBhdXRvcGxheSUzQiUyMGVuY3J5cHRlZC1tZWRpYSUzQiUyMGd5cm9zY29wZSUzQiUyMHBpY3R1cmUtaW4tcGljdHVyZSUyMiUyMGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]James: Where are you based out of right now?

Tammie: I relocated myself back to Texas.  Back to my hometown in Texas – Fulton, Texas.  It’s where I grew up and went to school.

James:  And where you started drag?

Tammie:  Yes, there.  There in Rockport/Fulton.  When I moved to Rockport/Fulton for high school I was able to pursue this fantasy of wanting to dress in drag and be a drag queen entertainer and artist.  There they had a choir that I was in.  It was an award winning choir that was regionally well known and we would go to nationals.  And then the theater was really good. We had a legit teacher Mr. Atkinson and he let me do pretty much whatever.  That was really helpful because he allowed me to perform in plays. There was a part for Cha-Cha in Grease.  And then there was ‘Into the Woods’ and I got to play the step mother. When I turned 18, I could go to the night clubs.  And the night club in Corpus Christi at the time was called ‘Club Diva’.  They went ahead and made a special night for amateurs.  That was around 1999 and 2000.  And then I went to the prom in drag as well.

James:  Oh my gosh that’s great.

Janet:  Tammie, what did your prom dress look like?  We need to know.

Tammie:  It was black with a sheer element and embroidered sequins.  It was a really cute dress from a 70’s pattern, but I had it made into a miniskirt to show off my legs.  My drag has changed so much since then.  I studied fashion in school.  I also took makeup class while I was in college.  I ended up with a sort of classic style.  I have an old Hollywood face.

Janet:  I was actually saying the other day that the way you paint your mouth reminds me of Marlene Dietrich.

Tammie:  Correct.  Correct I do.  Yes, it does look like Marlene Dietrich or Joan
Crawford.

James:  Absolutely.  What is your favorite part about doing your face?

Tammie:  My favorite part about doing my face would probably have to be lips and lashes.

Janet:  Do you feel like that’s where you get to be more playful and creative?

Tammie: With the lashes probably more creativity.  And then the lips are easier.  I do like doing eye makeup and the eyebrows too, but they are just such a pain in the butt -eyebrows, you know?

Janet:  Before calling, we were discussing how your style is more eclectic and so your influences are a little more subtle than some other queens.  Can you tell us about some of your major influences?

Tammie:  Number 1 has always been Tina Turner.  Always bottom line.  And also Tootsie was another one.  Tootsie Turner.  So both of them.  Tootsie is more of that secretarial look. I always really liked that business woman/secretary/80’s thing.  And then Tina Turner as an influence because of the simplicity of her garments.

James:  Tootsie Lou! Now that I think about it yes your silhouette is totally Tina Turner.

Tammie:  Nice quality and sometimes cutting edge design, but always very simple.

James:  You are an activist and there is a song on your new album Schubert called Sexy Orangutan.  I want to talk to you about what that song is about and what you are trying to bring awareness to.

Tammie:  Pierce and I wrote the song about palm oil and what’s going on in these jungles that are being torn down.  And not just orangutans, but also rhinoceroses and tigers are being killed…. really all kinds of species there and all for the sake of human consumption.  It’s about taking action.  My music always has a message.

James:  You are coming to Bend in December as part of your Holiday Sparkle Tour.  Do you want to tell us a little bit about what we can expect?

Tammie:  We are going to be doing all original holiday numbers except for a techno version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer that I’ve been doing for years.  We will include the Holiday Song which I wrote myself.  It’s a multi-cultural holiday song, that one.  I always like to keep everybody included.  We will also tie in sexy Orangutan and I will close the show with another song from the new album Schubert.

James:  How would you describe Tammie Brown to someone who hasn’t seen your Instagram or RuPaul’s Drag Race?  What should they expect at a Tammie Brown show?

Janet:  Puppets?

Tammie:  The puppets are just a side project so there won’t be any puppets on the stage during this show. You can expect quirky fun, truth, awareness, and an environmental message. You will be razzle dazzled.

James: Now that’s the holiday spirit I like to see. Inquiring minds want to know – do you prefer cats or dogs?

Janet:  Yeah cats or dogs?

Tammie:  I can’t pick either.  I love them both.  They are booth sweeties and have
their values.

LGBTQ+ Film @ 16th Annual BendFilm Festival | OCT 10-13!!

The years 16th Annual BendFIlm Festival features several LGBTQ+ Films!  Plus conversation with powerhouse Indie Producer Christine Vachon whom receives this year’s IndieWomen of the Year Award recipien!. Christine launched the career of Academy-nominated director Todd Haynes and many others. Christine produced Oscar-nominated “Carol” starring Cate Blanchett, which will be featured with three of her other seminal films.

LGBTQ+ Films include:

Carol – As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet, is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol, an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. Starring Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson.
Tickets: Fri, Oct 11th, 5:30 PM @ Tower Theatre

 

Boys Don’t Cry – Based on actual events. Brandon Teena is the popular new guy in a tiny Nebraska town. He hangs out with the guys, drinking, cussing, and bumper surfing, and he charms the young women, who’ve never met a more sensitive and considerate young man. Life is good for Brandon, now that he’s one of the guys and dating hometown beauty Lana; however, he’s forgotten to mention one important detail. It’s not that he’s wanted in another town for GTA and other assorted crimes, but that Brandon Teena was actually born a woman named Teena Brandon. When his best friends make this discovery, Brandon’s life is ripped apart. Starring Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, and Peter Sarsgaard.
Tickets: Sat, Oct 12th, 8:45 PM @ McMenamins Theater

 

Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Hedwig, born male as Hansel in East Berlin, fell in love with an American G.I. and underwent a Gender Reassignment Surgery in order to marry him and flee to the West. Unfortunately, nothing worked out quite as it was supposed to. Years later, Hedwig is leading her rock band on a tour of the U.S., telling her life story through a series of concerts at Bilgewater Inn seafood restaurants. Her tour dates coincide with those of arena-rock star Tommy Gnosis, a wide-eyed boy who once loved Hedwig but then left with all her songs. Starring John Cameron Mitchell, Miriam Shor, and Stephen Trask.
Tickets: Fri, Oct 11th, 9:00 PM @ Tower Theatre

 

Clementine – follows Karen, 29, a heartbroken woman unable to let go of her failing relationship with an older and more successful woman. In a desperate plea for attention, she steals away to her estranged lover’s lake house in a remote and beautiful forest in the Pacific Northwest. Here she meets Lana, a provocative young girl hell-bent on moving to California and cultivating an identity that lives up to her expectations of the world outside of her small town.

As Karen grapples with her past and expectations for the future, her relationship with Lana oscillates between that of friends, mother/daughter, sisters, lovers, beholder and beheld. Equal parts psychological drama and sexual coming-of-age story, Clementine is a tense rumination on who to love and how to let go.

Tickets: Fri, Oct 11th, 4:15 PM @ Regal – C
Tickets: Sat, Oct 12th, 12:30 PM @ McMenamins – Fr. Luke’s

 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire – France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because she is a reluctant bride-to-be, Marianne arrives under the guise of companionship, observing Héloïse by day and secretly painting her by firelight at night. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse’s first moments of freedom. Héloïse’s portrait soon becomes a collaborative act of and testament to their love.

One of the best reviewed films of the year, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE solidifies Céline Sciamma as one of the most exciting filmmakers working in the world today. Noémie and Adèle Haenel turn the subtle act of looking into a dangerous, engrossing thrill, crafting the most breathtaking and elegant performances of the year. To watch Marianne and Héloïse fall in love is to see love itself invented onscreen. With contemporary themes in period dress, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE is one of the greatest love stories ever told. (Neon)

Tickets: Thu, Oct 10th, 8:00 PM @ Regal – B
Tickets:
Sun, Oct 13th, 6:45 PM @ Regal – A

 

Little Miss Westie – follows two transgender siblings as they navigate puberty, family and transitioning during the Trump era. Ren is competing in the Lil Miss Westie Pageant as perhaps, the first out trans girl; coaching her is her older brother, Luca, who knows his stuff because he competed when he was Ren’s age and living as a girl. Whether Ren wins or loses, this experience will change the family forever offering a rare window into the lives of two very young gender pioneers.

Tickets: Fri, Oct 11th, 5:30 PM @ McMenamins – Fr. Luke’s
Tickets: Sat, Oct 12th, 10:30 AM @ Regal – B

 

Before You Know It – Stage manager Rachel Gurner still lives in her childhood apartment — along with her off-kilter actress sister, Jackie; eccentric playwright father Mel; and deadpan preteen niece Dodge — above the tiny theatre they own and operate. Level-headed and turtleneck-wearing Rachel is the only thing standing between her family and utter chaos. Then, in the wake of a sudden family tragedy, the sisters’ already-precarious balance turns upside down and Rachel must figure out how to liberate herself from this surreal imbroglio. Starring Hannah Pearl Utt, Jen Tullock, Mandy Patinkin, and Alec Baldwin. (Greenwich Entertainment)

Tickets: Sun, Oct 13th, 1:00 PM @ Regal – A

Learn more about filmmakers who are queer best friends Jen Tullock and Hannah Pearl Utt.

 

Someone Somewhere is a tragicomedy set in the true Hollywood where the only spotlight is a malfunctioning streetlight, and the people least likely to make it are the most likely to give everything they got — for a chance to get a shot.

Created by LGBTQ+ Fimmakers who will be in attendance

Tickets: Fri, Oct 11th, 1:00 PM @ McMenamins

Tickets: Sat, Oct 12th, 4:00 PM @ Regal C

 

LGBTQ+ Shorts include:

The Gender Line – Transgender rock star Cidny Bullens (formerly Cindy Bullens) once sang in Elton John’s band and had recording contracts with three major labels and two independents. Fortunate to have been both a wife and husband in the same lifetime, Cidny reflects on both his personal and professional lives.

Tickets: Thu, Oct 10th, 6:00 PM @ Regal A
Tickets: Sat, Oct 12th, 3:00 PM @ 220 NE Lafayette

 

The One You Never Forget – Carey, a 14 year old African American boy nervously prepares for his first dance as his parents reminisce about their own. When Carey’s mother tasks Carey’s father with getting a picture of Carey and his date, a moment of tension arrises as Carey becomes elusive and tries to thwart his father’s objective.

Tickets: Fri, Oct 11th, 5:30 PM @ McMenamins
Tickets: Sat, Oct 12th, 10:30 AM @ Regal B

 

The Jessicas are turning 30 – weaves together six compelling narratives of people who were born Jessica in 1989. The film captures what it’s like to be 30 in America today. For millennial women, the milestone has become an age heavy with expectation. Thirty-year-old American women today are far less likely to be married and have children than they were 30 years ago – they’re also more likely to have a four-year degree and a full-time job.

Learn more about filmmaker Jessie Reid, who is queer and trans, in attendance at screening.

Tickets: Thu, Oct 10th, 6:00 PM @ Regal A
Tickets: Sat, Oct 12th, 3:00 PM @ 220 NE Lafayette

 

PrEP – a powerful HIV prevention tool

What’s in Your HIV Prevention Toolbox?

“With perfect use, condoms (like PrEP) may approach 100 percent effectiveness, but in the real world, people often use them improperly, or do not use them through the entirety of intercourse, or “forget” to use them despite an intent to do so.”
-NY Times, “Is Truvada, the Pill to Prevent HIV, 99 percent Effective?”, 7.16 14

What is PrEP and is it right for me?
Remember daydreaming as a kid about what the future may look like? Well, the future has arrived in the form of a small blue pill called PrEP, and should be regarded as a powerful tool in your HIV prevention toolbox.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a prescription medicine known as TRUVADA that provides a powerful HIV prevention tool for HIV-negative individuals to reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV if they are exposed to the virus.

How Does it Work?
PrEP interferes with the biological pathways that HIV uses to infect cells in your body. For HIV to cause infection, the virus must i) gain entry into the body, ii) infect certain immune cells, iii) make copies of itself (i.e., replicate) within the infected immune cells, and iv) spread to other cells throughout the body.

When used in combination with safer sex practices (such as condom use), PrEP is a highly advanced and effective strategy against acquiring HIV.

For PrEP to be effective at reducing your risk of getting HIV, adherence and consistency are key. PrEP can provide 92%-99% reduction in HIV risk for HIV-negative individuals who take PrEP daily as directed. In other words, you must take the PrEP pill every day, at approximately the same time every day, as prescribed by your health care professional. This will ensure that you have sufficient and consistent levels of the medicine in your body to effectively reduce your risk of acquiring HIV. Keep in mind that PrEP only works after the medication in PrEP has reached certain levels in your blood and remains effective only if these levels are maintained consistently. If a daily dose is missed, the level of HIV protection may decrease. Higher adherence (e.g., taking PrEP daily as directed as recommended by the FDA) is associated with the greatest level of protection.

Are there side effects or risks associated with taking PrEP?
Side effects of taking PrEP are mild, generally temporary, and include diarrhea, headache, nausea, and dizziness. PrEP may also cause small decreases in kidney, liver, and bone health. As a precaution, users of PrEP are required to have regular kidney function tests. Although current research suggests that extended use of PrEP is safe, studies on long-term effects of Truvada use are limited at this time.

PrEP does not prevent other sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy
By itself, PrEP does not provide 100% protection from the risk HIV infection. While PrEP is a highly effective tool in preventing HIV on its own, best practices recommend taking PrEP in combination with practicing safer sex by using condoms.

Importantly, PrEP does not protect you from other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as viral hepatitis, gonorrhea, syphilis, or chlamydia. STIs have increased significantly in recent years, affecting the LGBTQ+ community at disproportionate rates. While most sexually transmitted infections are treatable (such as with antibiotics to treat bacterial infections), drug-resistant forms are being identified more frequently. In addition, many sexually transmitted infections can go unnoticed and if left untreated can result in serious health consequences.

PrEP, used in combination with safer sex practice of using condoms, provides the best level of protection available to reduce the risk of HIV and other STI infections, ensuring you continue to have sexual health and wellness.

Where can I get PrEP?     List of providers who prescribe PrEP is Central Oregon!
If you are interested in learning more about PrEP and/or to see if PrEP is right for you, speak to your health care provider or reach out to Deschutes County Health Services.

Most health insurance plans cover the cost of PrEP. Co-pay assistance programs are available from Gilead (the pharmaceutical company that provides PrEP) for those who qualify. HIV Alliance in Eugene provides PrEP Navigation services  for individuals who need assistance in paying for PrEP. Additionally, the cost of PrEP is heavily subsidized for individuals who qualify for Medicaid under Oregon Health Plan

PrEP Resources:

● PrEP Facts: https://prepfacts.org/prep/the-basics/
● HIV Information and Facts, Canada: www.catie.ca/en/fact-sheets/prevention/pre-exposure-prophylaxis-prep
● Truvada Guide: https://www.positivelyaware.com/drug-guides/truvada-prep)
● Sexual Behavior Among Men: How Truvada is Changing Gay Sex https://thewire.in/health/how-an-hiv-prevention-pill-is-changing-sexual-behaviour-among-men
● Deschutes County Health Services: https://www.deschutes.org/health/page/hiv-program-0
● HIV Alliance: https://hivalliance.org/prevent/prevention-meds/

ODOT – Workplace Diversity

On June 11, 2019, Cait Boyce and I had the honor of speaking (by invitation) about workplace diversity and overall diversity landscape in Central Oregon to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) at their Bend offices. Tana Libby from ODOT was our host. We were asked by Tana to provide an overview of what’s going on in Central Oregon regarding diversity and inclusivity as part of ODOT’s efforts to understand how to attract a more diverse workforce.

Firstly, we applaud ODOT as an equality leader in being the first state in the U.S. to allow for a third gender option (‘non-binary’) to the state’s driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Through its diversity initiative, ODOT is examining ways in which to increase and incorporate diversity into their workforce.

Cait and I opted for a less-structured approach to this presentation, allowing for open discussion and questions about diversity in Central Oregon from the approximately 45 attendees. We began by providing certain LGBTQ+ workplace statistics: 46% of LGBTQ+ employees say they are closeted at work; 53% report hearing jokes about lesbian or gay people at least once in a while; 28% lie about their personal life; 17% feel exhausted from spending time and energy hiding their gender identity; and 31% feel unhappy or depressed at work. Many LGBTQ+ workers aren’t out at work due to fear of harassment, exclusion, and negative comments. Additionally, the top reason why LGBTQ+ workers don’t report negative comments they hear at work is that they don’t think anything would be done about it. These ultimately manifest by LGBTQ+ employees not bringing their full and whole selves to work, potentially limiting their workplace creativity and productivity. It thus behooves employers to ensure that the workplace is safe and welcoming for all employees.

Even more surprisingly, in 28 states, you can be fired for being lesbian, bisexual, or gay; in 30 states, you can be fired for being transgender – in other words, you can be fired just for being who are you are!

Cait provided a history of key organizations and individuals in Central Oregon who have focused on LGBTQ+ inclusion, such as Cliff Cook, Human Dignity Coalition, and PFLAG, giving insight to their pioneering efforts to bring inclusion and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community to this rural and arguably conservative area.

ODOT was extremely engaged, asking many relevant and pointed questions as they tried to understand and relate to such concepts as unconscious bias and the importance of providing a safe space for all in the workplace. Such open conversations are so important for all in order to truly grow and understand how an inclusive and diverse workplace can occur. Afterward, ODOT commented this was their most interactive presentation they have had in their monthly series of talks.

Lunch was catered by our partner Bethlyn’s Global Fusion.

More info @ oregon.gov/ODOT/About/Pages/Diversity.aspx

Cliff Cook Memorial Scholarship

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE CLIFF COOK MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP!

Congratulations to Kimberly Juarez of Madras High School and Lana Urell of Redmond High School winners of the 2019 Cliff Cook Memorial Scholarship!

Each student will receive a $500 Scholarship from PFLAG Central Oregon to honor Cliff Cook, our friend and mentor, former board member and “Gay Mayor of Bend”.

Thank you to every student who applied. Your submissions were inspirational and we are proud of your work towards equality for all.

MT. BACHELOR AND VISIT BEND HOST WINTER PRIDEFEST 2019

Second annual LGBTQ+ ski weekend celebrates community’s diversity and inclusivity with weekend of fun winter activities and engaging events

BEND, OREGON, JANUARY 31, 2019 – OUT Central Oregon, in partnership with Visit Bend and Mt. Bachelor, announce Winter PrideFest 2019, January 31 to February 3. Winter PrideFest is a multi-event weekend taking place in Bend and at Mt. Bachelor, celebrating diversity and inclusivity of our community through various winter activities, social gatherings, and fun events.
OUT Central Oregon was awarded a Catalyst Grant from the Visit Bend Cultural Tourism Fund to help develop Winter PrideFest 2019. Through this generous grant, OUT Central Oregon now expands on the Pacific Northwest’s first LGBTQ+ ski weekend of last year, further promoting Bend as an attractive winter destination for the LGBTQ+ community.
“We’ve put together a special weekend with numerous events for everyone to participate, celebrate, and bring the entire community together. One event not to be missed is Drag Tubing at Mt. Bachelor’s Snowblast tubing park on Saturday, February 2…it’s going to Fab, Frosty, and Fun!” – Jamie Nesbitt, President, OUT Central Oregon.
“Winter PrideFest is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of the ski and snowboard community here in Central Oregon. We look forward to welcoming everyone to celebrate Winter PrideFest at Mt. Bachelor.” – Drew Jackson, Director of Marketing and Communications, Mt. Bachelor.

The schedule of events for Winter PrideFest 2019 includes:
● Thursday, January 31: Welcoming Snocial at The Box Factory (Immersion Brewing, AVID Cider, and The Brown Owl) (6:00-9:00 pm)
● Friday to Sunday, February 1-3: Alpine and Nordic skiing at Mt. Bachelor
● Friday, February 1: “WIGS…an Ice Breaker” nighttime ice skating at Seventh Mountain Resort. Grab a wig and get out on the ice! (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
● Saturday, February 2: On-mountain music provided by DJ Jen in West Village lodge (11:30 am-4:30 pm); Drag Tubing at Snowblast Tubing park at Mt. Bachelor (2:00 – 3:30 pm); Après ski celebration in West Village lodge (3:00 -5:00 pm)
● Saturday, February 2: “Hey Honey” evening dance party at Silver Moon Brewing with DJ Jason Godfrey and DJ ChellyBean (9:00 pm – 2:00 am) ($10 cover, 21+)
● Sunday, February 3: Sunday Brunch at Hola! in downtown Bend (11:00 am – 2:00 pm)

Additional information about OUT Central Oregon and Winter PrideFest can be found at  http://outcentraloregon.com/winter-pridefest

 

Source Weekly Article:
https://www.bendsource.com/bend/winter-pridefest/Content?oid=9248202

KTVZ Pre-Announcement:
https://www.ktvz.com/news/winter-pridefest-gets-underway-at-mt-bachelor/997234035

KTVZ Day of/Drag Tubing:
https://www.ktvz.com/…/people-show-pride-at-mt-ba…/999407442

ProudTimes.com Article:
https://proudtimes.com/pride-on-the-mountain-central-oregon-hosts-second-annual-winter-pridefest/

Bend Magazine
https://bendmagazine.com/bend-events-luminaria-boulder-bash-winter-pridefest-2019/

rainbow-mimosa

Big Gay Brunch – Bethlyns Global Fusion

Join us the morning after Pride for BIG GAY BRUNCH at Bethlyn’s. 11am – 2pm enjoy great food and great friends including mimosas and sassy cocktails – nurse your hangover with worldly award winning fusion cuisine!

Details on menu to follow depending on number of people interested. Please RSVP to the event by selecting ‘going’ or email us directly on our website at: https://www.outcentraloregon.com/contact/

https://www.facebook.com/events/158953711626536/

Learn more about Oregrown PrideFest  at https://www.outcentraloregon.com/pridefest/

This event is possible thanks to our sponsors: