Gina Gutierrez, 22, of Arecibo, Puerto Rico

By Jeff Walsh

Gina Gutierrez was born in San Francisco, and lived only an hour away from it throughout her teen years. In 1990, while a senior in high school, she was prominently featured in the educational film "Gay Youth." She then attended Hampshire College, in the queer-friendly Amherst, Mass. But now, Gutierrez is living in a small town in Puerto Rico. Her close-cropped or shaved head seen in the video, is now waist-length. Her "little boy body" in the video, as she calls it, is now more filled out.

Teen Talk with Camille Paglia

By Jeff Walsh

"Are you taping, I hope?" Camille Paglia asks instantly upon answering the phone in her office in the Humanities Department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Initially, it seems like an odd question, until the rapid-fire magical mystery tour through Paglia's thought process on gay teens begins.

Extra Fancy's Brian Grillo: Saint or Sinnerman?

By Jeff Walsh

Sitting in the president of Atlantic Records' Los Angeles office, during a day-long string of interviews, Extra Fancy lead singer Brian Grillo finally realizes how far he's come four years after the birth of his band.

"It is so incredible in here. It just hit me that I'm sitting in the president's office looking all the way as far as Santa Monica, and I have the whole office to myself," Grillo says. "It's almost as big as my whole house."

Brent Calderwood, 20, of San Leandro, California

By Jeff Walsh

In a recent phone interview, Brent Calderwood reflected back on his years of being openly gay and politically active. From the time his picture appeared on the front pages of area newspapers, to his stint as senior editor at insideOUT magazine, and then his freelance writing career. Of course, there was also his run as a media mogul, speaking on gay issues on radio shows and on the nationally-syndicated Gabrielle Carteris talk show.

Kelli Peterson, 17, of Salt Lake City

By Jeff Walsh

No one will have to remind Kelli Peterson that high school is a time she won't forget. And even if this 17-year-old did forget her senior year, she can just look back on the newspaper and local television clippings, and -- of course -- there was also that MTV News segment.

Peterson, who has been an out lesbian at East High School in Salt Lake City, UT for two years, decided to work on starting a club for gay students last winter.

Openly gay Kitten comes out of his shell for solo album

By Jeff Walsh

With his acoustic album "Motorcycle Childhood," Tyson Meade uses spare arrangement and raw vocals to share details of his life. It's very different from his other role as the openly gay lead singer of the Chainsaw Kittens, where he used to take to the stage in lipstick, tights and mini-skirts.

Elizabeth Katz, 18, of Boston, Massachusetts

By Jeff Walsh

When Elizabeth Katz was 14, she had an experience that forever changed her life. "I had an experience I don't think very many people have," she says, now 18 and a first-year student at Vassar College.

"It was some sort of voice in the back of my head," she says. "I was sitting on my bed, alone in my room and the little voice said: 'Hey, know what? You're gay.' And it was just boom, everything made sense.

Revenge is sweet for Janis Ian

By Jeff Walsh

Before I was born, Janis Ian was making beautiful music. And with her spare, acoustic recent album "Revenge," the tradition continues. Going into the interview, I was more familiar with her humorous and poignant columns in The Advocate. For some reason, although I had picked her CDs up in stores, I never bought them.

Me and my mammogram

By Janis Ian

I am standing with my tit caught in a wringer while a mall-haired technician tells me to relax. I am thinking that if men had to put their testicles in a vise as part of a yearly physical, we would have a cure for the common cold by now. I am very frightened.

The pink slip came as we were leaving on vacation: "We have found what appears to be a routine abnormality..." What's routine about an abnormality? I decide to put on a brave front and joke that in all my life no one has ever called me routine; then I burst into tears. Later on I do the grown-up thing and panic, furtively examining my breasts in the mirror for changes. I'm afraid that if I touch them to check for lumps, I will set something off. I wish they were smaller. I wish they were removable. I wish they were on anyone but me.

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Fratricide

By Janis Ian

In a small town somewhere at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains, teachers prepare for the coming semester. Professors grimly consult lesson plans, breaking in new Dockers ("I still wear the same size I wore when I graduated," they brag, bellies hanging over their straining waistlines like blubber off Ahab's whaler). Dormitories are surrounded by troops of exterminators bent on eradicating last year's mess before the health department shows up for a final check. The grounds are infested with newly arrived victims, ready to give the university their all and terrified that anything beyond the boundaries of the parents' homes will eat them alive. If they only knew.

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Christmas with The Dads

By Janis Ian

The Dads (surely you remember them from previous articles) are worried that their son, Jason, will grow up with no sense of tradition. It's difficult enough parenting as a gay couple, striking new ground with every step; the child needs some sense of continuity. Not wishing to inflict their own religious stereotypes on him and being more inclined to paganism (or priapism) than to regular churchgoing, they've decided to teach him the religions of the world. Christianity seems a good place to start, since many of Dad 1's forebears were Catholic priests. "Besides," they reason, "if we start early, he'll have more time to get over it later on."

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Jamie Nabozny, 20, of Minneapolis, Minnesota

By Jeff Walsh

As a teenager, Jamie Nabozny tried to kill himself just so he wouldn't have to go to school.

From seventh to eleventh grade at Ashland Middle and Ashland High Schools in Wisconsin, Nabozny was: harassed, spit on, mock-raped while other students laughed, urinated on, called a "fag" by a teacher and kicked repeatedly in the stomach by his fellow students. He eventually dropped out of school.

One gay man's journey to find God, and himself

By Jeff Walsh

A newsgroup for gay and lesbian youth seeking help is constantly flooded with questions of how to balance sexuality and spirituality. The struggle to balance the two proves fatal for many teens, and it almost killed Mel White.

White, 55, is now the Minister of Justice for the Metropolitan Community Churches nationwide. As late as 1991, Dr. White's resume read like an entry out of Who's Who in the Religious Right. He wrote speeches for Ollie North, was a ghostwriter on a book for Jerry Falwell, worked with Jim Bakker and Pat Robertson and walked along the beach with Billy Graham.

An Open Letter to Pat Robertson from Dr. Mel White

(faxed to Robertson on 1/25/96)

Dear Pat,

There is a growing spirit of intolerance in our land. Since the 1600s, when fundamentalist Christians chased Roger Williams to Rhode Island and burned 'witches' at the stake in Salem, similar cycles of intolerance have littered the nation with broken bodies and ruined dreams. Now, it's happening again. And that's why we're writing you.

We are convinced that your relentless campaign against homosexuality is a primary cause of the growing spirit of intolerance towards lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans. We have monitored every 700 Club broadcast since you came to visit me in the Virginia Beach City Jail in March, 1995. And though you condemn violence, we are also convinced that your false and inflammatory anti-homosexual rhetoric leads indirectly to the very violence you condemn.

Michelle Klucsor, 19, of San Jose, California

By Jeff Walsh

Michelle Klucsor didn't have any stress going to her first gay youth group meeting -- at the time, she thought she was straight.

The now 19-year-old college sophomore says she first went to a San Jose, CA youth group when her friend asked her to go with her for support.

But it was more difficult when Michelle finally decided to go for herself. "The first time I went on my own, it was still pretty scary," she said. "I got there early and I was nervous, but the people there were really friendly.

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